How To Move To Jordan
The complete guide!

Find A Job

This Arabic nation is an intriguing choice for expats seeking employment in the Middle East. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan is an Arabic-speaking nation, with a strong economy, and is a popular choice for European and American expats, particularly in the construction industry. It is home to a number of large construction companies involved in the reconstruction of neighboring Iraq, so if you work already in this sector, you might like to explore the possibilities of contracts related to this. Jordan also has attractive tax requirements: you are unlikely to be subject to double taxation and may be able to avoid being taxed entirely, depending on who you are working for.

Employers must give priority to Jordanian nationals and must prove that an overseas worker is better suited to complete the job. Note that in 2019, the Ministry of Labour in Jordan has created a mandatory authorization route for employing highly-skilled expats, and this requires a higher government fee than regular work permits. The new permit is valid for up to a year, and can be renewed. It costs JOD 2,500 (US$3,526), significantly higher than other work permits, which still remain in 3 figures.

If you are not a highly skilled worker you will still be eligible for a regular work permit (at JOD500/US$705), which does not require proof of specialised knowledge or in-demand skills.

Your employer will first need to contact the Ministry of the Interior and obtain approval for a work permit for you. They will need to supply:

• employer’s name
• your name, nationality and profession
• a copy of your passport, which must be valid for 6 months
• 2 copies of your contract
• valid vocational license of employer with a copy attached
• a list issued by the General Social Security Corporation, indicating that all workers are subscribed to social security and that all the subscriptions are paid by the date of submitting the application
• a copy of the projects and tenders undertaken by the employer, if any,
indicating the entity referring these tenders to the employer
• a valid medical checkup certificate from a health centre that is approved by the Ministry of Health
• 1 x photo
• establishment form number (1) or a copy of the notification of its delivery to the directorate

Your employer may also need to guarantee your conduct while you are in the country.

Depending on your salary, you will need to pay 7-14% of it in tax, which will be deducted at source by your employer. However, discuss this at the contract stage, as some expat workers may find themselves exempt.

Construction and manufacturing are major sectors and contribute significantly to the Jordanian GDP, so if you have engineering qualifications, you are likely to find opportunities. Note that, as above, the Jordanian government is seeking to rectify the unemployment rate by prioritizing local workers, as well as placing more stringent requirements on work permit applications, so the employment market is becoming more competitive.

English language teaching (TEFL) is not so much in demand here but some vacancies do arise. You will stand a better chance of finding work if you are highly qualified: for example, with a university degree in addition to a TEFL certificate. This is true of the Gulf generally.

IT is a growing sector, with emerging technology entailing a need for specialist skills. Amman has a reputation as a developing IT hub. The Jordanian government is currently investing heavily in infrastructure.

The banking sector is also an option, with some major Middle Eastern banks (such as Arab Bank) established in the country.

Speaking Arabic will put you at an advantage.

Typical working hours are working hours are 8 hours per day excluding an hour break, or 48 hours per week: these can be distributed throughout the week provided that the working day does not exceed 11 hours.

Every worker is entitled to annual leave with full pay for a period of 14 days. This leave is extended to 21 days where the worker has been in the employment of the same company for five consecutive years. You will also be entitled to 8 public holidays.

You will be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for 10 weeks before and after delivery. If you work in an establishment employing 10 or more workers you will be entitled to a maximum of 1 year’s unpaid leave to bring up your child.

The national monthly minimum wage is 190 dinars (US$268). The average monthly wage for private sector workers is 460 dinars (US$649).

If you bring your spouse with you, and if they wish to work, then they must apply for their own work permit. It would be advisable to have a job lined up before you enter the country.

 

Job Vacancies

There are a number of online jobs boards that cover vacancies in the Gulf and depending on the sector you are in, you may also wish to sign up with a recruitment agency. Your best bet is to try to line up work before you arrive in the country.

You can also make speculative applications to companies.

 

Applying For A Job

It is recommended that you have your CV/resume translated into Modern Standard Arabic.

Jordan has been making strides in anti-discrimination and equality legislation but gender-based discrimination is still found throughout the country and if you are a woman working in Jordan, you may encounter this. Members of the LGBT+ community have also reported experiencing discrimination, although homosexuality is legal in the kingdom.

 

Qualifications And Training

It is recommended that you have details of qualifications translated into Arabic, and copies of any diplomas or certificates apostilled.

 

Apply For A Visa/Permit

When travelling to Jordan or any other country it is important to remember that you should have your passport and at least one other form of identification with you at all times. This may be in the form of a driver’s license, birth certificate or any other form of identification that is accepted worldwide. Along with your passports bring at least two copies of all of your identification in case of loss or theft. It is also a good idea to find out where your country’s embassy is in case of an emergency.

It is essential that your passport be valid for at least six months from the date that you return to your home country. Visas are required by all except residents of the following countries: nationals of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen for a maximum stay of one month, extensions are available at the nearest police station. Transit passengers continuing their journey to another country by the same or connecting aircraft within 24 hours, provided they are holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport will not have to hold a visa.

Nationals of certain countries including all Western European countries, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan should note that they are able to obtain visas on arrival at the airport in Jordan.

Types of visas for Jordan include Tourist visas, Transit and Business visas, all costing JD$15 for single entry and JD$30 for multiple entry. For United Kingdom, United States, Canadian and Australian nationals Jordanian visas are valid as follows: Tourist visas are valid for three months for single entry, six months for multiple entry and three months for business visas. It is essential that after the first two weeks of stay in Jordan that all visitors holding visas report to the nearest police station.

Your application for a visa should be made to the Jordanian Consulate. The requirements for application are a completed application form; a passport valid for at least six months and with at least one blank page; one recent passport-sized photograph; a stamped, self-addressed, recorded or registered envelope if applying by post and the required fee (only cash or postal order are acceptable). In addition to that those applying for business visas need to provide a company letter supporting their application.

The expected waiting time for visas is two working days if the applicant is applying in person or ten working days if applying by post. For temporary residence applications should be made to the embassy.

 

Get Health Insurance

Many expats take out private medical insurance, even if this is not a requirement of residence, because healthcare is expensive in their destination country or because certain treatments and procedures are not available.

When taking out health insurance, be sure to check factors such as the annual and lifetime policy limits, whether there are any exclusions which are likely to affect you, whether you are limited to treatment from specific types of healthcare providers, and whether the policy covers emergency evacuation for medical treatment.

Too frequently, potential buyers of health insurance look only for the lowest cost of premiums before really considering the specific benefits and areas of cover they may actually need. Some plans are cheaper for a reason. Often they include large voluntary deductibles on any claim you might make in the future and may severely cap the benefits received under the plan. Clients should define their needs first, establish the particular area of cover they need, then determine their annual healthcare insurance budget. Only then should they look to premium comparisons, last of all.

Do not buy a plan without studying the policy wording carefully. If in doubt, ask, and only when completely satisfied complete all application forms fully, to the best of your ability.

Important questions to ask the insurance provider:

1. Does the plan allow for cooling off periods, cancellation and then repayment of premium in full?

2. Does the plan offer “Moratorium” or is it “Full underwriting” and do you need to have a medical examination before joining?

3. Does the insurer offer a 24 hour help line, 7 days a week, available from anywhere in the world (freephone)? Most insurers now offer this facility.

4. Are pre-existing conditions excluded when joining and if so, for how long are such conditions excluded?

5. Are all and any nationalities accepted or are there restrictions which apply to local nationals? Some insurers will only take expatriates abroad and not local nationals into an overseas plan.

6. Does the plan allow you to continue cover unbroken through your lifetime? In most cases insurers will continue to offer existing clients cover year on year, irrespective of age or claims history, although premium rates charged can increase dramatically with age.

7. Does the insurer allow for any doctor or consultant or hospital within the plan? Are there any restrictions in this respect? Most international plans do not place restrictions on either hospitals or doctors, but almost all demand that their help lines are called first, prior to approval of any inpatient care.

8. Does the insurer provide for the direct settlement of bills presented by hospitals worldwide, regardless of location (or do you have to pay first)?

9. What are the insurers procedures for outpatient claims? Do these require any pre-authorization or if stated in the plan can you just pay and claim? How long before you get money back from the insurer? 14 days? 28 days?.

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Rent Or Buy Property

 

Renting Property

As an expat, if you’re interested in renting property in Jordan, you should have plenty of options. The only restrictions on foreigners renting is that your plot of land cannot exceed 10 acres and your lease cannot be for longer than three years at a time.

Most apartment leases are for one year, with the option to renew at the end. You can also find six-month leases, but these come with heftier price tags – they sometimes cost as much as 30% more per month than a year-long lease. You don’t need to pay a deposit, but you may need to pay the entire rent upfront. Some landlords will allow you to pay quarterly, or every six months, but it’s quite normal to have to pay for the whole year.

Once signed, the lease is unbreakable for any reason, so make sure you check out the place you want to rent before you commit to anything. Leases renew automatically, unless you notify your landlord two months ahead of time that you don’t want to renew it.

Because you pay the rent ahead of time, most landlords don’t require guarantors or any other deposits. You will probably need to buy renter’s insurance, as well as pay a 2% annual tax on the cost of your rent to the government. You’ll also need to pay for utilities and apartment services, such as communal lighting and the guard who patrols the property and runs errands for residents.

Properties can come unfurnished, partially furnished, or fully furnished. Fully furnished rentals will come with furniture, decorations, and appliances, but you’ll need your own linens and towels.

Expats who are looking for properties to rent will probably need to go through a realtor, unless you have connections on the ground or can read Arabic and sort through the newspaper’s apartment listings. Popular realtors include Better Homes, Century 21, and Abdoun Real Estate. You can also try the app Lyv, which has an English-language search feature to look for apartments by price, amenities, property type, and neighbourhood.

Most foreigners will probably be coming to Jordan to live in Amman, Jordan’s modern capital city, which is a popular place for multinational corporations’ regional offices.

Prices can vary greatly, depending on neighbourhood and size. In most expat-friendly neighbourhoods in Amman, like Abdoun, Swefiah, Webdeh, Shmesani, and others, a furnished one-bedroom apartment will go for anything from $550 to $1,250 a month in rent. A furnished three-bedroom apartment may cost from $825 to $1,900 a month. Luxury apartments, which may come with underfloor heating, alarm systems, private water tanks or wells, and pool access, are available starting at $1,800 a month for a furnished one-bedroom.

Other cities in Jordan, like Zarqa or Irbid, will have cheaper rentals, but also less expat-friendly options.

If you’re planning on renting in Jordan, keep these tips in mind:

• The infrastructure in some Jordanian neighbourhoods isn’t great, so take a look at your property’s amenities ahead of time, and make sure you write down any issues in your contract before signing
• You’ll need to set up your own utilities, including water, electricity, and gas. Electricity and water are subsidised by the government and aren’t too expensive. You’ll need to buy your gas by the cylinder, and your guard can likely help you install it.

 

Buying Property

If you want to own property in Jordan, you shouldn’t have a problem doing so, particularly with foreigner-friendly investment policies and competitive bank financing. Foreigners can own or lease property in Jordan for investment purposes, and are allowed one residence for personal use, so long as their home country permits reciprocal property ownership rights for Jordan citizens. That is the case for the United States, members of the European Union, Canada, and many other countries.

Depending on the size, location, and intended use of the property, you may need to get sign-off from the Lands and Surveys Department, the Ministry of Finance, and/or the Cabinet (also called the Council of Ministers), before you can buy. For more details, visit this government portal.

Expats usually use real estate agents to help identify the property they’d like to buy. Once you’ve found one, you’ll need a lawyer to complete the process, especially if you don’t speak Arabic.

First, you’ll need to make sure the property is registered with the Lands and Surveys Department. They’ll give you an official sale form, as well as a cadastral map, or a base map noting utilities, transportation, and land use. They’ll also provide you with the certificate of ownership to include in your application.

Then you’ll get a tax clearance certification from the Ministry of Finance, which you’ll include in your application to purchase. If your application is approved, you’ll need to pay the following fees:

• A registration fee of 9% of the property’s cost, to transfer ownership of the title – this is often split between the seller and the buyer
• A government transfer tax – you as the buyer will pay 6% and the seller will pay 4%
• A brokerage fee of 2%
• A stamp duty of 0.6%
• Annual property tax – this will depend on your municipality and the size of your property

After you’ve bought your property, you cannot resell it for at least five years.

 

Move Your Belongings

Consider if you want (or are able) to transport your belongings yourself or whether you will need the services of a removals company that deals with international moves. Unless you are travelling very light, or making a fairly short move by road, you will probably need professional help to ship your possessions. Ask for quotes from several companies first, ensuring that they visit your home to carry out a survey of your requirements. It may be worth paying extra for the removals firm to pack your possessions for you, particularly if they are going to be transported to a distant country and need special protection for the long journey. Make sure you bring to their attention anything fragile or precious that needs particularly careful wrapping and packing.

Before agreeing to a quotation, ensure that you are fully aware of exactly what is covered in the price, and that the service to be provided meets all of your requirements. For example, does the service include both packing and unpacking of your household effects? What about disassembling and reassembling of furniture? If you are planning to put anything into storage in your destination country while you find accommodation, does the price include final delivery and unpacking at your home, or will you need to arrange collection of the items? Obtain a firm estimate of the likely arrival date of your items and obtain contact details for any agents that will be dealing with the removal in your destination country. Ensure that the removals company is aware in advance of any practical considerations such as the lack of an elevator to your apartment, or likely parking problems.

If using a removals company, you may be required to take out their insurance cover for your possessions. Whether or not this is the case, ensure that you have adequate insurance for anything of actual or sentimental value that could get lost or damaged during the move. Take the time to accurately complete or check an inventory of your possessions to be moved, as this will form the basis for any insurance claim for losses or damages. Find out if insurance is included in the price quoted by the removals company, or whether you are required to pay extra for this.

The removals company should arrange any customs and importation documents on your behalf, but if you are arranging the move independently you will need to find out what documents are required and what import duties and taxes are payable (and whether you are eligible for exemption from these).

Make sure that you set aside the important documents you will need for the journey, such as passports and air tickets, and keep these easily accessible in your hand luggage.

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Register For Healthcare

QUICK LINK: Jordan health insurance

Healthcare and treatment in Jordan is generally good and there is an extremely high level of medical care. All doctors are proficient in English; many of them will have trained in parts of Europe and North America. Pharmacies do offer most medicines over the counter, however, some medicines like Valium and anagelsics like Codeine will require a prescription. Antibiotics are very readily available and are also reasonably priced.

Any medical treatment, in cases of emergency but not needing hospitalization is free of charge. It is generally not recommended to be hospitalized in a public hospital if you have any choice in the matter, as the levels of comfort and privacy are not on a par with those in the west, even though the actual medical care is irreproachable.

Inoculations are not required for entry into Jordan, except if you are travelling from an infected location. You will have to show a certificate of inoculation if you are travelling form a country where diseases such as cholera and yellow fever are prevalent. It is not a bad idea to have preventative shots for polio, tetanus, and typhoid as a precaution even if it is not compulsory.

Health facilities in Jordan are amongst the best in the Middle East, this has come about as a result of the Kingdom’s stability and to a range of effective development plans and projects which include health as a major concern. A healthier Jordanian citizenry has been able to emerge due to the combination of the struggle against poverty and illiteracy, the development of better sanitation, clean water and adequate nutrition and housing.

The main objective of Jordan’s health strategy has been to provide adequate health coverage to all. In order to meet their goal, the government has developed a health strategy aimed at the development of a comprehensive health care system by including the services of the private sector, to ensure preventative, tertiary and rehabilitative care. To best accomplish this, government policy has been able to encourage private sector improvements in local areas for those able to afford higher costs, while concentrating public sector facilities in more deprived areas which are in real need of assistance.

An example of the link between health and education in Jordan is prevalent in the area of medical personnel. Jordan boasts a high number of doctors and nurses and this concentration has led to obvious improvements in the quality and availability of health care.

 

Open A Bank Account

Expats are able to open bank accounts in Jordan and there are many options available to them in terms of the banks they can choose from and the types of accounts on offer. A bank account is essential for carrying out day to day business but some expats might prefer just to continue using their existing account in their home country. This is possible but the charges that may be applied could make this an expensive option.

A current account can be opened for an individual or a joint account for a married couple and many banks will give the option of opening an account in various currencies. Accounts are available in Jordanian Dinars, American Dollars, British pounds, Euros and several other currencies. Account holders are able to have more than one account at a bank.

All banks will require a minimum deposit when opening an account. The amount required will vary from bank to bank and will also depend upon the type of account, but an average for a current account is 200 Jordanian Dinars. It is more for an account in a foreign currency, which averages around $300 (USD) or the equivalent.

Cheque books and debit cards are standard issue with current accounts. Overdraft facilities are unlikely to be granted unless you have been in the country for some time, although there may be some room for negotiation on this, depending upon your personal circumstances and your relationship with your bank manager. Current accounts do not attract interest rates and statements are only issued twice a year. Applications for a current account can be made either online if the bank has the facility, or face to face at a branch.

The documentation that is required includes a valid ID – for an expat this is usually a passport or a locally issued ID card, proof of residency and a copy of a utility bill. If you are renting a property in the country then you will also need a copy of your tenancy agreement. Most banks will require that the account holder has a minimum age of 18 and can also prove their income. This means either copies of a bank statement from your home country, proof of salary from your job in Jordan or proof of another source of income. If you do not yet have a place of residence in Jordan then you will be unable to open a bank account.

Most banks offer their customers access to online banking services, phone banking and ATMs. ATMs are located outside most banks and in shopping areas, although there is usually a daily limit on the amount of money that can be withdrawn. Using a credit card in an ATM will incur additional charges for cash advances. Care is advised when attempting to use a foreign issued card in a Jordanian ATM, as they do not usually accept them. Ensure that the ATM you wish to use is linked to your own bank in some way or clearly states that it will accept your card.

Savings accounts are another option for expats when living and working in Jordan. These will offer a higher rate of interest and savers can also choose to put their money into a fixed term savings account, which means a good interest rate in return for little or no access to the funds for a set period of time. Banks are also able to offer other financial products such as pensions and investments.

Deposits can be made to bank accounts either by cash, cheque or bank transfers. Bills can be paid by cheques, standing orders or direct debits. Monies can be deposited at any branch of the bank you have chosen and most banks will allow you to carry out different transactions at different branches.

The main banks in Jordan have branches in all the main towns and cities and there are a number of international banks which have branches in the country. International banks such as Citibank and HSBC have a presence in the country but the local banks are also very welcoming to the expat community. English is widely spoken and most banks will have several members of staff who speak the language fluently. Most banks have call centres which are open during normal working hours and several banks operate customer service centres outside of these hours, but this will vary from bank to bank.

 

Transfer Money

There are many ways of sending money from one country to another. As always, expats can save themselves a lot of trouble and expense if they do a little research and shop around for the best deal.

International Bank Transfers

For most expats, currency transfer involves transferring small to medium sized amounts regularly from an existing bank account back home into a new overseas bank account in the local currency. These may be pension payments, benefits, or any other form of income.

Your home bank will usually be glad to oblige. You can set up facilities with them “on demand” whereby you fax or call them on the phone, provide a secret code or two, tell them the amount in question, and they will transfer it to your new bank, automatically converting it into the relevant local currency. Some banks also allow you to make international payments online. Whatever method you choose, transfers normally take between 3-7 days although 1-2 day transfers are often available but be prepared to pay more for these.

You can also set up regular transactions that are processed automatically on a fixed day of each month. Many state pensions and benefits can be paid directly into your new bank abroad without going through your home bank at all. Some private pension organisations may also offer the same facility.

When you first set up a transfer of funds abroad, the sending bank or institution will ask you for various codes that identify the destination bank. Often they will ask for IBAN (International Bank Account Number), BIC (Bank Identifier Code) or SWIFT codes but don?t panic – your new bank will give these to you and they may even already be listed in your new chequebook or bank statements.

As far as charges are concerned, you will probably be required to pay a flat fee per transaction. Additionally a percentage fee is often charged for the currency conversion itself. You may also find that your receiving bank charges you for receiving the transfer. Charges vary by bank but can quickly add up – ask your bank(s) for an indication of the fees involved.

As a general rule, transferring larger sums less frequently usually works out cheaper than transferring smaller amounts more often. However, if you need to transfer regular amounts of at least a few hundred pounds/dollars or need to make a larger one-off payment (e.g. for a house purchase) you should consider the services of a currency broker.

Cash Machine/ATM Withdrawals

Thanks to modern technology, most people abroad can go to a cash machine/ATM and withdraw local currency funds directly from their home bank account. This is a useful option to have for expats but exercise caution – many banks make hefty charges for using this type of facility. You may also find that withdrawal limits are in place (as a security measure) even if you significant funds in your account back home.

You can also use VISA or Mastercard credit cards to obtain cash in this fashion and if you pay the amount off quickly and avoid interest charges then fine – but once again credit card charges for cash withdrawals can be high. Check the rates carefully.

Currency Brokers

Currency brokers (also called foreign exchange brokers) offer significant advantages over traditional banks. Firstly, brokers will often be able to offer you a better rate than your bank. Secondly, the entire process is more transparent – many banks require you to accept the exchange rate available on the day they process your transaction, whatever and whenever that may be, but a specialist broker will offer greater flexibility, even allowing you to specify the rate you want in advance.

Currency brokers are smaller companies than major banks so always check their background carefully. Ask existing expats for their own experiences and recommendations before choosing a firm to handle your own foreign exchange requirements.

A good broker will discuss all the options with you and enable you to make the best decision for your circumstances. Using a broker will typically off the following advantages:

1) Currency brokers generally provide superior exchange rates to the high street banks. The currency brokers have access to the interbank rate and do not have the high costs that the banks have. This means that they can usually offer better exchange rates.

2) Use of a free Market Watch/Order Service: This allows you to tell your currency broker your target or budget exchange rate and they will ring you if that exchange rate level is reached. As the rate moves every few seconds, currency brokers can act as your eyes and ears on the market.

3) Ability to fix the exchange rate in advance using a Forward Contract. If you know you need to convert/move funds in the future but don?t yet have the money you can reserve a rate in advance using a Forward Contract. During this period, you are exposed to exchange rate movements and therefore, a forward contract is ideal if, for example, you have agreed to buy a house and want to fix the rate now but will not be making payment for a couple of months.

Savings from currency brokers can vary from between 1 and 4 per cent on the exchange rate alone, and specialists do not typically charge any fees for transmitting the funds abroad, unlike banks which often levy expensive fees or charges. If you are emigrating and transferring a large sum of money – such as the proceeds of a property – a foreign exchange company could potentially save you thousands.

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Learn The Language

The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan is an Arabic-speaking nation, with a strong economy. The country is a popular choice for European and American expats, particularly in the construction industry. If you are intending to live and work in Jordan, how easy will it be for you to communicate, if you are an English speaker? Which languages are spoken here?

The official language of the country is Modern Standard Arabic, which is usually used for written documents, but there are other tongues spoken here, too, including:

• Adyghe
• Chechen
• Domari
• German
• Kurmanji

In addition there are various forms of Arabic, such as Levantine Arabic. Jordanian Arabic itself, which is spoken by the majority of the population, is divided into three dialects:

• urban
• rural
• Bedouin Jordanian

Urban Arabic is spoken by people who migrated from Palestine, Hauran and Moab. People in rural areas speak rural Arabic. Desert Jordanians in the eastern region of the country speak Bedouin, but this, which is a Bedawi Arabic language, is mostly reserved for the royal families. People who speak these local tongues will, however, be bilingual in Arabic as well.

There is a small French speaking population in Jordan but the main foreign language spoken is English. Jordan was under British control until 1946 and English is still widely used in the country: it is compulsory in schools. It is also used in many companies as the in-house language, particularly international ones. In addition, many Jordanians have been educated abroad. Thus you should have relatively little difficulty in communicating during your time in Jordan.

However, it is not only polite, but may also be practical, to learn a few basic phrases in Arabic while you are in Jordan. If you are living in the country and travelling in rural areas, you may encounter people who do not speak English.

If you are learning Arabic, you will need to learn the alphabet first and this is very different from Latin letters. There is no standard way to write Jordanian Arabic; Modern Standard Arabic is generally used for written communication and thus should be your starting point.

If you want to take advantage of language learning opportunities while you are in Jordan, you will find provision for learning Arabic.

The Qasid Arabic Institute runs programmes are based on the Al Kitab textbook series. The Institute also offers Classical Arabic, focusing on the language of the Qur’an. They also run complementary sources, including cooking courses, programmes in the local dialect, Tajwid (pronunciation in the Qur’an) and calligraphy.

Other learning centres include the Ahlan Jordan for Arabic Language, organising courses based on a humanistic-communicative approach with cultural activities and seminars on intercultural understanding; the Misbah Centre which focuses on spoken Arabic in the Jordanian dialect, and the Jadal café and cultural centre. The Sijal Institute, based in a beautiful old villa, offers courses in Modern Standard Arabic as well as hosting exhibitions and cultural events. The Ali Baba International Centre is also fully accredited by the Ministry of Education in Jordan to teach Arabic to non-native students, is reported to be affordable, and can arrange accommodation for students.

You can also sign up with the Language Centre of the University of Jordan, the largest and oldest higher education institution in the country, established by Royal Decree in 1979. The centre teaches Arabic to non-native speakers.

Language exchange programmes and private tuition is also available. Ahlan among other institutions offer online courses as well. All of these courses are in Amman, the capital, which is where you are most likely to be based during your time in the country.

English language teaching (TEFL) is not so much in demand here due to the high standard of English, resulting as mentioned above from the historical role of the British in the country, but some vacancies do arise. You will need at least a certificate in either TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

It is also preferable if you have experience in teaching schemes such as the Cambridge English exams or IELTS (International English Language Testing System): the English test for study, migration or work. Some teaching experience in the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will also be helpful. This assesses analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to graduate management programs, such as the MBA. You may also find work more easily if you are experienced in teaching English for particular sectors, such as tourism and hospitality, or in summer schools.

It will also be helpful to have at least a Bachelor’s degree as most language schools prefer this (it is not a formal requirement in Jordanian language schools, however): basically, the rule of thumb is that the more qualifications you have, both in TEFL and in academic subjects, the easier you will find it to get work. You can expect an average salary of US$600 – 1200. You will need a work permit: your school will first need to contact the Ministry of the Interior and obtain approval for a work permit for you.

 

Choose A School

Jordan has a two-tier sector of schooling, with both state and private schools. Public schooling consists of two years of pre-school education, 10 years of basic education and two years of secondary academic or secondary vocational schooling. Education is free in the state sector and is compulsory for children up to the age of 16. At the end of the two-year secondary period, students sit the general secondary examination (Tawjihi) which will dictate their attendance at university or college.

Education in the kingdom has been developing substantially in recent years and is held to be of a good standard, particularly when it comes to Arabic studies. Jordan has quite a high level of public spending on education and comes top of the Arabic countries in terms of educational standards. However, students in Jordan scored lower than the OECD average in reading, mathematics and science in the 2018 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) Ranking.

Instruction in public sector Jordanian schools will be in Arabic (the official language of the country is Modern Standard Arabic), although some schools may introduce English tuition. Schools in the public sector are single sex – Jordan is a traditionally Islamic country – but private sector schools are likely to be co-educational.

Around 31% of the student population in Amman attend private schools. Many expats resident in Jordan choose private education, whether international and bilingual schools. International schools in Jordan offer the North American or British curricula and teaching will be in English. Some also offer the French and IB curriculum, so if you want your child to take the International Baccalaureate this is an option.

Private schools include King’s Academy, which offers an American curriculum/ American High School Diploma for ages 12-18 ( co-ed/day and boarding). Check with the school of your choice as to what documentation is required: at King’s Academy, for example, applicants must sit the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT), including English (reading comprehension, language use and writing) and maths. You may, for example, need to provide copies of most recent grades or progress reports from the current school year and end-of-year reports from the two previous academic years. Applicants must also submit copies of their passport, birth certificate and family book (the latter for Jordanian citizens only).

The International Community School hosts over 700 students, and is a co-educational day school, which offers education to students aged 3-18. This is an independent, private and non-profit organisation owned by the Society for the International Community in Jordan (SICJ). The school follows the National Curriculum of England and Wales and all teaching is conducted in English. Senior students study for the IGCSE and also for the A Level, but many students also take the SAT and apply for undergraduate schools in North America.

The Amman Baccalaureate School, a bilingual international school, reports that the majority of its students are fully bilingual (English / Arabic) and have been exposed to a bilingual education with an international perspective. Its curriculum is based in the Arab Islamic heritage. They also say that they welcome applications from non-Arabic speaking students starting Grade 6, where students will have the opportunity to learn the Arabic language at their level. Students have the option to graduate with either the International Baccalaureate Diploma, International Baccalaureate Courses or International Baccalaureate Career-related Certificate at the end of Grade 12.

You may also wish to see if your selected school is accredited by COBIS (the Council of British International Schools) or an analogous American organisation. There are four schools in Jordan accredited by the Council of International Schools, and at least one that is a member of the organisation British Schools in the Middle East.

Check with the expat community, too, to see if there are any schools that are particularly recommended by them: word of mouth is valuable when it comes to choices in education. It is also highly advisable to visit the school of your choice: do they encourage creativity in children, for example, if that is one of your priorities, or are they more tradititional? Is there a strong religious slant and is this something that you are comfortable with?

You may have to pay both an application fee and a registration fee upon application to a Jordanian private school. Here are some sample fees towards the top of the range:

• early years: US$7 – 8K
• years 1-6: US$12 – 14K
• years 7-9: US$18500
• years 10 -13: US$19 – 22K

Fees will vary between schools and can be quite a lot lower than this but private education in Jordan does tend to be expensive. As with all private education, make sure that you read the small print regarding what these fees include: will you have to pay for lunches and transport, for instance?

Some schools offer bursaries or scholarships and it is worth checking whether these are offered.

The academic year runs from August to June and is divided into three terms. The school week runs from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday/Saturday as the weekend (remember, this is an Islamic country and Fridays are designated holy days).

You are allowed to homeschool your child in Jordan but can only do so in addition to mainstream education, rather than instead of it.