Be'er Sheva/Eilat, Israel Project Center (MQP)
Israel is a small nation nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. It contains geographically diverse features and has a unique atmosphere of past and future, simultaneously rooted in its rich history and set on the cutting edge of innovation. Although the country is only about the size of New Jersey and has limited natural resources, Israel a hub for entrepreneurship, home to more high-tech startups per capita than any other nation in the world. This culture of innovation (or "Israel effect") has been studied worldwide, and makes Israel an exciting place to work and study. Students will be divided between two locations: Be'er Sheva, on the northern edge of the Negev desert, and Eliat, near the Red Sea. Israel has a temperate climate, hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas. Eliat, located on the Red Sea at the southernmost tip of Israel, has average February temperatures from 51°F to 72°F. Be'er Sheva, on the northern edge of the Negev desert, has a hot semi-arid climate with Mediterranean influences with average February temperatures ranging from 46°F to 66°F.
Students in Eliat will be staying at the Arava Institute near Eilat in the south of Israel. At the institute, students will be living on a kibbutz, or communal settlement. The kibbutz is very close to Eilat, a coastal town on the Red Sea. There is a modern dormitory with single and double rooms and a kitchen facility. Students will be using the kibbutz dining and laundry facilities. About 40% of the kibbutz members are English speakers (native or almost native). Students in Be'er Sheva will be staying in apartments with kitchen facilities. They will take taxis or walk to work. This setting requires students to be quite independent. Accommodation type and location are subject to change without notice and will be confirmed the term prior to departure.
Israeli cuisine adopts elements of various styles of Jewish cuisine and regional Levantine cuisine, particularly the Mizrahi, Sephardic and Ashkenazi styles of cooking. It incorporates many foods traditionally eaten in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, and foods such as falafel, hummus, msabbha, shakshouka, couscous, and za'atar are now widely popular in Israel. It may be difficult to find food that is non-Kosher, such as pork products. Make sure to take any dietary restrictions or allergies into account as you consider this site and inform your advisor and IGSD of any health concerns well in advance of your participation in this program.
Students must arrive on or before the posted start date and stay through the posted end date of the program. Dates will be posted in the Fact Sheet at the top of this page. WPI housing will be available from the start date to the end date. If students plan to arrange any personal travel before or after the program, they are responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing.
Past Israel students have addressed problems such as:
- Improving manufacturing processes for a small high-tech company
- Exploring alternative energy solutions
- Improving clean water access
Students will be billed the following fees by WPI for the WPI semester they are away, on the regular WPI billing cycle (i.e. Fall semester and Spring semester).
In addition to this, students should budget for the following while away:
- WPI Tuition and Fees
- WPI Housing Fee (if applicable)
- WPI Meal Plan (if applicable, reduced for term away)
- Global Projects Program Housing and Program Fee (for applicable programs)
- Local transportation
- Airfare (if applicable)
- Tourist activities and incidentals
- Project related incidentals
A breakdown of all estimated expenses for Israel can be found here: Israel Estimated Expenses
WPI is committed to the health, safety, and security of all students who participate in our programs. While off-campus study can present unique challenges and inherent risks, we believe that careful research and diligent planning are keys to a safe and rewarding project experience. WPI utilizes several key resources to understand the risks of travel in the countries where we operate, and we urge you to consult these same resources as you research your intended destination. You can also discuss questions and concerns about your travel plans with on-campus resources such as the IGSD, the Student Health Center, the Office of Disability Services, and the Student Development and Counseling Center. It very important that you consider your own health requirements as you review what sites are most interesting to you, and that you carefully review the published information concerning health, safety, and security at the resources linked below prior to applying to a particular site. Make sure to visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the most up to date health and vaccine information, and review all information in relation to your own health and any medical conditions you may have.
Student travel website from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Note: The political situation in Israel is extremely complicated and current events have led to heightened tensions and security risks. There is an active Travel Warning from the U.S. Department of State for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Students considering this opportunity should research travel to the country, current events in the country and region, and discuss with their parents before making the decision to apply.
Country-specific travel health information from the Centers for Disease Control
Country-specific page from the U.S. Department of State