Is this Program Right For You?
In 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 the Arava Institute
View the Course Equivalency Database 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.
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 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.
Students are responsible for researching visa requirements for study in Israel. Consult with the Israeli Embassy for further information on student visa requirements.