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2016 will be the fourth year for the MTSU Faculty-Led Study Abroad program to Israel! Both Dr. Byrnes and Dr. Petersen have traveled to Israel and will accompany the group throughout the program. While in Israel, we will be accompanied by a professional guide and historian, Ronny Simon. Instruction in Israel will occur on site and in transit in English (our classroom will be Israel!). Dr. Petersen will provide course instruction prior to the trip as well. Students will have the opportunity to study the history of Israel as both a nation and a state along with the politics of modern, democratic Israel. We will visit many of the major Judeo-Christian sites during our tour as these locations are significant to the history of Israel and the relationship between Israel and the United States. Political site visits (scheduled) include: the Golan Heights, the Knesset, significant areas from the 1948 and 1967 wars, Yad Vashem, and more.
Click here to see what past participants say about their experience in Israel.
When are we going?
We will depart Nashville on July 12 and return to Nashville on July 23.
Which cities will we visit?
We are based in Netanya, Tiberias, and Jerusalem. Our trip includes sites from Israel's northern border in the Golan Heights to the Dead Sea in the south and numerous locations in and around Jerusalem. Check out the itinerary here.
What will we do?
We learn about the geography, history, and politics of Israel, and discuss the future of the Middle East. We also cover religion, anthropology, archaeology, and other topics. All of the instruction occurs at site visits. The trip is a physically active experience. We do have a lot of fun!
Which course is associated with the trip?
The course is an upper-division political science course (PS4850) with no pre-requisite requirements. Students can use the course for majors or minors in Political Science, International Relations, Global Studies, Religious Studies, Jewish & Holocaust Studies, or Middle East Studies. The course may be used in other programs with permission of the program advisor.
How much does it cost?
The trip cost varies depending on the number of travelers. The range is $4,300 to $4,900 (students paid $4,700 in 2015). The cost INCLUDES: roundtrip airfare from Nashville, private transportation in Israel, a driver, a guide, all entrance fees, all lodging in Israel (double or triple rooms), breakfast and dinner every day, and trip insurance. Lunch daily, personal expenses, and tuition are not included in the cost. You will receive a 25% discount on course tuition. Scholarships are available to MTSU students enrolled in the course (see below).
Is the Israel trip more expensive than other programs?
Because we include most of the expenses in the program fee, our trip may appear more expensive. However, you need to understand what you are paying for in the program fee (see above). The MTSU Office of Education Abroad has created a cost comparison sheet you can use to evaluate the cost of different programs.
When do I have to pay you?
The program fee is paid in installments (see below). If you need to make alternate payment arrangements, please contact us. We may be able to be somewhat flexible with the payment dates.
First payment: $1500.00, January 22, 2016 OR TEN DAYS FROM DATE OF ACCEPTANCE INTO PROGRAM (whichever is later)
Second payment: $1500.00, February 26, 2016
Third Payment: Remaining Balance, May 27, 2016
Is it safe?
Millions of people visit Israel each year, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. While the security situation is complex, travel within Israel and transit through the disputed territories in the West Bank is widely considered safe (see the U.S. Department of State). Travel to Gaza and to Palestinian-secured cities in the disputed territories is not recommended nor included in our itinerary. Petty crime (theft) in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem exists but is comparable to or lower than that of most similar-sized cities (the U.S. Department of State rates Israel as “medium” risk for crime with lower rates of violent crime in Tel Aviv than in similar cities). Situational awareness, which we cover at orientation and as needed when in country, is the best protection against petty crime. We cannot guarantee your safety in Israel or even in Murfreesboro. However, we have traveled to Israel many times and continue to do so every year. We travel with family members, including children. If we thought the risk from travel unreasonable, we would not continue to visit.
According to a report prepared for the Chronicle of Higher Education, study abroad, in general, is safer than being on your home campus.
Do I need to speak Hebrew?
The language of instruction is English, and English (along with Hebrew and Arabic) is spoken widely in Israel. Knowledge of Hebrew is not necessary.
When is the application due?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the program fills. You should apply as soon as you decide you want to go.
I want to go! What do I do next?
See How to Apply below!
How to Apply
Scholarships and Financial Aid
MTSU College of Liberal Arts Klingenmeyer Scholarship
Questions? Stop by Todd Hall 231 or email Dr. Petersen