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New All Hebrew Study Abroad Program with Brandeis University and Middlebury College

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BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, March 2, 2011 -- Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Brandeis University and Middlebury College have established a joint study abroad program that will be conducted solely in Hebrew.

The program will begin offering classes at BGU in the spring of 2012. The curriculum, drawn from Brandeis' Hebrew Language and Literature Program, is designed for high intermediate and advanced Hebrew language students. Qualified students will also be able to enroll directly in courses at BGU.

Students will be housed in BGU dormitories with Israeli students and will adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge -- a promise to speak no language other than the one they are studying. Anticipated initial enrollment is about 10 to 15 students per semester.

Beer-Sheva is in the heart of the Negev desert in southern Israel. One of the world's oldest cities, it has been inhabited for some 6,000 years. Located in an area rich with Biblical and archeological history, the city is now a modern regional capital with a population of about 200,000, including a large number of Russian and Ethiopian Jews who arrived in the 1990s.

“BGU is Israel’s most popular university among students and has a very strong focus on community service, which is an excellent complement to our outstanding academic programs,” explains Andrea Meiseles, director of the North American office for international academic affairs at American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “It is a multicultural oasis of innovation in the desert that is the fulfillment of David Ben-Gurion’s vision for sustainable and scientific expansion into the Negev.”

Michael Geisler, Middlebury's vice president for language schools, schools abroad and graduate programs, called Ben-Gurion an ideal partner for such a program in Israel. "Ben-Gurion University, which is seen by many as having one of the strongest and most diversified academic programs in Israel, is an excellent location," he says. "Since the university is well integrated with the town of Beer-Sheva, students will find it easier than in many other cities in Israel to gain access to the community.”

Students who are interested in an English-language unique study abroad program at Ben-Gurion University where they live with Israelis while studying Hebrew, Arabic archeology, anthropology, Israel studies, desert studies, or enroll in special tracks in Global Health and Sustainable Development should contact or call 646-452-3704, or visit


American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. With some 20,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel’s southern desert, BGU is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev.

Media Contact:

Andrew Lavin
A. Lavin Communications

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