Imagine this: you’re standing in a extensive line of people in the middle of a scorchingly hot airport. You hear an unfamiliar blend of deep tones and harsh noises of the local language you don’t understand, aggressively bombarded by a collection of exotic smells that you never imagined could exist.  

Looking around, you feel like you are the only American in this entire airport, and everybody knows it. The five year old toddler who cried the entire nine hour flight here begins tugging at his dad’s pant leg, asking who this strange person is and why they were wearing such an unusual getup. The random security guard keeps shooting you sharp and suspicious looks, like an overwhelmingly paranoid professor who thinks you’re cheating on his exam. Two elderly women in front of you keep turning around to look at you, carefully whisper and begin laughing hysterically, and you know it’s not about anything good. You’re truly a stranger in a foreign land.

You’re next in line to see the policeman at the customs booth, your heart rapidly palpitating, sweat pouring down your face and nervously grasping your passport.

What do you do? How do you react? How can you survive (and thrive) during your study abroad experience?

Hi, my name is Adrian Bogart, and for the next month, I will be chronicling my study abroad experience through this blog: Study Abroad for Dummies.   

I am currently living in Amman, Jordan, apart of an intensive Arabic program at the al-Mashriq Institute for Arabic Instruction, however, this isn’t my first experience abroad.  Between my freshman and sophomore years, I studied abroad for three months in Rabat, Morocco at SIT Study Abroad’s Arabic Language and Community Service program.

The sole purpose of this blog is to give any student going abroad this coming autumn quarter the tools they need to thrive in whatever environment they find themselves in for the three to four month endeavour. Whether you find yourself living in the bustling center of a major city or in the middle of a village completely off the grid, these hints and tips should help you get the most out of your abroad experience.

There will be a total of eight blog posts written during my time in Jordan. However, feel free to tweet or post any questions, insight from experiences abroad, or your abroad plans for next quarter on the Clarion’s Facebook page or Twitter.  

For now, ma’a as-salaama (that’s goodbye in Arabic) and stay tuned!