Study Abroad Program Overview
Ben-Gurion University is a leader in sustainable development, environmental studies, global health, and Israel studies. It is the #1 university choice for Israeli undergraduate students. You will have access to the Center for Bedouin Studies and to the archives of David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel. The university enrolls almost 20,000 students and is located in Beersheva, a multi-cultural city in the heart of the Negev desert, only one hour from Tel Aviv.
Graduate students have access to the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research and the Ben-Gurion Research Institute, both located on the Sede Boqer campus one hour south of Beersheva.
Students on this program must be able to accept restriction of movement. Travel to specified areas in Israel must be avoided and students are expected to closely follow all safety and security regulations and guidelines established by UCEAP, Ben-Gurion University, and the U.S. Department of State.
Orientation in Israel: Ben-Gurion University provides two orientations to prepare you for the best possible experience, one upon arrival at the Ulpan and another at the beginning of the academic term. Participation in all sessions and events is mandatory.
Students attend classes with international students.
Language of Instruction
The program begins for all students with a required 6-week Hebrew intensive language program, known as an Ulpan. The “summer Ulpan” precedes the fall term for fall semester and year participants. The “winter Ulpan” precedes the spring term for spring semester participants.
Year participants who want to repeat the Ulpan may pay for the winter Ulpan directly to BGU but cannot receive UC credit for the repeat course.
Hebrew language study is required during the fall term for fall and year students and during the spring term for spring students.
Go to the Participants
section to see current or past calendars.
early August to end of December
late February to late June
early August to late June
The BGU campus may not be as accessible as UC campuses for students with disabilities. For example, although there are ramps, they may be steep. BGU will work closely with students to answer all questions about accessibility and services.
UCEAP students are required to live in BGU dormitories for security reasons. The dormitory complexes are one block from campus and across the street from the Beersheva train station and the BGU sports center. The complex includes a mini-market, laundry facitlities, 24-hour computer lab, student lounges, and other amenities. Supermarkets and other services such as hair salons and dry cleaners are close by the campus.
Housing during the Ulpan is paid by UCEAP, but you are responsible to reserve your own term housing and pay for it directly to BGU. You will also submit a security deposit.
More Information on Housing
In order to integrate more fully into the Israeli community, you are encouraged to participate in cultural and other activities. The Overseas Student Program (OSP) office organizes various extracurricular events and excursions. Join clubs, sports teams, or music/theater/art groups; provide volunteer services to social organizations; participate in athletic events and religious activities; and attend lectures, discussions, and receptions in academic and community circles.
The BGU sports center offers lots of opportunity to be as active as you want. There are swimming pools, tennis courts, a soccer field, aerobics and other classes, and much more.
Places of worship for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim students offer not only religious services and classes, but also numerous social and cultural events. Movies are shown on-campus nightly and are a popular venue to meet with your new friends.
Local families open their homes to international students, for meals and social interaction. When you arrive, let the OSP know if you wish to take advantage of this exceptional chance to become familiar with an Israeli family and their thoughts and opinions. The OSP will assign a family for you to visit throughout your time abroad.
More than 40% of BGU students actively participate in volunteer activities. OSP staff will help you find volunteer work that will enrich your own experience in Israel as well as help others. Some jobs have been at the national emergency center, humanitarian aid providers, the Negev Museum of Art, and the Jewish-Arab Education for Equality organization.
UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. Local staff abroad help students integrate into the culture of Israel and provide assistance with academics, housing, safety, and other issues.
See the EAP Program Guide
for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing; and information about the intensive language program (if applicable).
Overseas Student Program courses in your major or a related field are available. Of particular interest may be courses in anthropology, ecology, global health, history, industrial engineering and management, literature, linguistics, political science, sociology, and sustainable development.
The specialized Global Health Track offers an interdisciplinary program of classes ranging from individual illness to environmental health factors. There is a unique opportunity to take a credit-bearing practicum of hands-on field work in local clinics.
BGU, a world leader in sustainability research, offers the Sustainable Development and Environment Track, with a required research seminar and field study, plus other related courses. Study the ecological, economic, social, cultural, demographic, and political aspects of sustainable development in the Middle East.
Students may apply to take one or two courses in BGU's Masters programs in Middle East Studies, English Literature, or Politics of Conflict. BGU offers this opportunity to only a few outstanding undergraduate students, but UCEAP students are encouraged to apply.
Courses are taught in English through the Center for International Academic Affairs, Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program (OSP). Students who speak Hebrew can also take courses taught in Hebrew at BGU. The OSP calendar and the regular BGU calendar differ significantly in the fall semester, but not as much in the spring semester. Students taking BGU courses in Hebrew during the fall semester must remain at BGU through the end of February and will also pay more for housing
Not all courses are available both semesters. If there is a course you especially want or need to take, find out when it is offered before you choose to attend only one semester.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad (four courses + a Hebrew course) to meet the unit requirement of 18 UC quarter units per semester. These 18 units are separate from any units earned during the Ulpan.
Research and Independent Study
Internships for UCEAP students are available, arranged by the Internship Coordinator at OSP. You can earn 2-4 units and are expected to work 4-8 hours per week at your internship location. You will complete an internship report every two weeks. Some placements have been at the Institute for Desert Research, the units for Youth Education and Youth Activities, and the research institutes for Water or Dryland Environment.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Ben-Gurion University (BGU) enjoys an international reputation for its multidisciplinary academics and research, state-of-the-art modern campus, and outstanding faculty. UCEAP students enroll in the Overseas Student Program (OSP) on the BGU main campus in Beer-Sheva, where they are exposed to top faculty through courses taught in English.
BGU sees itself as a university with a conscience, where high standards of research are integrated with community involvement in disadvantaged neighborhoods and outreach to surrounding Bedouin communities. UCEAP students can be a part of these projects while studying in Israel.
Beer-Sheva, the gateway to the Negev Desert, provides a magnificent landscape for students to explore and serves as a living laboratory for BGU’s groundbreaking developments and technologies in solar energy, water recovery, and desert agriculture.
Test Drive Your Future
Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.
1. Science, Social Science, Health, and Education Internship
Designed for students from diverse academic backgrounds, this internship is supervised by the Overseas Student Program coordinator and earns 3-6 UC quarter units.
Setting Up Your Internship: After Ben-Gurion University has accepted you, contact Prof. Korine (for contact information see Internship Course Syllabus) and provide a resume and statement of purpose in advance. The further in advance you know what you would like to do, the better the Overseas Student Program (OSP) office can accommodate you.
2. Clinical Work Practicum
Work in a public health organization or clinic in order to experience actual work conditions.
The internship takes place within the Ben-Gurion Research Institute's units: Ben-Gurion online archive, library, and educational institutes.
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.
Estimated EAP Costs *
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.
1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.
All fees are subject to change without notice.
These expenses are estimated for 2015-16. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2015-16 payment information, visit the Participants Portal
and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay the same non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
- Predeparture expenses (health clearance, student visa, etc.)
- Round-trip airfare
- UC fees
- Cost of attending the host university
- On-site orientation
- Hebrew Ulpan (intensive language program)
- Room and board
- Local transportation
- Optional excursions
- Books and other incidental expenses
- Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.
UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
Study abroad scholarships for Israel
Study in Israel.org List
Study In Israel.org has a list of airfare and tuition scholarships from $400 - $21,000 available for study in Israel. Find out more.
Alisa Flatow Memorial Scholarship Fund
for students pursuing traditional Jewish studies
Junior, Senior, Graduate
- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 0 quarters / 0 semesters.
* Required for fall semester and academic year students during the fall term and for spring semester students during the spring term
3.00 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.
All applicants must also have:
- Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
- Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
- A willingness to abide by program regulations.
- Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements.
Application Information and Deadlines
Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.
Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.
For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.
These are minimum requirements. After selection by your UC Campus EAP Office, final admission is determined by the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).
Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: