Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Kibbutz Ketura, Israel

Program Dates

Spring 2023: February 13 – June 15

Fall 2023: September 4 – January 4

Spring 2024: February 5 – June 6

Where: Kibbutz Ketura, Israel

The Arava Institute is located on Kibbutz Ketura. The community is a desert kibbutz approximately 30 minutes north of Eilat in the Arava Rift Valley. The Kibbutz (Hebrew word for “communal settlement”) is a unique rural community. A kibbutz is a society dedicated to mutual aid and social justice; a socioeconomic system based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education.Today, Ketura has grown to be the second largest settlement in the region, with over 150 members and candidates and over 155 children. One-third of the members are native Israelis; just less than half the members come from English-speaking countries, with the rest from Europe, South America and the former USSR. Hebrew is the common language and the language of daily activity in Ketura, but while walking around one might hear many other languages including French, Spanish, Russian, and even Catalan. In addition Kibbutz Ketura has a vibrant community of young people, including students from the Arava Institute, volunteers from around the world, and young Israelis on a year of community volunteering.


The Arava Institute offers an accredited university-level semester or yearlong program for both undergraduate and graduate students. Take courses in diverse environmental fields, engage in peace-building and environmental leadership seminars, and partake in educational field trips — all with a diverse student population hailing from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and beyond.

Students at the Arava Institute explore a range of environmental issues from an exceptional transboundary and interdisciplinary perspective. Under the guidance of leading environmental professionals and academics, students take between four to five courses in both the natural and social environmental sciences. Courses focus on the areas of water management, renewable energy, ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental politics, and more. Students can also pursue an independent research project in the framework of a 3-credit elective independent study course. All courses are taught in English.


Students must have completed at least one year at Allegheny and must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Courses may have prerequisites.

Housing & Student Life

Students live in spacious, air-conditioned dormitories on the main campus, with separate units for males and females. The dormitories consist of apartment units and caravans; each unit has four rooms and a shared kitchenette. Typically, up to eight students live in a unit, with two students sharing a bedroom and bathroom. The campus also has a large common space, equipped with a kitchen, for group study sessions, social events, and meetings. Dormitories are within walking distances to classrooms, Arava Institute offices, the dining hall, laundry services, sports facilities, and the library.

Students eat in the kibbutz dining hall with community members, staff, volunteers, and visitors. They use kibbutz facilities, such as communal laundry and recycling, and participate as volunteers in the dining hall once a semester. Students are invited and encouraged to take part in kibbutz events and holidays.

Visa Information

All international students must arrange for an Israeli student visa in their home country.  It is advised to do this at least a month prior to coming to Israel. Upon arrival to Israel you will also receive an entry card which you must keep for the duration of your trip. If you have questions about the visa process, please contact

Fees & Costs

Students are charged Allegheny tuition, fees (including a $300 off-campus fee), AC double room and the meal plan C for the Arava program. Allegheny aid is applied to program costs, excluding campus employment/work study. Additional costs include insurance, international airfare, personal expenses, visa and a refundable housing security deposit ($120). Students must submit a $50.00 application fee with the application packet to Arava.

Application Process

Allegheny students must first be approved to study off-campus before applying to their chosen program. Application deadlines are February 20 for fall programs and September 20 for spring programs. Applications will be reviewed immediately following the appropriate semester deadline. For more information about the off campus study application process, please visit: Apply