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Israel: The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies
Eilot, Israel (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Restrictions: AU- applicants only
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
Fact Sheet:
Housing: Shared Apt. Language Pre-requisite: none
Language of Instruction: English Language Courses Offered: No
Non-AU Students Accepted by AU:
No Internship: No
Advisor: Courtney Pollack Minimum GPA: 3
Class Level Required for Admission: Second-semester Sophomore standing
Program Type:
Not Direct Enrollment
Advising Required:
Program Description:

Is this Program Right For You?

students in desertIn this unique program, students come together from many parts of the world to study desert and marine ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental policy, economics and law, environmental ethics, and social analysis. Over the course of one or two semesters, students engage in an interdisciplinary program built of rigorous courses in diverse environmental fields, a peace-building and leadership seminar, and may choose an independent research project as well as hands-on and field study components.

The Year/Semester program provides students with scientific and technical literacy, public policy fundamentals, and comprehension of philosophical concepts necessary to engage actively and effectively in environmental challenges and objectives. To this end the curriculum is made up of courses in diverse areas such as desert and marine ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental policy, economics and law, environmental ethics, and social analysis.

The unique learning experience at the Arava Institute provides students with an opportunity to live, study and work with Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and other internationals to gain first-hand experience thinking and working in a trans-boundary environment, while developing communication and leadership skills needed for cross-cultural cooperation. 


The Arava Institute offers a broad range of courses on environmental science, social analysis, and policy.  See available courses on offer here

Course Equivalency

Click here to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed. Read more about the course equivalency process and how AU counts study abroad credits on our Courses and Credits page.

Student Life

The Arava Institute is located on Kibbutz Ketura in the Southern Arava Valley, Israel. The student population is generally broken down into the following: a third from North America, Europe, and other countries outside of the Middle East, a third from Israel (Jews and Arabs), and a third from Jordan, Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries. Students live together in dormitories on a shared campus, and study together in courses and field study trips. The academic year begins with an orientation, which introduces students to the academic, student, and kibbutz life at the Arava Institute. During this time, students enroll for classes and take part in regional activities. Kibbutz Ketura, located in the Arava Rift Valley, sits beneath limestone hills with a view of Jordan's Edom mountains.

Housing and Meals

students in dormStudents typically live in a shared housing unit with up to eight students in the unit.  A student will typically share a bedroom and bathroom with one other student.  Students come from all over the world and will live in a tremendously diverse community with differences in nationality, religion, age, language, and social norms emerging daily.  

Students eat in the kibbutz dining hall with kibbutz members, staff, volunteers, and visitors. They use kibbutz facilities, such as communal laundry and recycling, and participate as volunteers in the dining hall once each semester. Students can choose to further their connection to the Kibbutz through "adopted" Kibbutz families. Families might host students in their homes, during family activities, or for occasional meals.

Three meals a day are served in the cafeteria-style dining hall, where students eat with the kibbutz members, staff, volunteers etc.  Additional food, drinks, cosmetics, and basic cleaning supplies can also be purchased at a small shop on the Kibbutz. Otherwise, all other shopping can be done in the city of Eilat, which is only 40 minutes away by bus.

Visa Information

Students are responsible for researching visa requirements for study in Israel. Consult with the Israeli Embassy for further information on student visa requirements.  

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2016 10/07/2015
Varies by program TBA TBA
NOTE: Please verify all dates directly with AIES prior to booking flights.
Academic Year 2016-2017 02/15/2016
Varies by program TBA TBA
Fall 2016 03/09/2016
Varies by program TBA TBA
NOTE: Dates are tentative. Will be updated upon acceptance.
Spring 2017 10/05/2016 ** Varies by program 02/14/2017 06/15/2017

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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