Historical Geography of the Bible, May 15th-June 6th
|Dr. Rebecca Idestrom
Associate Professor of Old Testament, Tyndale Seminary
|Dr. Ian Scott
Associate Professor of New Testament, Tyndale Seminary
|Dr. Ginger Caessens
Adjunct Professor, University of the Holy Land
This study tour offers a full three weeks in Israel. Our travels will include each region of the country and the sites of major events throughout the Old and New Testaments. You can read a full itinerary of the trip and the course syllabus. Optionally, students can also extend their tour for a further two weeks of study in Jordan.
The tour can only accommodate 28 participants, and we expect demand to be strong. To reserve your place, you need to pay a deposit of roughly $400. The deposit is paid in two installments:
- $200 CAD is paid directly to Craig Travel and reserves your seat on our flights.
- $150 USD is paid directly to University of the Holy Land and reserves your place in the tour itself.
For payment instructions, see the “Payment and Registration” section below. Immediately before sending your deposit payments, you must confirm with Dr. Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) that there is still space in the tour and have him place your name on the list of confirmed participants. Note that $50 of the deposit with Craig Travel is non-refundable, as is the entire deposit with UHL. Your deposit to the University of the Holy Land must also be accompanied by a complete application form to register with them for the tour. In addition, your deposit to Craig Travel must be accompanied by a flight enrollment form.
Please note that the cost for the tour is based on double occupancy (sharing a room with one other tour member). If you would like a room to yourself, you will need to pay an additional “single supplement” of $1255 USD to the University of the Holy Land. Please inform Dr. Scott when you first confirm your participation if you would like to take advantage of this “single supplement” option.
This tour promises both exciting travel and a moving chance to walk in the footsteps of Joshua and Jesus. At the same time, this tour is designed as a study course. It will involve reading, mapping exercises, and lectures which will deepen our understanding of the places we visit. All those coming on the tour will be expected to participate in the full range of these activities. Students auditing the course need not pay the additional tuition fee or write the final test at the end of the tour. By auditing the course, though, all participants agree to engage actively in the study portions of the tour. Participants should also be prepared for a lot of vigorous walking, in some cases for most of the day.
Prior to our trip, tour participants will meet for three evening sessions with Dr. Idestrom and Dr. Scott (6:30-9:30pm each night) starting in February 2016.
- Friday, February 26th
- Friday, April 1st
- Friday, April 29th
These evenings will begin to introduce the history and geography of Israel, so that you can start the tour primed to absorb more of what you see and hear from day one. Some of this learning will happen through small-group mapping exercises. These are a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with the land we will be exploring. So that no one feels “lost” during the study tour, we ask all participants to complete these exercises before we leave for Israel. If you are unable to attend one or more of these evening sessions, please contact Dr. Idestrom or Dr. Scott ahead of time to arrange to complete the mapping exercises on your own.
There are three components to the costs for the tour, each of which is paid separately.
|Tour in Israel: $3565 USD
This one fee covers all of your expenses in Israel including:
A $150 USD non-refundable deposit must be paid to the University of the Holy Land when you initially reserve your place on the tour. The tour fee is based on shared occupancy (sharing your room with one other tour participant). You may opt for a room of your own if you pay an additional $1255 USD.
|Airfare: $1809 CAD
A $200 CAD deposit ($50 non-refundable) must be payed to Craig Travel when you initially reserve your place on the tour. Flight details are available on the flights and insurance info page.
|Course Tuition: $300 CAD (credit) or $0 (audit)|
Payment and Registration
Preference in registration is given to Tyndale students, alumni, faculty, staff, and their families until Dec. 1st. Those not directly connected with Tyndale can place their names on a waiting list by contacting Dr. Scott (email@example.com). After Dec. 1st any remaining spaces will be filled from the waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis.
University of the Holy Land
Students must also register directly with the University of the Holy Land using the registration form available here. This registration form must be submitted at the time you make your initial $150 USD deposit, and it should be sent directly to the UHL Israel address in Jerusalem. The UHL deposit and registration should be submitted as soon as possible.
After registering and paying the deposit, students must pay the balance of the $3565 USD fee (and $1255 single supplement if applicable) for the tour directly to the University of the Holy Land. Payment instructions are included on the UHL registration form. The deadline for full payment is February 28th, 2016. (Update: Since we are now past the full payment deadline please make full payment when you send your registration.)
The $200 CAD deposit for airfare, along with a completed Flight Enrollment Form, must be submitted to Craig Travel as soon as possible. The balance of the $1809 CAD fee for the airfare to Israel must be paid directly to Craig Travel by March 11th 2016. Students should contact Sharon Bahadur at Craig Travel to make payment or if they have any other questions about airfare or travel insurance (email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone:  484-0926 ext 200).
Please note that participants may not book their own flights separate from the group. Occasionally someone finds a seat sale that is cheaper than our (already deeply discounted) group rate and wants to take advantage of it by travelling separately. Unfortunately, our group rate depends on the full group travelling together. So if you are participating in the tour you must book at the group rate through Craig Travel.
If you do not have insurance from another source, Craig Travel can provide travel health insurance, flight cancellation insurance, and cancellation/interruption insurance for your time in Israel. Note that cancellation insurance only comes into effect if you miss or interrupt your trip for medical reasons. Health insurance may be purchased any time up to our departure, but that the optional flight cancellation insurance can only be purchased when you book your flight and payment for the insurance must be made in full when you place your flight deposit. For more information please contact Sharon Bahadur at Craig Travel.
Early in 2016 you will need to send Craig Travel a photocopy or scan of the information page from your valid passport.
Tyndale Registration and Posting Fee
All students, whether taking the course for credit or auditing, must complete a Tyndale release form and submit it to Dr. Scott prior to our departure.
Students participating in the tour for credit must register for the course “Israel Study Tour” during the Spring 2016 term using the non-classroom course registration form. To register, and to pay the $300 posting fee (i.e., tuition) for credit students, contact the Tyndale registrar’s office in the spring, when spring/summer registration has opened. Those auditing the course need not register with the registrar’s office but should expect to participate actively in the learning activities during the tour.
When you submit your payment to the registrar’s office, be sure to specify that the money is a “posting fee,” not regular course tuition. Otherwise you may accidentally be billed another $700+ dollars for the balance of a regular course’s fees. If (as has occasionally happened) you receive such a bill for additional tuition, be assured that it is a mistake. In most cases, a quick call to the registrar’s office is enough to clear up the confusion, but please do contact Dr. Scott or Dr. Idestrom to let us know what has happened.
Travelling to Israel
You must have travel health insurance for the three weeks of the tour. If you do not have insurance from another source, Craig Travel can provide travel health insurance as well as flight cancellation insurance. You can find the rates and information on the flights and insurance info page. Note that cancellation insurance covers your flights only (not the fees for our time in Israel), and only comes into effect if you miss the flight for medical reasons. If you check the “insurance” box on your payment form to Craig Travel this indicates that you are opting for both flight cancellation and health insurance. If you only wish to purchase one of these, please write a note to that effect on the form. Note that health insurance may be purchased any time up to our departure, but that the optional cancellation insurance can only be purchased when you book your flight and payment for the insurance must be made in full when you place your flight deposit. Proof of health insurance coverage must be provided to Dr. Scott or Dr. Idestrom before our departure.
The physical demands
Participants should keep in mind that Israel has a very hot climate and that our tour will often involve a lot of walking (up to six or eight hours of walking on some days). If you have questions about these physical demands, please feel free to contact Dr. Idestrom or Dr. Scott.
Remember that you will need a valid passport that will not expire within 6 months of our return to Canada. In other words, if your passport will expire on or before December 6th, 2016 you must have it renewed prior to our departure. Israeli authorities do not allow travellers into the country within the last 6 months of a passport’s validity to avoid cases where one’s passport expires during one’s stay.
Most Canadians will find no problem in obtaining a tourist visa for Israel at the airport when we arrive. Those whose citizenship is not Canadian, however, may have to meet different visa requirements. Craig Travel can provide you with more information about your specific situation.
Also, if you are planning to travel at a later date to another country in the Middle East or North Africa, note that you may have difficulty using the same passport which bears an Israeli customs stamp.
What to pack
We have assembled a list of packing tips. Temperatures will be very hot (likely over 100 degrees Farenheit in the south), and the air is likely to be quite humid in the Galilee. Your best friends will be your sturdy, comfortable walking shoes. Hiking boots will likely be too heavy for the kind of walking we will be doing, and good running shoes are often the best choice.
You will also be grateful for a hat that provides good shade for your head, and a good-sized refillable water bottle that is easy to carry. Sunscreen will be a must (except by the Dead Sea, where the evaporated salts provide a natural barrier), and it is a good idea to pack salt tablets to fend off sunstroke on our longer days outside.
Photography of your trip
One of the great rewards of a tour like this is the memory-card full of pictures that you will bring back. There will be plenty of opportunities provided for picture taking. Please be prepared, though, for the fact that you will not be able to take a picture of yourself (or your friend, or your spouse) in front of every monument or sight. We cover a lot of ground, and it will often slow the group too much if everyone takes a turn having his or her picture taken. So in general plan to take pictures of the sights, and wait for the designated “photo opportunities” to get individual shots of yourself. Also, it will be very important to keep close to our guide Dr. Caessens while she is leading us around a site. Although the temptation will be to stop and snap pictures as soon as we come to a new sight, please stay with our guide. She will usually give us a few moments for pictures after she has told us a little about what we are seeing.
Jordan Study-Tour Extension, June 6th-20th
The land of Reuben, Gad, Manasseh, and the Moabites
Immediately following the Israel Study Tour, Dr. Caessens will be leading a further two weeks of travel and study in Jordan. This extension is not part of the Tyndale course, but would make an excellent continuation for students who would like to take advantage. For details, see the Jordan 2016 information page. The Flight Enrollment Form and flights info page from Craig travel include the option of a later return flight (on June 20th) for those who wish to take part.