INTERDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENTAL ACADEMIC PROGRAM
The Arava Institute is at the forefront of environmental studies and research in the Middle East. Offered for credit through Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Arava Institute offers students an opportunity to explore a range of environmental issues from an exceptional transboundary and interdisciplinary perspective. Under the guidance of leading environmental professionals and researchers, students maintain a full course-load in environmental studies that focus on water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental politics, and more.
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DIVERSITY + MULTICULTURALISM
The Arava Institute offers students an opportunity to immerse themselves in a cross-cultural environment
with others who are equally passionate about building a more sustainable future. Our student body is comprised of approximately one third Jewish students from Israel; one third Arabs from Palestine, Jordan and Israel; and one third international students, primarily from North America. In this multicultural setting, students form connections and develop skills that enable them to lead their communities in addressing today’s most pressing environmental challenges after they leave the Institute.
PEACE-BUILDING AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP
At the Arava Institute students and interns participate in one of the most open and honest conversations happening in the Middle East, while gaining essential professional skills and cultural literacy. In line with the Arava Institute’s mission to generate capacity building for conciliation, cooperation, and environmental change, all students participate in a weekly Peace-building Leadership Seminar
and an Environmental Leadership Seminar. In these seminars students engage in dialogue, exploring issues of culture, religion, identity,environmental activism, and the current political situation, while developing competencies in intercultural understanding, empathy, and environmental leadership.
Both the Peace-building Leadership Seminar (PLS) and the Environmental Leadership Seminar (EL) build on the conviction that the social and political relationships within and between groups in the region have a significant influence on environmental practices, public policies, and grassroots environmental activism. Both seminars take advantage of the Arava Institute’s own community as a microcosm of the region, building the tools and understanding necessary to foster environmental sustainability, social justice, and respect in the broader society. Every student, no matter the country of origin, has the opportunity to contribute significantly to this ongoing dialogue.
The Arava Institute's program has undergone review and approval by the USF Global Risk Assessment Committee (GRAC). Students wishing to participate on this program are expected to abide by the guidelines set forth by USF's Dr. Susan Strom and approved by the GRAC for study in Israel as well as risk and security protocols established by USF World.