Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is the only Israeli university created to fulfill a unique nation-building mandate: to develop the Negev, its land and its people. It is Israel's fastest growing institution and gaining international repute for its innovative research, its dynamic student body and its modern campus. Created in 1969 it was named after David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. With a student enrollment of 17,000, it is building bridges of peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors through initiatives in science, research and development.
Through the Center for International Student Programs (CISP) international students will take classes taught in English in a variety of courses ranging from anthropology to archaeology; from Judaic studies to international relations. Coursework is complemented by internships, independent study and volunteer opportunities as well as a required Hebrew Immersion Course (Ulpan) at the onset of the semester.
Israel & Beer Sheva
The State of Israel was established in 1948 and has a rich web of history and culture. Its population includes different peoples and religions, religious and secular, Arab Moslems and Arab Christians, Druze, Bedouins, Circassians, Samaritans and Jews from 70 Diasporas, from East and Western Europe, North Africa, Asia, North and South America. The people are settled all over the country in the Negev, Arava, Galilee and coastal plain, in moshavim, kibbutzim, vivacious cities and quiet villages busily engaged in industry and commerce, farming and scientific research. All of these cultures, peoples and religions created a rich tapestry of tradition, beliefs and customs that encapsulate the holy and the secular, the past and the present, the east and the west. A strained relationship between Israel and Palestine has left the area in a volatile situation for many years. Peace agreements have been attempted in the past, but recent events has led the US State Department to issue a Travel Warning for US citizens.
Today, Beer Sheva, Israel's fourth largest city, is known as the 'capital of the Negev' and is a growing city whose diverse population has blossomed in the last few decades to close to 200,000. Among its residents are native-born Israelis and Bedouin and many new and veteran immigrants from around the world, including Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. The city is truly a microcosm of Israel's overall population. Making your way around Beer Sheva, you can witness the convergence of history with modernity in this beautiful desert city. In its Old City, you can visit Abraham's well, remains of a Byzantine church and remnants of buildings from the Ottoman period. In the newer sections, there are cultural institutions and commercial arenas, such as a new Center for the Arts, an internationally renowned chamber orchestra, local theaters, shopping malls, movie theaters, cafes, restaurants, pubs and dance clubs.
Travel is not included in the cost of the program, but BGU provides a group flight option. More information will be provided upon acceptance. If you are flying independently, you should plan to arrive on the program start date.
You will live in the BGU student dormitories, which are conveniently located within a two minute walk to campus and directly across from the university sports facility. You will be placed with Israeli roommates. Dormitories are divided into apartment-suites with single and double bedrooms with a shared kitchen and bathroom. Each student will have a bed, desk/table, bookshelf, wardrobe/closet and chair. Housing is billed directly from BGU.
You may take any courses offered through the Overseas Student Program, but all your courses must be pre-approved by Syracuse. You will need to obtain formal approval of 7-10 courses prior to departure for your semester abroad. Course listing must include one Hebrew language course. A listing of the courses offered can be found on the BGU website. You will take 4-5 courses, plus the mandatory 6-credit, pre-semester, Intensive Hebrew course (Ulpan). Grades from BGU will be posted to your academic record and factored into your overall GPA at SU.
U.S. citizens may enter Israel on a tourist visa which is issued free of charge at the airport. After 3 months, it must be extended for a nominal fee. Additional information will be sent with acceptance.
You will pay SU tuition and can apply all SU financial aid except work-study. Besides tuition, you will also be charged a $550 program fee which covers pre-departure meetings, International Student ID card and services not covered by tuition and for which a separate fee is not charged. Housing is billed directly from BGU. You are responsible for round-trip airfare, local transportation, food, books, and incidentals. ESF students will be charged Syracuse University tuition for attendance in this program.
Applying to this program requires completion of both the SU Abroad and BGU application. All of the application material should be submitted to the SU Abroad office by October 10 for spring and March 15 for fall.Part 1: Syracuse University