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Hebrew University

- Fall
- Spring
- Year

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, health and safety, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.

While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.

Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

Operations Specialist
Diane Lindsey
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail:
Academic Specialist
Andrea Nuernberger 
Phone: (805) 893-2810; E-mail:
Program Advisor​
Shannon Krahn
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Rachel Wilson
Phone: (805) 893-5927; E-mail:
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823

Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583 

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network via the UCEAP Israel page.

Liaison Office Abroad

The Liaison Officer is Shachar Yanai, the director of the Undergraduate Division at Rothberg International School. She will be your primary contact for emergency and disciplinary matters. Together with the Academic Head of the Division, Yanai coordinates a team of six faculty and staff members who are responsible for all academic advising. The Undergraduate Division handles enrollment and registration and assists students in this process. In addition, the division retains the services of a clinical psychologist for purposes of evaluation and crisis intervention, and also consults with an expert on learning disabilities and refers students with relevant needs to both the Counseling Services and Learning Disability Center.
Shachar Yanai, Director
Division of Undergraduate Studies
Rothberg International School
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Office phone: (972) 2-588-2610/1615
Mobile phone: TBA
Fax: (972) 2-588-2363

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code .........011
(dial this to call from the U.S.)
Israel country code.............. 972
Jerusalem city code .............2

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Academic Information
Program Overview
You will study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Rothberg International School (RIS), with the option of taking courses in other HU departments for those with sufficient Hebrew language skills. RIS offers a number of exciting programs, detailed below: a spring honors seminar track, an Arabic immersion program, and three programs in the arts, offered jointly with the highly-regarded Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and the Bezalel Academy of the Arts.
If you pass a pre-placement test at level “Ptor,” you may request an exemption from the Ulpan only for health or another serious reason. E-mail your request to with a copy to and The decision will be made by Hebrew University, not by UCEAP or by the New York HU office.

University Information

Officially founded in 1925, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has had a tumultuous history, parallel to that of Israel. Since Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, the university has expanded and today includes campuses at Mount Scopus (Rothberg International School, as well as law, social sciences, and humanities), Edmond Safra (Givat Ram: natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science), Ein Kerem (health sciences), and Rehovot (agriculture and veterinary medicine). Hebrew University enrolls more than 24,000 students. Rothberg International School, where most UCEAP students take courses, enrolls about 3,000 students, including international students from over 60 countries.
Academic Culture
Professors at Rothberg International School (RIS) are experts in their fields and provide a special Israeli and Middle Eastern experience by offering unique perspectives on the subjects they teach. Most of the classes involve extensive discussions, and the average class size of 20 students encourages close interaction between students and professors. Professors also provide flexible office hours to foster close contact with students.
Students are expected to prepare readings and assignments for each class, with most required readings provided through the online course platform. All classes have at least two forms of assessment:
  • 1000 and 2000 level: (1) midterm exam + final paper OR (2) midterm paper + final exam OR (3) midterm exam + final exam + writing assignment
  • 3000 level: 2 forms of assessment, one of which must be a final paper
  • 4000 level: midterm assessment + oral class presentation + final seminar paper
Students are expected to show a considerable degree of independence and responsibility, which includes reading the instructions and explanations and adhering to academic policies. Each student is assigned an academic advisor who is available to meet with students regarding academic matters as well as to provide general support. The undergraduate offices are open Sun-Thurs from 8:00am to 4pm.
The grading system requires number grades to be given for all courses. The Rothberg grading scale is as follows:
A +  (95-100)    A  (88-94)    A - (85-87)
B +  (82-84)      B  (78-81)    B - (75-77)
C +  (72-74)      C  (68-71)   C - (65-67)
D     (50-64)      F  (0-49)
Independent Research Projects
Independent research projects for academic credit may be possible in this program. For information contact Shachar Yanai, the UCEAP Liaison Officer, upon arrival.

Withdrawal Before the Program Begins

Hebrew University policy concerning withdrawal from the program at any time between application and before it begins is detailed on their website, with the withdrawal fee increasing as the program start date nears. If you withdraw from the program before it begins (the Official UCEAP Start Date prior to the Ulpan), you will be charged approximately $155 by Hebrew University. This charge is in addition to any UCEAP withdrawal fee. Note that students who withdraw before the program begins will not be refunded their (term or year) housing deposit.
Course Information

Pre-term language study

Ulpan (Intensive Hebrew Language Program)
The program begins for all students with a required 4-week Hebrew language program, known as an Ulpan. The Ulpan is an intensive, immersive Hebrew language course that incorporates a traditional curriculum of foreign language instruction to build reading, writing, and conversation skills, but it also includes exposure to Israeli news media, music, movies, TV and radio, and field trips.
The “summer Ulpan” precedes the fall term for fall semester and year participants. The “winter Ulpan” precedes the spring term for spring semester participants.

Academic Program: Term or Year

You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad and enroll in four courses, totaling at least 22.5 quarter/15 semester UC units per semester (in addition to units earned through the Ulpan). Hebrew language study is required during the fall term for fall and year students and during the spring term for spring students. Most Hebrew language courses earn 9 quarter/6 semester UC units, and most other courses earn 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units each. UC quarter units are calculated by multiplying HU semester units by 1.5.​
You will enroll in the fall, spring, or year option at The Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School, which is responsible for organizing programs for international students. The UCEAP Liaison Officer and staff will help you to prepare your final study plans after arrival in Jerusalem. While it is important to plan your program before leaving UC, also be prepared to make adjustments once in Israel.
Each semester you will take at least four courses, usually including Hebrew (see Language Study section below for Hebrew language requirements). The balance of the academic program consists of Rothberg International School courses (most taught in English) or regular HU classes (taught in English, or Hebrew - if your language skills permit). 
You may take advanced science and mathematics courses in Hebrew only through HU if you possess the appropriate language skills.
The curriculum of the Rothberg International School includes offerings with varying degrees of difficulty and a range of subject matter intended to appeal to a wide spectrum and level of students from many institutions. Most courses focus on some aspect of Israel, Jerusalem, or the Middle East. Of particular interest to UC students are courses in ancient history, anthropology, archaeology, Hebrew language/literature, history, Holocaust studies, international relations, legal studies, Medieval studies, Middle Eastern studies, philosophy, political science, and religious studies. The Rothberg International School offers a small number of courses in art history, music, education, economics, psychology, and communication.
If you possess advanced competency in modern Hebrew, you are encouraged to enroll in Hebrew University courses taught in Hebrew. (English literature, American Studies, and a small number of other courses are taught in English.) You may be allowed to take exams and write papers in English, but you must make such arrangements early in the term. Resolve conflicts with final exam scheduling prior to finalizing course registration. Note that HU courses in Hebrew end later in June; see the Calendars tab on the UCEAP Participants page.

Language Study

Hebrew language study is required during the fall term for fall and year students and during the spring term for spring students. Hebrew courses may be taken on a P/NP basis. ​
  • Students who wish to study Arabic in addition to the required Hebrew language study may take Arabic as part of their regular course load.
  • Students who wish to substitute Arabic for the required Hebrew language study have the option of taking Colloquial Arabic or Literary Arabic. Colloquial Arabic will be offered at the beginner's level in the fall and at the beginner's and intermediate level in the spring. Literary Arabic will be offered in the Graduate Division at the beginner's level in the fall and at the intermediate level in the spring. Note that the Graduate Department has a different calendar, ending later than RIS and requiring a longer stay in housing, with increased housing cost. Also, the timetabling of Literary Arabic may conflict with other courses being taken at RIS.

RIS Arabic Immersion

Arabic is one of Israel’s official languages and is spoken in many parts of the country. The RIS Arabic Immersion program is based on the principle of total immersion—the constant and exclusive use of a language in its native social and cultural environment. Studies combine formal classes, interaction with native speakers outside the classroom, and exposure to the religious and cultural elements that have left their indelible mark on the Arabic language. All studies will be held in Arabic and you will speak exclusively in Arabic for the duration of the program.
Course Information: In addition to 18 UC quarter units of Arabic (12 semester units), you are required to take a designated course in the area of Arab society and culture (4.5 UC quarter units/3 semester units). You will also participate in a Co-curricular Activities course worth 3 UC quarter units (2 semester units). At the end of the program, you will receive a total of 25.5 UC quarter units (17 semester units) and a certificate of completion.

RIS offers several specialized study tracks during the term:

Special Programs

Students in the special programs outlined in this section are exempted from the Hebrew language requirement during the semester, but are required to participate in the Ulpan prior to their first semester. All special programs end later in June than the RIS courses. See the Calendars tab on the Participants page for exact dates of each program. All special programs in the arts have additional fees, as described below.

1. Spring in Jerusalem Honors Option (jointly offered with Harvard University)

The Spring in Jerusalem honors track seminars are open to outstanding students on a competitive basis during the spring semester. At the conclusion of the semester, students present papers in an academic symposium. Students who complete their studies in the track with an average of 80 or above in either semester receive an Undergraduate Honors Certificate and special Honors citation on their transcript. The Rothberg International School offers seminars in a wide range of areas including Israel studies, Middle Eastern studies, business and economics, and Judaic studies. If you have the appropriate academic background, you may enroll once abroad. UCEAP strongly recommends you take the honors seminars.
Course Information: Most honors students take 22.5 quarter/15 semester UC units. Choose at least two courses from the special list of advanced HU courses in English (those with sufficient language skills may choose certain HU courses offered in Hebrew). Remaining coursework can be chosen from RIS courses, language study, or the strongly-recommended independent study research seminar.

2. Jerusalem Sounds (jointly offered with Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance)

Jerusalem Sounds includes a full music program consisting of individual instruction, performance in small and large ensembles, and classes in Jewish and Israeli music. A wide range of courses in various subjects is offered through the Rothberg International School.
Course Information: You will take 24 quarter/16 semester UC units including the following components:
  • Individual instruction
  • Ensembles
  • Klezmer Seminar and Workshop or The Hebrew Song: History, Poetry, and Music
  • Two courses at the Rothberg International School

3. DanceJerusalem (jointly offered with Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance)

DanceJerusalem offers artistic training in dance skills and technique and exposure to Israel’s challenging social, historical, and cultural environment. Disciplines include classical ballet, contemporary dance, choreography, repertoire, and improvisation. This is a chance to create, rehearse, and perform works with outstanding Israeli composers and choreographers.
Course Information: Choose from one of these two programs:
DanceJerusalem year program: 
  • Fall: Dance courses and two courses at the Rothberg International School
  • Intersession: Israeli Choreographers Workshop Intensive of class & rehearsal. This workshop runs parallel with the Winter Ulpan.
  • Spring: Dance courses and two courses at the Rothberg International School
DanceJerusalem Fall or Spring semester program
  • Dance courses and two courses at the Rothberg International School
Note: The Intersession Workshop is required of all Spring Semester Program students.

4. ArtJerusalem (jointly offered with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design)

The Bezalel Academy is Israel’s most renowned art and design institution. The ArtJerusalem program includes a wide variety of art courses in such areas as painting, sculpture, drawing, and screen printing. You may also choose from a broad selection of courses at the Rothberg International School.
Course Information: Choose one of the following tracks:
Art Specialization Track (22.5 UC quarter/15 semester units)
  • 12 credits of Bezalel classes per semester
  • 3 credits of Rothberg International School classes per semester
Art Academic Track (21–24 UC quarter/14-16 semester units)
  • 7–8 credits of Bezalel classes per semester
  • 7–8 credits of Rothberg International School classes per semester
Art Exposure Track (22.5 UC quarter/15 semester units)
  • 3 credits of Bezalel classes per semester
  • 12 credits of Rothberg International School classes per semester
Fees for Special Programs in the Arts
DanceJerusalem, Jerusalem Sounds, and all ArtJerusalem options charge lab fees that you must pay directly. For DanceJerusalem and Jerusalem Sounds, the lab fee will be $500 per semester or $1,000 for a year. Pay directly to the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD). The fee covers concert tickets and travel (DanceJerusalem) and individual instruction (Jerusalem Sounds). For the Art Specialization and Art Academic tracks of ArtJerusalem, the lab fee will be $500 per semester or $1,000 for a year. For the Art Exposure track of Art Jerusalem, the lab fee will be $200 per semester or $400 for a year. Pay directly to the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. The fee covers classroom supplies and equipment rental. All fees are subject to change.
Grades for this program are usually available in March for the fall semester and in August for the spring semester.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
UC students have interned in private, government, or non-government organization. The Internship course number at HU is 48047, and students receive 1 HU credit (1.5 UC quarter units) for the course. The internship is organized and monitored by the Undergraduate Office at the Rothberg International School. Contact the office after your arrival in Israel. The course is P/NP only, and the internship requires you to devote 8 hours a week.
Extending UCEAP Participation
It is possible to extend your fall participation and remain at your host university for the year. First, submit a DPA form (Departmental/College Preliminary Approval) to your campus EAP office before departure. If you decide to extend after you are abroad, inform the International Office at your host university and submit an RFA form (Request for Final Approval) to them. Both the International Office and the UCEAP systemwide office must approve the RFA. Once the extension is approved, UCEAP will notify your host university and your campus EAP office; the campus office will notify your UC campus Registrar and Financial Aid office. You are responsible to extend your visa or obtain a new visa, as appropriate. You will also need to sign electronically the Student Agreement and Waiver of Liability for the new participation option in MyEAP.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
Become as acquainted as possible with Israel and the Middle East prior to departure. Keep up-to-date on current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals such as the international edition of The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Quarterly, and the Middle East Review of International Affairs.
Selected volumes from the Israel Pocket Library, composed of articles drawn from the Encyclopedia Judaica, are relatively inexpensive and available in large bookstores. The volumes on Religious Life and Communities in Israel, Zionism, History from 1880, Geography of Israel, Society in Israel, and Jerusalem are especially valuable.
The Lonely Planet website provides good information about travel, youth hostels, and other basic travel information.
The Hebrew University Rothberg International School website is a valuable resource. Make good use of its wealth of information in your predeparture preparation.

Travel Resources

Many good guides to Jerusalem and Israel are available in Jerusalem. Most are inexpensive and can be purchased after arrival.
If you join the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, you will have access to The AACI Expanded Jerusalem Consumer Guide, which is published by the association. The Rothberg International School website lists the addresses of numerous new and used bookstores, while the Ministry of Tourism offices distribute maps and other free materials.
Dress Codes
Be alert to the importance of dress codes that differ within cities in Israel.
For example:
  • Arms and legs must be covered with loose clothing in Muslim areas
  • Entrance to the many religious sites is restricted to the modestly dressed; for women that means skirts that are knee-length or longer and shirts with high necklines and elbow-length sleeves; for men that means long pants
  • At other sites, the immodestly dressed are allowed in but may be subject to nasty looks or even harassment
  • In the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, large billboards on the main streets request that visitors dress modestly
Holiday Break in the Fall
A two-week break occurs in September/October each year.  An on-site Director has written the following helpful background information:.​
Yom Kippur
The most important of the Jewish holidays, is observed by many persons who may not observe other holidays. There are no radio or television broadcasts, airports are shut down, there is no public transportation, and all shops and businesses are closed. One should avoid eating in public on Yom Kippur or driving in a motor vehicle.
Eid al-Adha
The second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year, Eid al-Adha lasts for four days.
Succoth lasts seven days during which, meals are eaten in the Sukkah (booth), and the tradition is even to sleep in one.  Many people invite family, friends, neighbors, or people who are alone to join them for a snack or a meal.
Due to the heightened sensitivity resulting from the proximity of these very important holidays, everyone should be especially careful and considerate. Thousands of people, Muslims and Jews, are expected to come to the Old City for prayer. Security forces will be noticeable throughout the holidays and as always,  you should be conscious of your surroundings. If you decide to walk to the Old City, please avoid the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and follow highway No. 1. You should also distance yourself from any confrontations or altercations.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Arrivals, Departures, & Stateside Travel

The security department in the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv secures the airport and makes sure that all departing and arriving passengers are safe. There are certain steps you can take in order to facilitate this process.
Be sure to have all university acceptance documentation easily accessible, as Israeli Border Control officials may ask for it. When you arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, refer to the relevant Border Control counter according to the passport you are holding. There are separate border control counters for those holding an Israeli passport or those holding a foreign (non Israeli) passport. In the Border Control Hall there are manned control counters, and biometric control counters. Israeli passport holders will approach the manned counters or make use of the biometric system. The controller’s stamp, or the voucher from the biometric system, constitute the exit authorization from the Border Control Hall to the Arrivals Hall. Foreign passport holders will approach the manned counters only. Hand the voucher to the representative of border police at the entrance to the Arrivals Hall. Some students may face additional interrogation upon entry or departure. Border control will stamp your passport.
All travelers leaving Israel go through a security check, followed by the airline check-in. All travelers will face preliminary and sometimes secondary security questioning stateside.

Orientations at Different Stages

You are required to attend an orientation prior to departure. Your UC Campus EAP Office may or may not provide an orientation, but the New York office of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) will definitely provide a telephone orientation close to departure time. The New York HU office will e-mail you with a date, time of day, and call-in number. You are encouraged to participate and also to invite family to call into the orientation.
The program officially begins with a mandatory orientation at the beginning of Ulpan classes in Jerusalem. The Official Start Date is noted in the Israel program calendar on the UCEAP website. Failure to arrive by the Official Start Date and attend all orientation sessions is grounds for dismissal from the program. Details concerning arrival and orientation will be available in the Arrival/Orientation Information found in the online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
Lastly, Rothberg International School (RIS) provides an extremely important and serious orientation at the beginning of the academic term. Attendance at all sessions of the RIS orientation is mandatory. Speakers, who may be law enforcement and military officials, will emphasize personal safety and campus security.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
You must arrive in Israel by the UCEAP Official Start Date. Hebrew University arranges its own group flights from New York and will send you information about the option. Usually, the option will offer an add-on flight to New York. You are strongly encouraged to take the appropriate group flight. It is accompanied by a Hebrew University staff member and is met at Ben-Gurion Airport, where you will be taken by bus to the orientation/Ulpan site.
If you choose to travel independently to Israel, you must make your own way from the airport into Jerusalem. Independent travelers usually take a shared taxi (sherut) from the airport, an option that past UCEAP students recommend.
The Official Start Date can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any non-recoverable transportation expenses you may incur for independent travel arrangements. In order to be kept informed of any program changes, maintain updated personal contact information in MyEAP.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.

Customs Inspection & Duties

Upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, you will go through a customs inspection. The rules for all travelers entering Israel are included in special customs guides available from the Israeli consulate or embassy.
Do not ask other students to carry items of any kind abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines will ask if you are carrying items for someone else, and if so, they may not allow you to take them. If you board the plane with the items, customs abroad may charge you a high duty upon arrival for those items. They will assume you plan to resell them, especially if you already have similar items of your own. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.

UCEAP Travel Restriction While in Israel

Apply the same principles of personal safety that you use while in Jerusalem. You are prohibited from visiting the West Bank or Gaza, whether or not the borders are open.
West Bank and Gaza
You are prohibited from visiting the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, whether or not Israel has closed the border to one or both areas. If you travel to these areas you may be dismissed from the program.
Updated information about security conditions is available from the U.S. Department of State and the consulate general. There is a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning in effect for Israel. You are responsible for reviewing the Travel Warning carefully, including advice with respect to entry/exit requirements, dual nationality, and safety/security sections.
Avoid large crowds, public gatherings, public buses and trains and their terminals, and the Old City of Jerusalem after dark and between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays.
Read the U.S. Department of State’s latest Country Specific Information sheet for “Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.”
Travel Documents
If you were born in Israel, born to Israeli parents, were previously an Israeli citizen, or are a dual citizen, you must contact an Israeli consulate or embassy as soon as possible. A military release may be required before departure, or dual citizens may be required to enter Israel with their Israeli passport. It is your responsibility to identify any requirements that apply to you.
The host university website provides detailed information about passports, visas, and other documents required for participation in the program.
Additional general information about required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Students who are granted DACA are strongly encouraged to consult an immigration attorney to evaluate the risks of potentially being unable to re-enter the United States and any impact that participation in UCEAP might have on any deferred action application. If you are undocumented and have not been granted DACA, we strongly encourage you not to leave the country.
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
Identify each item of your luggage on the inside and outside with your name, home address, and destination. When traveling always carry your passport, visa, ticket, prescription medications, and money. Carry small appliances, cameras, guitars, or other musical instruments with you. These items can be taken into Israel without duty (subject to restrictions); however, if you mail or ship these items, you may have to pay a duty. Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Leave extra credit cards at home and carry only what is necessary. Luggage restrictions (weight, size, number) vary from airline to airline.


  • Layered clothing (T-shirt, shirt, fleece vest, button/pullover sweater)
  • Jeans, shorts, swimsuit
  • Lightweight jacket, heavy winter coat
  • Warm socks 
  • Flip-flops, sturdy walking shoes, casual footwear
  • One dressy outfit
  • Umbrella


  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Beach towel
  • Seat pad (good for train and bus travel)
  • Travel-sized sleeping bag
  • Empty backpack (to bring home items purchased abroad)
  • Travel alarm clock and flashlight
  • Small gifts for new friends (with UC logo or California designs)

Do Not Bring

  • Medications that are illegal in Israel
  • Fragile items unless they are bubble-wrapped

Climate & Dress

The temperature in Israel ranges from approximately 30ºF to 50ºF in the winter and 65ºF to 87ºF in the summer. Many public buildings are not heated, and heaters and hot water heaters occasionally break down. Pack warm clothing. With a few exceptions, clothing is expensive in Israel.
Everyday dress in Israel is similar to that in California. Casual wear for both men and women is appropriate. Take at least one nicer outfit for the theater and other formal occasions. You will need conservative dress (skirts covering the knee and long-sleeve blouses for women) for religious occasions and visits to religious sites. The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing.

Cosmetics & Medications

Cosmetics of all kinds are available in Israel. Prices may be higher, but packing and transporting these items abroad is inconvenient. Take any particular brands of cosmetics or medications that you feel you must have and cannot obtain abroad, including contact lens solutions and disposable contact lenses. Past UCEAP students have noted that birth control (pills especially) is expensive and hard to obtain.

Electrical Current

The electrical current used in Israel is 50 cycles AC rather than the 60 cycles current used in the U.S. Voltage ranges from 220–240 rather than the standard U.S. 110–120 volts for small appliances and most electrical sockets have round holes. Most computer equipment is dual voltage; however, the sockets used in Israel are different than those in California and you will need adapters (easily available in Israel at any electronics store). You can purchase travel irons, curling irons, blow-dryers, and electric razors in the U.S. or abroad with built-in converters for all currents.
Consider having additional protections for your property, as in spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP's travel insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends you to examine the details of the UCEAP travel insurance benefits and to purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
You may decide to purchase additional coverage, especially for high-value electronics (e.g., computer, tablets, camera, etc.). If you decide to do so, purchase supplemental coverage before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. You can safeguard your belongings from damage or theft by locking your room and securing money, travelers checks, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
Insurance for Personal Posessions
Consider having additional protections for your property, as in spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP's travel insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends you to examine the details of the UCEAP travel insurance benefits and to purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
You may decide to purchase additional coverage, especially for high-value electronics (e.g., computer, tablets, camera, etc.). If you decide to do so, purchase supplemental coverage before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. You can safeguard your belongings from damage or theft by locking your room and securing money, travelers checks, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
Return Travel
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase a ticket that allows changes to the return date.
The estimated airfare amount in the UCEAP Program Budget is based on the cost of a changeable round-trip student ticket.
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.


  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
Handling Money Abroad
Be sure to take enough money (about $2,000) in travelers checks for emergencies and initial expenses until you can make permanent banking arrangements. You can expect to need at least $400 a month for food, independent travel, and personal expenses, and $100 to $150 per semester for books and school supplies. Some students take all the money they will need in travelers checks and simply cash them as required.
You can also retain your personal checking account in the U.S. With an American Express card and a personal check from home, you can purchase $1,000 worth of travelers checks every 21 days.
American Express office in Jerusalem
19 Hillel Street
Phone: (2) 624-0830
You can use Western Union to have money sent from home to the Israeli Post Office in a matter of minutes. In most instances, Western Union will issue local currency at competitive foreign exchange rates. Additional information is available on the Western Union website.


After arrival in Israel, you can open a U.S. dollar account at an Israeli bank. You can deposit dollars, travelers checks, or personal checks from U.S. bank accounts into the dollar account and exchange them for shekels as needed. You need a passport with a validated visa stamp to conduct transactions. Israeli banks require two to four weeks to clear personal checks from the U.S. Additional information on banking will be provided at the host university orientations after arrival.

Credit Cards & ATM Cards

Major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted in Israel. With a Bank Americard (Visa card), you can get a cash advance of up to $150 at the Bank Leumi. You can use bank cards that are part of the Cirrus or Plus network at the Bank Hapoalim ATM. Check with your U.S. bank prior to departure to see what services are offered and where.

Financial Aid Students

Financial aid students should budget carefully for the year abroad. Know when financial aid checks are due, how much will arrive, to whom the checks will be sent in the U.S., and how money will be transferred to you. Arrange either to have financial aid checks deposited directly into your own U.S. bank account, or sent to a person in the U.S. who has been assigned your power of attorney. This person can then deposit the money in your home bank account. The money can be wired to the corresponding bank account overseas or it can be accessed via ATM. Do not have checks mailed to you. They may not arrive safely, and if they do, banks will take 45 days to clear them before the money will be available to you. Hebrew University cannot help with temporary funding problems until financial aid arrives. Think ahead and plan accordingly.
Numerous scholarships are available from Hebrew University and other organizations. After acceptance, contact both Hebrew University as well as the following organizations:

MASA Grant/Scholarship & Rothberg Fund/Scholarship

These two awards are not money disbursed to students at any time. After arrival in Israel, you will be required to complete an application, and the award will be disbursed directly to Rothberg International School to decrease the cost of what you would otherwise be charged for the program. Completing the application is mandatory for all UCEAP students. (Your UCEAP fees are already reduced by the amount of the award.) Receiving one of these awards does not affect the availability of any other MASA need-based scholarships or funding from any other sources.
Other Outside Agency Scholarships
Students who receive Outside Agency Scholarships (such as MASA need-based or AJLI)
Please note these awards are usually paid directly to the student and typically come very late in the program or after the program has ended.
These scholarships are not the same as the MASA Grant awarded by HU, which is applied directly to your UCEAP HU account.
In order to avoid a block being placed on your UC student account or grades being held, you will need to pay all UCEAP fees (less other UC campus financial aid of grants, campus scholarships, loans, etc.) by the final payment due date, regardless of receipt of the scholarship by the student. 
UCEAP does not coordinate with these outside agencies, so the student must coordinate with them directly.
If you are a recipient of one of these Outside Agency Scholarships, you are required to report the award to your home UC Financial Aid Office.
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Free e-mail accounts are available. In general, computer facilities are not on par with those at UC, and there are long lines to use computers. If you have a laptop computer, take it abroad.
Mail & Shipments


Use the Liaison Office in the Israel mailing address, as noted in Your UCEAP Network in this guide.


If you are sending clothing through the mail (winter clothes that you won’t need for a while) be sure to mark the box “used clothing” to avoid trouble with customs.
Explore various options for sending personal goods abroad. Surface mail may be a good option, especially for winter blankets, clothing, and items you will not need for the first few months in Israel. Mail service is generally reliable and it is easy to pick up packages at the post office on campus. Encourage the sender to mark all boxes “Used” or “Used Personal Goods.”
Although the weight limit for a package to Israel is 33 pounds, it is better to send smaller, lighter packages—preferably under 10 pounds. Parcels sent by surface mail take 8 to 12 weeks to reach Israel from California.
Update your Local Contact Information
You must update your local contact information within two weeks of arriving. It is a simple process.  Follow steps below.
  1. Log on to your MyEAP account.
  2. Select Contact info from the left-hand menu bar under Student Information.  
  3. Add and/or update “Address Abroad While Participating in UCEAP.”  Include an accurate address, phone number and email address so we can contact you directly in case of an emergency.
It is essential that you keep your local personal contact information updated.  Regularly UCEAP will contact you through email.  During an emergency, UCEAP will use all forms of communication to reach you, email, text message, and local telephone call using the contact information you have provided through MyEAP.
Housing & Meals
Where Will I Live?
You cannot make alternate housing arrangements, even if Hebrew University states you may do so. The University of California does not allow UCEAP students to live off campus. You are subject to dismissal from the program if you do not follow UCEAP regulations.
For security reasons, UCEAP requires you to live in the on-campus dorms.
You must make your dormitory reservation and payment for term or year housing directly with the Rothberg International School (RIS). Request dormitory housing on the participation form sent by RIS after you are admitted. Return the form immediately to reserve a room. UCEAP fees will cover the Ulpan housing cost, but RIS will invoice you for your term or year housing and you must pay the housing bill in full before departure. Committing to an optional payment plan will be considered as payment in full.
Your housing payment will generate the “zero balance” statement required by the Israeli consulate to apply for a student visa.

Dormitory Options

During the Ulpan and the academic term or year at the Hebrew University, you will live in university accommodations on the Mount Scopus campus. For security reasons, you are required to live in the Student Village, Resnick dormitories, or Idelson apartment building.
The student housing complexes on Mount Scopus, overlooking the incredible panorama of Jerusalem, are walking distance from the university. They offer an independent setting appropriate for international students. Living in university housing is an important part of the overall experience of studying abroad. RIS students have the opportunity to meet new friends from different cultures and continents—North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe—as well as a chance to share experiences with Israeli students. You will be allocated housing provided you make your reservation on time. Space may be limited in the spring semester.
See the program calendar on the UCEAP website. Some academic options have a longer calendar than other options. If your term is longer, you will pay more for your housing.
A staff of specially selected Israeli students (called madrichim) who reside in the dormitories assist you in your adjustment to campus life at the Hebrew University and help you obtain the full benefit of your stay in Israel.
The Student Village complex consists of apartment-style buildings with five-bedroom suites. Students here are usually housed in single bedrooms. The bedrooms contain a bed, desk, chair, and closet. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared with suitemates. The Resnick dormitories have 20 people to a floor, two people to a room, and a common kitchen, bathroom, and social area. The Idelson apartments have six-person suites consisting of three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. All housing has central heating and is in other respects, pleasantly arranged and comfortable.
You can have a phone installed in your room. It is best to reach students on either their landlines or their personal cell phones. However, messages can be left for students living in the dormitories:
Student Village: (011 972 2) 581-5638
Resnick:(011 972 2) 581-8115
For security reasons, the caller must give your exact dormitory address. Messages may not reach you immediately; do not rely on this method regularly.
Internet access is available in dorms for a fee.
Bedding is not provided, so take linens, towels, and a blanket or buy these items upon arrival during the shopping trips planned during orientation. Electric blankets are available for purchase at the student bookstore on campus. A lightweight, down sleeping bag (or the equivalent) is highly recommended for traveling and for use as a comforter. Self-service automatic washing machines and dryers are located in each dormitory complex.
There are ATMs in the Forum of the Mount Scopus campus, near the Bloomfield Library, and by the entrance to Bank Discount. These ATMs accept a wide variety of local and international cards. ATMs that give instructions in English to holders of cards issued abroad are found throughout the city.
The largest bookstore in town and a general store are located on campus. The general store carries mainly stationery and related articles, but it also has cosmetics at reduced prices and some clothing, CDs, etc.


One of the Hebrew University’s highest priorities is the safety and well-being of its students. Like all public institutions in Israel, the Hebrew University employs a 24-hour security network, with guards located at all campus entrances and units patrolling the campus, dormitory complexes, and the vicinity of the university. There is an officer on duty at all times. Most security officials are officers in the Israeli Defense Forces Reserve.
Entrance to the campus is permitted only to Hebrew University students and staff. If you would like to have family members or other guests visit the campus, you must make arrangements in advance through your madrichim or the OSA office.
The university’s Security Department maintains close contact with government security agencies. Security measures and guidelines for international students are in accordance with U.S. Department of State recommendations. The Rothberg International School administration meets regularly to review existing security procedures. The overseas student population and the RIS offices abroad are regularly updated regarding security matters and they receive copies of all relevant official communications.
You are responsible for your own meals. While there is no meal plan, the kitchens are equipped with stove burners and refrigerators for preparing light meals and snacks. You can find moderately priced kosher cafeterias and snack bars in addition to small supermarkets in or near each student housing complex. Some students eat at least one meal per day in the university cafeterias although most cook for themselves. Kitchen utensils are not provided in the dormitories; however, you can purchase them in Israel. Since fish can be expensive, most Israelis eat a lot of meat and dairy products, fruit, and vegetables. A typical lunch usually costs $5-8 and includes chicken, rice or potatoes, a vegetable, dessert, and a drink.
There are two large shopping centers close to campus with supermarkets, laundries, clothing stores, pharmacies, etc. You can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables in Mahane Yehuda, the main open-air market (shuk). You can also find bargain prices on household articles and staples such as rice, flour, spices, and nuts. Good restaurants serving local dishes can be found at the Mahane Yehuda market and the nearby downtown area.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
One of the most important topics discussed during on-site orientation will be personal safety while using local public transportation. You are expected to understand and follow whatever guidelines you receive.
Public transportation is widely available in Israel via buses, taxis, and trains. The preferred method of transportation is the taxi. When possible, call a taxi by phone rather than hailing one on the street. Students are advised to avoid bus stations and public buses in Israel, as they have historically been targets for terrorist attacks.
However, according to Hebrew University, in recent years, Israel has increased its security on public buses. Bus drivers receive extra training, special security personnel are now stationed at bus stops along the side of the road and regularly board buses to ensure the safety of passengers. If you take a bus from the central bus station, you will go through airport-like security with bag screenings and metal detectors. Instead of taking public buses, it is easy to catch a taxi to town from campus for about $9. The express buses that go directly from one central bus station to another are secure, but you can alternatively choose to take a sherut (10-seater communal taxi) to travel outside the city.
During the academic year a shuttle runs between the bus terminal beneath the Forum on the Mount Scopus campus and the dormitory complexes. You can alight and board at any of the stops. The shuttle leaves from the bus terminal every 15 minutes from 7 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. You must present a student card in order to board the shuttle, which is free for students. The shuttle schedule is not set by Rothberg International School, but extra daytime hours are added during arrival/registration weeks.
Students attending classes at JAMD should know that the Academy is located on the Givat Ram campus and the shuttle schedule from the Mount Scopus campus may or may not fit the JAMD class schedules.  In that case, students will need to take a taxi to the other campus. There will be a light rail running between the two campuses in another year or two, but it is not yet available.  (During the Ulpan, JAMD will provide a mini-bus because the shuttle does not run during the summer.) 
Extracurricular Activities
In order to integrate more fully into the Israeli community, you are encouraged to participate in cultural and other activities. The Office of Student Activities (OSA) at the Rothberg International School 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.
You will become a member of the Students’ Union, which sponsors a wide range of activities including a weekly movie, concert, and speakers’ series. There are sports facilities, clubs, and classes on the Edmond Safra campus (Givat Ram) and the Mount Scopus campus. See the Hebrew University website for detailed information on available facilities at the university and in the city. The Lerner Family Indoor Sports Complex on the Mount Scopus campus is the most advanced sports facility in Jerusalem.
Aerobics and dance are available in dormitories and at Beit Hillel. Beit Hillel, Beit Atid, and other organizations provide social, cultural, and religious activities including concerts, lectures, and discussions. Religious counselors are available to help Jewish and Christian students find appropriate places of worship and other religious facilities.
Many UCEAP students do volunteer work while in Israel. Some work at the Hadassah University Medical Center, while others tutor children or work with youth groups, hearing-impaired children, or the elderly.
Students with Disabilities
If you have any type of disability requiring special services or accommodation, you need to submit a letter from your UC campus Disabled Students’ Office explaining the nature of the disability and the accommodation required. The host university will ask for further background information during the placement process; therefore, if you have a disability, UCEAP strongly encourages you to obtain detailed background information as early in the process as possible.

Rothberg International School

For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.

Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.

The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad
​UCEAP discourages working abroad for academic reasons.
LGBTIQ Students
The law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the government generally enforces these laws, although discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity persists in some parts of society. The Aguda, the National Association of GLBT in Israel, reports cases of discrimination in the private sector. According to The Aguda, Israel today is one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of equality for sexual minorities. In recent years, Israel has produced more progressive legislation and court decisions in the areas of sexual orientation and gay and lesbian rights than many Western countries. Israel has an active gay community and it is by far the most tolerant Middle Eastern country towards homosexuals.
​For more information,
​For more information,
The law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the government generally enforces these laws, although discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity persists in some parts of society. The Aguda, the National Association of LGBT in Israel, reports cases of discrimination in the private sector. According to The Aguda, Israel today is one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of equality for sexual minorities. In recent years, Israel has produced more progressive legislation and court decisions in the areas of sexual orientation and gay and lesbian rights than many Western countries. Israel has an active gay community and it is by far the most tolerant Middle Eastern country towards homosexuals.
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law.  Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims

ACI at

Hebrew University requires you to purchase the Harel Insurance Plan, which is included in your program budget.
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Most of Israel is well developed with modern medical care facilities. Some healthcare providers accept foreign medical insurance.

Getting Medical Care 

If you are sick or injured
Not feeling well?
  • Let local staff know immediately
  • Try over-the-counter medications
  • Your UCEAP travel insurance does not work the same as your US/campus insurance.  You have to pay up front and submit a claim for a refund for covered medical care
  • Ask local staff for a referral to a doctor or specialist
  • Pay out of pocket for your appointment and keep your receipt
  • Submit a claim to the insurance company (see below about submitting insurance claims for covered services)

Show up for scheduled appointments

  • The UCEAP travel insurance does NOT cover no-show fees
  • Go to your appointment or cancel it at least 24 hours ahead or as indicated by the local doctor's policies
  • You will be financially responsible for ‘No Show’ fees

FACTS: Travel insurance while abroad

  • The UCEAP travel insurance does not work the same way as your U.S./campus insurance
  • The UCEAP travel insurance does not cover preventive care
  • There is no deductible but you have to pay out of pocket for covered services and submit a claim and your receipts to
  • The local doctor or hospital will not bill your UCEAP insurance
  • You are responsible to inquire, at time of service, what forms of payment are acceptable and pay your bills on time

 In a life-threatening emergency (e.g., Anaphylaxis, Alcohol poisoning, Psychotic episode, Rape or sexual assault , Severe food poisoning, Severe injuries)

Go immediately to the nearest medical facility and contact United HealthCare Global 24/7 Emergency Services or call collect outside the U.S. 1-410-453-6330. The UCEAP insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823, where the “0” is a ZERO.
Physical Health
Maintain good health and fitness while abroad. Past students have noted that they needed increased stamina to adjust to the climate. Participating in university sports or utilizing the on-campus gym and fitness facilities will require a copy of your pre-departure medical examination form.
Apart from colds and flu, the most common ailments that you may experience while traveling are food- and water-borne diseases. Food and beverage precautions are essential to reduce chance of illness. Talk to your doctor before departure about possible antibiotic for presumptive self-treatment of diarrhea if it occurs. Another health problem while traveling is respiratory infection aggravated by air pollution. The main sources of air pollution in Israel are transportation, energy production, and industry—and all three have increased dramatically in recent years. For more information, visit the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection website.
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the Liaison Office staff immediately. They can recommend a clinic to visit and they may be able to assist if you need to make arrangements with your professors for an extended absence from class.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Prescription Medications
Prescription Medications
If you take any medication on a regular basis, bring a supply of your prescriptions—including inhalers or allergy medication—that will be sufficient for the entire time you are studying in Israel.  Make sure your supply will be sufficient to last the entire trip, including any unexpected delays. Carry copies of your prescription and a letter from your physician explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name of all medications.  To prevent problems if your luggage is lost or misrouted, keep medications in their original containers and pack them in carry-on luggage. For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter.
Pharmacies are reliable and well stocked. Night and holiday duty for pharmacies is rotated among pharmacies, and availability is published in local papers.


  • Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • Although you should always travel with a copy of your prescription from your U.S. doctor, many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country. If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription that a pharmacy will fill. Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.  It may be covered if you are insured through your campus health insurance plan.  It will be critical to have a letter from a U.S. doctor during this appointment explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 
  • If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

Before Departure

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication prescribed by a licensed physician when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program).  Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy.  It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  • If intending to travel with prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program.  Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead  indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging. Ensure that it is clearly labelled with your full passport name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.  
  • Carry copies of all original prescriptions.
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country in quantities to last through your stay, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure, so you can have time to consult with your doctor on any resulting complications.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.
Consult with ACI, Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.
Mental Health
Student Counseling Services
The RIS Student Counseling Services are intended for students who seek help with personal distress and psychological problems. The counselors are psychologists, social workers, and psychia­trists specializing in work with students on campus. All information, including the client’s identity, is confidential and will not be given to any person or organi­zation outside the Counseling Services without the consent of the student.
The first counseling appointment can be arranged by going in person to the Student Counseling Services. A fee is charged for each session. A student in acute or immediate need can go to the Student Counseling Services without prior notice or an appointment. The student will be seen by a counselor for screening, and together they will try to find a way to handle the immediate problem. Students needing help after hours, including Fridays and Shabbat, should contact their madrich in the dormitories. Every student at the Hebrew University is entitled to use these services.
Maiersdorf (Reznik) Building 10, Mount Scopus, Tel. 02-5882685, 5881699, Fax: 02-5817212
Office Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
The Herzog Hospital in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of West Jerusalem is a well-respected institution that specializes in geriatric and mental healthcare. The Israel Center For the Treatment of Psychotrauma (ICTP), is a worldwide leader in dealing with psychological trauma cases, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).
Your mental health is important to us all. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your study abroad plans and program details with your doctor. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at  For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process.
Health Risks
Food Allergies
If you have severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies. 
Precautions to take include:
  • Research the local cuisine. Be aware that some popular local sauces may contain nuts.
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure to discuss your treatment plan while abroad.
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and the local language. Wearing medical identification at all times can help should a life-threatening reaction occur.
  • Tell others about your food allergy. If traveling with friends, make sure they are trained on your allergies, how to recognize an allergic reaction, and how to administer your epinephrine auto-injector.
  • At restaurants and food markets, use apps to help you translate if you’re not fluent in the official language. Use Google Translate and Allergy Smartz. Carry a card written in English and the local language explaining what foods cause allergies and possible reaction. Make several copies in case you lose one. Have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly.
  • Ask for a waiter/waitress who speaks English to help you choose a safe menu item. Some restaurants will have menus in English, but it varies.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
Air Quality
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk

​Know Before you Go

Familiarize yourself with the location of the nearest bomb shelter.  Access the government of Israel's Home Front Command to read about proper procedure in the event of rocket attacks or other emergencies.
Israel has developed two defensive systems: the Iron Dome system which has been highly effective in intercepting rockets before they can reach their targets, and the Color Red system which notifies people in a potentially targeted area that they must enter secure areas.
All students at the Rothberg International School are expected to abide by the laws of the State of Israel and to follow the rules and regulations of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Rothberg International School (RIS).
On the first day of their program, students are given a safety and security orientation with detailed instructions regarding travel, behavior in different cultural settings, areas to avoid, and available support services. Students are introduced to the madrichim and given information about medical coverage. As a security precaution, students are instructed not to enter areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority (Area A) or to travel near the Gaza Strip.
Hitchhiking throughout the entire country is strictly prohibited.
To participate in the Israel program, you must
  • possess maturity and seriousness of academic purpose
  • be willing to live in on-campus dormitories
  • comply with UCEAP and host institution travel restrictions and avoid travel to specified areas inside and outside your host city
  • follow all safety and security regulations and guidelines, which are subject to change depending on the situation, established by UCEAP, the host university, and the U.S. Department of State.
Many students and their families have concerns about safety and security abroad. Study abroad, like most other things in life, does involve risk. You and your family also play a role in minimizing potential dangers.
UCEAP and the host institution expect you to participate actively in minimizing your risks while abroad. Staying safe and secure on UCEAP is a partnership between you and UCEAP and it requires you to take personal responsibility for culturally appropriate behavior, exercising sound judgment, and abiding by UCEAP and host institution policies and procedures.  
To prepare for a healthy and safe experience to inform yourself about basic health and safety issues before leaving the U.S. Once abroad, make informed, responsible, and reasonable decisions concerning health and safety.
UCEAP cannot:
  1. Guarantee the safety of participants or ensure that risk will not at times be significantly greater than in the U.S.
  2. Monitor the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants any more than is the case on the UC campus.
UCEAP makes reasonable efforts to provide detailed information about safety and security and to counsel students on potential risks and necessary precautions.  Be aware of your surroundings, understand how your conduct and actions may be perceived, and be sensitive to the impact that your behavior could have on your personal safety, and that of others.
UCEAP is in continual contact with local staff abroad and monitors safety issues on an ongoing basis. Student safety and welfare is a key concern for everyone, and safety issues are a key component of required on-site orientation. You, and your parents, will also receive emergency notices directly from the host institution and UCEAP.
Read all available materials and talk to UCEAP staff about questions and concerns. You are responsible for gathering information about possible risks. You are expected to actively participate in the required predeparture orientation. Once abroad you must pay particular attention during the required on-site comprehensive security orientation, ask questions, keep abreast of local developments, and behave responsibly.
All host institutions entrances are guarded, and the campuses and dormitory complexes are patrolled around the clock. All on- and off-host institutions' activities meet the strictest security requirements.
In some cities in Israel there has been an increase in hostility to those who appear to have African ancestry. Students who can be mistaken for African immigrants should avoid traveling alone in downtown areas.
For local news about Israel, reference the following Israeli newspapers in English: The Jerusalem Post, YNet, and Haaretz.

Note about Security from RIS

Security is the most important issue in Israel and it encompasses all aspects of living in Israel. Hebrew University spends a large part of its resources just to make sure that the campus is secure and that students and faculty are able to do their work in peace. The Rothberg International School (RIS) has in place a detailed emergency protocol, which provides for notification of students in cases of a security alert, the deployment of emergency equipment if necessary and the routine drill of emergency procedures.
Advisories and warnings are sent to students through text messages and email as the need arises. RIS also notifies all offices abroad of any security-related issues, and we, in turn, inform the students’ families and universities.
RIS field trips and activities avoid the area of the West Bank/Judea and Samaria and any other areas that might pose a serious risk. All excursions follow routes authorized by the Israeli Police and the Security Division of the Hebrew University. Guards or medical personnel accompany such trips according to the directions issued by these offices.


Taking pictures of military facilities or security around major government facilities is prohibited. Guards may question people taking pictures of such locations and confiscate the media. There are no restrictions on photographing people, though some people remain superstitious regarding the issue; it is best to request permission before taking pictures of people. Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not allow photography during Shabbat.
Crime & Prevention


The crime rate is moderate in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Petty crime rates are moderate in urban areas such as Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, and Beer-Sheva. Notify Security immediately in the event of a suspicious or violent act.


The UC Education Abroad Program, the host university, and the U.S. embassy will not be able to help you if you are arrested on drug-related charges. Infraction of host university policies on or off campus may lead to immediate expulsion from the University, or other disciplinary action, and create serious problems with the legal authorities of the State of Israel.

Presenting ID to a Security Officer

Stringent security measures are a part of daily life in Israel. University security officers have the right to request identification from any student who wishes to enter the University or who is already on University premises.
Civil Unrest
​Jerusalem has long been a major target for attacks and remains the most likely location for future attacks, as it is at the center of political tensions and religious symbolism. In addition, Jewish extremists have attempted several attacks against Arab Israelis in Haifa and Jerusalem in the past few years. These groups are most active in Jerusalem, where there is both a large population of Jewish extremists and Arab Israelis. This underscores the need for precautions while in Jerusalem.
The overall terrorism threat in Israel remains high. Even though Israeli intelligence gathering, deterrence capabilities, experience in counterterrorism, and daily security activities have been successful in preventing many terrorist attacks, due to the unpredictable nature of such attacks, the University of California strongly advises you to take logical precautions to minimize your risks while abroad.
The security environment remains complex. Be informed and aware of the risks posed by travel in areas restricted for your UCEAP program. Exercise caution as extremists are known to operate in the region.

Political and religious tension associated, in part, with access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem has led to increased levels of violence, particularly in Jerusalem and the West Bank, not seen in those areas in a decade. 

During 2015 and early 2016, there was a marked increase in lethal attacks involving both Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and while not being specifically targeted because of their nationality, a number of U.S. citizens were attacked and killed. While security cooperation between the Government of Israel (GoI) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continued in 2015, tensions in the region remain high.
The University of California and HUJ are committed to doing everything possible to keep you informed of potential dangers. After arrival in Israel, you will attend host university orientation sessions where important safety and security issues will be addressed seriously and comprehensively. Some speakers may represent the host university’s own security department, while others may be members of the Israeli military. You must heed all precautions and warnings.   
Advice to UCEAP students
  • Stay in contact with HUJ officials. Follow their advice and instructions.
  • Keep your family informed about your welfare.
  • Respond to UCEAP and HUJ welfare checks in a timely manner.
  • Remain aware (keep your ears and eyes open) of your surroundings.
  • Avoid demonstrations or large gatherings.
  • Avoid potential areas of conflict in East Jerusalem.
  • Observe the UCEAP travel ban to West Bank and Gaza and other HUJ travel restrictions.
  • Follow instructions of Israeli security forces.
  • Expect heightened security presence.
  • Keep your cell phones on and charged.
  • Carry your emergency card at all times.
  • Contact the madrichim if there are any problems.
  • Follow the civil defense guidance provided by The Home Front Command.
Occasionally, the U.S. embassy or consulate general will temporarily suspend public services as necessary to review its security posture. In those instances, U.S. citizens who require emergency services may call the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 622-7230 or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7355.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
​Israeli roads and highways tend to be crowded, especially in urban areas. Aggressive driving is commonplace.
Public transportation is widely available in Israel. Buses, taxis, and trains are readily available and efficient. The preferred method of transportation is the taxi.
Students are advised to avoid bus stations and buses in Israel, as they have often been targets for terrorist attacks. U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem and their families have been prohibited from using public buses and light rail networks.
Buses do not operate on Shabbat.
If you feel harassed, seek counsel, and get advice from the Liaison Officer. The incident should be reported. Harassment issues may be difficult to identify abroad, where cultural norms are different than in the U.S.
A fair rule of thumb is to assume that sexual harassment consists of any unwanted sexual advances and behavior of a verbal, visual, written, or physical nature in living arrangements or in an educational or work environment. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Safety chapter, for more information.
In addition to resources at the university, there are several organizations available in Jerusalem to help students deal with instances of sexual assault or violence. The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel operates the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center in Memory of Linda Feldman (JRCC) and a countrywide 24-hour hotline that can be reached by dialing 1202 (for women), 1203 (for men); the main switchboard for the JRCC can be reached at 02-623-2451 during regular business hours.
Security Services
Israeli security forces countrywide are professional, sufficiently equipped, and well trained to handle emergency situations. These forces also remain capable of containing tensions between communities. With diligent oversight and adherence to the security and safety precautions specified by the host institution, UCEAP students and faculty can successfully study in Israel.
Fire fighters in Israel have the necessary means to battle fires and respond to emergencies in any part of the country.
Magen David Adom (Red Star of David) and numerous smaller private companies provide reliable and efficient ambulance service countrywide.
Israel holds yearly countrywide civil defense drills to improve the Israeli response to a range of emergency scenarios, including a building collapse, a maritime hazardous materials incident, missile strikes on civilian areas and a chemical weapons attack. These increasingly large drills involve thousands of emergency responders, civilians, and security personnel. The drills usually occur in the spring, last as long as three-four days and cause significant travel delays and business disruptions.
In the Event of a Local Emergency
  • The Liaison Officer and/or the UCEAP Systemwide emergency response team will contact you immediately to ascertain your welfare and to provide information, instructions, and advice.
  • Contact your parents, guardians, or emergency contacts to reassure them about your welfare.
  • Depending on the emergency, the UCEAP Systemwide Office will post a message on the UCEAP Worldwide Alerts page and provide updates to your emergency contacts. 
Refer to UCEAP Contingency Plans in this Program Guide for more information.
For more information in case of an emergency, refer to the Rothberg International School Emergency page.
Fire Safety
Firefighters in all cities have equipment capable of reaching high floors. For dangerous fires in critical areas, the fire department may call for assistance from the IDF, which may provide helicopter firefighting support. 
Have an escape plan and understand the fire safety protocols of your host institution. For more information read Fire Safety section of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If you are abroad
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times. For immediate emergency assistance:
Police .................... 100
Ambulance ..............101
Fire Department .......102
Emergency phone number of a madrich (counselor) on call 24 hours a day: 054-882-0830
If necessary, call the emergency number of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv: (972) (3) 519-7575, for after-hours emergencies: (972) (3) 519-7551
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv
71 Hayarkon Street
Tel Aviv, Israel
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