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Maryland-in-Haifa (Israel)
Haifa, Israel (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Costs Spring
Fact Sheet:
Class Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Credit Type: Some Resident Credit/Some Transfer Credit
Engagement Opportunities: Internship, Live with host nationals, Volunteer Opportunities Housing Options: Apartment
Language of Instruction: Arabic, English, Hebrew
Minimum GPA:
Non-UMD students eligible to apply: Yes EA Advisor: Nicole McDermott
Program Description:

Achieving Peaceful Coexistence in Diverse Societies

Large garden in Haifa

This program has recently been restructured to focus on a theme of peaceful coexistence in a diverse society. All program components will center upon this theme, including courses, an internship, and extra-curricular excursions. Join the program staff and program alumni at a Maryland-in-Haifa Information Session to learn more about the program on September 10th in 3105SQH at 10:00am!

If you are a faculty or staff interested in learning about the program and its new focus, come to a Maryland-in-Haifa Faculty and Staff Info Session on September 8th in 3105 SQH at 4:00pm.

Widely regarded as a model city of Arab and Jewish coexistence, Haifa is the perfect setting for this Maryland program focusing on conflict resolution and diversity in Israel. This flagship program is a central part of the UMD’s mission to cultivate global citizenship in its graduates. The MD in Haifa program includes a wide range of optional, credit-bearing experiential learning opportunities designed to give students unique insights into Israeli society and rare, hands-on experience in some of the country’s leading medical, educational, and social service organizations. Offered through the International School of Haifa, these opportunities entail approximately 135 hours of service, as well as reading assignments, essays, and research. Recent UMD students have worked in local medical clinics, schools, human-rights organizations, and peace centers. For more information on experiential learning opportunities, please see below.

In addition to completing a special three-credit course exploring the political, religious, economic, and ethnic sources of conflict in Israel, students choose from a wide range of electives, including Arabic or Hebrew language studies, Economics, English, Government and Politics, History, Jewish Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. A special elective course, UNIV 269, is designed to help students maximize their immersion in Israeli culture while equipping them with analytical tools to better understand the process of cultural adaptation. Dr. Edward Kaufman, a leading expert on human rights and former director of the UMD Center for International Development and Conflict Management, directs the program, which combines classroom studies with on-site research, extensive field trips, and ongoing discussions with community members, social activists, and local faculty and experts.

For full details, please consult the Academic Overview and Course list.

Get out of the classroom and interact with your hosting society! The MD in Haifa program makes a difference.  Conceived to merge interactive learning at the University of Haifa with field trips engaging in dialogues with a diversity of Israelis involved in transformative change, the MD in Haifa program offers students internships (34 different options are being offered and more can be tailor-made to suit other speciic student interests), and voluntary work.  Adding to the traditional lecturing this experiential learning embraces both civic engagement and global advanced innovation.

Students complete between 12 and 18 semester credits while on the program. All program participants enroll in a three-credit course, ISRL 369I or GVPT 309I – Socio-Economic, Political, Religious, and Ethnic Conflicts in Israel, and the Search for Common Ground. An in-depth interactive seminar taught by Dr. Kaufman, the course examines efforts to build consensus amid the many sources of conflict in rapidly changing Israel. Specific topics of discussion include Arab-Israeli relations, Zionists and post-Zionists, new immigrant groups and long term residents, and the divisions of class, ethnicity, religion and gender. During the course, students develop an analytical framework to better understand the sources of conflict and design individual research projects focusing on Israeli society.

Students round out the Haifa academic program by choosing from a broad range of courses predominantly in the social sciences and humanities, although coursework for pre-med and engineering students can be arranged. Many of these courses are pre-approved for either resident or transfer credit at UMD.

Experiential Learning

Overseas internships can be an important boost to any resume, demonstrating a key ability to adapt to new cultures and succeed in a truly global workplace. Internships can also lead to valuable professional contacts while helping students focus their career choices. The Maryland-in-Haifa program offers students a wide range of internship possibilities in fields such as education, language, social services, civil rights, criminology, biology, communications, theater, and fine arts. Many internships focus directly on the questions of diversity and conflict resolution. Internship offerings might include:

  • Shatil, The New Israel Fund’s Initiative for Social Change – Established in 1982, Shatil seeks to strengthen civil society and promote democracy, tolerance, and social justice in Israel. Each year, the organization provides some 1,500 non- profit organizations with support, training, and consulting services.
  • House of Grace – Located in the Greek Catholic Church of Haifa, House of Grace is dedicated to supporting poor, imprisoned, and homeless people of all religious faiths. UMD students have assisted with grant writing, fundraising initiatives, PR materials, and outreach through social media.
  • Aswat – Among the most unique social service organizations in Israel, Aswat conducts support group meetings throughout Israel for Palestinian women who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Aswat also hosts an Internet forum and directs educational campaigns designed to sensitize social-service providers to the needs of gay youth. In recent years, UMD students serving as interns have helped with social media projects, outreach, and English publications.



There are numerous scholarship sources to help cover the cost of study at Haifa.

MASA Israel: These grants of between $1,000 and $2,000 are offered to students of Jewish heritage who will be in Israel for a minimum of 5 months. Students who have already been to Israel for a short-stay are eligible for funding and are encouraged to apply. Completed applications should be printed and submitted to your Education Abroad Advisor.

Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies: The Center awards scholarships of between $500 and $1,000 to UMD students seeking to study in Israel on a short-term program or for a full semester. Preference is given to students completing majors or minors in Israeli Studies and/or Jewish Studies. To apply, students should submit completed applications to the Department of Jewish Studies.


The International School of Haifa offers students a wide range of opportunities to engage with the local community. For example, students may volunteer to teach English at the Einstein Elementary school, to work with Ethiopian immigrants at the Leo Beck School, or to visit elderly residents of the Bnai Zion Community.

The university coordinates a popular buddy program that matches international students with their Israeli counterparts. Host families and buddies are eager to share their customs with international students, and these visits often lead to lasting friendships. Madrichim ( "Social Activities Coordinators") plan and lead a rich array of events to help new students become fully integrated into campus life.

All social activities planned by the International School are included in the program fee, so students may join at no additional cost. Activities organized by outside providers and advertised to Haifa students may carry additional costs.


Please contact Nicole McDermott with any questions related to application, admissions, logistics, academics, finances, housing, and engagement opportunities.

Resident Director, Edward Edy Kaufman:
Dr. Kaufman originates from Argentina, but has lived and taught in Israel and United States since 1978. He studied at Hebrew University, received his doctorate in International Relations at the Sorbonne, and did postgraduate work in the United States. He has been on the faculty of Hebrew University since 1970 and has served as director of both the H.S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace in Jerusalem and the Center for Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland. He has led the Maryland-in-Haifa program since its inception in spring of 2010.

Dr. Kaufman's work focuses on human rights and conflict resolution on several continents, especially Latin America and the Middle East. He has been instrumental in developing the work of the Truman Peace Institute across the divide on joint research projects as well as team teaching with Palestinian academics including during the last nineteen years at College Park. He has been a pioneer in the field “trackII/mutlitrack and citizens’ diplomacy” worldwide.


Haifa is the third largest city in Israel. Bordered on both sides by the Mediterranean, the modern city extends across Mount Caramel, with the university positioned near the mountain’s top.

Students live in single rooms with private baths in the Talia residence halls on Haifa’s campus, many with a view to the beautiful bay. Each resident shares a large living room and kitchen with five other students. Typically, UMD students live with Jewish and Arab suitemates, and the housing overview offers more details.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Last Day to Apply Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2015 10/15/2014
Rolling Admission 02/21/2015 06/04/2015
NOTE: Students must arrive by February 22nd. If you choose to participate in the winter Hebrew Ulpan, you will depart January 24th.

** Admissions for the program are made on a rolling basis and applications will be reviewed in the order that they are completed. Early application is advisable.

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This program is currently not accepting applications.