Amman Education

Many of the Amman Center's programs pair Columbia University students and faculty with practitioners throughout the Middle East, working in a variety of sectors, to develop hands-on projects that promote study and expand the range of academic experiences. 

In conjunction with Columbia’s Office of Global Programs and Columbia Global Centers | Tunis, the Amman Center holds an annual Arabic language program and the Columbia MENA Summer Institute in May-August. The programs are run by Taoufik Ben-Amor, Gordon Gray Jr. Senior Lecturer in Arabic Studies, and Madeleine Dobie, Professor of French and Romance Philology, who leads the cultural seminar.

The nine-week intensive summer program offers a multi-faceted introduction to the languages, culture, and history of the Middle East and North Africa. During the first part of the Columbia MENA Summer Institute, students spend time in Amman learning Arabic and attending seminars that examine the interrelatedness of the Mashrek and the Maghreb dialects through various disciplines.The second part of the program takes place in Tunis, whereby students continue to study Arabic and examine various themes. They are given the opportunity to learn Mashreki in Amman and Maghrebi Darija in Tunis. Both programs attract around 30 Columbia and non-Columbia undergraduate and graduate students, with a group of them who travel on to Tunis.

For more information, please visit the Summer Arabic Language Program website.

Arabic Class

In conjunction with Columbia College and the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability, the Amman Center offers the Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U) Program. The five-week program is held in May-June, and enrolls students from Columbia University accompanied by Jenna Lawrence, Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Biology, and Program Director of Summer Programs at the Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability.

The program offers students the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in the distinctive topography of Jordan, and to visit unique places like Dana, Ajloun, and Aqaba. With the collected data, students are required to contextualize their project within the core issue of environmental sustainability. Students conduct environmental fieldwork in unique natural settings, and gain a sense of exploration and appreciation of Jordan’s ecology through a combination of field research and coursework. 

For more information, and to learn about the application process, please visit the SEE-U website.

SEE-U Students

Organized by Columbia Global Centers | AmmanColumbia Global Centers | Istanbul, and the Office of Global Programs, Columbia University offers an intensive three-week summer program in May-June that focuses on democracy and constitutional engineering in the Middle East. The program, spearheaded by John Huber, Professor of Political Science, is held in Tunis, followed by a segment in Istanbul. It enrolls Columbia students alongside students from leading universities in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. The substantive focus of the program is on the concept of democracy, the challenges of democratic transitions and consolidation, and trade-offs associated with different ways of organizing democratic institutions. Although the program studies general issues associated with democratic politics and does not focus exclusively on Tunisia and Turkey, these locations provide students with a meaningful exposure to the recent histories and challenges that both countries have faced.

Student perspectives of the central issues in the program are influenced by the incorporation of students from across the region, where recent experiences with democratic governance have been extremely challenging and dramatically different. To enable students to think systematically about how to formulate and test arguments about democracy, the program integrates the study of democracy with the study of quantitative research methods.

The program is supported by the President’s Global Innovation Fund and the Lee C. and Jean Magnano Bollinger Fellowship. 

For further information please click here.

Constitutional Engineering 2015

In partnership with the Center for Career Education at Columbia University, the Amman Center continues to hold the Columbia Experience Overseas Program (CEO), The CEO program is a unique eight-week internship program that offers Columbia undergraduates high-quality internships in a diverse array of industries in Amman, developed through alumni and employer partnerships.

Throughout the internship, students explore a career field and develop professional skills, while living in a new city and gaining global experience. Students also have the opportunity to connect with professionals in Amman who have been selected to support the program either as an employer or mentor.

To learn more, please visit Columbia Experience Overseas here

CEO program

In collaboration with Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE), the Amman Center holds a week-long course, Social Entrepreneurship Workshop for High School Students, as part of the ongoing Soraya Salti Youth for Youth Series. The program gives students the opportunity to adopt entrepreneurial problem solving and design thinking to yield social impact; become familiar with the commonly used business model canvas and funding terms; speak to founders in Europe and the United States about global entrepreneurship; and complete pitch decks and present their ideas.

Students who attend come from schools around Amman, ranging from grades 9 to 12, and examine the business models of startups such as Uncharted Power, FEED Project, and other ventures by Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs, within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Click here for some of the students' stories. 


The Amman Center hosts interns for six weeks, primarily in the summer. Additional interns assist with activities and the coordination of programs throughout the academic year. Interested candidates inquire about internship positions through the Center’s website or referrals.

Internships are available in a range of fields, including the arts, architecture, social work, communications, sustainability and research support.

To inquire further about the internship program, or to apply, please contact us at [email protected]

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