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By Dominique Bonessi

With my first week of classes finished, I can now start my weekly routine.  The Middlebury Language Program at the University of Jordan is quite intense.  Sunday to Wednesday—because the work week starts on Sunday—I have three classes a day.  The best part about this program—if you are a real Arabic nerd—is the language pledge which helps you and your classmates maintain speaking Arabic to each other the entire semester.  Therefore, classes are taught entirely in Arabic with several pages of glossaries to be of assistance.  This program is not for the faint-of-heart and I suggest if you are serious about learning Arabic or any language that you strongly consider Middlebury Colleges in Vermont or any of their programs around the globe.  Their approach is that you will learn more speaking and interacting on a daily basis with the language if you only work in one language instead of switching back and forth.

**As a caveat, I want to say that Middlebury abroad does permit some leeway for emergencies, talking with loved ones (once a week) from home, and writing blogs (like mine!)**

Without further ado I give you my daily routine:

7am: Wake-up and go for a run around my neighborhood

8:30am: Leave for the University of Jordan [UJ] in a taxi a block from my house

9:00am: Fos-ha or Modern Standard Arabic Class

10:40am: Em-iyya or Jordanian Dialect Class

12pm-1pm: Break for Lunch or meeting other UJ students

1:15pm: Sundays and Tuesdays: Gender Issues in the Arab World, taught by the Director of Women’s Studies at UJ

2:00pm: Mondays and Wednesdays: Media Arabic, taught by the director of the Middlebury Jordan Program

3pm: Homework either in Middlebury Office, Library, On-campus, or at home

3:30-5pm: Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: Volunteering at Reclaiming Childhood, a basketball clinic for Syrian, Palestinian, Iraqi, and Special Needs girls.

5-11….sometimes 1 am: Homework, studying, eating, spending time talking to my host family.

The best part about the weekends is that there is plenty of time to either relax at home, commit to doing homework, cooking with my host family, and weekend trips with the Middlebury Program to various parts of the city and outskirts.