Course of Study

“The field trips were absolutely amazing, the teachers very clearly knew what they were talking about, and I was exposed to a lot of interesting articles and readings.”

Classroom instruction is combined with exciting opportunities for experiential, integrated learning. Students connect classroom lectures, readings, and individual research to the people and sites they experience in Jordan. Three highly qualified teachers co-teach, direct research projects, and supervise writing workshop groups, helping students develop the skills required for success in college. Because of the low student-to-teacher ratio and the amount of time spent traveling, eating, and living together, students are able to spend considerable time with their teacher, continuing conversations started in the classroom.

The curriculum aims to give participants a comprehensive understanding of Arab cultures, the Middle East, and the region’s relationship with the rest of the world. Students also gain relevant theoretical and historical knowledge so as to put their experiences in context academically and culturally.

Representative Lecture and Discussion Topics

  • History of the Middle East as a region and a construct
  • Orientalism and Western scholarship on the Middle East
  • Religious diversity and identity
  • Literature, art, music, and pop culture
  • Inter-regional and international relations and politics
  • The legacy of British colonialism
  • Refugees’ impact on the various Arab states
  • Spotlight on Jordan: Exception or Norm?
  • Environmental challenges facing the Middle East: the drying Dead Sea, the Jordan River Valley, unsustainable farming
  • Gender politics, real and imagined
  • The Arab Spring and the post-2011 Arab World
  • Ethnographic, historical, and other relevant methodologies necessary for conducting research and contextualizing what students learn both during class and on site visits
  • Methodologies and theories from the fields of anthropology, religious studies, history, political science, museum studies, and literature
  • Building writing, research, and critical thinking skills necessary for success in college

Course assignments include short writing assignments and class presentations, a critical response or recent literature survey on a topic of the student’s choice, and group presentations.

The program intersperses academic coursework with travel throughout Jordan, such that students have time to digest both what they learn in the classroom and what they experience on the road.

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall.
Programs are conducted in English and no knowledge of a secondary language is required.
Program details are subject to change at the discretion of the University.