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Studies > Israel > Beer-Sheva > Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
 
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
4.67 / 5 based on 54 reviews.

Programmes
Accreditations
93% of students recommend
54 reviews
Housing
4.9/5
All experiences (54)
Student life
4.9/5
5 stars (42)
Academic
4.7/5
4 stars (12)
Languages
4.3/5
3 stars (0)
Expenses
4.7/5
2 stars (0)
Overall
4.7/5
1 star (0)
Plan, plan, plan! Make sure you feel comfortable with your decision and go wholeheartedly. If you have never been to Israel before, look around the first couple of days and don't be judgemental, being American isn't being perfect! The most important thing though, is each person will take out a unique experience and you get what you make of it. Read Review
rachael01, United States

54 reviews of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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1 to 1 of 9 
HOUSING    
by Kefa118, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, United States
History, University Agreement
Personal assessment
Cost
KEY:
Couldn't have asked for more.
Pretty good.
Could've been better, but didn't lessen the overall experience.
Disappointing.
Facilities
Location
Cleanliness
Space
Type of housing: On campus
Arranged by: Host university
If returning, I would choose: On campus
Why? Actually, I would consider living off campus for the experience, but the dormitories are a safe and secure environment and also allow for easy participation in student activities.
Personal comments:
The dorms are more like apartments. The rooms are either doubles or singles. There is a kitchen space and a living room. The number of bathrooms and fridges depend on the number of rooms attached to the common space (this ranges from 2 to 8). There is no carpet (this is common in Israeli houses!) but the tile keeps the apartment cooler during the hot summer months and is very easy to keep clean. There is no oven, but there is a gas stove. I loved living there!
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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STUDENT LIFE    
by Kefa118, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, United States
History, University Agreement
Personal social experience
Activities
KEY:
Amazing! Hardly had time to study.
Plenty to do when I had the time.
So-so.
Did not get involved.
Nightlife
Travel
Overall
Describe host city: Students equally interact with the local and student community
Activities, Travel: Takes place mostly outside the university/student environment
Nightlife: Takes place both within and outside of the university/student environment
Personal comments:
Israel? There is no way anyone could every do EVERYTHING! There's too much! My favorite night spots were the pub in the Gimmel dorms and Forum (talk about a place to meet hot Israelis...). Nafis is probably one of the best restraunts in Beersheva, but its open on Shabbat so its technically not kosher. Every Thursday is a Bedouin marketplace with great stuff. Outside Beersheva, Maccabee Tel Aviv is a fun basketball team to watch, and Maccabee Haifa is my favorite soccer team. In Jerusalem, get over to Ben-Yehuda street. Best shops outside of the Old City. Skiing up north on Mt. Hermon. Rafting on the Jordan river. The Golan is a beautiful place to hike. The promenade (spelling?) in Jaffa along the coast is romantic. Eilat has great snorkling spots that are absolutely beautiful.
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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ACADEMIC    
by Kefa118, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, United States
History, University Agreement
My academic experiences
Quality of courses
KEY:
Fantastic.
Pretty good.
Could've been a bit better.
Disappointing.
Variety of courses
Availability/access to resources
Interaction with teachers
Interaction with other international students
Interaction with local students
Course recommendations:
You have to be flexible and understanding. With the security situation in Israel right now, the number of students studying abroad there is down from previous years, so the range of courses has been reduced due to inability to fill the classes enough. The teachers are high quality and challenging, but most realize that the students want more than just an academic experience in Israel. Grades for most courses are based on only two grades, midterms and finals. This is good because your time is not consumed with busy work everyday, but it obviously good have its bad side. The midterms and finals are either exams or papers or some combination of both.



My opinion of the university assessment
Exams at end of course
KEY:
Liked it.
It was alright.
A bit annoying.
Didn't like it.
Exams throughout the course
Essays and/or projects at the end of course.
Essays and/or projects throughout the course
Overall
Personal comments:
none

This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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by rachael01, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, United States
Political Science, Independent
Language difficulties
Social
KEY:
No problems.
I coped pretty well.
Sometimes it was difficult.
It was a constant struggle.
Educational
Administrative / Institutional
Overall
Language of instruction: English
Local language was: Different than language of instruction.
Was learning English a key decision factor?
No, it wasn't.
Was learning the local language a key decision factor?
Yes, I wanted to improve my knowledge
How much did you improve your local language?
My level before: Did not speak it
My level after: Basic phrases
Personal comments:
I was really excited to learn Hebrew when I was planning this trip. But became discouraged and frustrated when the teachers didn't have time to help you one on one and all the home assignments were never graded. THis makes it more difficult to have a continuing lesson in the subject. Also, I don't think there were enough levels that met the students' needs. Many of us that had some previous Hebrew were either put in the lowest or the middle groups were we were either too proficient or not enough to learn anything usable in the class.
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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EXPENSES    
by Kefa118, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, United States
History, University Agreement
The accessibility of student needs
Second-hand text books
KEY:
Very easy.
Minimal effort.
Accessible but required effort.
Almost impossible.
Second-hand household items
Computers / Internet
Administrative
Money from home
Main source of funding:
Government assistance
Other sources of funding:
A private grant
Work opportunities:
It was not legal for me to work
Personal spending habits:
The shekel (the Israeli "dollar") was only 1/5 of the value of the dollar while I was there; however, travel is cheaper in general because mass transportation is so popular and if you stay in hostels when traveling, you'll save a ton! Since I was only staying for one academic year, I didn't want the problems of installing a phone, so I got a cell phone. The cost to call home was, thus, more expensive, then from a landline.
Telephone: was more expensive than at home.
Food: was the same price as at home.
Travel, Overall, Nightlife, Housing: was less expensive than at home.
Personal comments:
Any household items that you need should be bought from the marketplaces, which tend to be cheaper. Don't open a bank account. Just make sure you're debit card will work at the MANY ATMs in Israel. Don't worry about textbooks, because the courses mostly use readers (a compilation of various short readings that the university press puts together).
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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OVERALL    
by Kefa118, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, United States
History, University Agreement
Important to choosing this university...
Academic reasons
KEY:
Very Important.
Important.
Not really important.
Unimportant.
Culture
Costs
Activities
Campus life
Party / people
Weather / Location
I wish I had known...
Don't expect anything and keep an open mind. There's no better advice than that when studying abroad. Don't hide among people of your own nationality, but meet the local residents as well as any other people of different cultures you can! This will make your experience life-changing!
In my opinion:
Everybody loved it, you will too!



During my experience abroad, I ...
Became familiar with another culture
KEY:
Happened all the time.
Happened quite a lot.
Happened a bit.
Didn't happen.
Traveled
Improved language skills
Met people from other countries
Became more independent
Partied a lot
Experienced a change in life
Advanced my studies/career
Personal recommendation:
Ben-Gurion University is known for having the best student life in Israel, but it is a still a very academic university of world-renown reputation. Some of Israel's most controversial historians call this university home. It's a beautifully designed university. There is even a movie theater on campus for students only at half price (these are brand-new American films most of the time, not stuff from the 80s!). There is a pub on campus and in the dorms, which surround campus. The security is always present, so feel safe! There is a beautiful fence surrounding campus, so you can only enter through guarded gates. The guards are students and very friendly, so don't worry! There are more than enough computer labs and the library is fantastic. On nice days, which is almost everyday, Israeli students sit outside in large numbers, so sit with them and you're sure to make some friends. During the summer months, there is a outdoor campus pool. Tons of fun!



FINAL COMMENTS

This questionnaire left out a few questions that relate specifically to a Jewish state. If attending synagogue is important to you, or just participation in religous or cultural Jewish life, don't worry. There are synagogues everywhere. There is even a Conservative one, which I attended on a semi-regular basis. There are also synagogues of every Jewish ethnicity you can think of. The program is great about inviting rabbis to come and teach (which usually meants free pizza!). These rabbis will even find you a family for shabbat and for chagim (the holidays). If you're non-Jewish, then you might be upset by the lack of non-Jewish religious help from the program. But they do their best!
This review is the opinion of an iAgora member, and not of iAgora itself
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