- When will I have the opportunity to speak Arabic outside of the classroom?
- What type of Arabic will students learn?
- How much homework is there?
- Are AY students able to keep on track with their home school curriculum?
- How do AY students fit in with other King's Academy students?
- Is it safe to be a student in Jordan?
- What is the weather like in Jordan?
- Do I need to apply for a visa?
- Do I need to bring my personal belongings (e.g. pillow, bedsheets, etc.) with me?
- How many American students are at King's Academy?
- Where do the rest of King's Academy students come from?
- Are all excursions mandatory for AY students?
- How does the school handle medical and health issues?
- What is AY tuition?
- When should I apply?
- What is the program for post-graduate students in Arabic Year?
- Are there AY member schools?
- Is it possible to speak with a current Arabic Year student or parent to discuss the experience?
- More questions?
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.
The language component of Arabic Year is intentionally intense and requires about 60 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Experiential learning is an important part of the program, and AY students have special trips tailored for them, to places such as Petra and the Dead Sea in Jordan, and to Morocco during spring break. These trips are mandatory. Weekend activities and excursions, on the other hand, are optional, but we encourage AY students to take advantage of them to explore Amman and other neighboring cities.
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.
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.
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.
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.