Trip Dates: June 15-July 16, 2016.
Cost: Approx. $5000. Prices are still coming in. I realize this is a significant amount of money. All I can say is that you won't regret it. Visit the testimonials post and read what other students have said about the trip.
Are scholarships available? Yes! Scholarship dollars are available this year for full-time registered students. $2000 scholarships are available for students who are registered in the Archaeology Minor. $1000 scholarships are available for students who are not in the Archaeology Minor but want to go to Israel anyway! Click here to find out more about the Archaeological Field Studies Scholarship.
What's included? Ground transportation from Dubuque, IA to Chicago's O'Hare airport, airfare from Chicago, O'Hare, to Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion airport, lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner on dig days, breakfast and dinner on tour days, ground transportation, park and museum fees.
What's not included? Lunches, on tour days, souvenirs and any special accommodation needs.
Why should I join this trip? You should join this trip if you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the Bible and the field of archaeology. The stories we have come to know and love happened in a real place. A better understanding of the land means a you'll be able to interpret the Bible more accurately. Because most people know very little about the land of Israel they miss important details in the text. The goal of this trip is to make you more familiar with the land so that you read the Bible with new eyes.
Who can join the trip? This trip is open to current students of Emmaus Bible College and recent graduates. Students who graduated before 2006 may be able to join the trip as seats are available. Please contact Dr. Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a recent EBC grad and would like to join the trip.
Where does the trip go? See the itinerary for a details listing of where the trip goes.
Do you go into the West Bank? If you mean, do we cross the security fence, then yes. We must cross the security fence to go to Bethlehem. Furthermore, Jericho is technically in the West Bank. If you mean, does this trip go to Nablus or Hebron or Ramallah or unsafe areas in the West Bank? Then no. Those places are not safe for tourists. We don't go to Gaza either.
Do you go into dangerous areas? No. We avoid areas that are politically sensitive and are considered unsafe for tourists. Dr. Sanchez is in regular contact with Israeli's on the ground who advise him on what places to avoid.
Does this trip go to Gaza? No.
Does this trip go to Jordan? Yes.
Does this trip go to Syria? No.
Does this trip go to Lebanon? No.
Does this trip go to Egypt? No.
Will it rain? No.
Are passports required? Yes.
Is an advanced visa required? No.
Is it safe to drink the water? Yes. I fill my water bottle from the tap in my hotel room.
How much money should I bring? It is recommended that you bring approx. $250 dollars for lunches. You are welcome to bring food with you (i.e. granola bars, cliff bars). You can save money by eating your own food for lunch and loading up at breakfast and dinner.
Are the hotels nice? Of course it depends on your definition of nice, but the hotels are comfortable. In order to keep the cost of the tour down we will be staying at affordable hotels. Each will include clean bedding, and towels.
Does the tour stay together at all times? Yes and no. 99% of the time the tour group stays together. Students are not permitted to wander off by themselves while the rest of the group is touring. While we are in Jerusalem however, students are given a few hours (usually after dinner) of free time. They are instructed to stick to the safe areas of the old city of Jerusalem and its environs.
What rules will I have to submit to on this trip? This trip is governed by the Emmaus Bible College Student Handbook. Emmaus rules apply on this trip. Students should be in their hotel rooms by regular Emmaus curfew (midnight). Male students should not enter female students rooms and vice versa. Our conduct should reflect the fact that we claim to be followers of Christ.
Do I need travel medical insurance? Yes. You are REQUIRED to purchase a policy or furnish proof that you have the necessary coverage. Emmaus will recommend a very affordable travel insurance company and a relative inexpensive (approx. $40) policy.
Should I bring cash or traveler's cheques? No. Bring cash and an ATM card. Traveler's cheques are hard to use.
Should I bring dollars or the local currency? Bring dollars. On the first day of the trip you will have the opportunity to exchange your dollars for the local currency, the New Israeli Shekel. Click here for the latest exchange rate.
Is any special gear/equipment required? The most important gear you need are comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot every day! Bring comfortable shoes. You should also bring a light jacket or long sleeved t-shirt (it's a desert climate hot during the day, cool at night), shoes you can get wet, a bathing suit (women no bikinis, men no "speedos"), a hat (the sun can be brutal), sun screen, a towel that you can use at the beach, a flashlight, and a day-pack (back pack) to carry your Bible, notebook, pens, etc. Be sure to bring any medications you need. Do not plan on purchasing toiletries, etc. in Israel.
Do I need modest clothing? Yes, in general modesty is a virtue, but in Israel, sometimes it's a requirement. At some religious sites men and women must have their legs covered and women their shoulders covered as well. If you intend to wear shorts you must bring a pair of pants that you can pull over your shorts on days when we will visit religious sites. If you are wearing a tank top bring something to cover your shoulders. Men, do not bring Speedo style bathing suits. Women, do not bring bikini bathing suits.
Should I bring a computer? Some of the hotels we stay at will have internet access. You may find a computer useful for sending email. That said, they can be a liability as they can get lost, stolen or damaged.
Can I call home? Yes. You can purchase phone cards in Israel and use those to call home. You should NOT use the phone in your hotel room unless you are prepared to pay the charges when you check out. An Emmaus faculty member will have a cell phone at all times which may be used in the event of a genuine emergency.