AMIDEAST Education Abroad in Boston
Following the path of whatever nor’easter was happening that week, Christina Gordon and Elena Corbett from AMIDEAST Education Abroad in DC attended the 14th annual conference of the Forum on Education Abroad from March 21st-23rd. While there, they attended panels on best practices and new initiatives in the field of study abroad, exhibited about AMIDEAST Education abroad programs in Morocco, Jordan, and Tunisia, and had the chance to meet with sending schools, institutional affiliates, and friends. In addition to several official and casual meetings with representatives from schools that send students on our programs, AMIDEAST Education Abroad was happy to host several of its Academic Consortium Board members for a laid back happy hour at the Five Horses Tavern. A final highlight was the chance to attend a reception celebrating the 20th anniversary of institutional partner FIE, with whom AMIDEAST Education Abroad runs the Jordan portion of Conflict and the Struggle for Peace, a comparative study of Northern Ireland and Palestine based in Dublin and Amman.
There was a lot to talk about with everyone at Forum, but of particular interest this year were our rebooted Tunisia Learn and Serve program and its opportunities for French-language worksite placements, our Regional Studies in French program in Morocco, our academic approach to Community-Based Learning, and our Need-Based and Blog Abroad scholarships. That said, foremost on peoples’ minds is the new Department of State Travel Advisory system that went live in January. Under the new system, travel advisories are highly localized and countries and particular locations within them are ranked 1-4, 1 being “exercise normal precautions” and 4 being “do not travel.” Morocco has a Level 1 ranking, and both Jordan and Tunisia have a Level 2 ranking — the same ranking as most of Western Europe, including Spain, France, and most of the UK, which is where the majority of US study abroad students choose to spend their time abroad. As the MENA region has something for everyone, yalla… AMIDEAST Education Abroad looks forward to welcoming more students on its upcoming programs!