Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) 2014

In the summer of 2014, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fulbright Hays GPA program allowed twelve K-12 educators to study Arab society and Levantine Arabic for four weeks through an immersion program held in partnership with Princess Sumaya University in Amman, Jordan.  Their curriculum included “Migration, Displacement and Integration” and "Local Responses to Geo-Politics: Past and Present." The group met officials from local government, nonprofits, and international agencies, engaged with youth and professionals through community service at the Orphan Welfare Society at the Baqaa Palestinian Refugee Camp, and worked with Syrian refugee children and women under the auspices of the Syrian American Medical Society. While in Jordan, the group also toured historic and religious sites and interacted with many individuals in a variety of formal and informal contexts.

This Fulbright Hays GPA was designed with input from experts in secondary education and language acquisition. Advance preparation for the study tour included a series of five workshops hosted by the University of Pittsburgh in coordination with the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies and in-country specialists from Princess Sumaya University. Experts in the fields of history, geography, culture and literature, and policy and politics introduced the K-12 educators to contemporary social, political, and cultural issues and debates.  

The goals for participants in the program were to:

  1. Acquire the ability to speak colloquial Levantine Arabic at the intermediate-low level;
  2. Develop a working knowledge of the Middle East as a nexus of people, goods and ideas through time and understand the past and present geo-politics of the Levant;
  3. Establish contacts and develop relationships through experiential learning opportunities;
  4. Create K-12 lesson plans.
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