Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Study abroad programs in Jordan

Elon University students interested in studying abroad in Jordan will still be given the opportunity despite recent protests in the Middle East.There is not an Elon-sponsored trip to Jordan, but there is a semester-long affiliate program through the Council on International Educational Exchange that students can participate in, said Woody Pelton, dean of International Programs. The program to Amman will begin in fall 2011.

Jordan's King Abdullah II fired his cabinet and named a new prime minster after several anti-government protests in early February.CIEE's website says it is still hosting students and the Amman campus was one of the alternative locations considered by Elon students evacuated from Egypt.Elon senior Andrew Black went to Amman, Jordan during his spring semester and summer junior year with a different program, AMIDEAST.What was unique about the program was you can live with host families,Black said.So I stayed with a Jordanian family and it was a tremendous experience. You learn things that you never learn in a classroom.

During his seven-month stay, there were protests between a tribe and local police forces around the area. From what Black saw, the monarchy was a unifying presence rather than the source of tension.Regardless of the protests, Black intends on applying for the Fulbright Program and traveling to Egypt this summer. The protests should not deter students looking to study abroad, he said.I mean, obviously you want to plan carefully as not to get interrupted by domestic or international crisis, but I wouldn't discourage those from continuing studying in the Middle East,he said.It's such a wonderful experience and the people are amazing. It would be a shame to abandon your study abroad ambitions all together.

Offering more programs in the Middle East is part of a push from the Isabella Cannon International Centre for students to visit places outside of Europe. For the 2012 Winter Term, a study abroad trip to Turkey, Greece and possibly Morocco is currently in the works.We're not exclusively pushing Middle East trips, but we're trying to get students to consider places beyond Europe,Felton said.This is a big world and there's a lot of places. So think about the Middle East, China, India or Africa.

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