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  • Locations: Dead Sea, Israel; Galilee, Israel; Jerusalem, Israel; Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 01/09/2020 ** Rolling Admission 05/20/2019 05/31/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short Term Faculty Directed Area of Study: History (HST), Political Science (PLS)
Minimum Required GPA: 2.0 Language of Instruction: English
Housing Options: Hotel Language Courses Offered: No
Internship or Service Learning: None College Designation: CHPA
Open to Non-MSU Student: Yes MSU Registrar's Term: Spring
Program Description:


This course aims to introduce students to the history, religions and politics of modern Israel-Palestine.  Students will learn about the historical events and personages that became central to the construction of modern Zionism, visiting key historical, political and religious sites throughout the country. By actually going to the places where crucial historical events occurred in Israel-Palestine, the issues under discussion will move from the realm of abstraction to a more immediate, understandable and tangible appreciation.  This includes guest lectures from prominent thinkers in Israeli and Palestinian society and meetings with people from various regions of the country.  From the Holocaust museum, 1948 and 1967 battle sites and holy places of Jerusalem to Arab and Druze villages of the Galilee and modern Tel Aviv, students will see things first-hand. Hikes in the Galilee, Golan and Dead Sea valley will also provide students with a sense of the geography of the land.

Program Fee: $3,140

*$200 bursary available to the first 20 students who sign up.
  Students can also apply for the CHPA scholarship of up to $750, as well as for other Study Away scholarships.

Program Fee Includes:

  • Accommodations
  • In Country Transportation
  • Meals except free days (approximately 6 meals)
  • Entry to all sites
  • Tour guides
  • All tips for tours & tour guides
Program Fee Excludes:
  • In-state tuition for the course(s) itself
  • Airfare
  • Transportation to/from designated airport in the U.S.
  • Passport/visa fees (Currently not required for US citizens)
  • Ground transportation for personal trips
  • Souvenirs & other personal purchases (e.g. coffee, clothing, etc.)
  • Immunization
Course(s) Offered:
  • IDS 297 (3)
  • UHC 350 (3)
  • PLS 497 (3)
  • PLS 797 (3)
  • HST 597 (3)
  • HST 697 (3)
  • REL 397 (3)
  • REL 550 (3)
  • REL 655 (3)
Maximum Credit Hours: 6

David Romano
Political Science Department

Djene Bajalan
History Department

Vadim Putzu
Religious Studies Department


Pre-Departure Meeting Dates Pre-Departure Meeting Topic
TBD There will be 2 mandatory 1 and a half hour pre-travel meetings to discuss safety, program policies, the itinerary and answer questions students may have (dates TBD).
TBD A map quiz of Israel/Palestine and surrounding states will be given during the 2nd meeting. There will also be an on-line lecture to view and respond to on the on-line section of the course. Finally, students will watch 2 films on Israel before departure (titles TBD).
Program Itinerary   
May 20 We depart the United States on our overnight flight to Israel.
May 21 • We arrive in Israel in the afternoon and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We travel along Route 1, which was modernized by the Ottomans in 1867 along the
ancient route from Jaffa to Jerusalem, dating back thousands of years. In 1948, the road
was taken over by Jordan and traffic was diverted, until the end of the Six Day War in
1967. The shells of vehicles used to try and break the siege line the ascent to Jerusalem.
• Upon arrival, we stop at the Haas Promenade for a panoramic view as we look out over the City
of Gold for the first time.
• We check into our hotel and have time to refresh.
• Dinner on own this evening on Ben Yehuda Street’s pedestrian promenade.
May 22 • Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we hear a lecture and take part in a dialogue with Benny Begin, an Israeli
geologist, a member of the Knesset for Likud and son of former Prime Minister,
Menachem Begin.
• We drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for an introduction to the landscape of
• Boxed lunch along the way.
• We continue to Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the Holocaust, for an emotional and
eye-opening experience. Here, we see the many exhibits, including the Hall of Names and
the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations.
• Our next stop is at Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem’s military cemetery, where we visit the gravesites
of Theodore Herzl, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.
• We also visit the new Remembrance Hall built to honor the thousands of people who
gave their lives to protect Israel’s independence.
• Tonight, we visit the Mamilla Promenade where we have time to view the shops and
enjoy dinner on own.
• After dinner, we walk to the Tower of David for the spectacular Sound and Light show.
May 23 • Breakfast at our hotel with Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, for
an update on the current state of affairs in Israeli politics.
• Our first stop today is at Ammunition Hill, the official museum symbolizing the
liberation and reunification of Jerusalem. Its new multimedia film helps visitors better
understand the events and battles of 1967.
• Lunch with a representative from the Palestinian Authority (TBD).
• Following lunch, we participate in a political discussion with Professor Romano.
• We continue to the Knesset, where we meet Stav Shaffir, the
youngest female member and part of the Zionist Union.
• This evening, we visit Machane Yehuda, where we take in the
sights, smells and sounds of the market. Time for dinner on own
• Later, we walk along the closed market, where we view the
graffiti art painted on the shutters of the closed stalls.
May 24 • Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we set out on an Old City walking tour. We
visit the Jewish quarter and the Arab market (shuk). We also
see the Christian quarter, as we stroll along the Via Dolorosa and end at the Church of
the Holy Sepulchre.
• We enjoy a hummus lunch together at a traditional Old City stall.
• After lunch, we tour the Western Wall tunnels, where we discover the archaeological
wonders that once remained untouched for centuries. Our guide will also touch upon the
religious and political sensitivities that this and other excavations in and around the Old
City have provoked.
• This afternoon, we visit the Temple Mount to see the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of
the Rock (security permitting). We may also have a chance to meet with a representative
of the Waqf, the Islamic Religious Trust that controls the Temple Mount.
• This evening, we enjoy Shabbat dinner hosted by a Jewish family in or near Jerusalem’s Old
City. Our “Shabbat of a Lifetime” dinner will allow us a chance to experience and learn
firsthand about the customs of Jewish Friday night dinners!
May 25 • Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Early this morning, we depart for the Dead Sea basin.
• Upon arrival, we ascend Masada by snake path or cable car,
to view the remains of King Herod’s fortress, and hear the
story of the Jewish Zealots’ last stand against the approaching
Roman armies.
• We descend the mountain and head to the beach for lunch
and an “unsinkable” swim in the healing, salty waters of the
Dead Sea.
• We continue with a short hike to the hidden waterfalls in the
desert oasis of Ein Gedi.
• Later this afternoon, we travel to the guest village of Metzoke
Dragot for an authentic desert experience with beautiful views overlooking the Dead Sea. We
enjoy dinner and an overnight in a tent, below the desert stars.
May 26 • Breakfast at the guest village.
• We depart the Negev and begin traveling north, stopping at Degania Alef, the first kibbutz in
Israel, where we learn the stories of the early Zionist pioneers. We also take in the beautiful views
of the Sea of Galilee.
• Boxed lunch along the way.
• We continue to the mystical city of Safed, where we stroll through the cobblestone streets,
viewing the ancient synagogues and admiring the crafts in the artist’s colony. We’ll hear about the
continuous Jewish presence here that dates back hundreds of years and the current issues that face
the area as a primarily Orthodox religious city.
• We continue to the Galilee to check into our kibbutz and spend the remainder of the
afternoon relaxing.
• Dinner together at our kibbutz this evening.
May 27 • Breakfast at our kibbutz.
• We begin our day at Nimrod’s Castle, a Crusader-era fortress atop Mt. Hermon from the 13th
century. The Golan and surrounding areas have many stories to tell about 1948, 1967 and 1973,
and our guide will share them along the way.
• We hike along the Zavitan Stream, stopping for a dip to cool off in the naturally formed pools.
• Boxed lunch along the way.
• Following lunch, we enjoy a tour and wine tasting at a local winery.
• We return to our kibbutz for a relaxing evening and dinner together.
May 28 • Breakfast and check out of our kibbutz.
• This morning, we travel to Sakhnin, an Israel-Arab city in the lower Galilee, where we meet with
the mayor and other residents.
• Our next stop is in Akko, where we explore the Crusader-era fortifications and British prison as
we learn about this historically important port.
• This afternoon, we visit the Druze village of Daliyat el Carmel for home hospitality
lunch and learn about their unique culture and lifestyle.
• We continue south to Tel Aviv and check into our hotel upon arrival.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.
May 29 • Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day at the Rabin Center, where the spiraling exhibits lead us through the history of
the modern state and broader world history, through the prism of the life of one of Israel’s most
beloved leaders, Yitzhak Rabin.
• We continue to Old Jaffa, where we enjoy lunch together at the famous Abulafia Bakery. Try
the sambusak for a tasty treat!
• While in Jaffa, we participate in a co-existence tour with a Jewish and Arab guide leading us side
by side. We trace the historical narratives as we explore the possibility of a common future and
shared society.
• We join together at our hotel for a lecture entitled “A Snapshot of Palestinian Society”, by
Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent, Khaled Abu Toameh, followed by dinner
together at our hotel.
May 30 • Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we hear lectures by Israeli speakers (TBD – organized by Professor Romano)
• Spend the remainder of the day at leisure relaxing at the beach, by the pool or doing some lastminute shopping.
• This evening, we enjoy a festive farewell dinner, recalling all that we have experienced on this
journey together.
• We transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our overnight flight back to the United States.
May 31 We arrive back in the United States this morning.
Post-Program Meetings Topic
TBD While there will not be any post-travel class sessions, students will have to complete assignments on-line, including (depending on which courses they are receiving credit for) exams, photo exhibits, talks to community groups/high schools about Israel-Palestine and diary entries.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid and scholarships are only available to currently enrolled MSU students. If you are a visiting student from another institution, you will need to work with your home institution Financial Aid Office to identify any available aid.

The seven colleges at Missouri State University are pleased to announce their respective Study Away Scholarships. A scholarship fund has been established by MSU’s President, International Programs, and the respective college to assist students with their study abroad. Search available college scholarships here!

Other Financial Aid:
Study Away Programs works closely with the Office of Financial Aid to make funding readily available for our study away students.  Before students can schedule an appointment with Financial Aid, you must submit an approved STFD Budget Worksheet to Study Away Programs.

Study Away students may be able to use their institutional aid, grants, or loans for their study abroad.  Students are encouraged to meet with Financial Aid as soon as possible to plan appropriately for their time abroad.  Please request a Study Away Financial Aid Counselor when making an appointment.


Billing & Procedures

  • Tuition fees are not included in the program fee and will be charged to your University account separately and will be subject to MSU's billing and payment policies.
  • The program fee will be billed within approximately one week of the application deadline.  This fee includes the International Programs Academic Experience Fee. 
  • The program fee is due in full according to the standard program payment deadline (please refer to the "Financial Responsibility, Cancellation, and Withdrawal Policy" signature document). If a student is planning on financial aid to cover some or all program costs, the student must provide documentation to Study Away at least two weeks prior to the program payment deadline.
    • Students who have not paid the MSU portion of the program fee will be withdrawn from the program and dropped from the course.
  • MSU students will be billed through their University accounts.
  • Non-MSU students and program guests must pay through the Study Away storefront.
Cancellation & Refund Policies
  • If a student withdraws from the program, the participant will be liable for 15% of the total program fee, the International Programs Academic Experience Fee, and any non-refundable purchases made on the participant's behalf. 
  • When the program begins, no refunds will be issued under any circumstances.

All withdrawals must be complete the STFD Program Withdrawal Form with the Program Director's signature to Study Away Programs, Plaster Student Union 209.