Staying Safe in Jordan

As in any large city, you should take reasonable precautions against crime.  Be sure to lock your room and guard your money and passport against pickpockets, especially on buses, trains, and the street, as well as in any crowded places.  When traveling, you should keep your eyes on your luggage, as theft is a reality in any location.  With recent economic changes in Jordan, pickpockets are becoming more artful and more prevalent. We recommend that you use a money pouch or passport bag that can be worn inside your clothing.  Students should be careful about jogging or walking alone in remote places.

Students are advised to go out in groups, ideally with Jordanian students, especially at night.  In addition, students should avoid all confrontations with individuals who have had too much to drink.  You should take your passport with you whenever you leave the city, and you should always carry your student ID with you for identification purposes.  You must keep a copy of your passport and visa with you at all times. Remember, when it comes to safety, a little bit of common sense goes a long way!

When out and about in the city, pay attention to traffic patterns and be careful crossing streets. Use pedestrian bridges when available. Pavements and sidewalks in Jordan may be uneven or end abruptly; use them when you can, and pay attention to where you’re walking. Refrain from talking, texting, or listening to loud music, so that you can pay attention to traffic.

Middlebury monitors all programs closely through news channels, regular communication with staff overseas, and special information and notifications from the United States Department of State and other sources.  You should read through the Travel Advisory for Jordan and know that the advisory level can change.  Your on-site staff will go over safety issues and precautions particular to your host city in detail during orientation.

It is both inconsiderate of the host culture, and unwise for reasons of personal safety to dress immodestly.  In general, men should not wear shorts except when engaged in athletic activities or on a program-sponsored hike, and women should not wear very tight, sleeveless or low-cut shirts, or anything ending above the knee.

Students should avoid any and all protests or demonstrations. Students should not photograph, record, or participate in protests, even out of solidarity.

To prevent loss of property:

  • Be sure to lock your room and guard your money and passport against pickpockets, especially on buses, trains, and the street, as well as in any crowded places.
  • Keep your valuables packed and out of sight in your room, and avoid taking expensive jewelry, camera, or computer equipment with you;
  • Carry your wallet and documents in closed compartments inside bags (ideally an inner, zippered pocket) and not in jacket pockets, outside pockets of backpacks, or other areas that are easily accessible to would-be thieves;
  • Keep your valuables packed and out of sight in your room, and avoid taking expensive jewelry, camera, or computer equipment with you;
  • Take a lock for each suitcase.  Large sums of money and other valuables should always be kept in a locked drawer, even at your homestay, in the event of random break-ins or robberies;
  • Separate large sums of money, write down credit card numbers, and keep records stashed in several different places;
  • When traveling on public transportation, carry an unobtrusive handbag or backpack, and avoid displaying expensive belongings or large sums of money;
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport and registered visa in a safe place, separate from the originals. Make sure you have enough money with you to pay for a taxi;
  • Keep your cell phone charged and supplied with enough minutes to make a call in case you or others need help;
  • Stay in sight of the driver when riding a bus;
  • Carry the contact card provided for you upon arrival with you at all times.

The School in Jordan does not carry insurance for stolen property, and students who are particularly concerned should look into taking out such a policy before leaving the U.S. The School in Jordan cannot offer to store money or valuables for students.

In other words, use common sense. As a foreign student, you should take the same precautions you would in any large city, anywhere in the world.  During orientation, the issue of security will be discussed in greater depth.

For safety reasons, you are expected to have a local number and keep your phone charged at all times.  The cost of this has been accounted for in your estimated personal expenses.

Middlebury has partnered with Global Rescue LLC to provide travelers with access to an intelligence platform (GRID) that ensures that you are well informed and prepared before and during your travels.  For more information on Global Rescue, please visit www.globalrescue.com.

Contact Global Rescue Operations Center 24 hours a day by calling:+1 (617) 459-4200 (collect calls accepted) or emailing operations@globalrescue.com.