Nina Angeles, a sopho­more com­bined major in human ser­vices and inter­na­tional affairs, didn’t face a steep learning curve when she began studying at Northeastern.

But the Boston native took some time to settle into her co-​​op in Amman, Jordan, which began in Jan­uary. Angeles teaches courses in Eng­lish and music to women and their chil­dren through the Jordan River Foun­da­tion, a non­profit non­govern­mental orga­ni­za­tion chaired by Queen Rania Al Abdullah.

Though she has studied Arabic for a few years, Angeles quickly noticed that few people speak the language’s clas­sical form that she learned in the classroom.

No one could really under­stand me,” Angeles said. “So the moms I worked with would teach me the more informal Arabic as I was teaching them Eng­lish. It was a real gen­uine exchange.”

Angeles said the experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­nity gives her a chance to build strong bonds with poor mothers and their chil­dren as well as with kids in tem­po­rary housing who have suf­fered phys­ical abuse.

Most women will not appear in public without hijabs and head­scarves, but Angeles said the cap­ital of Jordan is becoming more of a modern, Western-​​style city.

I wish everyone I’ve known in my life could just come here for one week,” she said. “They hold on to their con­ser­v­a­tive cul­tures, but it’s an increas­ingly pro­gres­sive city. I’ve never been any­place like this.”

Angeles was the only North­eastern stu­dent in Jordan for the bulk of her co-​​op. But she recently con­nected with jour­nalism and Arabic stu­dents on a Dia­logue of Civ­i­liza­tions pro­gram to the Middle East.

Angeles wishes she could share her expe­ri­ences with even more people. “I’ve never met more gen­uine people,” she said. “I’ve been invited into homes for tra­di­tional meals and I’ve met great people I never would have encoun­tered before. It’s an expe­ri­ence I’ll never forget.”

For Angeles, the hardest part of her first co-​​op may be coming home.

But I’m excited to see what hap­pens next.”