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ISRAEL - Rothberg International School

Since its establishment in 1955, over 20,000 international students have attended the Undergraduate Study Abroad Program (USAP) at the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School. Through this unique experience, students earn transferable credits and make lasting connections with friends from Israel and around the world. Students who have studied for at least a year in a college or university are invited to apply for a semester or full-year program.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0. 
  • Each specialized program in the arts, film, neuroscience, politics, or honors may have its own individual requirements. Please read each link to be sure you are qualified.

 Enjoy vibrant architecture, food, and street life while walking our historic neighborhoods. Here, East meets West, and Judaism, Christianity, and Islam thrive. Here, entrepreneurs and leaders in IT research and development push beyond what was thought possible. Here, creatives and people making a difference come together. Jerusalem is a city of discovery – and your second classroom.


Hebrew University has welcomed incoming study abroad students since 1955. Since then, they have expanded the types of programs they offer beyond Rothberg International School.  However, all students take one pre-semester Hebrew language-intensive program (called Ulpan) before beginning their term’s courses.

Students must take 15 credit hours total to earn 4 Lake Forest credits.  With the 5 credit Ulpan, students can earn up to 4.5 credits for the term.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers several program tracks for incoming study abroad students.

Undergraduate Study Abroad Program (2nd-4th Year Students)

Since 1955, over 20,000 international students have attended the Undergraduate Study Abroad Program (formerly known as the One Year Program), earning transferable credits and making lasting connections with classmates and Israeli friends, the Hebrew University, the city of Jerusalem and the country itself.  The Undergraduate Study Abroad program offers a large variety of classes taught in English. Major areas of study
include Jewish, Israel and Middle Eastern studies, Business, Law, and Psychology. Literary and Colloquial Arabic is also offered at various levels.  

Modern Hebrew language instruction is an integral part of the program and students take a pre-semester intensive Hebrew program – either the Undergraduate Summer Ulpan in September or the Winter Ulpan in January – as well as Hebrew classes during the semester. 

For more Information on available courses, click here. 

Students may submit a proposal to carry out an independent study project under the supervision of a faculty member or
an expert in the field, who serves as a mentor and evaluates the project. Proposals must be submitted by the first week of classes. The project is given 3 credits.

Spring in Jerusalem - Honors Program (3rd-4th Year Students)

This exciting joint initiative of Harvard University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is designed for outstanding students in their third and fourth years of study who are looking for a unique intellectual challenge. Students experience Israel through field trips, social encounters with prominent Israelis, supervised internships, independent research projects and a variety of extracurricular activities.  Students must have a 3.5 GPA to apply.

Dynamics of the Middle East: Politics and Society (D.O.M.E.)

This is a spring program only. The Middle East is constantly at the center of world attention. Its geopolitical significance, the regional conflicts which affect global stability and the hopes and fears emanating from the “Arab Spring” all contribute to a widespread interest in the future of this area. D.O.M.E. provides an interdisciplinary approach to this exciting field.  Students are able to participate in a specialized internship at a think tank, policy forum or media outlet. They may also choose to undertake an independent study in relevant subjects. 

Arabic Immersion Program

The program is designed for undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals interested in acquiring a knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic.

Dance Jerusalem

This is a spring program only. This unique program initiated jointly by the Rothberg International School (RIS) and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD), combines artistic training in dance skills and technique with academic exposure to Israel’s challenging social, historical and cultural environment. DanceJerusalem offers university-level artistic and technical training in the disciplines of Classical Ballet, Contemporary Dance Choreography, Repertoire, and Improvisation.  Auditions are required.

Jerusalem Sounds 

This is a spring program only. Jerusalem Sounds is a unique initiative of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rothberg International School (RIS). Studies include a full music program consisting of individual instruction, performance in small and large ensembles and classes in Jewish and Israeli music. Students also choose from a wide range of university courses in Religious, Israel and Middle Eastern Studies, Behavioral Sciences and Environmental Studies, as well as the Hebrew Language.  Auditions are required.

Art Jerusalem 

This is a spring program only. A joint initiative of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rothberg International School (RIS), combining artistic training, university study and first-hand exposure to Israel’s challenging social, historical and cultural environment. Studies include a wide variety of art courses in such areas as Painting, Sculpture, Drawing and Screen Printing as well as choosing from a broad selection of university courses in Israel and Middle Eastern Studies, Religion, Behavioral Sciences, Environmental Studies, and Hebrew Language.  Auditions are required. A comprehensive course list is available here. Diverse extracurricular activities also complement the program.
Student Life

The Office of Student Activities (OSA) is responsible for organizing diverse extracurricular programs specifically designed to introduce RIS students to the Land of Israel – its people, geography, culture, and politics. The many exciting events, tours, and activities that complement the academic program allow participants to see the country from new angles and provide them with a comprehensive, memorable Israel experience.

OSA employs a team of specially selected students (called madrichim), who reside in the dormitories, to assist international students in adjusting to campus life at the Hebrew University and to make sure that they receive the full benefit of their stay in Israel. The madrichim are a good source of information on general matters, too.

Learn more about activities here


  Internship Opportunities

Professional internships are available each semester for full-time students, who contribute 8 hours a week to a partner organization. 

Internships are organized and monitored by a special coordinator at the RIS. In recent years, internship locations have included the Hadassah University Hospital, the Albright Institute of Archaeology, the Spielberg Film Archives, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, business venture companies, nursery and elementary schools, community centers, university research institutes and many other organizations. 

Students receive one credit for an internship. 

Housing and Meals

Living in University housing is an important part of the overall experience of studying abroad. Students have the opportunity to meet new friends from different cultures and continents – North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe – as well as a chance to share experiences with Israeli students.

Most participants are housed in the modern Scopus Student Village, adjacent to the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus. Each student is allocated a private air-conditioned bedroom in a suite with 4 other bedrooms as well as a living room, a kitchen, and bathroom facilities. A high-speed Internet connection and telephone landline are available for an additional fee. Students must supply their own linens, blankets, pillows, dinnerware and cooking utensils, which can be purchased locally. A supermarket and self-service laundry can be found in the Student Village. Reasonable priced meals and snacks may be purchased on campus as well as in the nearby French Hill shopping center. 

You can learn more about housing here.

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem includes orientation, on-site advisors, pre-term Ulpan, most college fees, and housing. Meals are not included.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs:

Budget Item



Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)


Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Several programs require an additional fee: 

  • Dance Jerusalem: $120
  • Jerusalem Sounds: $950

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office