Written by Momal Rizvi, (American University), Student Correspondent for CET Jordan, Spring 2022
Leading up to my study abroad in Jordan, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what classes I would take, where I would be living or what life in Amman would be like. Each day I find myself more and more surprised, and in just ten days, I have adjusted much quicker than I expected.
The first thing you should know about Jordan in the winter is that it is cold. Although the days are hot and sunny in the spring and summer months, January is marked by cold and rainy weather. The buildings in Amman are built to weather the summer, expertly designed to keep the heat out. This creates a bit of a hiccup in the winter months, as the buildings’ cinderblock floors can grow quite cold. But with the help of slippers and fleece blankets from a local market, my roommate Margaux and I have started to grow accustomed to the chilly nights.
My roommate Margaux and I walking around our neighborhood in the rain
The next thing you should know is that you are going to buy a lot of food here. Back at home, I always tell myself not to eat out too much because it quickly burns a hole in my wallet. But in Jordan, you can get the best falafel sandwich for just 0.50 dinar. It doesn’t help that the food is so delicious, you just want to keep going back for more. You can even get food delivered to your apartment incredibly inexpensively. Margaux and I ordered way too many sweets from a store called Habibah for less than five dinars.
But the plus about buying so much food is that it’s a great way to practice your Arabic and get familiar with the local culture. One of the first words we learned in my Arabic class was “بدي” which means “I want,” and it definitely comes in handy because there will always be something you want to eat here.
Finally, the last thing you should know about Amman is that there is so much to do here. In the span of twenty-four hours, I went to a salsa dance class and club, went to two of the largest markets I’ve ever seen and visited the Roman Theater. Even after all I’ve done and seen in such a short amount of time, I know there is so much more that awaits.
The Roman Theater in Downtown Amman
All in all, Amman has been a pleasant surprise. When I first got here, I was worried about just how long it would take for me to adjust, or whether or not I would adjust at all. But in a short amount of time, I’ve genuinely fallen in love with Amman, and I can’t wait to see what the next three months have in store.