written by Eugene Rothman, PhD, Executive Director of UGalilee
Did you ever try to get credit for a course taken as part of a study abroad program? How about getting the grade included as part of your GPA or meeting your Major requirements? Or, can you transfer your federal grants and scholarships to a study abroad program? The answers to all of the above are usually – “often with great difficulty”. This is particularly true in areas such as Pre-Med where programs do not recognize courses taken outside the United States and will not include the grades in the GPA.
The University of Miami’s (UM) new UGalilee program may have come up with a way to have your study in Israel cake and eat it. UGalilee is UM’s satellite campus in Israel. Launched in January 2009, UGalilee, held every Spring Semester, is located in Karmiel, a city in the center of the Galilee, where the countryside is the classroom. It is also one of Israel’s most culturally and ethnically diverse areas.
Since registration is through UM, courses are recognized as US courses and are easily transferrable to another US university, grades are recognized by programs and counted as part of the GPA and federal grants, loans and scholarships can be used for program costs. Students are enrolled in courses taught by UM and Israeli faculty.
The focus of the core program is the history, geography, archaeology, cultures and religions that evolved in the Galilee over the ages. UGalilee also features a three-week intensive Hebrew language program at the start of the semester. The UGalilee 2011 academic program consists of Intensive Hebrew at the start of the semester a students then are enrolled in 3 core courses – Israel’s History and Culture, based on 10 faculty-led trips throughout the country; a team taught course on the Galilee’s religions, history, literature and regional geography; and, field-based archaeology of the Galilee.
Students then take 2 courses from any track or a combination of 2 courses from the following tracks:
Pre-Med, Pre-Health and Pre-Dental Studies
Social Sciences and Humanities
In addition, to the formal program, UGalilee has an on-site coordinator who will help students integrate on campus and, of campus, will arrange for home hospitality on weekends and holidays. This is complemented by a Judaic enrichment program consisting of lectures and activities that will be available to all who are interested in participating
UGalilee is located on the ORT-Braude College of Engineering campus – a modern full-service campus with a wide range of services. This self-contained and enclosed college community provides for the needs of its students in every respect. Students have access to a full range of facilities in Karmiel and are only a bus ride away from Israel’s major cities.
But what do UGalilee students have to say about the program?
Nicole feels that “The UGalilee program…changed my life.”
Mary felt that the program had changed the way she looked at school,” My time in Israel with the UGalilee program taught me to seek education even while outside the classroom, the experience of learning in the field gave me the insight to look for knowledge everywhere I go, taking my classroom with me.”
And Nicholas echoed these remarks, “”I came to know myself better after spending this semester in the Galilee, what defines me as a person. The access to nearby sites such as Masada, the Pyramids, Petra, and some of the best-preserved Roman antiquities in the Levant made UGalilee one of the biggest adventures of my life.”
All of these will have memories for the rest of their lives as well as 18 UM credits and an easy time in getting those credits recognized. Some even earned a Minor in Judaic Studies. The UGalilee is based on the Israeli academic schedule. The next UGalilee program will begin February 14th, 2011 and will conclude on June 13th. UGalilee is a MASA-recognized program.
For more information, visit http://ugalilee.miami.edu and contact David Ruderman at (305) 479-2760 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Angelica Berezin (305) 284-8180/email email@example.com.