Haifa, Israel

International Relations

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Information for term International Relations

Application deadline, and cost information.

Extended Deadline

May 15, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 15, 2020
  • Dates: Oct 8, 2020 – Jan 7, 2021 (13 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 - 16 semester hours / 22.5 - 24 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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Haifa’s multi-faceted communities provide a unique backdrop to study international relations, psychology, Middle Eastern studies, and peace and conflict studies. The prestigious University of Haifa is CIEE’s partner school and your host for coursework in English, Arabic, or Hebrew on anthropology, cultural studies, international relations, literature, media, psychology, religious studies, and more. A specialized honors program in Peace and Conflict Studies and a unique Psychology Track combines focused coursework with practical research and internship opportunities. A CIEE course on Intercultural Communication is offered to our students and allows them to enhance their intercultural skills and explore their development during their study abroad experience. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Participate in

    special honors programs in peace and conflict studies. Intern in one of the many NGOs and local organizations.

  • Study at a leading university

    with cutting-edge research centers in a city known for ethnic and religious diversity.

  • Start or continue

    learning Hebrew or Arabic.

  • ships arrive at the Haifa port daily

  • residents

  • years of history


Location & Culture

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Israel’s third largest city spreads from the slopes of Mount Carmel to the Mediterranean Sea. A busy international port city, Haifa is known for its fast-growing high-tech industry and ethnic and religious diversity. World center of the Bahá'í faith, Haifa’s cultural tapestry also includes Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities and the neighboring Druze villages of Usifiya and Daliat-el-Carmel. Residents enjoy concerts, theater, museums, clubs, cafés, beaches, and easy access to the Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, Nazareth, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.

The Culture


Attend special lectures that illuminate Israel’s role in the Middle East, and the complexity of Israeli society.  

  • Hike Carmel National Forest, Israel’s largest park, just steps from the University of Haifa campus.
  • Explore urban neighborhoods where Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Baha’is are committed to living peacefully.
  • Travel to Nazareth, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, and Akko and visit villages and historical sites across the country.
  • Get into campus life by joining student clubs, attending concerts, and using sports facilities.
  • Learn about Israel through a multitude of lenses such as farming, sporting activities, or volunteering.


Internships. Nothing beats on-the-job experience. Intern abroad and gain real-world work experience while earning credits toward your degree. Options include social work agencies, public and special education facilities, health services, museums, and community centers.

Volunteering. Help people in need by giving your time and energy to nonprofit organizations in Haifa and get a closer look at the issues Israeli society faces today.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Students can choose between staying on campus at the University of Haifa dormitories and leisurely walk to class every day or staying with a local Israeli homestay family for a more personal and immersive experience.

    Residence Halls: Students live on campus in the University of Haifa dormitories. Each student has a single room and private bathroom in a suite of six students with a shared kitchen and living room. Suitemates are a mix of Israeli and international students. The dormitories include student lounges, computer rooms with internet access, laundry rooms, and a grocery store.

    Homestay: Local families host students in their homes and invite them to become part of their family and community. Homestay placements are made based on compatibility between families and students, and in some cases a suitable homestay may not be available for every interested student. Homestays require some commute time to get to the university (between 25 to 50 minutes).


    The university does not offer a meal plan. Students dine at campus cafés or cook in their dorm kitchens.

    Students in homestays will have two meals a day with their families (breakfast daily, and 2-3 dinners a week).  Students are responsible for the rest of their meals.

Haifa, Israel

Where You'll Study

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What People are Saying

  • “The CIEE excursions definitely stand out as some of the most memorable experiences both in terms of adventuring and cultural immersion. I loved the small group setting and the places we were able to visit that many other students never visited.”

    Student, Fall 2017
  • “Even now at the end of my program I am constantly remembering and reminiscing on our initial orientation in Israel. We learned exponentially about the country and made incredible memories.”

    Student, Fall 2017
  • “Being in a program where you have a resource at the school with you had been amazingly helpful! For basic things like where to get cheap food to how to work the bus system, it was amazing to have a local to help you out. The presentations and alternate locations that we got to go to through CIEE was completely worth paying the extra money instead of going directly though the university.”

    Student, Fall 2017
  • “Martha was a godsend and made the experience the positive experience it was and I honestly doubt I would have had this amazing of an experience without her. Other students that went directly though the school floundered at the beginning, I settled into the experience much more quickly because of her advice, recommendations and Know-how.”

    Student, Fall 2017

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

This program is for students who want to explore international relations, psychology, Middle Eastern studies, and peace and conflict studies while developing Hebrew or Arabic skills. Students primarily choose courses within humanities and social sciences taught in English, in addition to learning Hebrew and/or Arabic. Students with advanced Hebrew skills can enroll in regular University of Haifa courses with special permission.

A specialized honors program in Peace and Conflict Studies offers a unique opportunity for dedicated students to combine focused coursework with practical research and internship opportunities. Another exciting option is the psychology track, which offers students the opportunity to enrich their knowledge with higher-level psychology courses and become a member of a university psychology lab.

Psychology Track
A small cohort of students work with faculty members on a variety of research projects, covering a range of questions in psychology that are applied to Israel and the Middle East.

Peace and Conflict Studies Honors Program
A select group of students focus on cultural, economic, educational, historical, political, psychological, religious, and social aspects of conflict resolution and peace efforts, and examine issues from intra-state, regional, and international perspectives.

University of Haifa was founded in 1963 and is one of Israel’s leading universities, hosting six faculties and more than 50 cutting-edge research centers. The university community of 18,000 students is an amicable blend of Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze, and Bedouin students. Faculty from all departments teach courses in English at the International School, and these courses are open to Israeli students. Courses are taught by faculty from the University of Haifa.


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    CIEE students enroll in International School courses with Israeli and other international students at the University of Haifa.


    Final grades from A-F with pluses and minuses (based on a scale of 100) are assigned based on class participation, papers, and mid-term and final exams.


    Classes are held Monday through Thursday, and several weekends each semester include CIEE and University of Haifa excursions and activities. Attendance is mandatory in all classes. The for-credit internship course requires 10 hours of fieldwork per week, weekly written reports, and a final internship paper. Students in the psychology track typically participate in mentored-research activities for 15-plus hours a week.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0.


    In order to apply for the special Psychology Track, students must :

    • Have an overall GPA 3.2
    • Have successfully completed two psychology courses beyond the introductory level
    • Submit an essay

    In order to apply for the Honors Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, students must:

    • Have an overall GPA 3.2
    • Have successfully completed  two courses beyond the introductory level in international relations, peace and conflict studies, political science, Middle East studies, or law
    • Submit an essay and complete any other required application materials


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Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15-16 U.S. semester/22.5-24 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • University of Haifa courses: 3-6 U.S. semester/4.5-9 quarter credits; 45-100 contact hours

Language of Instruction

15-16 U.S. semester/22.5-24 quarter credits comprised of University of Haifa courses and/or CIEE elective

Host Institution Courses

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University of Haifa

Hebrew Language Aleph: Beginners 1
Hebrew Language Aleph: Beginners 2
Hebrew Language Aleph: Beginners 3
Hebrew Language Bet: Lower Intermediate 1
Hebrew Language Gimmel: Upper Intermediate 2
Hebrew Language Dalet: Lower Advanced 1
Hebrew Language Dalet: Lower Advanced 2
Hebrew Language Heh: Advanced 1

Modern Standard Arabic: Elementary I
Modern Standard Arabic: Elementary II
Modern Standard Arabic: Intermediate I
Modern Standard Arabic: Intermediate II
Modern Standard Arabic: Advanced
Spoken Arabic: Beginners

Arab-Israeli Relations
Contemporary Israel: History and Society
Contemporary Arab Thought and Culture
Cyberspace, Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Internet and Society
Issues in Political Psychology
Kabbalah versus Rationalism in Jewish Thought
Refugee's Mental Health: Global and Local Perspectives
Arms Control in the Nuclear Realm
Israeli Collective Memory
Israel Stories: Page, Stage, and Screen
Islamic Fundamentalism in the Arab World
Green Technologies: Sustainability and the Environment in Israel
Women in Israel
Visual Culture and the Holocaust
Contemporary Perspectives on Rabbinic Family
Bible: World's Journey to Messianic Age
Bible: Soul's Journey to Completion
Faith, Reason and Dogma in Jewish Philosophy
Mentored Independent Research Project in Psychology
From Molecules to Behavior: The Biology of the Brain
Fine Arts* (courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, print-making and lithography-portfolio required) 
Greece and Its Popular Music*
Maritime Civilizations*


A for-credit internship is offered as an elective course and allows students to intern with local NGOs and other organizations that are working with a variety of projects and issues, including topics associated with politics, education, religion, and environmental studies. The for-credit internship is a work-study option for students relating to their academic interest. Students complete either 10 or 15 hours a week of field experience and submit weekly reports to their advisor. At the end of the term, they must write an academic paper addressing one of the issues they dealt with during their internship. The recommended credit for this internship is 3 semester / 4.5 quarter hours for 10 hours per week and 4 semester / 6 quarter hours for 15 hours per week.


Peace and Conflict Honors Seminar I: Post-Cold War Conflict Resolution (fall)
Peace and Conflict Honors Seminar II: War and Peace in the Middle East (spring)


Students are matched with University of Haifa faculty for a mentored independent research project. Students are involved in all aspects of the research process and are required to produce a final report at the end of the semester. Students may also be involved in production of a journal article or publication. Recent research projects have involved the following topics:

Motivation-Cognition Links
Intergroup Conflicts and Their Resolution
Stress in Social Conflicts
Societal Beliefs and Ideologies
Neurobiology of Brain Disorders
Emotional a Modulation of Memory
Genetic Models of Schizophrenia and Resilience
Animal Models of Depression, Stress, and Anxiety


British and American Literature 
Creative Art

* Courses marked with an asterisk are courses offered in English in other University departments. They function on a different schedule than the International School courses and students must receive permission prior to the start of the course.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Three-day orientation – an introduction to Israeli culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 13 weeks May 15, 2020 Oct 8, 2020 Jan 7, 2021
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $17,358 **

Housing = $2,025

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $19,850

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,300

International Airfare = $1,000 ††

Local Transportation = $300 †††

Books & Supplies = $150

Visa Fees = $50

Personal expenses = $1,750

Total Estimated Costs = $4,550

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

for students in on-campus dorms; homestay students should budget $900 per term for meals not included in fees

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

††† for students in on-campus dorms; homestay students should budget $450 per term for rides (additional 150$)

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.