For many of you, your upcoming study abroad trip to Jordan might be your first time in the Middle East, or, your first extended period overseas. With it, comes a mix of anticipation, excitement and of course, lots of questions. We understand your position; many of our full time staff are actually Western-born professionals (and students) who also came to Jordan with little in-depth knowledge about the country and customs save for the standard recommendations of popular travel guides.
In this spirit, we’ve put lots of extra attention (and first-hand experience) into helping you comfortably transition into student life here in Amman.
Prior to classes, all incoming students will attend a live, comprehensive two-part orientation event at Qasid. The first session addresses key topics on city life, from practical notes on health, housing, transport and residency matters, as well as tips on culture and local customs. Session two provides a thorough overview of Qasid’s academic program, including insight into our unique teaching methodology. Both sessions offer the chance for lively discussion and networking with new friends and classmates from around the world.
Placement Exam and Interview
During the orientation period, students also take a written placement exam and sit for a brief oral interview with Qasid senior faculty. In order to avert pre-test anxiety, we remind new students that the exam and interview are simply diagnostic, meaning they’re only designed to gauge one’s current Arabic level. Those who feel compelled to spend the time prior to the exam cramming vocabulary sets, or verbal inflection charts would do better in simply getting adequate rest and nourishment in light of the fatigue entailed in international travel.
Day trip for new students
As a welcome gift for new students, usually one to two days after the orientation event described above, Qasid provides a very special day trip to one of Jordan’s most popular tourist destinations. Typically, this welcome trip takes us to Ajloun Castle, a stunning 12th century fortress that retains its grandeur atop the hills overlooking the lush olive orchards in beautiful Northern Jordan. For lunch, we dine for delicious Arab cuisine in Jerash, alongside the grounds of the most well-preserved Roman-era ruins in the Middle East.
Previous trips have included tours of the sprawling Amman Citadel and the historic downtown area, including to the ancient and elegant Roman Amphitheater that dates back nearly two millennia.
As you’ll see, despite the modern veneer one finds in most of Amman, no destination in Jordan is without immense historical significance. In short, you might say that to step outside one’s door is to take a precious journey back in time.