Summer with Samford in Nazareth Past Review


Study Abroad Programs in Israel

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was a wonderful trip. It was very educational; I felt I left with a thorough knowledge of archaeology and Israeli history. This was particularly interesting to me, as a Christian, to see the places and learn about the time period Jesus lived in. This is not a spiritual trip at all, but can be very beneficial for someone who is looking for a pilgrimage. I left the trip feeling much more confident in myself and a little wiser for having seen another part of the world.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Summer 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I left the field feeling incredibly well trained in archaeology. I would say 85% of the trip is academically related, but the subject is a lot of fun, so I never felt as if I was doing school work all the time. Archaeology is a completely different category of academics. The final was difficult, but I thought did an excellent job of assessing our knowledge of archaeology. The manual labor is not easy, but is very well worth the effort to anyone who has cares about history at all.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The dig was led by Dr. Jim Strange who is a very well-known and respected archaeologist. This course could not have been led by anyone more knowledgeable in this field. He has done this dig for years. He may have been a little intense for someone less passionate about archaeology, but nonetheless brilliant and the perfect administrator for this trip.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in the Hotel Galilee in Nazareth. <br /><br /> Very comfortable. Incredible service. Although because the hotel is located in the middle of the city it was loud much of the time, which sometimes made it difficult to sleep.

* Food:

We always had traditional food, which was wonderful, but some dishes were better than others. By the end of the trip we all would have preferred to go buy our own shawarma instead of eating at the hotel. They were very accommodating to dietary needs. One girl was vegetarian and the cook was always happy to make a separate dish for her.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The entire trip was mostly academic. The non-academic aspects we got only on our free weekend, when we chose to go to Acco and Dor, and our trip to Jerusalem.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

It was not uncommon for us to get physically worn out or a little sick from the hard labor out in the field, but our professor took very good care of us and they warned us ahead of time to keep hydrated. I never had any health problems. I never felt that my safety was endangered even though there were times the students were left to fend for ourselves on the weekends and in Jerusalem.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent very little money during the week since our meals were provided for. There are very few personal expenses on this trip that require side money. Occasionally I shopped for gifts in Nazareth, but spent most of my money in Jerusalem. Weekend trips would cost between $50 and $100 depending on what we did. I honestly do not remember how much cash I brought, but all the money I brought I brought in cash. ATMs are not always easy to find and they charge a lot to an account.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

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A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? When packing, bring a bunch of clothes you don't mind getting dirty and leave them in Israel to leave space for souvenirs. If you are at all lazy or do not do well in the sun, this is not the program for you.