AMIDEAST, a Richmond affiliate program, is a leading American non-profit organization dedicated to international education and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Richmond students may choose to participate in the AMIDEAST program in Amman, Jordan (by special permission we may allow students to participate in the Morocco Area and Arabic Language Program--contact OIE for more information). Students on the Area and Arabic Language Studies program in Jordan (either for the semester or year) will have the opportunity to study both Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Arabic. Students will learn Arabic from leading faculty of the Qasid Institute and the program features organized excursions to unique and historic locations around Jordan such as Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea.
Photo taken by Tammi Reichel
In addition to the academic program, the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Jordan offers a variety of additional learning opportunities to enhance participants' study abroad experience:
Civil Society: Ranging from local NGOs in a variety of fields to women’s organizations to sports clubs, AMIDEAST will organize special activities to facilitate student connections to these organizations.
Service-learning: AMIDEAST coordinates organized service-learning projects either for individual students or for larger groups.
Cross-cultural learning: AMIDEAST organizes a variety of cross-cultural learning opportunities ranging from meet-and-greets to formal presentations, giving participants the chance to interact with Jordanian students to learn more about Jordan and to introduce others to American culture.
Location: Amman is an ancient city of immense historical importance, and while it was originally built on seven hills, it has grown rapidly into a sprawling multi-cultural metropolis (population of 2.5 million). The city is some 3000 feet above sea level, and tends to have mild summers and cool winters. The city of Amman has a fairly laid-back atmosphere, yet Jordan on the whole is a key player in Arab-Israeli relations, as it is only one of two Arab countries with open borders to Israel. Residents are mainly Muslim, with a small Christian minority.
The AMIDEAST Jordan office is located near Abdoun Circle. This is where students will take their classes* with American or other int'l students. The program size is kept small: 15-25 students, with a maximum of 30. This is to enhance language learning and cultural understanding.
*Exception: Traditional Islamic arts classes are held at the Institute of Traditional Islamic Arts.
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- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.
An overall GPA of 3.0 and at least one related course to the region is generally required. Students are not required to have previous Arabic language proficiency, but some experience with Arabic will make it an easier transition.
Students interested in AMIDEAST should have completed three semesters on campus prior to the period of study abroad. Transfer students must have completed at least three semesters of college or university study, one semester of which is to have been completed on campus at Richmond.
Robins School of Business students may transfer back credit from only one (1) economics course taken while enrolled on the AMIDEAST program to count towards their business degree. Specific course approval must be given by Dr. Tom Cosse. RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
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Students on the AMIDEAST program in Amman will carry a 14-17 credit course load per semester. All students will enroll in Arabic (8 credits: Modern Standard and Jordanian Colloquial Arabic) and two or three other elective courses (depending on the student's preference) from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines taught in English.
Elective coursework may include Anthropology, Art, History, Economics, Environmental Studies, Media Arabic, Middle East and North African Studies, Political Science, Religion/Theology, Sociology, Studio Art, and Women's/Gender Studies. See the AMIDEAST website for specific course details (see Area Studies and Arabic courses).
All credit will be transferred back to UR using the Conversion to Units system.
To determine the unit value of an AMIDEAST course, the following formula will be used by the University of Richmond Registrar's Office: semester hours/3.5, round up to nearest tenth of a unit. A 3-semester credit course will be transferred back to Richmond as .9 units. A 5-semester course will be transferred back as 1.5 units.
Students are graded using the U.S. system. Credit for grades lower than "C" will not be transferred back to the University of Richmond.
Photo by Tammi Reichel
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Students have the option to live with a host family or in a shared apartment with other AMIDEAST students.
OPTION 1: Living with a Jordanian Family – students who select this option will live with a Jordanian family that has been carefully screened by AMIDEAST/Jordan from a database of qualified applicants; families generally host two AMIDEAST students at a time. All host families are Arabic-speaking; English, however, is spoken in most of the homes.
AMIDEAST matches students with host families using a variety of criteria. While all placement preferences may not be met in every case, AMIDEAST will strive to make the best match to ensure a rewarding and pleasant living experience. In the event of a problem, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program staff members will be available either to mediate or to arrange a new host family placement. Students living with host families will be provided with all meals by their host families but may find that some days it is not possible to return to the family for lunch because of class schedules.
OPTION 2: Living in a shared apartment with other students from the program. The apartments are carefully selected by AMIDEAST to be safe, comfortable, and convenient to program facilities and public transportation. Students purchase or prepare meals on their own.
Dates and Costs
Click on the link to learn more about Dates and Costs for AMIDEAST-Jordan.
Click on the link to learn more about Dates and Costs for AMIDEAST-Morocco.
NOTE: AMIDEAST accepts applications on a rolling basis, so interested students should be sure to apply early.
All American citizens can be issued a visa upon arrival at the Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan. Currently, a single-entry Jordanian visa costs 20 JD (approximately $28). This price is subject to change and is reimbursable by the OIE (see reimbursement policies). During your stay in Amman, AMIDEAST will help facilitate extensions of the visas.
Non-U.S. students will need to check the requirements, as certain nationalities may need to obtain an entry visa prior to travel. Check the appropriate Jordanian Embassy for further information.
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For More Information
To learn more about AMIDEAST, contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education or Professor Walid Hamarneh in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC).
This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Most of the information was reproduced from the AMIDEAST website. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.