Hello friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this blog because of traveling, but I wanted to make a post explaining how Qasid classes work.
To begin with, I took classes during their summer term, but from what I have heard, they do not differ much from other terms. Qasid is a fairly big institute (and it’s growing!). The school is located in the Sony building on University Street. Qasid currently owns 3 floors in the building and the classes are all close to one another. Typically, students will remain in one classroom for their whole day.
The school day is separated by two 2 hour sessions. The sessions are usually split up by a 10-30 minute break (depending on the professor’s preference). Students also begin classes at different times of the day. For example, my roommate began her classes at 8 am. At 10 am, she had a 30 minute break, and then finished classes at 12:30 pm.
I, on the other hand, began classes at 1 pm, had a 10 minute break, and finished my classes at 5 pm.
Qasid offers classes that start at a variety of times and students have the ability to select their preferences for times, which is fantastic because if you want to volunteer or work while in Jordan, you can adjust your schedule.
Qasid is famous for arranging small classes. For example, my class only had 8 students, so the professor was able to establish a close relationship with us individually. This way, the professors also knew our strengths and weaknesses and offered us individual help. The largest class I heard of at Qasid was 10 students and the smallest was 5 students. However, Qasid also does offer 1 on 1 classes, where the student sits with a professor and works privately. Some students do this outside of classes and some come to Qasid solely for the 1 on 1 teaching.
Outside of their regular MSA classes, students also have the option of signing up for dialect classes. These usually take place in the evenings and are 2 hours long. In these classes, students learn Jordanian dialect. I did not take a dialect course, but heard they were very helpful for navigating the streets of Amman!
The professors at Qasid were INCREDIBLE! Each student will have two professors. The first professor will teach the first 2 hours of the course, and then after the break, the second professor will teach the last 2 hours. Both of my professors did not speak English, which was perfect for a higher level course because all students were forced to Arabic and not rely on English. However, for lower level courses, the professors do speak English. I had Professor Ahmad and Professor Lama. If you have the opportunity to work with either of them, they are fantastic. Professors at Qasid are extremely energetic and know how to keep long 4 hour days exciting. They are also very reliable when it comes to communication outside of the class and grading. All my classmates, and I, had very positive experiences with the Qasid staff.
Lastly, the work load. Everyone who comes to Qasid stresses about the work load because Qasid is infamous for its rigorous courses. However, the work load is totally doable. On average, students have about 2 hours of homework a night. But the professors listen and accommodate to the needs of the students. Whenever we expressed feeling stressed, the professors would alter our assignments to help us. Also, Qasid is not necessarily strict about the homework. For example, professors may not collect the homework the next day, but doing the homework is more so a tool of advancing your skills. Honestly, my professors rarely collected homework, but finishing the homework helped us in class discussions and worked as a great study stool.
Another important note to mention is that Qasid exams are difficult. For example, at my classes at the UO, professors did not expect me to memorize the different cases of every verb and plurals, etc. But at Qasid, the expectation is that students take the time to memorize a word and memorize all its variations and conjugations. Tests, for me, where the most difficult part of Qasid. But if you attend class and study, performing well is totally possible.
After my experiences at Qasid, I highly recommend it to everyone! Qasid does a great job of creating an environment where students can relax, study, and hangout. Qasid felt like home to me while at Jordan and helped me advance my Arabic skills in one summer.