Campus contact: Center for Global Education

The Israel program, affiliated with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, is offered to Hobart and William Smith students each year. The approximately 20-week program is normally offered every semester or for a full academic year.

The location of Ben-Gurion in Beer-Sheva encourages frequent contact with Israeli students and the local community. The program includes specialized course work in English with hands-on experience through community service projects, internships, and individualized research possibilities with BGU faculty. A rich cultural calendar organized by the Overseas Student Program of BGU provides students with many extracurricular opportunities.

Program Dates



Students are housed in dormitories with Israeli and other international students, and take part in all of the university's regular social and cultural activities.


Extended visits to other parts of the country are encouraged, including Jerusalem, an archeological dig at Tel Nitzana, the coral reefs of Eilat, and the historical site of Masada. A trip to Eilat between the fall Ulpan and the regular semester is included in the basic cost of the program.


The program is open to all juniors, and seniors who have a strong academic record (2.8 GPA) and an interest in one or more subject areas: art, ecology and environmental studies, Hebrew language and literature, history, Judaic studies, philosophy, political science, sociology/anthropology, and religion. Applicants should submit a strong personal statement indicating how the program relates to their academic and cultural interests.

Approximate Costs

Students will be charged a fee roughly equivalent to the regular HWS tuition, a $600 administrative fee, and a room charge (prorated for the longer semester). This fee covers all tuition and fees at BGU, the required pre-semester language Ulpan, and accommodations for the entire program. The cost of meals, round-trip airfare, independent travel, and personal items are not covered in the basic fee. These additional costs vary according to individual needs and tastes, but we estimate that they may approach $3,000.

Course Descriptions

A more complete description of course offerings is available from the Center for Global Education at 400 Pulteney St. in the brochure "Ben Gurion University, Overseas Student Program," or by consulting the BGU Web site. In addition to regular course work, students may also arrange teaching internships and community service projects with the local Bedouin community, immigrant groups, and local health organizations. An intensive six-week Hebrew Language Ulpan (language program) at the beginning of the semester in August or January is a required component of the overall program.


All abroad trips to Israel are currently suspended. Please contact the Center for Global Education for more information.


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