I'm currently in Seattle for college but want to study abroad next fall (july-december, about). I'm interested in trauma/conflict studies within psychology and trying to decide between studying abroad in Legon, Ghana; Stellenbosch, South Africa; Amman, Jordan; and Cairo, Egypt, among various others, but those seem to be the main ones. Anyone have any suggestions with where they think would be the best place to go? I have to decide really soon, but I'm very torn and I haven't traveled enough to know for myself which would be the best place to go. Any help, tips, or suggestions would be soooo appreciated!
I guess the academic level of the school is no issue (it seems that this might differ even though they all probably claim that they are having a international curriculum ;-)) ?
Let me see... In my opinion there is not enough nightlife in Amman, so I would choose something else to make sure I had enough fun :-). Cairo got some nice spots and also a lot of foreign students and schools (American, Canadian, German, French and so on). The bad thing about Cairo is the pollution and the size of it, as it might take an hour or two to drive through downtown during rush hour. If you want to go to the beach, it will at least take you an hour to drive to the red sea (and to Sharm El Sheikh it will take you six or seven hours).... Cairo and Amman is both very safe places, and as a foreigner you will not have any problems.
Accra I do not know much about, as I have only stayed there one night, but at least they got fun bars and nice beaches and people.
Stellenbosch is beautiful and you will have a blast there, but it might not be as safe as the other places mentioned, but for all the things you can do and see in South Africa.... I am pretty sure I would choose that if I could..
I aggree, SA would be the best. I would go for Stellenbosch Uni or Cape Town Uni. Cape Town would probably be the best for the courses you are interested in and they have an excellent curriculum and known to have more of an international mind set. Sounds like I am punting UCT but I am actually a Maties (Stellenbosch) Alumni... Both have great nightlife, Stellenbosch is a bit wilder and venues are not as extravagent as Cape Town, but to be honest it is easier to travel around Stellenbosch!
Stellenbosch is beautiful and you will have a blast there, but it might not be as safe as the other places mentioned, but for all the things you can do and see in South Africa.... I am pretty sure I would choose that if I could..[/quote]
I really don't aggree with this, Stellenbosch is very safe, I used to study there!!! I walked everywhere, day and night, and on many occassions completely alone!!!! I never ever had a problem... Please don't make assumptions and tehn pass it on as fact!
:-) Sorry, I meant South Africa in general, not Stellenbosch.. I can see that the sentence was no good and came out wrong:-)
No worries... I just get very defensive at times...
Amman is considered to be the ugliest city in the Middle East. Unimaginative blocks of concrete sitting in the desert.
But if you are looking at a university in Jordan, take a look at Yarmouk university. It is considered by Jordanians to be the best in the country. They also have close ties with Palestine, which is an ideal area for studying trauma related issues in psychology. Yarmouk University is situated in Irbid, a relatively small town in Jordan. Irbid is not very good for nightlife, it is even worse than Amman. But it is a fairly typical town of the region and a very good place to experience the Middle East as it really is. Yarmouk univ. cooperates with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA.
Alternatively you could also study in Israel. Israel has a very high standard of health care and trauma psychology is something of a hobby for everybody there. The whole country is affected by the ongoing civil war, there are very few peple who are not suffering from a trauma. All these people need psychological treatment - and they are getting it!
The atmosphere in Israel is addictive for a traveller - all this madness and violence over a few dry hills. In a way the whole country is still trying to overcome the Holocaust. The Israelis are in a constant hysterical fear that another Hitler will come and finish them off and out of this fear they strike out with brutal violence at any (percieved)threat to them. They feel that they need to stay put, they have dug themselves in and are awaiting the attacks. In their stubbornness they totally ignore that they have become what they feared. But you really need to go there to experience it, it is very hard to explain. Right now is also a very good time to go, as it looks as if the violence is getting less in the coming year.
(I studied Arabic at An-Najah in Nablus, Palestine btw.)
Cairo btw doesn't agree with everybody. I came, saw and hated the city. It is polluted and very noisy - but also never quiet. Great nightlife, but the study fees at the American university in Cairo -URRGH! For the fees they ask, you got to be a billionare to study there. Never mind that the billion can be Egyptian pounds, it is still a lot of money.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 17, 2007, at 4:49 PM by t_maia ]
I found something you might find interesting:
It is a summer camp in Nablus, Palestine that aims to help children who are traumatised by the violence. They are looking for volunteer counselours. Three weeks of practical work in June 2007, directly related to your chosen career path - it can't get any better.