Culture Quests

Jordan

Middle East
Capital: Amman
Languages: Arabic (official), English
Useful links: CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Jordan. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.

Au Pairs in General

  • The idea of being an au pair is not common in Jordan.
  • Applicants from Jordan are motivated by the experience as a whole, since they will improve their English, earn money, meet new people, and learn about a new culture.
  • An au pair’s job potential is very much improved upon her return to Jordan.
  • Applicants do not have difficulty finding the program fees.
  • Young people in Jordan have the freedom of their family to socialize but not to date.
  • Curfews are not common.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Nudity is uncommon and unacceptable in Jordan.
  • Jordanians are known for their hospitality, generosity, goodness, and serious nature.
  • The family bonds are very strong in the Middle East. Arab families are very close to each other, and the children live with their families until they get married.

Child Care Practices

  • Common discipline techniques include helping the child understand what is their fault. If the child continues to misbehave then they would send the child to their room, or tell them that they are grounded or there is no TV for a period of time. Parents may hide their favorite toy.
  • Physical discipline is not common in Jordan.
  • Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling, and helping their mothers if they have young brothers and sisters.
  • Both parents share the childcare responsibilities.
  • It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.

Driving Skills

  • The driver’s license in Jordan is available at age 18 and is not difficult or expensive to obtain.
  • To obtain a license in Jordan, candidates take intensive practical hours (maximum 40 hours) and then complete computerized and practical exams.
  • The International driving permit is available.
  • Generally the parents provide a car in which to practice, but there are a lot of young women who have their own cars.
  • We have both manual and automatic transmissions, but, in general, women prefer an automatic transmission.

English Language Skills

  • English is compulsory in Jordan, beginning in first grade and continuing for 12 years.
  • Classes focus on both written and oral skills.

Education

  • Approximately 75% of young women continue their studies at University.
  • Others get married or work in retail shops, or as secretaries or receptionists.
  • The academic year starts in September and finishes in June.
  • The educational opportunities of the program are very important because most of the participants want to learn.

Health

  • The most common inoculations are Measles and chicken pox.
  • Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis).
  • Jordan does not have a free health service; however, public health insurance is available for government employees.
  • Most young women visit the dentist only when needed, as it is expensive.
  • “Eating disorders” are not common.

Diet

  • Most young people in Jordan eat meat, except pork for Muslims.
  • Lunch is commonly the main meal,and dinner is served rather late.
  • Vegetarianism is common.

Religion

  • The most common religions in Jordan are Islam and Christianity.
  • Islam prohibits the consumption of pork and alcohol. Serving alcohol or socializing with persons while they consume alcohol may also be prohibited based on personal beliefs.
  • Most young people in Jordan practice their religion regularly.
  • A young person would rarely choose to practice a religion that is different than her family’s religion.
  • The Islamic religion has 5 prayers daily. Each prayer has an exact time that changes daily, but in general prayers are in the early morning, noon, late afternoon, sunset and evening  The estimated time for each is approximately 15 minutes.

Telephone & Internet

  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Most family members will be able to take a message from a potential host family.

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