Personally, I think studying abroad is one of the best things you can possibly do while you are in college, and in recent years, many students have chosen to study abroad in order to gain a better understanding of the world and themselves. Surprisingly, the Middle East has recently become a popular destination for many of these students. Many students want to learn more about the Arab language and culture, so they are now flocking to this region instead of the more traditional Europe or South America.
However, after the recent Arab spring when many governments were toppled by rebel forces, there is now heightened violence and political instability in many of these countries. In November, three American students who were studying abroad in Egypt were arrested and detained. So it is no wonder that many parents and college administrators are now not as gung-ho for sending their students to study abroad here.
“We suspended our program in Egypt last summer,” said Jeffrey Cason, dean of international programs at Middlebury College. “But now we have a program in Amman. Some kids were worried Amman would be a less lively place, but for us it was the safest place.”