Tag Archives: Jordan

If You Could Study Abroad Again

In my job I’m frequently asked if I could study abroad again, where would I go. Of course, I would never give up my experience in Italy; as an Italian major, it was really the only place for me to go. However, if I could go some place completely different, these would be my top 5:

1. Bangalore, India with USAC

India is definitely on my short list these days. In addition to it being the most affordable tuition price I know of ($3,780 a semester!!), USAC’s program at Christ University in Bangalore has really interesting courses like Bollywood Dance, Women’s Issues in Indian Society, and Buddhism and Hinduism in Contemporary Society.

2. Lima, Peru with ISA

With its lively Latin culture and affordable living, Lima is one of my favorite study abroad spots. ISA’s program at University of San Ignacio de Loyala has a huge variety of classes in English (since my Spanish is pathetic) and offers home-stay options and a variety of excursions, including one to Machu Picchu.

3. Amman, Jordan with SIT

As seen through my book and movie choices, I really like the Middle East.  The SIT program in Jordan focuses on modernization and social change in the region and includes a short and long-term home-stay experience. While a little pricey, the program requires a great deal of independent research – a huge plus for anyone interested in graduate school.

4. Cuenca, Ecuador with CEDEI

One of my student workers went on this program and LOVED it. Up in the mountains of Ecuador, this city has far less American students than Quito and allows for real immersion.  For $12,900 students get their home-stay with meals, tuition, and excursions to Peru and the Galapagos. The program also works on the American calendar which can be nice.

5. St. Petersburg, Russia with AIFS

After reading Soulshine Traveler, Russia has been looking better and better. Another one of my student workers did the AIFS program in St. Petersburg last fall and she continues to sing their praises. In addition to intensive Russian, the program offers great courses like Contemporary Russian Literature and Russian History: from Kiev Russia to the Revolution. Another nice thing about AIFS is that it is all-inclusive and for $11,995 students get tuition, housing, meals, local transportation, and excursions to London, Finland, Estonia, and Moscow.

If you could study abroad again or for the first time, where would you go?

Abroad Blog of the Week: My Embassy Letters

I love themes – theme parties, theme parks, and of course theme posts!  Since I can’t travel abroad right now, I enjoy living vicariously through others’ blogs as they galavant around the world.  Thus the theme – Abroad Blog of the Week!

Although I follow a good number of abroad blogs, not many have brought a smirk to my face like My Embassy Letters.  The blogger, Barbara, went to Jordan this past fall and though her blog is no longer active, it is still one of my favorites.  First, Barbara is extremely witty and brutally honest – both make her blog entertaining and worthy of being added to my Google Reader.  Second, I don’t know much about Jordan so I’ve learned a lot from reading My Embassy Letters and thoroughly enjoyed the stories of living with a Muslim Jordanian family.

But my favorite post is Barbara’s last with a list of thoughts on going home.  I connected with so many of these from my own study abroad experience, expect I think Barbara probably says them much more eloquently than I would have at age 21.  Anyway, here are some of my favorites:

  • You can’t run away from life.  Life follows you.  Sometimes you can put it on hold for a very short while, but it will still be there.

    This is not Barbara

  • In light of above, you can use struggle and hard times to get stronger.  Sometime you can feel yourself toughening up.
  • Maybe devices that save time and labor are not all they are cracked up to be.  There is a beauty in work.
  • Language is beautiful, and powerful.
  • All cultures have good and bad things about them; some should be loved, some should be scorned. America is not as bad as I thought it was when I left.
  • Sometimes I wonder if coming abroad teaches you more about a foreign place, or about the place you left.
  • There are too many problems to fix in the world, but we have to keep trying because there is no other option.

Thanks to Barbara and My Embassy Letters!