Reflective Practice in Israel/Palestine is a chance for students to deepen their understanding of the complex reality of a conflict at the heart of the field today. Students will be exposed to and engaged in ongoing peacebuilding interventions between Palestinians and Israelis, incorporating people at all levels of society. As they take part in this experience, participants will reflect on what it means to be a practitioner and will encounter the integration of theory, research, and practice. Dr. Fakhira Halloun travels with students for eight days over winter break and teaches the class on the ground in Israel and Palestine. Dr. Marc Gopin lectures virtually throughout the course and leads discussions with the students. Both professors work with the students as they process this unique experience.
The program is a combination of intensive classroom study, speakers from the local region, exploration of holy sites, and extensive field experience, engaging communities across the spectrum of Israel and Palestine day and night. This experience will be an integration of new theoretical approaches to peacebuilding in a uniquely intractable conflict where CRDC has innovated a direct intervention of social justice practice, study, and engagement.
The course takes place in an environment that becomes practice and reflection the moment one enters the region. The study and engagements are all in the shadow of a people committed to a peaceful and just future in the midst of a complicated and intense political environment. There is a need to measure one’s every word and action in order to honor and reflect in conflict, as well as effectively practice citizen diplomacy and peacebuilding. Before, during, and after the trip the student experiences reflective practice alongside the professors, which will enrich their understanding of how to link theory and practice.
This is a graduate-level course that is also open to highly motivated undergraduate students, including non-Mason students and non-students. Graduate students can take the course as CONF 620 or 695. Undergraduates will register for the course as CONF 385 (other options may be available – check with your advisor or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process. Non-students can enroll in the class as a professional development seminar.
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 385: International Field Experience
Professional Development Seminar:
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 620: Reflective Practice in Interpersonal-Multiparty Conflicts
- Conflict Analysis - CONF 695: Selected Topics
- Non-credit option (certificate of completion)
January 2 - 10, 2022
The dates listed above are the actual days that the program takes place. You will need to leave the United States by January 1 in order to arrive in Israel/Palestine by January 2. Students are free to arrive early or depart late. Students who arrive before the program starts or stay after the program ends are responsible for their own accommodations and all other expenses associated with independent travel.
This itinerary is a sample based on previous years’ classes. The list of speakers and day trips varies significantly from year to year based on individuals’ availability and other scheduling considerations. In general, students spend the first half of the trip in Jerusalem and its environs and the second half in the northern part of the country (Haifa or Tiberias). If you are interested in a particular location, speaker, or institutional visit, please contact CRDC to confirm the current year’s itinerary. All parts of the itinerary are subject to change in response to Covid-19 restrictions and precautions.
||Arrive at the Tel Aviv airport and transfer (on your own) to the National Hotel in Jerusalem, where our group will meet for a welcome dinner and program orientation.
||Start the day with a walking tour of the Old City, visiting sacred and historical sites such as the Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock. After our tour, take time on your own to explore this amazing city before returning to the hotel. In the afternoon, Dr. Fakhira Haloun delivers a lecture and introduces our first guest speaker.
||On our field trip to west Jerusalem, we visit Ben Yehuda street and the neighborhood of Nachlaot. After lunch at the sprawling Mahane Yehuda market, we drive to Jaffa for a walking tour with our guide Elad. There, take in the beautiful waterfront and wander the very first neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. From Jaffa, we travel to Bar Ilan University for a talk by Rabbi Daniel Roth, Director of the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution. Engage in lively discussion with your counterparts, conflict resolution students from Bar Ilan, before returning to Jerusalem.
||After a morning lecture, we travel to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to meet with political figures and observe a plenary discussion. We then drive to Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, a cooperative village where Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arab families live together. Our host for lunch is Rayek Rizek, former mayor of the town, who speaks about his decades of experience in this community and takes us on a walking tour of the village.
||Following a visit to the UN's office in Jerusalem, we travel to Bethlehem and meet Mazen Faraj, a member of the Parents Circle Families Forum, at the Deheisheh refugee camp. Then, enjoy free time for lunch in Bethlehem's Manger Square on the eve of Orthodox Christmas, with a guided tour of the Church of the Nativity. Later in the day, we meet with Myron Joshua, a settler who lives in Kfar Etzion and has worked on dialogue projects with Palestinian neighbors. Finally, we return to Jerusalem for our last night there.
||Today we make our way to Tiberias via the West Bank, stopping at an abandoned nightclub on the shores of the Dead Sea before journeying on to Nabi Musa, a site believed by Muslims to be the tomb of the prophet Moses. At Kasr el Yahud on the Jordan River, learn about the history of the site and its importance to tourism in both Israel and Jordan -- and wave hello to the tourists on the Jordanian side, a stone's throw away on the river's opposite bank. Enjoy lunch in Jericho, one of the world's oldest cities, where our speaker will discuss his life as a Palestinian living in Area A. We finish the day in the most ancient part of the city, Tel es-Sultan, an archaeological site more than 10,000 years old. Once we reach Tiberias in the late evening, check into the hotel and take time to relax in this peaceful setting.
||Enjoy a full morning, with a talk from our guide Elad and a workshop led by Israeli peace activist Lee Ziv. After lunch, we take a boat trip on the beautiful Sea of Galilee, followed by free time to explore the seaside city of Tiberias. Tiberias is an ancient city, famous for its many pilgrimage sites and its hot springs.
||We start the day with a morning lecture and then spend some time visiting an integrated Arab-Jewish kindergarten. Learn how the school is breaking down culture and language barriers, and meet with parents to discuss why they chose this experience for their children. Afterwards, we gather for lunch at a women’s cooperative where we’ll learn about trauma healing and solidarity. In the evening, we stop on the Mediterranean coast and enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner at a Palestinian family's home before journeying onward to Tel Aviv.
||After breakfast, check out of the hotel and head to the airport, with unforgettable memories of your week spent studying and engaging in this incredible region.
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Winter 2022: $3,950
Included: Tuition for 3 credits, double-occupancy hotel rooms for all 8 nights, two meals daily, excursions and entrance fees as described in itinerary, course trainer and speaker fees, in-country ground transportation, international emergency medical insurance.
Not included: Round-trip airfare*, passport and visa fees, transportation to/from the airport on arrival and departure days, some meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the program administrator.
The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment.)
$200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
The final balance payment is made through the Mason Bill+Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule
. The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 you will have already paid, the Application Deposit
: You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill+Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your student account. George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.
In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility.
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO. Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program.
If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad you must:
- Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in MasonAbroad.gmu.edu.
* Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid Website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students: https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/eligibility.
The Veterans Administration determines if a program is eligible to receive VA benefit payments based on the participants VA education program. Use of benefits is dependent on type of benefit and type of program. If you plan to use VA benefits to finance study abroad contact your program officer at MasonLed@gmu.edu
to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form." You will complete that form with Mason’s Office of Military Services. To contact Military Services be sure to email them directly at Military@gmu.edu
Withdrawal and Refund Policy:
All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.
Save $200 when you apply by Oct. 1 and pay your deposit by Oct. 15!
CRDC Application Package: You will submit several required documents to support your application (letter of interest, resume, and references). Please follow the submission instructions provided in the application. These documents should be uploaded as one single PDF.
Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.
Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, communication policy, and your financial responsibility.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.
Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:
Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.