Quick Info

  • Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : Archaeology, History, Jewish Studies, Literature, Religious Studies
  • : June 6, 2018 - July 8, 2018
  • : $5,999 In-State / $6,199 Out-of-State
  • : January 28, 2018
  • : 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers), Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record


Need to fulfill a general education requirement?  We've got courses for that!  Take a look below:

Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences: This program satisfies the 3 foreign culture requirements.  It also fulfills the non-Western requirement.

These courses have been submitted for additional general education credits and this section will be updated soon.

Is archaeology in a place like Israel-Palestine an objective science? In this course, we explore how past and present are linked as nation-states and religious communities utilize the archaeological record to mold identities and to forward certain narratives. Our focus will be on the major archaeological sites of Israel-Palestine, particularly in Jerusalem and its environs. We will explore the political and religious issues that have emerged from or surround their excavation. Through site tours, museum visits, student-led discussions, talks with local experts, and even a day participating in an archaeological excavation, students will gain direct experience with the places that have aroused controversy because of their problematic relationship to biblical and other ancient texts and/or because of their location in politically contested space.

Reading literature from places of conflict provides an opportunity to go beyond headlines and gain insight into the day-to-day existence, desires, imaginings, and perspectives of the people who live there. Reading literature also reveals how religious values and practices become a part of everyday culture and how those values are embraced or challenged. This course will introduce students to the literature produced by Israeli and Palestinian authors, with a focus on how contemporary issues in Israeli and Palestinian society are depicted by writers from each culture.  Topics will include: how these writers construct place; the role of religious texts in literature; conflicts and community within each society; how literature helped shape an Israeli national consciousness and a Palestinian national consciousness; how Israeli and Palestinian writers imagine the other; and the role of the Shoah in Israeli literature and the Nakba in Palestinian literature. The course will equally focus on developing students’ academic and reflective writing skills. Students will produce a combination of literary analysis and self-reflective writing that uses techniques of creative nonfiction. Together, these writing assignments will help students respond to both the course texts and the cultural experience of studying in Israel-Palestine.

On-Site Faculty And Staff

 Ben Gordon is an assistant professor in the Religious Studies department at Pitt. His research focuses on the material culture and religion of Israel-Palestine in classical antiquity. Before earning his doctorate at Duke, he lived in Jerusalem for eight years and trained as an archaeologist at the Hebrew University, where he completed an M.A. He has excavated at several sites in the region and has worked on the publication of the Temple Mount excavations in Jerusalem and the Western Summit excavations at Sepphoris.

Kevin Haworth is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Nonfiction and the author of four books, most recently the essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History. He taught Israeli and Palestinian Literature to overseas students for five years at Tel Aviv University’s International School and publishes widely on Israeli culture and literature. His flash essay about the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, “Two Minutes,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He has lived and worked on two kibbutzim in northern Israel, in the Negev Desert, and in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He now teaches creative writing at Carlow University in Pittsburgh.


Students will stay in shared bedrooms in a hostel within walking distance of central attractions in each location. Each room will hold three to four students of the same gender. Hostels include daily breakfasts and en-suite bathrooms, as well as shared kitchen space should students want to prepare their own meals.

Pricing And Dates

"Summer 2018"

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$5,999 $6,1999
Arrive in Israel Depart Israel
June 6, 2018 July 8, 2018

Keep in mind that dates might change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.


All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: February 10, 2018. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!


Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits
  • Housing 
  • International travel health insurance
  • Some excursions
  • Daily breakfasts

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee $300
  • International airfare
  • Meals and incidentals
  • Personal expenses

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

The program is open for application but pending final approval! 

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Nazir Noori

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Salam! I’m Nazir and I am a Program Manager at the Study Abroad Office. I was born and raised abroad and went to school in Iran, Afghanistan, and the U.S. I also took classes with the Foreign Service Institute in India and United Arab Emirates. I worked for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and German Foreign Office for over ten years before moving to Pittsburgh in 2014. At the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, I assisted Afghan students to study in the U.S., and now I am glad I have the opportunity to help American students study abroad. Stop by the office during my walk-in hours (Mon, Wed, and Fri, 2-4pm) or get in touch with me at nazir.noori@pitt.edu or 412-383-4827 to discuss the study abroad options.