Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Bethsaida - Excavations Project

International Experience: Israel

Faculty of Arts and Education

School Of Theology

Theology Holy Land Study Tour

Proposed 2019 program

Bethsaida DigYou will begin your study tour at the archaeological site of Bethsaida, Israel.  You'll spend four days there being introduced to elementary tenets of biblical fieldwork archaeology through hands on practice, expertise guidance and lectures. This is followed by visits to selected sites in Israel, including museums and religious sites. The tour concludes with a four day visit to relevant sites in Jordan, including Wadi Rum, Petra, Madaba, Amman and Jerash.

Travelling to Israel and Jordan as part of my BTH [Bachelor of Theology] studies was a dream come true.  No amount of distance studies could replace first-hand exposure to the rich history and vibrant culture of these countries.  The opportunity to meaningfully engage with local Jews, Arab Christians and Muslims was incredibly enriching and enjoyable as was being fully immersed in the Bethsaida archaeological excavations.  Whether hauling rocks from iron-age tunnels, kayaking down the Jordan river or overlooking the promised land on Mt. Nebo, this trip daily exceeded my expectations and provided memories and friendships that will remain for a long time to come. Steve Parker-Hill, 2016 program participant

When: Approximately 1 - 21 June, 2019 (exact dates to be advised on notification of successful application)
Please note this program commences in the last week of Session 1, 2019. Students must liaise with the Program Leader and their Subject Coordinators to determine the academic implications of studying offshore during that period of time.

Number of Places: 25 places
This program will require minimum numbers to proceed.

Street SceneEligibility: Any student enrolled through the School of Theology or in the Bachelor of Liberal Studies at the time of undertaking the program. Additionally, you must be able to incorporate the following subject in your your CSU degree structure.

Non-CSU students may be able to participate where places are still available - preference will be given to CSU students.  Please note that there will  be a higher cost of $450 for participants who are not CSU students. You will also be required to purchase your own travel insurance.

Academic Information: Bachelor and Graduate Diploma of Theology students may be eligible to receive academic recognition for CSU subject THL361 - Theology International Study Experience or THL427 Guided Research in Theology respectively for their participation in this program. This will require payment of a subject tuition fee and satisfactory participation and completion of specified assessment items. Students must liaise directly with their Course Director for approval to include this subject in their course structure and should do so prior to applying for this program.

Financial Assistance: The advertised program cost for students is based on the provision of the $450 Vice Chancellor Travel Grant. Eligibility is restricted to CSU students receiving academic recognition for their participation in the program. This Grant is not paid directly to students but has already been deducted from the advertised program cost.

Students may also be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Australian Government's OS-HELP loan. OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible Commonwealth Supported students who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.

Eligibility for OS-HELP will be assessed once successful students are selected and is based on a number of criteria.  Acceptance into a CSU Global program does not guarantee eligibility for the loan. Please note, you cannot pay your program deposit through OS-HELP.

All funding associated with CSU Global programs (travel grants, scholarships, subsidies and loans) is linked to successful completion of academic and program expectations. Failure to meet these requirements may result in funding being revoked.

Refer to CSU Global's Scholarships and Funding webpage for further information on financial assistance.

CamelsCost for CSU students: approximately $11,000.00 (exact costs to be confirmed on notification of successful application)

Costs should include: In-country program fee, airport transfers, accommodation (twin-share), most meals, local transport during program, and entry to sites included in the tour itinerary.

Costs do not include: CSU Subject fee, visas & border taxes, airfares, travel insurance, passports, immunisations (where required), additional meals, recreational activities, souvenirs, gratuities and incidentals.

Please note: This is now an individual ticketed program. Students must organise and purchase their own flights, travel insurance, visas and passports.

Application Timeline: continue to the bottom of the page for application link

  • Application closing date: applications closed
  • Successful students notified (email): within two weeks of application closing date
  • $2000 non-refundable deposit due: within two weeks of notification of successful application
    (You MUST have applied for or obtained your passport by this date. Please note it may take 3-4 weeks to obtain a passport)
  • Full and final payment due: 7 April, 2019
  • Pre-departure session: to be advised

Further enquiries regarding the application process should be directed to: 

Alice Wood
CSU Global   
Charles Sturt University
Phone: + 61 2 6338 4068

Further enquiries regarding the academic content of the program should be directed to:

Jeanette Mathews
Senior Lecture in Biblical Studies
School of Theology
Phone: + 61 2 6272 6249

2019 Draft Program Outline: Subject to change
1Depart Australia for Tel AvivAustralia / Israel
2AM: Arrive Tel Aviv
PM: Transfer to Gadot/Orientation to Kibbutz
Gadot, Israel
3Day 1 on digGadot, Israel
4Day 2 on digGadot, Israel
5Day 3 on digGadot, Israel
6Day 4 on digGadot, Israel
7Site visits - Capernaum, Magdala, Mt BeatitudesGadot, Israel

Site visits -  Korazin, Tel Dan, Banias

Gadot, Israel

Travel to Nazareth

Nazareth, Israel
10Site visits - Sepphoris, Caesarea Maritima, Mount CarmelNazareth, Israel
11Site visits - Meggido, Mt Transfiguration, Beth SheanNazareth, Israel
12Travel to Jerusalem via Jordan River, Jericho, BethanyJerusalem, Israel
13Site visits - Jerusalem: Churches, Old City, Wailing Wall, Mt OlivesJerusalem, Israel
14Site visits - Israel Museum, Yad VaShem, Jerusalem, Israel
15AM: Site visits - Bethlehem
PM: Site visits - Qumran, Masada
Jerusalem, Israel
16Travel to Wadi Rum via Allenby BridgeWadi Rum, Jordan
17Travel to PetraPetra, Jordan

Exploration of Petra

Petra, Jordan
19Travel to Amman via madaba, Machaerus and Mt NeboAmman, Jordan
20Site visits - archaelogical sits in Amman and Jerash (Gerasa)
PM: Farewell dinner 
Amman, Jordan
21Program concludes and participants return to AustraliaJordan /Australia