Emily Swertfeger's Story Abroad

Term Abroad: Summer 2019
Major: History and Education
Country of Study: Jordan

What has been your most rewarding experience abroad so far?
Before I went to Amman, I had no experience learning Arabic, but by the end of my time there, I was able to speak with local shop owners and order my own food in Arabic. Being able to actually speak Arabic to native speakers was very rewarding.
What has been the most interesting aspect of your host culture?
Driving. Drivers in Amman are absolutely crazy.
What has been the most challenging aspect of living in your host culture?
The heat in Amman is very intense during the summer months. My apartment, along with many buildings, did not have air conditioning, so it was difficult to adjust to the heat.
What has been your favorite place that you’ve visited while abroad?
I had a week break for Eid, and I was able to travel to the West Bank, and experience life with the Palestinians which has been extremely influential on my current studies and beliefs.
What is your best advice for a future study abroad student?
Don’t be afraid to say yes to things. When I first got to Amman, I was so afraid of everything and I stayed in my apartment a lot. Eventually, I decided just to go with the flow of the city life, and I started saying yes to new experiences and people. I met amazing people this way and had wonderful experiences.