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Interterm: Environmental Challenges in Israel

Interterm: Environmental Challenges in Israel

Information session

Friday, September 30 at noon in the Lewis Global Studies Center

Download flyer (PDF)


January 7–21, 2017

Academic Program

How do ongoing disputes over borders, access to natural resources, and human security complicate the kinds of cooperative environmental projects that could otherwise bring peoples together?

The Program in Jewish Studies and the Lewis Global Studies Center at Smith College are partnering with the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, located on Kibbutz Ketura in Israel's southern desert, for a seminar on Environmental Challenges in Israel. Students will spend their first few days in Israel at the Arava Institute learning about its initiatives and its motto "Nature Knows No Borders" before setting out for other sites to explore such possible questions as:

Students should be in good physical condition to participate in this course since it will involve hiking.

We are aware that the region of Israel and Palestine holds significant historical, religious, political, and emotional significance to people around the world. Our co-curricular discussions and excursions will attempt to address some of these meanings, though students should be aware that this is an academic course with a specific focus on environmental and ecological problems, challenges, and (potential) solutions.

Prior to departure, students will attend three lectures at Smith in November/early December to orient them to the program and familiarize them with the political geography of the destination.

Every evening students will participate in a group council, an opportunity for us to reflect as a group on the day's learning.

Since this is a short-term course, students should be aware that free time will be highly limited so as to maximize our learning and discussions.

Program Cost

The program fee of $2,800 includes:

Not Included in Program Fee

Student transportation to/from US departure airport (likely NY or Boston).

Personal incidentals, entertainment, and snacks while in Israel.

Though many of the places we stay will have Wi-Fi service, students should not expect full Wi-Fi connectivity, and there may be remote locations with no Wi-Fi

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for qualified Smith students, depending on their financial need. In addition to financial aid, students also can apply for an International Experience Grant.

Program Requirements

Students must be in good academic standing (normally a minimum overall GPA 3.0 or above).

Space is limited to 10 students and is by application only. Priority will be given to Smith students who have taken a course in Jewish Studies, Middle East Studies, and/or Environmental Studies, and/or who can demonstrate how the course will add significantly to their learning.

Knowledge of Hebrew or Arabic is helpful, but not a prerequisite.

Passport and Visa

All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they plan to depart Israel. Holders of US and many Western and European passports do not require a tourist visa to enter Israel. It is the responsibility of students who hold passports from countries that require an Israeli entry visa to arrange for one well in advance of departure.

Application Process & Deadline

Students can apply to this interterm program online using the Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES).

Application deadline is Monday October 17. Accepted students will be notified by October 24. Students must be prepared to commit to the program within one week of acceptance, by October 31, so that we can purchase airline tickets in early November. After the tickets have been purchased students are responsible for the cost of the program.

Smith College policy requires all participants to sign and have their parent(s)/guardian(s) sign a travel waiver for study abroad in Israel.


Contact Professor Justin Cammy, at jcammy@smith.edu.