About the School
The Jerusalem Study Center is located in East Jerusalem, a short distance from north of the Damascus Gate of Old Jerusalem. The Center is set up with comfortable dormitory rooms, and a good-sized classroom, all in a Middle Eastern urban compound. The Center is close to the Garden Tomb, the Albright Institute and the Ecole biblique. The King David Hotel, the Adventist House and the YMCA are half hour’s walk away, as is Ben Yehuda Street, an “in place” for shopping. Three daily meals are provided at the center.
The local time in Jerusalem during the summer is seven hours ahead of eastern daylight time in the USA, ten hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time.
Summer months in Jerusalem run from May to September. The one sure thing about this time of year: it will not rain. This is great when you’re on tour. While Jerusalem summers can get very hot, the air is neither humid nor too dry, so the heat is usually bearable. The daytime heat is usually relieved by balmy evenings. Jerusalem is located among the hills of central Israel at a comfortable altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level.
What to Expect
The intensive six-week format is a full-time endeavor – classes for three hours per day and homework for the rest of the day, five days per week. All course work will comply with standard college/university requirements and will serve students well as they plan careers in pastoral work and/or teaching.
While exotic, intriguing, engaging and appealing and truly a lot of fun, intensive international educational experiences make heavy demands on participants. We are studying the material we would normally cover in three quarters (or two semesters) in the space of six weeks. This means two weeks per quarter, two weeks for three academic quarter credits, a mid-term or final examination every week. During the normal week of study, this translates into three hours of class time per day and six to seven hours per day spent in class preparation. Long days, hard work, concentration, regular and punctual class attendance (every day missed is a week!).
At the same time, there will be opportunity during the day for other kinds of activities. In addition, we will take usually one day per week for travel around the country and, of course, Sabbath will be set aside for rest, worship, etc. Part of the ACA experience is to become immersed in the culture of the country where you reside. You will have plenty of opportunity to participate in scores of memorable activities surrounding you in and around Jerusalem.
Prerequisites for the course in Biblical Hebrew (graduate and undergraduate courses) – 6 weeks:
- Full sophomore status or higher
- Completion of collegiate English sequence with a GPA of at least 2.75
- Overall college GPA of at least 2.5
- Letter of recommendation from Dean/Chair of the School/Department, reflecting religion faculty discussion and opinion.
During the course of the study program, there will be several excursions to various sites in Jerusalem and more broadly in the country of Israel. These trips will include an overnight visit to sites in the region of Galilee and day trips to the coastal plain and central and southern Israel. Students will find these excursions extremely enriching, as they will become immersed in the culture and history of the country as they study the language.
All students must participate in the outings designated as cultural tours. These tours are an integral part of the instructional program. Record will be taken and specific assignments given. Students’ completion of these assignments and positive participation on the tours will affect their overall grade in courses for which they are enrolled.
What to Bring
From the Study Center, students will find downtown Jerusalem readily accessible by bus or taxi and on foot. All amenities are available, but may be costly. Therefore, please bring your own essential things.
- Comfortable everyday clothing. For class and most daily situations, students must have light, comfortable clothes. Modest shorts and tee-shirts are fine in the study center and most places in Israel, but visits to religious sites (Christian, Jewish or Muslim) will require full covering. It is courteous as well to cover up one’s limbs in most Arab locations. May need a sweatshirt or sweater for some of your travels, as evenings can be quite cool even if daytime summer temperatures can be fairly warm.
- Dress and Sport Clothes: Students are guests in Israel and will be involved in worship and other kinds of services on occasion, so bring along some nice dress wear. A dress for women and something more than casual for men would be appropriate. You will also want to have some sport clothes for touring trips. Emphasis is on light-weight and low-maintenance.
- Swimwear: You will have occasion to swim in the Sea of Galilee and may be the Mediterranean, so bring a modest swim suit.
- Good shoes: Students will have occasion to walk and hike and therefore it is essential that they have comfortable walking shoes.
- Laundry Soap, is also available anywhere. This is very important as students will want to save costs by bringing easily washed clothing and by doing their own laundry as much as possible. Laundry cost is extra, 10,-NIS per load. Therefore, please have extra spending money to do the laundry. Washing machine is available on campus.
- Insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes and other pests. This should not be too much of a problem, but they are around.
- Travel Guide to Jerusalem/Israel: We recommend some type of travel guide to Jerusalem and Israel.
- Textbooks: Students are responsible to bring the books to Jerusalem, as they are difficult to obtain in Jerusalem. If your bookstore does not carry these books, you may order them from Amazon.com Required books are:
- Page Kelley, Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar. Eerdmans
(Grammar and not the Handbook). ISBN: 9780-8028-0578-0
- Larry A. Mitchel, A Student’s Vocabulary for Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. Zondervan. ISBN 978-0310454618.
- Note: Multiple copies of Hebrew-English Bibles and Hebrew-English dictionary are available at the Jerusalem Study Center ACA Library.
- Page Kelley, Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar. Eerdmans
- Medications: Skin moisturizers, Imodium A-D (or equivalent) to be taken preventively against or for occurrences of intestinal problems; standard pain relievers; sunburn treatment; lip salve; Band-aids; cough drops; cold medicine (many of these are available in Israel, although not necessarily your favorite brands and not as inexpensive as at home, but it will save you time and hassle if you bring them with you).
- Electricity: The current in the Middle East, however, is 220 volts at 50 cycles per second (rather than 110 volts at 60 cycles, as in the US). Must have an adapter that accommodates a double flat-pronged plug and enters either a double round-pronged or triple-flat-pronged receptacle. For laptops, wireless will be available.
- Licenses: There will be no occasion to drive while in Israel. If one wishes to drive, some car rental businesses will require an international driver’s license, available through AAA offices everywhere in the U.S.A.
- Personal Funds: It is advisable to carry at least some cash in one dollar bills which can easily be exchanged for local currency at most any place. More and more, people depend on ATMs and this is the easiest and best way to access funds. Traveler’s checks are no longer of much use. Personal bank checks are not advisable for use in Israel since many companies, money changers and banks which do allow them require time for them to clear. Bring sufficient funds for any extra food you may want or for any additional expenses involving local travel, sundries and touristy things.
- Communication: There are several ways to maintain communication throughout the summer–snail-mail, faxes, phone, email. The Jerusalem Study Center is wireless-equipped.
- Schedule: The instructor will work out a daily schedule for class work and study. Meals will be scheduled as well and may demand some help from students.
- Cameras: Those who want to take pictures should bring their own camera equipment with them, which for most means digital cameras. And bring along some strong plastic bags to keep the dust away from your equipment. If you want to preserve memories of your summer for any length of time, use a camera which can take fairly high-resolution photos. Video-recording capacity can also help.
Without thinking too much about the culture shock most travelers to the Middle East experience, we can easily become the “ugly Americans” (or other nationalities) everyone dreads to encounter. It will be well worth the small investment to purchase a good travel guide to Israel/Jerusalem (there are lots from which to choose) with a section on social and cultural features. Not only will you avoid the problems of stumbling over people and their treasured customs by becoming acquainted with these concerns, you will have gone a long way toward making lasting friends in the country and opening yourself up to the wonderful world of the Middle East and its people.
Respecting the Beliefs and Values of your Foreign Hosts: One of the Adventist Colleges Abroad’s (ACA) most valued assets in foreign countries is the longstanding good relationship which it has enjoyed over the years with the people of the Middle East and the travel professionals and staff who help make our course possible and enjoyable.
As leaders of ACA, we seek to do our utmost to affirm and respect the values of our gracious hosts at our study center/hotel and of the surrounding community. We therefore make every effort to conduct our own personal lives in ways that are harmonious with the sensibilities of these kind people. We also expect those who join our classes as students to do likewise.
To this end, everyone who chooses to participate with ACA is expected to make an earnest effort before coming to Israel–and while there–to learn at least the basics about Middle Eastern culture (religion, values, lifestyle). There are lots of easily accessible sources of information, especially travel guides, which will introduce new visitors to local culture and sensibilities.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which reflects an understanding of local culture and avoids giving offense. This requires taking personal responsibility for learning about the culture and practicing generosity, tolerance and genuine respect for the people who are the hosts as well as for each other in the class.
Visa & Travel Considerations
Citizens of USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most European countries need only a valid passport (valid for the duration and 3 months longer than your stay abroad). Other Nationalities: You require the following documents in order to apply for a tourist visa: Valid Passport (valid at least 6 months more than your stay abroad, with a blank page to affix visa); completed tourist visa application; 2 recent passport- size photos; visa fee; copy of airline reservation/itinerary; ACA acceptance letter; ACA Insurance letter (original and a copy). ACA will provide visa information and instructions to follow. Check your jurisdiction’s Israel consulate’s webpage for more information or contact ACA office.
Students participating in the Hebrew program should fly into the Ben Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv.
Vaccinations: Vaccination certificates are no longer required for travel to Israel. For your added safety, however, you may want to be protected by the following inoculations: Cholera (good for six months) and Typhoid and Diphtheria (good for ca. three years). Some physicians also recommend gamma globulin shots (good for four to six months) as a protection against hepatitis. For any or all of the above, follow the advice of your physician.
Planning Your Trip
Accommodations Before and After the Dates for the Course: Students wishing to come earlier and/or stay later than the class dates, must make their own arrangements directly with the Israeli Mission and pay the Mission separately for this expense.
Program Dates & Prices
See a summary of Dates & Prices for all programs