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Ben-Gurion University
[BGU] A Neo-Marxist Take on Conflict: "The Politics of Conflict", the Dept of Poli & Govt International MA Program


Editorial Note

A Neo-Marxist Take on Conflict: International MA Program in the Department of Politics & Government at Ben Gurion University

The Department of Government & Politics at BGU has been recently reprimanded by the Council for Higher Education for shoddy academic standards and excessive political activism. The Department's International MA program on conflict, described as "a unique program which examines the different ways in which global and local processes have formed numerous sites of conflict both within the Israeli society and its relations with its neighbors," is illustrative in this sense.

Many of the courses in the program are heavy on neo-Marxist, critical analysis and replete with bibliography drawn from books published by radical non- academic presses and journals who mix scholarship with leftist ideology and pro-Palestinian advocacy. For instance the course "War, Security and Governance," defines conflict as more than the use of "brute force" to include such things as "pervasive controls" by government and "capital." International corporations are described as greedy villains in the service of "capital" and the Israeli government is seen a major violator of human rights. The syllabi show virtually no attempt to offer a non-Marxist perspective on conflict and global economy.

The program's field trips to "sites of conflict" offer a dim view of Israel's alleged mistreatment of Israeli Arabs, Bedouins and foreign laborers. This should come as no surprise; the Department has a large number of neo-Marxist, critical scholars and political activists who see no division between classroom instruction and extra-mural political engagement, This is particularly unfortunate since the MA program caters to foreign students who can put their newly minted degree to good use in the burgeoning movement aimed at delegitmizing Israel.


Ben Gurion University of the Negev

The Department of Politics and Government International MA Program

The Politics of Conflict

Student Handbook 2011-2012


Welcome Letter from the Faculty Dean Prof. David Newman….......................................2

Academic Management and Administration..........................................................3

List of Lecturers 2011-2012..........................................................................4-5

Program General Information...........................................................................6

Structure of Program- without thesis.................................................................7

Structure of Program-with thesis........................................................................8

Course Descriptions........................................................................................9-12

Student Opportunities- training and development..................................................13

Student Opportunities: study tours....................................................................14

Course Schedule 2011-2012............................................................................15-16

Student Information: Course Registration..............................................................17

Student Information: Exams and Assignments.........................................................18

Student Information: Assessment Criteria............................................................19-20

Student Information: Academic Matters.................................................................21

Student Information: Housing..............................................................................22

Student Information: Health Insurance and Visa....................................................23

Student Information: Financial Aid.....................................................................24-25

Student Information: Tuition Fees.....................................................................26-27

Welcome Letter from the Faculty Dean

Dear Students,

Ben-Gurion University, located in the town of Beer Sheba in the south of Israel, on the edge of the desert, is a unique place for students. This international campus draws in students from throughout Israel and the globe in a campus which has, according to all student surveys, become the number one place to study and enjoy student life. Our five faculties, ranging from medicine to the Arts and Humanities, and from the Social Sciences to Desert Studies and Engineering compare well with top faculties throughout the world, boasting some of the finest scholars and teachers in this region.

Israel is located in a volatile region. It is essential for future policy makers, diplomats and opinion makers to have a solid knowledge of why conflicts occur and the various means of conflict management and conflict resolution. The M.A. course offers the student a wide range of courses which focus on conflicts n general, and the Arab-Israel conflict in particular, in the hope that each of you will finish their studies as better informed and more educated individual, whose understanding of the complexities of these conflicts is far more sophisticated than the media representations of the region. Although based in the Department of Politics and Government, the program is able to draw upon leading scholars from fields such as Middle Eastern Studies, History and the Conflict Resolution program to broaden and enrichen your understanding of these dynamic processes. In addition to familiarizing you with key paradigms, theories and concepts in your area of specialization, the program provides you with a set of analytical and practical tools needed to conduct policy-driven research, and deal with policy dilemmas, challenges and problems.

We look forward to having you here as part of our academic community. In addition to your course of studies, you will be able to appreciate the problems and the achievements of this university where, only forty years ago, there were no serious institutions of higher education. You will also be able to encounter the desert, the local Bedouin populations, the country's development towns and many other aspects of the diverse ethnic mosaic of the region. We do not pretend that everything is simple or is resolvable, but we do believe that your experience here at Ben Gurion University will result in you becoming a better educated and better aware individual whose new found knowledge will contribute to problem solving in the future.

Prof David Newman

Dean, faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Academic Management and Administration

Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty Prof. David Newman


Politics and Government Department Chair Dr. Dani Filc


Graduate Studies Director Prof. Neve Gordon


Politics of Conflict Program Chair Dr. Yulia Zemlynskaya


Academic Advisor Dr. Becky Kook


Administrative Coordinator Noga Yeheili


Tel:08 647 7245

Politics and Government Department Secretary Nurit Klein


Tel: 08-647-7240

Website http://humweb2.bgu.ac.il/politicsma/

The Department of Politics and Government List of Lecturers 2011-2012

Dr. Lauren Basson

Areas of Interest: Comparative Politics, State and Society, Racism and Ethnicity, Citizenship and Nationalism.

Dr. Dani Filc

Areas of interest: Marxism and Post-Marxism, Populism, Health Policies, Body Politics.

Prof. Neve Gordon

Areas of Interest: Political Theory, Human Rights, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Dr. Becky Kook

Areas of interest: Comparative Politics, National Identity and Nationalism, the Politics of Memory.

Prof. Fred Lazin

Areas of Interest: Public Policy, Ethnic Politics, Immigration, Jews in American Politics, American Politics.

Prof. David Newman

Areas of interest: Political Geography, Geopolitics, Ethno-territorial Conflicts, Israel-Palestine Conflict, Border Studies, The Politics of Science and Research.

Dr. Sharon Pardo

Areas of interest: European Integration, Common Foreign and Security Policy, Euro-Israeli

Relations, Euro-Mediterranean Relations, European Neighbourhood Policy, European Jewry, Public International Law.

Prof. Renée Ponznanski

Areas of interest: Jews in Modern France, World War II, Holocaust Studies, History and Memory.

Dr. Ahmad H Sa’adi

Areas of interest: Third World Development, Colonialism / Post Colonialism, Protest Movements, Racism and Ethnic Relations, The Palestinian Minority in Israel.

Dr. Lynn Shler

Areas of interest: African History, Cultural and Social History of Colonialism in West Africa.

Dr. Haim Yacobi

Areas of interest: Urban politics, Planning, Ethnic Relations.

Dr. Yulia Zemlynskaya

Areas of interest: Social Movements, Political Protest, Civic Engagement, Social Network Analysis.

Visiting Lecturers

Ms. Galit Gelbort

Areas of Interest: The Relationship between Security and Privatization in Conflict Zones.

Dr. Michal Givoni

Areas of Interest: Transnational Humanitarianism, Contemporary Practices of Witnessing and Testimony, and Governmentality in Emergencies.

Timea Spitka

Areas of Interest: Conflict Mediation and Resolution.

Dahlia Scheindlin

Areas of Interest: Public Opinion Analysis, Political Analysis Associated with Progressive Causes and Peace/Conflict Research.

Dr. Doron Shultziner

Areas of interest: Israeli Politics and Society, through Comparative Democratization, to Interdisciplinary Approach to Politics.

Dr. Jonathan Weiler

Areas of Interest: international relations, human rights

The International M.A Program in Politics and Government- The Politics of Conflict: General Information

Length of Study

The program offers two study routes: with thesis and without thesis. Both MA routes can be completed within a year. Students writing a thesis may decide to spend an additional summer or semester on research and writing.


Internationally recognized qualification

Ben-Gurion University is one of the top academic institutions in Israel and its qualifications are recognized internationally. Our program is part of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). The credits received by students for the courses within the framework of our program are recognized by leading European universities.

Excellent Training

Our students are trained for both careers in research, governmental and non-governmental institutions.

Intellectual Environment

Our students benefit from participating in seminars, conferences and debate groups (in English)

organized by the Politics and Government Department as well as by other departments in BGU.

Networking Opportunities

Students have the opportunity to participate in meetings with Israeli and foreign politicians, scientists and social activists.

Social Environment

Our students come from different parts of the world: US, South Africa, Europe and Israel.

Study Tours

Study tours offer the students an opportunity to learn about various sites of conflict in Israeli society.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the POC program is open to applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent foreign credentials, and who show promise of superior scholarly achievement. An applicant is judged by academic record (GPA and transcript); letters of recommendation; academic or professional honors; and, when relevant, test scores and practical experience. Applicants must present an official copy of their bachelor's degree diploma and transcripts, by the end of the academic year.

Politics of Conflict –Structure of Program

1. M.A. Route Without Thesis:

Compulsory Courses

The Arab-Israeli Conflict 4 credits

Politics of Protest 4 credits

Elective courses 28 credits

Total 36 credits

Final Exam

The M.A program without thesis also includes a final exam for which students will choose three lecturers to administer three take home exams. Students will be required to choose two out of the three exams and complete them within a 24 hour period.

Final Grade

The final grade of the M.A without thesis will include 80% based on 9 courses and 20% for the final exam.

Politics of Conflict -Structure of Program

2. M.A. Route With Thesis:

Requirements: Those who wish to write an MA thesis are required to have at least 2 grades above 90 in a non-language course.

Those who choose this option are required to complete 7 graduate level courses (a total of 28 points), including 'MA Thesis Workshop' and the two compulsory courses. In most cases, students preparing a thesis spend an additional summer or semester on research and writing.

Compulsory Courses

The Arab-Israeli Conflict 4 credits

Politics of Protest 4 credits

Thesis Workshop 2 credits

Elective courses 18 credits

M.A Thesis 8 credits

Total 36 credits

Final Grade

The final grade for an M.A with thesis includes 50% based on courses as well as 50% based on the final thesis.

Course Descriptions

Compulsory Courses

The Arab-Israeli Conflict – An Overview

Dr. Doron Shultziner

This course introduces key events and historical developments in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The course provides an overview of issues beginning from the 19th century Jewish immigration under the emerging Jewish national movement, through international documents and solutions that were offered along the decades to solve the varied aspects of the conflict between Israel and its state and non-state neighbours, to the current political stalemate between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The course will also map the core issues of this protracted conflict and the negotiated and non-negotiated attempts that have been made to solve it. An emphasis will be put on the interplay between internal Israeli politics and contentious external events, and how those external events also impinge upon political developments within Israel, with a focus on political psychological factors that feed into the political process. Students will read primary sources along secondary resources and discuss those in class.

Politics of Protest

Dr. Yulia Zemlynskaya

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the major debates in social movement theory as well as to the politics of protest in Middle East and Israel. During the first part of the module we will learn critically evaluate the merits of different theoretical approaches to social movements and protest. We will discuss questions such as: Why do people take part in political protest? What cultural and political conditions enable successful mobilization? What role networks, media, emotions, identity and gender play in political protest? Each one of these factors has an important contribution to enabling political actors to mobilise and achieve their goals. During the first part of the module we will learn to assess their influence on the various aspects of social movement dynamic.

The purpose of the second part of the module is to familiarise students with the politics of protest in Middle East and Israel. We will apply the social movement theory to analyse major social movements in the Middle East and Israel. We will assess to what extent the theory conceived to explain the protest in the Western context can explain politics of protest in this region

Thesis Workshop

Dr.Becky Kook

This workshop’s objective is to assist MA students who are writing a thesis. During the semester each student will choose the topic of his or her thesis, write a thesis proposal, write an extensive literature review, determine the appropriate methodology that will be deployed during the research and provide a tentative structure for the thesis.

Elective Courses

Dr. Michal Givoni

Humanitarism in Question: Ethics, Politics and Distant Suffering

Humanitarianism has long become one of the keywords of our political culture. Taking the political prevalence of humanitarianism as its starting point, this seminar seeks to shed light on the meanings, contexts, stakes and implications of humanitarian action. How should we characterize and account for the role of humanitarian strategies, discourses and sentiments in contemporary politics? And how exactly have they influenced modern and contemporary war?

In order to engage with those issues, the seminar will adopt several disciplinary and thematic perspectives. First, we will look into the history of modern humanitarianism and into the conditions that allowed it to emerge and, later, to assume center stage in Western political culture. Second, we will analyze the manifold and intricate links between humanitarian action and the state, paying special attention to the effects of globalization processes over structures of governance and political violence. Lastly, we will examine the ethics of humanitarianism and the shifting practices that sustain it, while highlighting both the inherent limitations of its spectatorship of suffering and its critical political purchase.

Israeli Society and Politics

Dr. Becky Kook

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the students with the fundamental issues facing Israel today. The discussion of Israeli society will be divided into three distinct, yet analytically related, parts: polity, citizenship and nation. Polity, citizenship and nation are presented as three central arenas in which the processes of construction and constitution of the Israeli identity – what is the nature of the Israeli state, and who is an Israeli - take place. Hence, in the first part, Polity, discussions will focus on the formal institutions of power – government, parliament, military, and their role in the construction of the Israeli identity. In the second part, Citizenship, emphasis will be placed on such cultural institutions as religion, gender, and education that have impacted on the way in which Citizenship is constituted. In the final part, Nation, we will look at the different ways in which the Israeli nation (and nation-state) has been articulated, imagined, and reconstructed Throughout the course emphasis will be placed on the major tensions and conflicts which define and determine the course of Israeli politics, tensions generated by the deep rooted divisions within society; religious/secular, Arab/Jew, Palestinian/Israeli, Mizrachi/Ashkenazi, new immigrant/old immigrant, civil/military, male/female.

International Conflict Resolution: A Comparative Approach

Timea Spitka

This course will explore the causes of violent conflict and different peacemaking and peace building strategies utilized in attempts to end deep rooted conflicts. The class will examine identity factors and analyze objective and subjective aspects of conflicts. Several case studies will be highlighted including; Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH), Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, Mozambique, and others. Students will become familiar with theoretical and practical frameworks in peace making and peace building strategies. In consultation with the lecturer, students will choose to do their main research on peacemaking or peace building in any recent conflict(s).

International Human Rights

Dr. Jonathan Weiler

The course introduces students to the basic concepts, documents, and recent history of the human rights movement. The students will have an opportunity to engage with different dilemmas involving the politics of human rights – such as the perception of human rights as universal and neutral; cultural relativism and human rights; intervention and sovereignty. The role of human rights NGOs will be given special attention. The course will examine various case studies, including Israel.

Public Opinion and Conflict

Dahlia Scheindlin

The course will explore the relationship between conflict, politics and public opinion, while seeking to provide a theoretical basis and critical analysis of each area. One major focus will be public attitudes that lead to conflict, especially ethnic conflict, including buildup, escalation, violence and resolution. The other major focus will be on how public opinion affects elite decision-making with relation to conflicts and electoral behavior that influences conflict dynamics, both escalation and resolution. How does public opinion inform leaders in conflict-related policy? How do political leaders learn and use public opinion?

War Security and Governance

Ms. Galit Gelbort

Has “war” in the classic sense, as a battle between two sovereign states, ceased and desisted? Is contemporary world politics marked by a post-war era? Celebratory accounts of globalization as a borderless world reinforce claims of the end of war. Yet, further examination and empirical evidence from across the globe, whether in Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Sudan or Nigeria, demonstrates that violent contention and conflict are widespread. War, violence and insecurity are far from over, while some may argue they are even more pervasive than before. This class will study war as a phenomenon that has both persisted over time, and has changed in form and practice.

In this first half of the semester, we will examine the theoretical discussion around war, security, and governance. We will seek to redefine war as a present-day reality, understanding the term in a broad sense to include local manifestations of violence and more global ones that include coalitions of states, non-state, and transnational actors. Furthermore, conflict will be explored well beyond its simple understanding as brute force but as modes of governance (governmentality) and control that are pervasive and inclusive. Foucaudian theory has played a particularly important role in this regard, emphasizing the modern drive to control populations, bodies, and rationalities. In the second half, we will hone-in on the empirical case studies. Particular emphasis will be placed on the notion of security, this includes the security interests of state and capital, the rise of private security companies, and the security concerns of local populations. We will also examine the practices used to govern populations within low-intensity war zones. In this regard, questions around human rights abuses and the universality of human rights will be addressed throughout.

Territory and Borders in a Globalized World

Prof. David Newman

This course examines the changing political dynamics of territory and borders in a globalizing world. Building on traditional notions of territory and borders as part of the Westphalian State model, the course will examine the role of territory and borders as part of the changing world political map. While territorial disputes were common during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these have largely been replaced by conflicts over resources and ideologies in the latter part of the twentieth century. Territory will be examined as both a concrete and a symbolic factor in the formation of states and national identities. Borders will be analysed both in terms of their physical location and characteristics, and also in terms of their functional characteristics in enabling movement and contact or as constituting barriers. Notions of a borderless world and deterritorialization, as posited through discourses of globalization will be examined, as too the "return" of borders in the wake of the events of 9/11 and the desire by States to prevent the movement of "undesirable" elements from one side of the border to the other. The course will be accompanied by examples of ethno-territorial conflict throughout the world, including (but not exclusively) Israel - Palestine. There will also be an obligatory field trip to look at issues of territory and borders in the Negev and Southern parts of the West Bank.

Student Opportunities

The presence of the POC students at training workshops and departmental seminars constitutes an indispensable part of their educational program and hence is obligatory! If a student cannot attend one of the workshops, she must notify the program director in advance.

Training and Development

POC students will have an opportunity to participate in the following training workshops aiming to develop their research and professional career

"Journal publishing"– Prof. David Newman

"Grant applications and international internships" – Dr. Sharon Prado

"Working for International NGOs" - Tipea Spitka

"PhD experience" – meeting with PhD students and the Faculty

"Making Effective Presentations & Engaging Others with your Research" - Dr. Yulia Zemlinskaya

“Ambassador Forum” - The department hosts talks by various international diplomats.

Student Opportunities

Study Tours

The Politics of Conflict Program also offers students the chance to experience Israel firsthand, by participating in various study tours aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the various sites of conflict within Israeli society.

Students with dietary needs (Kashrut, allergies, and vegetarians) must inform the department before the tours.

The information about upcoming tours will be announced during the term.

Schedule of Classes Fall 2011










International Conflict

Timea Spitka
(2 credits)


Public Opinion
& Conflict

Dahlia Scheindlin
(4 credits)

MA Workshop
Dr. Becky Kook
(2 credits)
*fall+spring, every two weeks



Humanitarian Action in
Globalized World

Dr. Michal Givoni
(2 credits)

Politics of Protest
Dr. Yulia Zemlinskaya
(4 credits)



Israeli Politics & Society



Prof. Oren Yiftachel
(2 credits)




Schedule of Classes Spring 2012











War Security
and Governance

Galit Gelbort
(2 credits)

Human Rights
Dr. Jonathan Weilner
(4 credits)
*short course 6-30.5.11

The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Dr. Doron Shultziner
(4 credits)





Human Rights
Dr. Jonathan Weilner
(4 credits)
*short course 6-30.5.11

Human Rights
Dr. Jonathan Weilner
(4 credits)
*short course 6-30.5.11

Israeli Politics
& Society

Dr. Becky Kook
(2 credits)

Territory & Borders
Prof. David Newman
(4 credits)




Student Information

Course Registration

With the program director's approval, students may enrol in graduate courses (in Hebrew) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students may also take up to 8 credits in The Overseas Program The Foreign Literatures and Linguistics department, the Masters of Arts Program in Middle East Studies- MAPMES (all conducted in English), or BA courses (in Hebrew) in other departments of the faculty.

A list of courses for which students can register will be provided prior to the registration period. Students are required to send their course choices to the POC administration before the given deadline.

Course Cancellations

Students have a two week period from the first day of each semester in which they can cancel registration to specific courses. After this two week period, students will not be able to cancel their registration to courses nor receive refunds.
Student Information

Exams and Assignments

The type of final assignment (exam/paper) for each course will be decided by each lecturer and stated in their respective syllabi.

Paper Submissions

- Final deadlines for papers are provided by the department

- Lecturers may give an earlier date of submission to which students are required to abide by

- Papers are to be submitted to the POC office

- Permission for extensions is provided in special circumstances and must be approved by the lecturer in advance. The administration must be notified as well.

- Submissions via email should be agreed with the course convenor or the program director


- Students have an option to choose 1 of 2 possible dates in which to write their final exam (for non-thesis route). Submissions via email allowed in special circumstances and should be agreed with the program director in advance

- Students are required to come to the exam with their student identification as well as an examination approval, demonstrating proof of payment ( available on line or through the administration)

Student Information

Academic Matters

Student Card 
After you have registered for the university you will receive your student card. The POC office will notify you when the card is ready if it has not already been mailed to you. 
If you participated in a summer Ulpan and already have a student card, its validity will expire at the beginning of the fall semester. You need to register for the coming semester in order to receive a new one. The student card enables you to check out books from the library and allows you free entry to the Sport Center (although for the gym there is an additional fee). It also entitles you to a discount at the university cinema and additional discounts at restaurants and for other leisure activities in the city, as well as public transportation (train and bus). 

User name 
Following registration you will receive a user name and a password, which will enable you to use the university facilities (public computers etc.), your student account, and your university email. You can get your user name at the computer office, room 17, and building 62.

For billing information contact the Office for Students Accounts at the Student Center or write to:heshbons@bgumail.bgu.ac.il 

Opening hours of the library are Sunday to Thursday, 8:30-19:45, Friday 8:30-12:45. Notice that on holidays and vacations the hours change.

For further information: http://www.bgu.ac.il/aranne/hours.htm.

Borrowing books: Most of the books can be checked out for two weeks, but those which are on limited loan are for three days or one night only. Fines for delays differ according to the extent of the delay and the book's limitation. Extending book loans may be done over the phone at 08-6472888 (in Hebrew only) using your ID number, or on the library website with your user name and password. http://www.bgu.ac.il/aranne

There are many photocopy machines for self use all over the campus. A card for photocopying may be purchased in the automatic vendor machines at the library and the student center.
In addition, there is a photocopy center in the student center, first floor, as well as off-campus facilities nearby (A4, Tsilum Mahir, etc.). 

Public Computers and Printers 
There are several working stations located around the university. Quick reference (standing) computers can be found in building 72, 3rd floor, and in the Student Center. Computer rooms are situated in the basement of building 33, rooms 104, 105, 119, 120. The Gimel dorms also have two computer rooms. Locations of public printers: Building 72, one printer is on the 2nd floor and another on the 6th floor; two printers in the library; two in the Student Center; two on the 2nd floor of building 32; one printer in the entrance floor of building 30; one in the basement of building 90; one printer in the Gimel dorms. For using both computers and printers you will need your user name and password.

Student Information


These are communal apartments, each with individual bed/study rooms and a central kitchen and bath, and are located adjacent to the campus, across the street from the University Sports Center. The apartments are air-conditioned. . A “mini-market” and Laundromat are within the dormitory complex. There is an intra-city bus stop at the entrance to the dormitories, and an inter-city train station is within easy walking distance. Dormitories are also available for married students.

Your application for the dorms will be processed by the Program. All requests must be submitted by June 15. Later requests will be met on a first come first serve basis. A security deposit of $200 is required to cover any damages to the apartment or furnishings.

Open Apartments Program

The Open Apartments Program exemplifies the University’s special involvement within the community. In this Program, in exchange for rent-free housing in apartments situated among the “underprivileged” neighborhoods of Beer-Sheva and rented by the University from the "Amidar" housing company, students contribute their talents and academic skills to advance the well-being of the residents of their local neighborhood. the ‘Open Apartments’ Program Offers the students who participate in it, an opportunity To experience a unique educational and social adventure and a legacy of values on which to base a healthier and more just society. A basic knowledge of Hebrew is required. E-mail:kalgrad@bgu.ac.il

Apartments and Rooms for Rent

Apartments on the private market may be rented, and a large variety of choices are available in the immediate vicinity of the university, furnished and unfurnished, with a large price range beginning at approximately $250 a month. Apartments are advertised on bulletin boards throughout the university, particularly outside the bookstore in the Student Union Building. Lists are available through the Students Association, and online (http://www.bgu.co.il/apartsearch.aspx), as well as the site DIROT7.COM. Typically, two or three students jointly rent a large apartment. In addition, private houses for rent can be found occasionally in Beer Sheva, as well as in the nearby “bedroom” communities of Omer, Lehavim, and Meitar. 
Please note: Rent typically does not include water, telephone, electricity, gas, or municipal taxes. Most apartments do not have washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, or microwave ovens. Most "furnished" apartments will have a stove and refrigerator. 
A few kibbutzim in the area have apartments for rent, each with their own internal arrangements for “additional services” such as telephone, furnishings, electricity, meals, laundry, medical services, etc.

Student Information

Health Insurance

Ben-Gurion University requires that all students carry comprehensive medical insurance, covered by the Harel Insurance Company. This insurance offers a comprehensive health insurance policy specially designed for overseas students. Students must disclose all pre-existing medical conditions. The Israeli general policy does not cover pre-existing conditions. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, additional coverage may be arranged in advance. Insurance plans to cover accidents, overseas travel and personal belongings may be purchased.
The policy is affiliated with Kupat Holim Meuhedet, one of Israel's largest systems of medical clinics, including a clinic near campus, by the Soroka Hospital. The "ShiraUms" policy covers expenses for visits to the doctors' offices, medication, doctor-requested medical tests, and full hospitalization, as well as emergency house calls. Billing for these services is done directly by the medical server to the insurance company. The Israeli policy is valid only in Israel, but offers additional health insurance coverage for travel outside of Israel.
After completing your application to the POC program, we will email you the brochures that explain the coverage under the "ShiraUms" plan, as well as information regarding the special University premium. You will be expected to pay the Harel Insurance Company directly.
An agent of this insurance company will be available during the orientation to provide you with more information and to open such a policy for you. 
On your "health guide" that you will receive from us you will find phone numbers of the insurance company and also other health clinics in Beer-Sheva. 
If you don't have the Harel insurance we will not be able to assist you in case of illness. We highly recommend that you take this insurance.
For specific information regarding insurance please contact Mr.Amos Gilboa at 

Student Visa

Students from countries that have visa agreements with Israel will be issued a tourist visa at the airport upon arrival. We recommend that you issue your student visa at the Israeli Embassy in your country. In order to receive the visa, students must present their acceptance letter to BGU, and must have valid medical insurance ( from Harel-Yedidim Insurance Company) Your passport must be valid and must have an adequate number of pages for your visas.

If students are not able to have their visas issued in their country, the University's coordinator can process the visas once in Israel. This will be done in a group manner and will require your cooperation in filling out forms and supplying the fees in exact cash, on time.
We ask students from countries that do not have visa agreements with Israel to contact the program coordinator ahead of time.

Student Information

Financial Aid

POC Scholarships

The Politics of Conflict program offers a limited number of scholarships for the 2011/12 academic year. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. The applications for the scholarships will be considered only for the applicants who have received an acceptance letter and paid the registration fee. Eligibility for assistance is granted on one-to-one basis. For further details please contact us at poc@bgu.ac.il

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Scholarship

The Government of Israel offers scholarships to foreign students, as stipulated in the Cultural Agreements between Israel and the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada (Quebec Province), China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.


"Masa" Scholarship

The Jewish Agency of Israel has announced a new scholarship opportunity entitled "MASA" which, in Hebrew, means "Journey". The MASA scholarship will provide financial assistance for students (ages 18-30) participating in long-term Israeli programs (minimum one semester). The amount disbursed will be based on three factors: age, country of origin, and financial need. Scholarships of up to $10,000 will be awarded for a full-year program, but will not exceed 95% of program fees. Students receiving Masa Scholarships are obliged to participate in the Hebrew Ulpan as well as student activities run by the Overseas Student Program (OSP). Students receiving a MASA scholarship receive a 25% discount on the price of the Ulpan and OSP activities.


Federal Loans:

Stafford Loans for American Students

American students may receive up to $18,500 annually, or the cost of tuition and living expenses, the lesser of the two. In order to apply for this loan, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on the web:www.fafsa.ed.gov. In order to access your FAFSA on the web, you will need to request a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. For more information, you may contact Lynne Conroy at the Financial Aid office, Medical School for International Health,lynne@bgu.ac.il 972-8-6479863.

Canadian Higher Education Loan Program

Canadian students can apply for the help of the International Finance Corporation (IEFC). A student may borrow between $500 and $18,500 annually. Application forms can be found at the Financial Aid office, Medical School for International Health, lynne@bgu.ac.il. Please notify the Program office of your request, as well.

The Open Apartments Program

The program exemplifies the University’s special involvement within the community. In this Program, in exchange for rent-free housing in apartments, students contribute their talents and academic skills to advance the well-being of the residents of their local neighborhood. The ‘Open Apartments’ Program Offers the students who participate in it, an opportunity To experience a unique educational and social adventure and a legacy of values on which to base a healthier and more just society. A basic knowledge of Hebrew is required.For more information please e-mail Ilan Kalgrad, Open Apartments Program coordinator: kalgrad@bgu.ac.il.

*This scholarship is NOT offered by POC or Ben-Gurion University. POC does not assume responsibility for the management and processing of this scholarship. Please take into account that you will have to arrive early to Beer Sheva, attend workshops and pass entry screening before being accepted to the Open Apartments Program

Minhal Hastudent- Student Authority

New immigrants to Israel may be eligible for a tuition grant from the Israeli Ministry of Immigration Absorption, Student Authority. For more information: http://www.moia.gov.il/Moia_en/Students/

To contact their Beer Sheva office: 08-626-1229


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