The Arava Institute allows students to engage with environmental issues such as water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, and environmental politics under the guidance of leading environmental professors and academics. The Institute is unique in its cross-cultural approach, with Jewish Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Arab citizens of Israeli and international students all represented at the center. Take courses in diverse environmental fields, engage in peace-building and environmental leadership seminars, and partake in educational field trips.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: January 1, 2019
  • Deadline: April 1, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
  • Study Abroad Advisor form
Submit to Host University
  • Host Application: In addition to the GEO application, all applicants must complete the host institution or program’s application.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • 2 Letter(s) of recommendation: One academic or professional (academic preferred) completed by a faculty member with whom you have studied in the last year, a teacher, past or current employer, or army officer. The Academic/professional referee (academic preferred) may use our academic reference form or a format of his or her choosing, and must email the reference directly to the Arava Institute. One personal reference completed by a person familiar with you (excluding relatives). Your referee may use our personal reference form or a format of his or her choosing, and must email the reference directly to the Arava Institute.
  • Study Abroad Advisor form
  • Personal Statement: A one-page typed essay describing your interest in studying at the Arava Institute and explaining how your experience at the Institute will meet your academic and professional goals
  • Photo(s) (passport sized [1x2]): Digital photo -up close image used for an ID
  • Fees: $50 Application Fee
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • High Risk Travel Petition: What is “high risk” travel? The university’s Policy on International Travel uses three indicators to determine if a country, city, or region presents a “high risk” to travelers. Countries with current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories levels three and four. Countries and cities designated with a risk rating of “High” (Level Four) or “Very High” (Level Five) by WorldAware, the university’s international response provider. Areas or regions under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Notice Warning Level 3. Visit this webpage for a list of high-risk destination. The University reserves the right as its sole discretion to designate other locations as “high-risk.” All students who are considering sponsored travel to a “high risk” destination must complete a petition. The petition process is designed to make travelers aware of the potential risks in their proposed high-risk destination and connect travelers with the appropriate support mechanisms to minimize potential travel disruptions. Travelers must submit the completed petition for the International Safety and Security Advisory Council (ISSAC) review

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

Students at the Arava Institute explore a range of environmental issues from an exceptional transboundary and interdisciplinary perspective. Under the guidance of leading environmental professionals and academics, students take between four to five courses in both the natural and social environmental sciences. Courses focus on the areas of water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental politics, and more.  All courses are taught in English. Students can also pursue an independent research project in the framework of a 3-credit elective independent study course.

  • Students take 15 credits per semester at the Arava to be full time
  • The credit conversion ratio is 1 : 1  (1 Arava (Ben Gurion) Credit= 1 NU credit)
  • A 3 credit Arava course will come in as 3 NU credits
  • Students typically take five 3 credit courses, 15 credits total

Each international host university has its own credit system. You should plan on taking what is considered a full-time credit load at the host institution.

Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition:
  • Tuition covers 12-16 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed 16 credits. If a student elects to transfer back more than four courses (or 16 credits), then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Registrar’s website. 

International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • This fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

    Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

    GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: July 1, 2018
  • Deadline: November 1, 2018
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
  • Study Abroad Advisor form
Submit to Host University
  • Host Application: In addition to the GEO application, all applicants must complete the host institution or program’s application.
  • Passport Photo ID: a copy of ID page of government issued passport.
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • 2 Letter(s) of recommendation: One academic or professional (academic preferred) completed by a faculty member with whom you have studied in the last year, a teacher, past or current employer, or army officer. The Academic/professional referee (academic preferred) may use our academic reference form or a format of his or her choosing, and must email the reference directly to the Arava Institute. One personal reference completed by a person familiar with you (excluding relatives). Your referee may use our personal reference form or a format of his or her choosing, and must email the reference directly to the Arava Institute
  • Study Abroad Advisor form
  • Personal Statement: A one-page typed essay describing your interest in studying at the Arava Institute and explaining how your experience at the Institute will meet your academic and professional goals
  • Photo(s) (passport sized [1x2]): Digital photo -up close image used for an ID
  • Fees: $50 Application Fee
Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into your program, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Study abroad spaces will be filled on a first come first serve basis by qualified students that meet eligibility requirements. The program may fill before the application deadline and will be closed as soon as all spaces are filled.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply during their first semester on the Boston campus. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • High Risk Travel Petition: What is “high risk” travel? The university’s Policy on International Travel uses three indicators to determine if a country, city, or region presents a “high risk” to travelers. Countries with current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories levels three and four. Countries and cities designated with a risk rating of “High” (Level Four) or “Very High” (Level Five) by WorldAware, the university’s international response provider. Areas or regions under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Notice Warning Level 3. Visit this webpage for a list of high-risk destination. The University reserves the right as its sole discretion to designate other locations as “high-risk.” All students who are considering sponsored travel to a “high risk” destination must complete a petition. The petition process is designed to make travelers aware of the potential risks in their proposed high-risk destination and connect travelers with the appropriate support mechanisms to minimize potential travel disruptions. Travelers must submit the completed petition for the International Safety and Security Advisory Council (ISSAC) review

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Courses

Students at the Arava Institute explore a range of environmental issues from an exceptional transboundary and interdisciplinary perspective. Under the guidance of leading environmental professionals and academics, students take between four to five courses in both the natural and social environmental sciences. Courses focus on the areas of water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental politics, and more.  All courses are taught in English. Students can also pursue an independent research project in the framework of a 3-credit elective independent study course.

  • Students take 15 credits per semester at the Arava to be full time
  • The credit conversion ratio is 1 : 1  (1 Arava (Ben Gurion) Credit= 1 NU credit)
  • A 3 credit Arava course will come in as 3 NU credits
  • Students typically take five 3 credit courses, 15 credits total

Each international host university has its own credit system. You should plan on taking what is considered a full-time credit load at the host institution.

Evaluated Courses

All courses taken abroad must successfully be evaluated through the course equivalency process. To review the course equivalencies process and database please click here.

Policies & Procedures

Prior to application, please review GEO’s policies and procedures. This is the student’s responsibility.

Course Approval Form
Students must confirm their study abroad courses and corresponding Northeastern equivalents with their academic advisors for approval, using the online course approval process. This is located on myNortheastern within Services & Links, under Experiential Learning/Co-op, labeled Global Experiences/Study Abroad Course Selection. Please note that only academic advisors can confirm how a Northeastern equivalent will fit into students’ degree audits, and if it will fulfill any degree requirements.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition:
  • Tuition covers 12-16 Northeastern credits. On certain programs students may be required by the host institution to enroll in a course load that could exceed 16 credits. If a student elects to transfer back more than four courses (or 16 credits), then the student will incur an overload fee as defined by the Northeastern University Registrar’s website. 

International Security and Emergency Support Fee: $100
  • This fee covers International Security and Emergency Support.

    Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

    GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Students are responsible for all other expenses, including housing and other non-academic costs for which they will be billed directly by the program provider or host institution. Students are also responsible for arranging and purchasing their own flights.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Traditional programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Destination

KIBBUTZ KETURA
What is a kibbutz?

The Kibbutz (Hebrew word for “communal settlement”) is a unique rural community. A kibbutz is a society dedicated to mutual aid and social justice; a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education.

Kibbutz Ketura

The Arava Institute is located on Kibbutz Ketura. Kibbutz Ketura is a desert kibbutz approximately 30 minutes north of Eilat in the Arava Rift Valley. It derives it’s the name from a nearby hill, which is named after the second wife of Abraham (Genesis 25:1).

The Community

Kibbutz Ketura is a community of 400 members, residents and children. About one third of the members are native Israelis, with the rest coming from the United States, Canada, Britain, South Africa, Australia, Spain, France, Latin America, Switzerland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Russia. In addition Kibbutz Ketura has a vibrant community of young people, including students from the Arava Institute, volunteers from around the world, and young Israelis on a year of community service.

Arava Institute students are an important part of the Ketura community. They are invited to community, cultural and holiday events, and eat meals with members in the communal dining room. Students will also have the opportunity to be hosted in kibbutz community homes.

Economy

Agricultural enterprises of Kibbutz Ketura include a date orchard and a dairy herd. Ketura has a large cow shed for milk production, but it is most famous for its guest house and educational center—Keren Kolot—and its Algae plant. Algatech processes haematococcus algae through a filtration system in order to extract natural astaxanthin. The extract is then sold around the world as a natural high-quality ingredient for fish food, as a natural pigment for use in cosmetics, and as a nutraceutical.

Tradition

Ketura is rare among kibbutzim for its religious pluralism. Although the Kibbutz is not considered a religious kibbutz, the laws of Kashrut are observed in the dining room, public areas, and at social and cultural events, and there is a functioning liberal synagogue. However, individual members are free to practice religious traditions in their homes as they see fit.

The population of the Kibbutz is composed of observant liberal and secular members.
Kibbutz Ketura received the Speaker of the Knesset Prize for religious tolerance as a result of its religious progressiveness.

Accommodations

Please remember that Northeastern University does not arrange accommodations for you while you are abroad – this is your responsibility. You should follow all of your host institution’s or housing provider’s procedures and deadlines for obtaining housing. Failure to do so may mean you are not able to arrange housing through the program.

Accommodations at the Arava:

Students live in spacious, air-conditioned dormitories on the main campus. The dormitories consist of living units and caravans (each four rooms together with a shared kitchenette). Typically, up to eight students live in one unit/caravan, with two students sharing a bedroom and bathroom. The dormitories also include a large common space with a kitchen that is used for communal studying, socializing, and hosting events.

Differences in nationality, religion, age, language, and social norms are explored in day to day life on campus.  Guided by their campus life staff, roommates have to decide their household policies regarding kosher/non-kosher food, Sabbath observance, Muslim alcohol prohibitions, vegan needs, composting, water use, cleaning responsibilities and how to celebrate different religious and national holidays.

Dormitories are within walking distances to classrooms, the AIES offices, the dining hall, laundry, sports facilities, and the library.

Students eat in the kibbutz dining hall with kibbutz members, staff, volunteers, and visitors. They use kibbutz facilities, such as communal laundry and recycling, and participate as volunteers in the dining hall once each semester. Students can choose to further their connection to the Kibbutz through “adopted” Kibbutz families. Families might host students in their homes, during family activities, or for occasional meals. Students are also encouraged to take part in kibbutz events and holidays. Also, students often mingle with kibbutz members and volunteers at a kibbutz pub, which is open a few days a week.

Host University or Organization

The Arava Institute is located on Kibbutz Ketura in the Southern Arava Valley, Israel.

Arriving from across the globe, Arava Institute students bring a breadth and depth of diverse customs, beliefs, and opinions to the Arava Institute. Cultural exchange is frequent as students live, study, and take part in a variety of extracurricular activities including hiking, yoga, gardening, and camping. Every effort is made to provide a diverse living arrangement in each apartment unit so that students can learn from each other in a multi-cultural community. In addition to natural friendships and interactions, there are also planned activities to direct cultural discussions and exchange.

The Arava Institute Campus Life team consists of a Campus Life Director and 2-3 Program Associates. The Campus Life Director (CLD) is responsible for arranging community programming, managing day-to-day logistics, and supporting the health and well-being of students. Arava Program Associates (PAs) are usually recent Arava Institute alumni and are easily accessible staff that live on campus, running the Campus Life Program and helping with many day-to-day issues, from arranging student council meetings to organizing weekend games of volleyball.

Coordinators