Bethany, Cross-Cultural Studies and Religion major, Spanish minor

CIEE Amman, Jordan (semester) and Peace Scholar in Norway (summer)

I studied abroad in Jordan because I wanted to experience a culture that was completely different from the one I grew up in. This was a lesson in cultural humility and greater global understanding. I think it is so important to realize that  our way of doing things in this country is not the “only” way, nor is it necessarily always the “best” way.

Repelling down the waterfall

Bethany with a group of friends after hiking through the desert and rappelling down a waterfall.

Being a woman in a very patriarchal society (in Jordan) was scary at times, but I felt very supported by the friends I made and by the staff in the program. I also realized how much power Arab women have and how hard they are working to combat the sexism in their region.

Madaba, Jordan

Photo taken from the top of a bell tower in the city of Madaba, Jordan.


Any advice on how to leave your family to go abroad?

It can be helpful to set up times to talk to your loved ones on a regular basis. For example, in Jordan I didn’t always have access to wifi but there was a Starbucks where I could get internet access. I made plans to Skype with my family once a week, and I could always look forward to talking to them.

Jerash Jordan Ruins

Bethany and her friends at the ruins of the ancient city of Jerash.

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