Written by Lauren Burns (University of Mississippi) Student Correspondent CET Jordan: Internship, Spring 2018
This is my third time studying in Amman, Jordan, so I didn’t expect to face culture shock when I arrived. But I certainly did.
It was a brisk 35°F when I stepped out of the Queen Alia International Airport, which was a drastic difference from the past two summers I had spent here. For a born-and-raised Mississippian, I felt at home in the unforgiving 100°F summer heat. But I was not used to the freezing temperatures. And, I saw a sight I never thought I’d see: rain in Jordan! (Thanks, mom, for forcing me to bring that winter jacket that I swore I wouldn’t need).
The second major change for me was my surroundings. It’s really surreal—by chance, CET’s housing is located in the same neighborhood as my old apartment from the last two summers, just a five minute walk away. However, this time I wasn’t living in close quarters from my closest friends from university. Instead, I was quickly surrounded by 40 other students, all complete strangers to me. The awkwardness was short-lived, though. We have a great cohort, so making new friends came easily.
One proverb I’ve been living by for the past week is this:
الخبز الحاف بيعرّض الكتاف
alkhubz alhaaf b yaa’rred alktaaf
eating bread will make your shoulders wide!
The food is so, so delicious. Of course, the main staples are chickpea derivatives and bread: hummus, falafel, fatteh, shawarma. After the first day of class, some girls from our program signed up for a gym near the University of Jordan. I didn’t, but after a week of eating a year’s worth of carbs, I just might change my mind.
It feels strange to be here once again—it’s familiar and foreign at the same time. Same neighborhood, different program. Same food, different friends. I’m super excited for what’s ahead—from continuing my studies in fusha (Modern Standard Arabic) and aimmya (dialect) to interning with Partners Jordan and taking classes about the refugee crisis in Jordan, I’m in for a busy semester.
b shoofkoom ba’dein
see ya’ll later!