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Courses & Credits

The Jordan program curriculum includes two required courses in Arabic language, two elective courses offered by AMIDEAST, and a choice among options such as an independent study project, a community-based learning course, or an elective course with a research component.

Modern Standard Arabic language (required, at your level of proficiency)
Spoken Jordanian Arabic language (required, at your level of proficiency)

Recommended credit for the program is 17 semester credits, which includes eight semester credits for Arabic and three semester credits each for all other courses. 

Except for Arabic language instruction, all courses are taught in English. There are no prerequisites for any of the courses.

  More information about credit distribution and grades

Arabic Language

Instructors: AMIDEAST faculty
Required courses, 8 semester credits

All students on the ACM Jordan program earn a total of 8 credits in the Arabic language, with 80 hours of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic (5 credits) and 45 hours of instruction in colloquial Jordanian Arabic (3 credits).

Arabic is a diglossic language, with two varieties of Arabic—one for reading and writing and another for speaking. The textbook series used in the Jordan program, Al Kitaab fii Taallum al Arabiyya, introduces both from the beginning, to help students engage easily in their host country and learn the language as its native speakers learn it. AMIDEAST, with partial support from the International Research and Studies Program of the U.S. Department of Education, has also produced multi-media materials to assist students in the development of cultural competence in Jordanian dialect and culture.

Modern Standard Arabic

Required course, 5 semester credits

All students enroll in Modern Standard Arabic at a level appropriate to their proficiency.  Classes are offered at the levels of Beginning (Arabic 101 & 102), Intermediate (Arabic 201 & 202), and Advanced (Arabic 301 & 302).  Special tutorial arrangements are made for students whose proficiency is beyond the advanced level (Arabic 401).

Spoken Jordanian Arabic

Required course, 3 semester credits

All students enroll in Spoken Jordanian Arabic at a level appropriate to their proficiency.  Classes are offered at the levels of Beginning (Arabic 131), Intermediate (Arabic 231), and Advanced (Arabic 331 & 332).

It's important for students to work with their local faculty advisor and do an informal self-assessement of their Arabic skills before they travel to Jordan, to help determine which level of Arabic language they will likely enroll in.  There is detailed information about what content is covered in each class level on the AMIDEAST Language Courses page. Upon arrival in Jordan, students will receive a formal assessment and placement.

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Area Studies

Instructors: AMIDEAST faculty and visiting ACM faculty member
Two elective courses, 3 semester credits each

All students will take two Area Studies courses, to be chosen from the wide variety of course offerings at AMIDEAST.  Below is a list of recent classes that have been offered.  While the classes offered may not be exactly the same from year to year, this list is indicative of the typical selection of classes that will be available in upcoming semesters.

  • ART 350: Traditional Islamic Art
  • ART 360: Art and Politics in the Arab World since 1970
  • ECON 320: Economic Development in the Middle East and North Africa
  • ECON 3xx: Why Nations Fail (TBD)
  • ENVS 3xx: Environmental Studies class (TBD)
  • HIST 330: Jordan in its Regional Context:  An Historical and Political Approach
  • POLS 315: Contemporary Issues in Jordan and the Arab World
  • POLS 320: International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa
  • RELG 330: Contemporary Islamic Thought
  • SOCY 350: Globalization and Social Change in the Arab World
  • WMST 330: Women and Society in the Arab World

For a complete list of recent and upcoming AMIDEAST courses and course descriptions, go to the AMIDEAST Area Studies Courses page. (Note: The ACM program only takes place during the fall semester, so make sure the courses you are interested in are typically offered during the fall semester.)

While most elective courses are taught by AMIDEAST faculty, one will be taught by the ACM visiting faculty, which students are encouraged to consider.

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Independent Study Project, Community-Based Learning, or Elective with Research Component

ACM programs encourage independent, in-depth projects that are integrated with the community to help students explore a topic of their interest.

Students choose one of the following three courses:

Independent Study Project

Instructor: Visiting ACM faculty member
Elective course, 3 semester credits

Throughout the semester, each ACM student plans and completes an independent study project under the direction of the visiting ACM faculty member. Projects may be conducted in a wide variety of fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, should be connected to the location of the program site, and are expected to emphasize interviews and field observation. At the end of the program, students will typically prepare written reports and present their projects to the group. Students are encouraged to formulate projects to fit their individual interests and/or their program of study at their home campus.

More about the independent study project »

Community-Based Learning in the MENA Region

Instructor: AMIDEAST faculty
Elective course, 3 semester credits

This course is designed to enhance students’ critical and analytical intercultural communication skills with the aim of developing intercultural competence. This is accomplished through course work and practical engagement with host country society in private, official, and semi-official environments. Guided and facilitated by the course instructor, students are expected to spend a minimum of six to seven hours at their community placement work-site each week and submit journal entries reflecting on their experiences. At the end of the semester they design and deliver a final Community-Based Learning project to be shared with a larger audience. Through their experiential education, students develop their intercultural competence which is a valuable asset in the global marketplace.

Area Studies Course with Research Component

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Credit Distribution & Grades

The course credit you receive for the Jordan: Middle East & Arabic Language Studies program is determined according to policies at your college.

Check with your advisor and college registrar in advance to find out how much credit you will receive and how it will be distributed, especially if you plan to use your courses in Jordan to fulfill college or departmental requirements.

Grade reports

All students who complete an ACM off-campus study program receive a grade report which lists their courses, credits, and grades. Most colleges accept this grade report as an official academic document. If a college requires an official academic transcript, ACM can arrange to have an official transcript issued through Beloit College for a $350 processing fee. To request an official transcript, students must make a formal request through ACM at the time of acceptance.