The Arab Spring and other recent events in the Middle East have heightened interest and awareness of that vital region among college students and faculty. In response, ACM is starting an off-campus program next year in Jordan, where students can focus on the area’s language and culture, history, politics, social trends, and media.
“The Jordan Program will offer a significant new opportunity for the growing number of students who want to understand the Middle East and Islam, and who want greater proficiency in Arabic,” said ACM President Christopher Welna in announcing the new program. “The ACM Presidents, Deans, and Off-Campus Study Directors, as well as faculty, worked closely with consortial staff to establish this very promising partnership with AMIDEAST. We’re delighted that we can provide this exciting new program.”
Students on an AMIDEAST excursion to the ancient city of Petra.
ACM’s partner in Jordan, AMIDEAST, is a leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training, and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. The program will be based at the organization’s facility in Amman, one of the sites where AMIDEAST offers off-campus study for students from the U.S.
Students will study Arabic language, take two elective courses taught in English, conduct an independent study projects, live with a Jordanian family, and participate in a variety of excursions and cultural activities organized by AMIDEAST.
A Visiting Faculty member from an ACM college will accompany the students to Jordan and will teach an elective course and supervise the students’ independent projects. ACM is accepting applications through June 15 for the Visiting Faculty for the program’s inaugural semester in fall 2013.
The program will offer students rich resources to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Middle East and Jordanian culture, including:
- Arabic Language: Students will take Arabic language suited to their individual proficiency, from beginner to advanced.
AMIDEAST offers courses such as Traditional Islamic Arts.
- Elective Courses: AMIDEAST offers a wide range of courses in Middle Eastern and Jordanian society, culture and the arts, politics and history, international relations, and contemporary issues. The ACM Visiting Faculty member will teach a course in his/her area of expertise, and other courses are taught by Jordanian professors who have strong experience teaching in English-language environments.
- Independent Study Project: Using interviews, field observation, and other techniques, students can explore topics of individual interest in projects they develop and complete with the supervision of the Visiting Faculty member.
- Engagement with Culture: Students will meet and interact with Jordanians and experience daily life in Amman through a home stay, organized trips to significant historical and cultural sites, and other activities, and opportunities to volunteer in community service projects.
ACM will finalize details of the new Middle East program in the weeks ahead, and comprehensive information about the program will be available on the ACM website in summer 2012.
The Middle East program will join the portfolio of 13 programs ACM currently operates around the world in Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Italy, Mexico, Tanzania, the U.K., and in Chicago.
Photos are courtesy of AMIDEAST.