General FAQ

ACADEMICS

How are AMIDEAST programs different from other study abroad programs in the Arab world?

What is the average size of a program?

How can I make sure that I receive academic credit from my university?

Where do classes take place?

Who are the faculty and staff?

What is the grading scale?

How will I receive my course grades?

I have U.S. citizenship as well as Arab citizenship—does this make a difference in my financial aid chances?


COSTS

What does the program fee include?

Are scholarships available?

What happens if my program is cancelled?


SAFETY

How do you analyze the safety and security of the program countries?

What if there is an international security issue while I am on the program?

What if I get sick in the program country?


LOGISTICS

What are my housing options?

Can I live with my fiance/spouse/significant other during an AMIDEAST program?

What accommodations are available for religious beliefs, practices, and observance?

Who is eligible to apply for an AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program?

What is the application process like?

What pre-departure information will I receive?

When should I purchase my flight ticket?

Where can I connect with other potential and past AMIDEAST study abroad students?

 

 

ACADEMICS

How are AMIDEAST programs different from other study abroad programs in the Arab world?

With AMIDEAST's more than 60-year presence in the Middle East and North Africa, study abroad students benefit from AMIDEAST's long experience, strong local connections, and deep understanding of local culture. AMIDEAST programs are designed to provide unique opportunities for students to study the Arabic language and contemporary Middle Eastern and North African issues in some of the most dynamic locations in the region. AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World provide students wide-ranging opportunities to interact with local university students and to reflect on intercultural encounters. In addition to academics, at AMIDEAST we also provide our students with excursions to historically and politically significant local sites, service-learning opportunities, a detailed in-country orientation, language partners, and facilitated critical issues discussions with local students.

What is the average size of a program?

AMIDEAST purposely keeps our groups small in order to maximize the faculty/staff to student ratio. In small groups we find that students are able to get to know one another and the community in which they live. On average, our programs have 15-25 students, with a maximum enrollment of 45 students. While most program participants are from the U.S., you may also have classmates from other countries (e.g., Australia, Italy, Japan, Latvia). Like the overall group, AMIDEAST class sizes are kept small to maximize student learning.

How can I make sure that I receive academic credit from my university?

Students are responsible for making sure their home institution is willing to grant credit for the program prior to enrolling. Each institution has a different transfer credit process and AMIDEAST staff will provide documentation and other information to help you complete the process at your institution. For more information regarding grade reports and transcripts, please visit this page.

Where do classes take place?

AMIDEAST classes are held at AMIDEAST's local centers which are located in the heart of each of the capital cities. Each of AMIDEAST's facilities is equipped with modern and bright classrooms, a student lounge, internet access, and a small library.

Who are the faculty and staff?

AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program content courses are taught by a select group of Middle Eastern and North African professors from a variety of institutions in and around the region. These lecturers possess a strong instructional experience in English-speaking environments. All faculty members have received post-graduate degrees from North American or European universities, or have spent considerable time at English-medium institutions as students, faculty members, visiting faculty or visiting researchers. Arabic language classes are taught by leading local instructors. All of our Arabic teachers are native speakers who are trained in teaching Arabic as a foreign language.

AMIDEAST's full-time program staffs have extensive knowledge of the countries in which they work and provide unparalleled academic and cultural support to students during their time abroad.

What is the grading scale?

Courses are graded on a 4.0 scale using the U.S. letter grade system.

How will I receive my course grades?

Please click HERE to learn more about how you will receive grades for your time on an AMIDEAST program.

I have U.S. citizenship as well as Arab citizenship—does this make a difference in my financial aid chances?

Yes, if you happen to be a U.S. citizen, you will be eligible for a larger number of awards as well as U.S. federal aid. Sometimes aid is also reserved specifically for non-U.S. citizens. You need to make sure the university is clear about your citizenship in advance so that you receive the correct financial aid information and forms.


COSTS

What does the program fee include?

The program fee covers pre-departure preparation, onsite orientation, tuition, housing (either with a host family or in a shared apartment), most meals (if with a host family), program-organized excursions, supplementary lectures and special events, and medical and evacuation insurance. Although our programs operate in areas of the world where the cost-of-living is significantly less than in the United States or Europe, we do suggest that students appropriately budget for spending money during their time abroad.

Students in Jordan who live in shared apartments also pay a $300 housing deposit that is fully refundable at the conclusion of the semester if your apartment is clean and there has been no damage other than normal wear and tear. Housing deposits are due along with tuition and fees (not at the time of the program deposit).

Are scholarships available?

AMIDEAST offers scholarship opportunities to students participating in our Education Abroad programs.  For more information, including eligibility and application process for AMIDEAST Scholarships as well as links to external scholarship opportunities please visit the scholarships section of our website.

What happens if my program is cancelled?

AMIDEAST reserves the right to cancel an AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program due to insufficient enrollment or other factors beyond its control. If a program is cancelled prior to the start of the program (for any reason) accepted students are given the option to transfer to another AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program which has available space, to defer to a later term, or to withdraw. If a student chooses to defer or withdraw, AMIDEAST will refund all payments received including the deposit but will have no further liability to the students admitted to the program or to their home institutions. AMIDEAST will not refund any flight tickets purchased by the student.

 


SAFETY

How do you analyze the safety and security of the program countries?

Student safety is our number one priority. AMIDEAST has been working in Egypt for nearly 60 years, Jordan for 50 years, and Morocco for 40 years.  AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship with U.S. Embassies in the region and you will be required to register with the embassy prior to departure. AMIDEAST staff members constantly monitor the political and security situation in host countries and in other surrounding countries in the region.

In order to further enhance our access to up-to-the-minute information in crisis situations, AMIDEAST contracts with a company called iJET: Intelligent Risk Systems. iJET's mission is to protect international travelers through the use of technology and intelligence. In addition to providing AMIDEAST with risk assessment reports on a regular basis, iJET also gives us the ability to immediately communicate with students and staff in the event of an emergency situation.

All students on AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs are able to access the iJET website for background information on their local community and other places they may be visiting. Detailed information about iJET and the services available will be communicated shortly before your departure for the program country.

What if there is an international security issue while I am on the program?

Should a situation develop that presents a specific security risk, appropriate action, within well-defined emergency response plans, will be taken in consultation with U.S. Embassy and Department of State officials, with whom AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship. On arrival in your study abroad country all students are provided with a cell phone so that AMIDEAST staff can contact you (and you can contact them) at any time in case of an emergency.

In addition to medical insurance, AMIDEAST education abroad students are provided with security evacuation coverage.

What if I get sick in the program country?

As part of the program fee, AMIDEAST provides medical and accident insurance for all students through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). In addition to medical insurance, AMIDEAST education abroad students are provided with medical and security evacuation coverage through CISI. You will be sent additional information about your insurance coverage through the AMIDEAST Student Portal prior to departure.


LOGISTICS

What are my housing options?

Depending on which program you choose, you may live with a host family, in a shared apartment, or in a private student residence hall (AUI only). Home stays provide students with a window into local culture; this unique experience will give you a view into the important role family plays in Arab society as well as how local community affects family life. Alternatively, some programs also give the option of students living in shared apartments with other AMIDEAST students in the heart of the capital cities. Once accepted to the program, you will be asked to provide AMIDEAST with information about your hobbies and preferences which will help us pair you with a complimentary roommate for your host family or apartment living situation. Please note that all students are required to live in AMIDEAST-provided housing.

Can I live with my fiance/spouse/significant other during an AMIDEAST program?

No. AMIDEAST is unable to provide housing for couples.

What accommodations are available for religious beliefs, practices, and observance?

AMIDEAST is dedicated to fostering a diverse community. AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs makes good-faith efforts to accommodate for religious observances as required by a student’s religious practice or belief without academic penalty unless granting the accommodation would create undue hardship** for AMIDEAST.

Upon request, AMIDEAST will grant students excused absences from classes, examinations, or other program organized activities for observance of religious holy day(s).  It is the responsibility of the student to review the academic calendar and course syllabi at the beginning of the term and to consult with AMIDEAST staff promptly regarding any possible conflicts.  To request an excused absence for religious observance, the student must submit a written request to the Director of Education Abroad (via email at EdAbroad@amideast.org) at least two weeks before the date of the religious holy day(s). In consultation with the host country staff, the Director will review the request and inform the student if the absence from class or other program organized activity will be excused or unexcused.

Excused absences from classes or examinations for religious observances will not be counted against any attendance requirements, but they do not relieve the student from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence.  A student who is granted an excused absence due to religious observance is responsible for working with his/her instructor(s) to complete assignments given/due during his/her absence and will be provided reasonable opportunity to make up work missed without penalty.

 Examples of reasonable accommodations include: allowing for a make-up exam for the student in question; altering the time of an individual assigned presentation; arranging for flexibility in assignment due dates, allowing for late arrival or early departure from a mandatory excursion, excuse from attendance of a mandatory excursion, or housing accommodations which reasonably support a student’s adherence to religious dietary restrictions. Types of accommodations that cannot typically be honored include, but are not limited to: additional nights in program arranged housing outside of the published program dates, the rescheduling of exams or assignment due dates to allow for personal travel on non-holidays, or the purchase of materials related to religious observances (e.g. dishes, food, transportation, clothing, etc.).

 

**Undue hardship is defined as significant difficulty or expense based on AMIDEAST’s resources and circumstances in relationship to the cost or difficulty of providing a specific accommodation. Undue hardship may refer to financial difficulty in providing an accommodation or accommodations that are unduly expensive, substantial, disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter academic requirements, or the nature or operation of AMIDEAST’s business.

Who is eligible to apply for an AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program?

Eligible applicants for AMIDEAST Programs 

  • Are enrolled at an accredited college or university and have completed at least one year of post-secondary study.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); however, applications will be considered holistically
  • Are physically and emotionally prepared to spend one to eight months in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, or Tunisia.
  • Are willing to adapt to a new, potentially challenging environment

What is the application process like?

Applications for AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs are accepted and considered on a rolling basis with the following deadlines: April 15th for fall programs, October 15th for spring semesters, and March15th for summer sessions. Despite the open nature of our application process, we urge you to complete your application as soon as possible in order to ensure space for you on your preferred program.

Students begin the application process on AMIDEAST's online application system.  Students must submit a completed application online and the following additional documents to AMIDEAST headquarters in Washington, D.C:

  • Official Transcript(s) for all college(s) or university(ies) attended
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Study Abroad Advisor Form

After all documents are received, applications will be considered.  The Admissions Committee reviews each application individually and AMIDEAST staff inform students of their application status within two weeks of receipt of all supporting documents.

What pre-departure information will I receive?

Students receive communication from AMIDEAST Washington, D.C. staff regarding courses, housing, insurance, packing, flights, visas and what to expect upon arrival. AMIDEAST staff is available to answer questions program and country specific question and ensure students are prepared prior to departure for their host country.

When should I purchase my flight ticket?

AMIDEAST has pre-determined dates and specific time frames for when students must arrive and depart from their host country. Please do not purchase airline tickets before you receive a pre-departure email including information on flights (which comes after their Participation Confirmation). Students are not allowed to arrive after the designated date and time as orientation is mandatory. Additionally, students are not allowed to depart from the program before the official program end date.

Where can I connect with other potential and past AMIDEAST study abroad students?

In order to gain a better sense of our programs we encourage you to visit our Facebook page: Study Abroad in the Arab World and our blog; Mosaic. We also encourage you to follow our Twitter account @ AMIDEAST_Abroad, and check out our Instagram Feed at AMIDEAST_EdAbroad  to see wonderful photograph submissions from our students abroad.

If you are interested in hearing first hand from students who have studied abroad with AMIDEAST previously, please email edabroad@amideast.org and we can put you in touch with some of those students.