Mason Students to Experience Arabic Immersion in Jordan

by Rashad Mulla

Mason Students to Experience Arabic Immersion in Jordan

This winter break, George Mason University students registered for the Intensive Arabic Language Study at the University of Jordan study abroad program will get three language credits packed with intensive classroom study, monumental field trips and considerable practical experience.

Ghassan Husseinali, who teaches Arabic in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Mason, will lead a group of students on this winter break study abroad program, which will take place from Jan. 2-19, 2012. The program is catered to students taking intermediate or advanced Arabic classes.

The Center for Global Education is still accepting applications for the 17-day program, which costs $3,945 and includes housing in double occupancy apartments, airfare and field trips to the ancient city of Petra and the Dead Sea. Students will learn both Modern Standard Arabic and the Jordanian/Amman dialect.

“Each week, we’ll have 22 hours of classroom instruction, and these classes are designed specifically for us,” Husseinali said. “Students will see the actual usage of Arabic in context. They’re going to live the culture, and they're going to see the people and interact with them.”

Husseinali and the University of Jordan started planning for this program last spring, while the professor was visiting the country to make arrangements for the State Department's Critical Languages Scholarship program. During his visit there, Husseinali contacted the appropriate faculty and staff from the university, and the two sides kept an open line of dialogue throughout the year.

Jordan is a good destination for Mason students, Husseinali said.

“The students will be surprised by how hospitable the people of Jordan are,” he said. “Students will be able to form real relationships with people, not text- and poke- [technological] relationships. Jordan is vibrant, linguistically and culturally. It is definitely very modern.”