This Blog post is pulled with permission from Sherry Ott of Ottsworld and Meet Plan Go. Meet Plan Go is the leading career break movement in North America; encouraging and teaching others how to travel the world and have it be beneficial to your career. You can also "like" Meet Plan Go on Facebook. As of this post, they can smell that 3,000th fan.
Sherry participated on GeoVisions' Conversation Corps Jordan program in 2011. We can't begin to tell readers how moved we were when Sherry proclaimed in her Blog, "I don’t like to travel any more. This was the ultimate cultural exchange and in a weird way I have a hard time assigning it the term ‘travel’. I felt as if I lived there."
And so, of course, we were delighted to read Sherry's most recent Blog post, Top Career Break Destinations For 2012. Jordan was right up there at Number 1, and Sherry provided a link to the Conversation Corps Jordan page as a resource if you're planning on visiting Jordan in 2012. And, we're very pleased Jordan is the Number 1 destination of people considering a Career Break.
Here is the part of Sherry's "Top Destination" post about Jordan:
Don’t know where to go on your career break? We asked our event hosts for their top destination picks for 2012 and hopefully they will be added to your list.
From Sherry Ott of Ottsworld
Jordan should be on your career break travel itinerary not only because of the mind blowing ancient city of Petra, but more so because of the people. Jordan surprised me in many ways, but the most surprising thing was the generosity, kindness, and openness of the people. It was the first country in which I didn’t feel like a walking dollar bill, simply a tourist to sell to. Instead I felt like people really wanted to get to know ME, understand my culture, family, background, and thoughts on the world. It was an exchange in the true sense; normally all over a glass of tea.
The people are enough reason to go to Jordan, but if you need more, then consider the sites of Petra, the ancient ruins in the city of Amman, floating in the Dead Sea, and hiking in some of the most stunning landscape you’ll see in the world. The food is also a perk of travel in Jordan; falafel, hummus, flat bread, fresh vegetables, delicious coffee and tea cooked in ways you’ve never experienced will make your taste buds sore! Cost to travel there are relatively low and it’s simple to travel independently as the country is small, but has good infrastructure.
Put this gem of the Middle East on your career break list as it’s a chance to really see the Middle East that we hear so much about. It will provide you a chance to form your own opinions on the Middle East instead of the one we are fed on the news.
Resources to help you plan your travel to Jordan:
Conversation Corps Jordan
If you're interested in taking a Career Break, Meet Plan Go has a lot of resources, one called Basic Training. There is also a national event each year for people to gather to learn more about Career Breaks, and to start planning. There are also online classes you can take with them to learn how to make this happen for you, and how it can enhance your career.
If you're interested in the Conversation Corps, contact us and we will happily talk to you about the 19 different countries where you can be a member of the Corps.
If you have ever wanted to volunteer in Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey, you can now apply for a scholarship to help out with your volunteer expenses.
America's Unofficial Ambassadors is offering scholarships to GeoVisions' volunteers in Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey. Scholarships up to $5000 can be used to cover program fees and/or travel. Applications for the scholarship are being taken through August 31, 2011. The funds can be used for 2011 or 2012 program dates.
In Jordan, you can use this scholarship for:Conversation Corps-JordanConversation Partner-JordanMentoring in AqabaFeynan Ecolodge
In Lebanon, the scholarship can be used forConversation Corps-LebanonConversation Partner-Lebanon
In Turkey, the scholarship is available forConversation Corps-TurkeyConversation Partner-Turkey
You can read about the Mosaic Scholarship
and then there are links to the rules and regulations, and the application.
The underlying premise of America’s Unofficial Ambassadors (AUA) is that private American citizens have to do more to improve America’s relationship with the Muslim World. Read more about AUA
By December of 2012, AUA plans to have 1000 Americans commit to at least 1 week of service in the Muslim World. We are very proud to be an approved organization of AUA, and our programs in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey rank high enough to qualify for the scholarship.
Contact us if you have questions. You should work your application
with GeoVisons along with the application for the scholarship.
We welcome any comments about the programs or the scholarship.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to live with a family in Jordan, and tutor them in English? Thought, "What would it be like to join The Conversation Corps and depart for Jordan, live with a family and tutor them in conversational English?
We recommend reading Jason's Blog that he published while he was in Jordan as a member of the Conversation Corps. His Blog, Life in Amman, introduces you to the Corps and to living in Amman with a host family tutoring them in conversational English. The Blog is full of program details, photographs and video.
The very first Blog entry, "First Couple of Days in Amman" gets you invovled in where Jason lives (just outside Amman) and where the sunsets are stunning and "sunrises gorgeous."
In the post, "Past Few Days," Jason has gone out to buy black pants so he can attend an Arabic wedding. He has met a new friend just 5 minutes away, and he gets to practice his Arabic with him.
One of the reasons GeoVisions set up the Conversation Corps is the free time tutors have on this program. Jason writes about his trip from Jordan to Jerusalem and his take on Arabic life outside of Jordan. The Blog post, "The Game, Madaba, and Jerusalem" also contains a lot of photos. Jason was able to get involved in the World Cup and watched the Spain vs. Germany match on the roof of a restaurant in Amman.
The Conversation Corps exists now in 16 countries, including Conversation Corps-Jordan. Even if you don't plan to go to Jordan, Jason's Blog will give you some great motivation to make the most of your program and will encourage you to make friends outside your host family and to travel as far as you can. And if you plan to join the Corps in Jordan...Jason's Blog is a great model of everything The Conversation Corps can be.
Some Corps members have also combined Conversation Corps-Lebanon either before or after Conversation Corps-Jordan. It's a quick flight from Amman to Beirut, and the exposure to two Middle Eastern countries and cultures, and living with a host family in each country, is a once in a lifetime experience.
Have you been to Jordan or Lebanon? Please use the Comments section below to let our readers know your thoughts, and to make recommendations for all things "must do and must see" in those two countries.
Some people wonder, "Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?". Well, we know there won't be if lots of different parties don't contribute something to make it happen.
I'm Kevin, a CVO at GeoVisions
. Today I was reviewing a file full of applications for our Work and Travel
US Exchange program. On this program, university students from around the world come to the US to work in seasonal jobs. I don't know why this particular file attracted me. But I started looking through the applications. In this file, I spotted two students from Jordan, then one from Lebanon.
I liked that. But as I went further, there was a student from Iraq. Then one from Israel.
All these students are going to work together in Ocean City, Maryland this summer, and I got to thinking about how programs like ours do bring people together who otherwise would probably never get to know each other. Our Work and Travel program is a part of the US State Department's public diplomacy effort. Students from around the world get to know about the USA, but they also get to know each other. Abraham Lincoln once said "I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."
Our Work and Travel students always tell us that one of the greatest benefits of our exchange program is that they got to make friends from all over the world. GeoVisions ... hopefully we can help a little bit to convert enemies into friends. My file folder gave me hope!
We can also help you go to countries in the Middle East to volunteer and teach. You can be a Conversation Corps or Conversation Partner tutor in Lebanon or in Jordan. Live with a family, help people improve their English conversation skills, learn about a fascinating part of the world. Make your own contribution!
In this article we identified four countries, but showed six flags from Middle Eastern Countries. Can you identify all of them?
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From The Tutor
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 04:00:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Jordan
Thanks so much for the links. All of the attachments work.
There are two children, and I guess when I say children I should specify that they are young adults. The son, Yazan, is 22. He is the one who translates anything that needs to be. He doesn't really need to be taught anything because he's been to the U.S. twice for summer camp programs. His English is very good so I just hang out with him and talk and correct anything that he says in a wrong tense or tell him any word that he needs help with. He's not around for too much of when I teach the rest of the family, he works in the evenings so he's away. I think it's working out better that way though because now they can't ask him to translate, they have to think for themselves.
The daughter is 16. When I first arrived she said she didn't know much English even though she has to study it in school. But now that we are talking more she finds it easier. I help her with her school homework in English and I also brought a magnetic poetry set from home so she likes to play around with that. I have been taking walks with her around the city for the past few days and she can converse with me when we do that. She's realized that she's much better than she thought she was.
The mother doesn't know as much, but she has definitely made improvements because she is around with me and the daughter in the evenings and so if she wants to be in the conversation she tries very hard to speak in English. The daughter helps her with translation, but I have definitely already noticed a difference. Earlier today we talked about her wedding and what it was like when she got married. She described as much as she could. Talking about food with her is helping too. She loves to cook so we talk about how to say different foods and ingredients in both Arabic and English.
The father is the hardest to teach. He knows almost no English, and even in Arabic he doesn't really know how to write much because he said he didn't go to much school when he was younger. I have just been sitting with him teaching him a few words a day. We started with things around the living room where we sit, like curtains, carpet, pillows, etc. He can only work on six or seven words a day he says, but I think in time he will start being able to do more.
Anyway, that's pretty much the whole situation. It's going well so far. They are all very nice and trying hard to make me feel at home. It's not an uncomfortable situation at all, and as we're getting to know each other better it's becoming more fun. Pictures have been a nice way to help with English too. I've showed them some pictures of my family and pets and other places I've visited and they're very interested to see them.
Thanks for your help and I'll be emailing again if I have more questions.
From Help Me Teach
Thank you so very much for your great update. I really appreciate it - and learning about your circumstances. Sounds as if you will have a fine adventure with this family. Just your presence speaking English will be of benefit to everyone. I suspect the father will strengthen in English as he interacts with the other family members and you. You may be quite surprised at the progress made by everyone. It is often a matter of having the confidence to speak out and try the language.
Please keep in touch and let me know if you need more suggestions. Again, thank you. Very best wishes to you for a wonderful adventure in Jordan!
From The Tutor
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 18:55:26 -0500
Hello. My name is Shelby. I'm staying with a family in Jordan and was just emailing to get some tips on teaching. The kids of the family I'm staying with can speak English fairly well, so it will be much easier with them, but the parents hardly know any. Anything you could tell me would be helpful. Thanks!
From Help Me Teach
Thank you for your message. It sounds as if you are in quite an adventure in Jordan. Congratulations on your new family.
How old are the children and how many are there? It is good that their English is at a higher level so there can be interaction on many levels. I am certain that as they show you their world - in English - their vocabulary will improve. Are you helping them with English homework? This often gives direction to how tutoring can go forward. Having them explain to you what you are seeing (parks, everyday affairs, etc.) can only enhance their English skills.
Attached are some suggestions on how to work with the children and the family. Most are discussion topics but many can also be used as writing topics or as creative launching boards. Please let me know if the attached are helpful or if your situation calls for a different direction.
Also attached is a listing of Internet sites that offer creative ideas for many different ages. Concerning the parents: This can be more challenging, as they would, I am certain, like to have help on their own adult job or daytime lives. Some of the attached discussion topics might be used. If there is Internet access, this is a great way to teach vocabulary on various subjects, including news articles or anything having to do with science or history. If they are willing to give you 'classes' in English about the history of Jordan, this would be a wonderful learning experience for you and a good confidence builder for them.
I hope the attached will be of help to you. Please let me know if you receive the attachments and if the information helps or if you need anything else according to your circumstances. You are in an amazing part of the world filled with history. Have a great adventure!