Danny Kaplan '10

Race and Ethnic Studies major Danny Kaplan ’10 studied in Amman, Jordan with the School for International Training (SIT).

I conducted an Independent Study Project (ISP) as part of my major.  I basically wrote a thesis using field research on a topic of my choice.  My ISP addressed globalization in Jordan via Starbucks and its significance regarding Arab coffee culture.

Ramadan was a challenging month.  The country functioned about half as well bureaucratically, because everyone was hungry and thirsty.  But it was a really cool month as well.  Everything was really active at night, and lots of lights were up like at Christmas. 

I had some anxiety over my Jewish identity.  I wasn't sure how people would regard Jews in Jordan.  Generally, I didn't tell people about my religious identity, but those who I did tell were perfectly fine with it.  I ended up finding how to be comfortable being Jewish in the end.

While in Jordan, I lived in two homestays.  I spent most of the semester with a family in Amman, and I spent a few days with a Bedouin homestay family.

Talk and interact with Jordanians as much as possible.  If you know Arabic, speak it as much as you can.  The Jordanian friends I made were the most worthwhile part of my study abroad experience.