|Beer Sheva is a lively city in the desert, with centuries of history easily accessible. However, the abundance of historical significance does not take away from the rising technology scene and the 30,000 college students who make the city vibrant. With technical research and parks popping up, a myriad of restaurants and cafes, as well as modern college campuses, Beer Sheva will be your home away from home.
The lively student population at Ben-Gurion University is ready to welcome you to Israel! With weekly workouts, movie screenings, clubs, and organizations, it won’t take long to become an involved student. With easy access to the rest of the city and the rest of Israel, the opportunities to explore are nearly endless!
Ben-Gurion University has several academic options for students with and without Hebrew language abilities.
Course Descriptions and Syllabi
If you cannot read, understand, speak, and write Hebrew fluently, you can enroll in an overseas program in which all courses (with the exception of language courses) are taught in English.
If you can read, understand, speak, and write Hebrew fluently, you may enroll in both, courses taught in English, and courses in the regular university program. Ben-Gurion University also offers you the opportunity to conduct for-credit research as one of your courses. These research opportunities are tailor-made to your interests academically, professionally, and personally.
As a participant in this program, you will be required to take the summer or winter Ulpan unless you can demonstrate proficiency in Hebrew, and even then, the Ulpan is strongly recommended. The Ulpan is an intensive Hebrew language pre-session course. Special classes for students of Israeli parentage, or for those with an in-depth knowledge of Biblical rather than modern Hebrew may be available. After the Ulpan, you will be required to continue your Hebrew language studies in an effort to encourage as much immersion as possible.
Review Ben-Gurion University’s website for more information regarding course offerings. The courses that you see under “general studies” in the Humanities and Social Sciences department are those that are intended for the international semester students. However, all of the other courses listed are also open to international students, as long as you meet the qualifications. Please note, all courses are subject to change based on registration. The Academic Year 2020-2021 calendar for Ben-Gurion University can be found here.
General Education Information for UAlbany Students
Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. Three credits of foreign language study will satisfy the Foreign Language requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.
Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students
Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.
All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary.
Ben-Gurion University provides housing to you in its on-campus dormitories, located a short walk from the main campus. You may also make your own housing arrangements.
On-campus housing is apartment-style with three or four students per apartment. Each dorm has single bedrooms and a shared kitchen, bathroom, and living space.
There is no meal plan for this program. You may choose to purchase meals in the cafeteria, cook, or eat out at local restaurants.
Estimate of Costs
Academic Year 2020-21 Estimate of Costs are forthcoming. For reference, review the Academic Year 2018-19 Estimate of Costs
Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.
Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.
ONLY SUNY STUDENTS MAY APPLY FOR THIS PROGRAM. ALL SUNY APPLICANTS MUST APPLY THROUGH UALBANY IN ORDER TO RECEIVE SUNY CREDIT FOR THIS PROGRAM.
Juniors, seniors and exceptional sophomores in all majors with at least a 3.0 GPA are welcome to apply. If you have a lower GPA, you should consult with the study abroad program coordinator.
If you are interested in applying to Ben-Gurion University, you should follow two steps:
1) Click "Apply Now'' at the top of this page in order to access the UAlbany application materials.
2) Apply directly to Ben-Gurion University for admission, following their procedures and observing their deadlines, and inform the University at Albany once you have submitted your BGU application materials. Please do not send BGU's application materials to the University at Albany.
There are several university-arranged trips, tours, and hikes each semester. Most of these optional activities are not included in the cost of your study abroad program. Not all academic courses include study trips. However, you will have access to several tourist attractions off campus during your free time.
Student Clubs and Organizations
Throughout the year, there are several activities arranged through the Student Union at Ben-Gurion University.
Most financial aid and academic awards will apply to semester programs.
External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.
More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.
In Their Own Words
Please visit Ben-Gurion University's "Off the Record" page for student testimonials.
Speak with an Advisor
About the City
Ben-Gurion University (BGU) is located in Beer-Sheva, which is often referred to as the capital of the Negev region. Today, the city boasts a diverse population of 200,000 people, of which approximately 19,500 are BGU students and an additional 10,000 students attending other higher education institutions in the city. Making their way around the city, visitors and residents can witness the convergence of history with modernity in this beautiful desert city.
Juxtaposed with the city's pride in its ancient history is the vision for its future. A shining example of this vision, the new Advanced Technologies Park, which aims to promote technology and commercialization of cutting-edge research and innovation being developed through BGU and affiliate institutions. These developments have helped to bring the city of Beer-Sheva to the world stage and to become both "the future Silicon Valley of the Middle East", as written by Forbes, and "a cybertech oasis", as written by TechCrunch.
Israel's largest cities, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, are easily accessible from Beer-Sheva. The Israel Railways intercity rail station is across the street from the dorms, and only a three-minute walk from the main BGU campus. It provides modern high-speed train service between Beer-Sheva and Tel Aviv in under an hour, with service continuing to Haifa and the north. Jerusalem is only an hour and a half ride away by tax or bus, which depart right from the main campus.
A valid passport is required to participate in this program. If you are a U.S. citizen, you are required to obtain a student visa to enter Israel.
For all other nationalities, please check with your government and the Consulate General of Israel website to determine whether you are required to obtain a visa for this program.
More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.
Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:
- Spring/Winter/Spring Break programs: July
- Fall/Year/Summer programs: December
Academic Year 2020-2021
08/06/2020 to 06/18/2021
08/06/2020 to 12/23/2020
01/07/2021 to 06/18/2021
About the Program
The University at Albany's program at Ben-Gurion University offers you the opportunity to learn Judaic, Israeli, and Middle Eastern studies, Hebrew language, and general studies. Israel, as a center for several cultures and religions, provides a stimulating environment for personal growth, both inside and outside the classroom. While it is an obvious resource for Judaic Studies majors and minors, these programs also attract students from all academic disciplines, religions, and ethnic groups.
Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience. The fall semester pre-departure orientation will be conducted the Saturday before the end of Spring UAlbany classes and in late November/early December for the spring term abroad.
Upon arrival at Ben-Gurion University, you will attend a mandatory program orientation. This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by International Office of your host university.
UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.
Ben-Gurion University's International Office staff serve as an experienced resource for resolving issues that you may encounter in while abroad.