Supporting the efforts of local organizations in and around Amman, Jordan focused on educational, environmental, economic, health, refugee, and social issues.
Ms. Jumana Al Mahamid, Student Affairs
Ms. Dema Al Oun, Homestay Coordinator
Mr. Ahmad Rawajfeh, Administrative Assistant
, Custom Program Manager, SIT Study Abroad
Language: none. However, for students who have studied Arabic, this program provides an opportunity to practice the language.
Coursework: Courses on statistical analysis, graphics design, social media and writing grants or proposals are recommended for service placements. Arabic language courses, or courses in Middle Eastern history, politics, or culture, will help students prepare for the experience of living in Jordan.
Students will examine crucial issues in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a moderate Arab state coming to terms with political responsibility, social change, and the effects of regional conflict. Jordan has made enormous strides recently in health care, literacy, and democratic and economic reform, an discussions on women's and children's rights. However, it remains challenged by a lack of natural resources, environmental concerns, economic and social issues, and the impact of Palestinian immigrants and refugees, who now make up more than half of the nation’s population. More recently, large influxes of Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Jordan are changing the demographic and physical landscapes of the capital. With revolutions occurring all around the region, Jordan has also become a haven for yet more visitors.
Jordan’s unique characteristics make it an ideal location to allow students to make tangible contributions to the communities in which they will volunteer. There are many organizations who dedicate themselves to bettering the communities they serve, whether it is at a grassroots level or from an administrative government body. Students will be engaged in a variety of tasks, but all students will have the same basic program:
- Orientation and foundation building – Students will spend a week getting to know the city of Amman, participating in language courses, and learning about the social, political, and religious environment in which they will be living. Each lecture will focus on a different theme, examples of which include the women’s movement in Jordan, environmental concerns and efforts, or economic reform. A prominent figure in the respective field will provide each lecture as a guest instructor. For example, on a recent program, the former prime minister, Dr. Jawad Anani, held a lecture regarding the political system in Jordan.
- Field Work – students will be assigned to various organizations either as individuals or small groups. The main focus of this particular module is cooperation and association for community development. Therefore, projects will range from teaching English and writing proposals, to working on conservation efforts in rural areas. More information can be found in the Service Opportunities section.
- Re-entry and evaluation – At the end of the program students will participate in a final wrap-up of the program and go through SIT Study Abroad’s re-entry program. This program helps students identify ways in which to process their experience and apply it in their lives (inside and outside the classroom) when they return. However, students will also be evaluated while the program is running and will be visited at their work place weekly by an assistant academic director from SIT.
There are multiple opportunities for student projects in Jordan. Some students may be working on women’s empowerment; community development; environmental and conservation issues; or support to refugees, orphans and foster children. These are examples of organizations in which students have worked in the past and may expect to work in during future programs:
1. Jordan River Foundation: non-profit, non-governmental organization chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania. This type of organization’s mission is to foster the development of sustainable social, economic, and cultural programs that empower Jordanian communities and individuals with a focus on supporting women and children.
2. Higher Council for Science and Technology (Water and Food program): independent governmental institution involved in several community development and environmental conservation programs within Jordan. Volunteers with this program will help write proposals and reports as well as assist in developing environmental awareness programs and marketing materials, or work with the local agricultural cooperative, or teach English.
3. International Union for Conservation of Nature: the Jordanian branch of the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization. IUCN is focused on conserving biodiversity, fostering sustainable development, and supporting field projects around the world In Jordan, IUCN focuses on water issues and climate change impacts.
4. Women’s Federation for World Peace: a humanitarian non-governmental organization operating in many countries around the world. NGOs have established several centers and projects in Jordan ranging from microfinance projects for Jordanian women to English classes and food distribution for Iraqi refugees.
5. Royal Botanic Garden: a non-profit organization, founded in 2005, covering 44 acres of land. The mission of the RBG is to conserve native biodiversity at the habitat level, establish a center for scientific research and environmental education, serve as a demonstration site for sustainable development, and provide a unique ecotourism destination. Moreover, the RBG aims to be internationally recognized as a leader in research on arid-land ecosystems and the challenges associated with desertification.
6. Centre for Strategic Studies at Jordan University: provides government bodies and organizations in the public and private sectors with high-impact studies of politics, foreign policy, economy and society of countries in the Middle East region. The center also performs high accuracy polls.
7. EDAMA Association: A Jordanian business association that seeks sustainable solutions for energy and water independence while moving Jordan towards a green economy. The association also drives applied research, development, and commercialization of green technologies while advocating policies that will help make Jordan a model of energy efficiency, water conservation, and environmental stewardship.
8. The Jordan Media Institute: An educational institution that seeks to promote higher standards for journalistic education both regionally and locally by providing educational opportunities and advanced media training.
9. The Amman Chamber of Industry: Works to promote the interests of industry and meet the needs of the growing industrial sector in Jordan through technological and administrative marketing; making Jordan more competitive in regional and global markets.
To see this program profile in its entirety, please access the PDF document in the column to the right.