AY FAQ

When will I have the opportunity to speak Arabic outside of the classroom?

While the language of instruction at King’s Academy is English, the social language among students is Arabic. More than 80 percent of our students speak Arabic as their mother tongue and therefore tend to use the language in non-academic situations (in sports, in the dorms, in clubs and activities). AY students frequently travel to Amman and other parts of Jordan on weekends, where they interact with residents who have little if any knowledge of English. AY students also participate in weekend homestays with local King’s Academy families and learn to use spoken Arabic in typical domestic and familial situations.

What type of Arabic will students learn?

AY students learn both formal and conversational Arabic in a carefully constructed set of courses. AY students spend up to 10 class periods a week receiving formal instruction; this consists of an equal mix of classical fus-ha instruction and of Jordanian ammiya (colloquial) instruction.

How much homework is there?

The language component of Arabic Year is intentionally intense and requires about 90 minutes of daily studying and homework. This is in addition to the work required in other courses a student may take as part of the Arabic Year program. Course schedules (and therefore homework load) are individualized to meet the student’s interests and abilities. Along with Arabic, students will be enrolled in one course in Comparative Literature and may take elective term-long courses focused on Middle East history. Students will also have access to a full slate of regular, GOA and AP courses in order to stay on track with home high school requirements.

Are AY students able to keep on track with their home school curriculum?

King’s Academy has an American curriculum and offers courses typical of an excellent American college preparatory school. The program is designed to allow students to stay on track with home high school requirements. We recommend that AY students work closely with their home school guidance office to choose King’s Academy courses. Ultimately, it is up to a student’s home school to decide how credits transfer back to the United States.

How do AY students fit in with other King's Academy students?

AY students are like any other King’s Academy students, the only difference is that they take a specialized Arabic curriculum, participate in special off-campus learning excursions and activities, and are enrolled for only one year. AY students live among other King’s Academy students in the residence halls, take regular math, science and elective classes and participate in all school co-curricular and residential life activities.

Is it safe to be a student in Jordan?

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan stands out among its Middle Eastern neighbors as a stable and secure country. As a bridge between the Middle East and the West, Jordan is playing a leading role in the regional political reform process. The King’s Academy campus is particularly secure. With a perimeter wall monitored by closed-circuit cameras, the campus is accessed only through fully staffed gates with each vehicle inspected upon entrance by the school’s 24-hour-a-day security personnel. Students are allowed off campus only with permission of parents or when chaperoned by teachers.

In 2017, Jordan was ranked number one on Matador Network’s list of the best places in the world to travel to, describing Jordan as a “completely safe oasis” with “hospitality that will blow away any expectations.”

Read this article for more about safety in Jordan.

What is the weather like in Jordan?

The climate in Jordan is generally that of a desert environment, with little rain, cool nights and moderate winters. Amman and Madaba typically receive rain and snowfall between November and March. Spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons in Jordan, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. The summer is usually characterized by dry, hot conditions.

Do I need to apply for a visa?

No need. You can obtain a visa once you arrive at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman. Later, King’s Academy will assist you with the residency permit procedures upon your arrival.

Do I need to bring my personal belongings (e.g. pillow, bedsheets, etc.) with me?

You can if you choose to, but the school organizes regular shopping trips to nearby shops and malls so you can purchase such items after you arrive. Click here for a recommended packing list.

How many American students are at King's Academy?

There are about 35 American students enrolled at King’s Academy. These students are either children of the faculty, children of American professionals who live in Amman (typically affiliated with the US embassy) or adventurous students from the United States who have chosen to attend boarding school at King’s either as part of AY or the school’s regular program.

Where do the rest of King's Academy students come from?

King’s has a diverse student population, with more than 30 countries represented. That said, about 60 percent of our students are from Jordan. Other sizeable populations are from Saudi Arabia, the United States, China and Korea.

How often will AY students participate in special excursions?

Experiential learning is an important part of the AY program. Students participate in such activities on a weekly basis and enjoy more extensive excursions at least once a month.

How does the school handle medical and health issues?

King’s Academy has a fully staffed health center and doctor who lives on campus. The school has its own ambulance and close working relationships with hospitals and specialized health professionals in Amman. The campus health center handles minor student health concerns and consults with families if hospitalization is required. Amman’s private hospitals are renowned for being among the best in the Middle East. Arabic Year students are covered under King’s Academy’s health insurance in addition to their existing family medical insurance policy.

Is King's Academy accredited?

Yes, King’s Academy was granted full accreditation by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in June 2011.

What is AY tuition?

Information on 2017-2018 tuition and fees for Arabic Year is here.

When should I apply?

To receive notification by March 8, 2016, applicants must complete the above application process by February 2, 2016. After that date, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

What is the program for post-graduate students in Arabic Year?

Post-graduates in Arabic Year are able to take a modified selection of courses to suit their own academic needs and interests. PGs take two Arabic courses and at least three additional courses from the King’s Academy curriculum. The King’s Academy University Counseling Office supports PG students through the college application process.

Are there AY member schools?

Yes, in 2013 King’s Academy began offering select schools the opportunity to become Arabic Year member schools. Brunswick School (CT), Deerfield Academy (MA), Lawrenceville School (NJ), Loomis Chafee School (CT), Pingry School (NJ), Friends Seminary (NY) and Greenhill School (TX) were the first to join. Member schools share an appreciation for a broad, liberal arts tradition; in addition, they tend to be globally-minded and forward thinking, encouraging their students to study abroad and learn through experience. Member school faculty and students are invited to visit King’s Academy to learn firsthand about the life and culture of the Middle East. These visiting groups are permitted to board on campus, sit in on King’s Academy classes, meet with King’s students and teachers, and use the school as a base for further exploration of the region. AY applicants from member schools are given priority in the admissions selection process.

Where do AY students who graduate from King’s Academy attend college?

At Arabic Year, we delight when our students matriculate to universities that will help them to realize their goals and dreams. Our students have elected to attend the following universities and colleges:

2015
Dartmouth College (2 students)
George Mason University
Middlebury College
University of Pennsylvania

2014
Eugene Lang College - The New School for Liberal Arts
Middlebury College (2 students)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Sciences Po - Columbia University Dual BA Program – France

The George Washington University
University of California, Berkeley (2 students)

2013
Colby College
Houston Baptist University
Lake Forest College
Mount Holyoke College
Sciences Po
The George Washington University (2 students)
United States Naval Academy
University of Houston
Yale University (2 students)

Is it possible to speak with a current Arabic Year student or parent to discuss the experience?

Sure, we would be happy to send you contact information for parents and students who have volunteered to speak with prospective families or answer questions via email.

More questions?

We are happy to discuss these points in more detail or answer any other questions you may have. During most of the year, Jordan time is GMT +3, which means we are usually seven hours ahead of the east coast of the United States.

You can email AY Program Director Imad Zahr and King’s Academy Director of Admissions MacGregor Robinson.

Last updated
March 13, 2017