Clothing, Equipment, Personal Effects
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ISRAEL/PALESTINE AND JORDAN
The dress code at the College is casual and informal: polo-shirts, shorts, sandals, etc.
Modest clothing is required for visits to holy places such as churches, convents, and monasteries. For males this includes full-length trousers, and for females it requires shoulders and arms to be covered as well as the legs. A scarf can be a useful extra modesty item for women.
The program booklet will indicate whether casual or modest dress is required on each day.
You may want some good casual clothes for other social events, including visits to restaurants, etc.
A clerical shirt and collar for clergy are not essential, but may be appropriate occasionally.
You will need to have sandals and walking shoes, and if you wish to go into the lake or the Dead Sea, then plastic or rubber footwear is recommended (but require a heel strap).
Beach towel and swimmers. You may want to get a light weight travel towel.
The Israeli unit of currency is the shekel (NIS), but US dollars are accepted nearly everywhere.
Major credit cards are widely accepted, but a dedicated travel debit card is highly recommended
Be sure to advise your bank of your travel plans and get your credit card authorized for overseas use.
Plan to exchange money at the airport as soon as you get through border control. If arriving by land transfer via Jordan get some US dollars before leaving home.
If planning to use your mobile phone, be sure to get an international roaming package from your phone company. A local SIM card can also be purchased, but this will require access to shops away from the Cathedral close.
Free WIFI is available throughout the College building, and should be available at least in the reception areas of other hotels.
You will be able to do Internet banking if you have WIFI access.
Sunscreen with SPF 30 to 45 (waterproof and active/sport is recommended)
Comfortable ear plugs (e.g., Apple Earbuds) with a regular 3.5mm plug, as these are better than the ones provided with the audio system we use while out on location.
Personal toiletries, essential first aid supplies, bug repellant, nail brush, loofa, crème or conditioner for dry skin/hair. (Soap, towels, toilet paper, and bed linen are provided by the College.)
Bandaids, plus some asprin and Imodium (or equivalent) medication for diarrhoea symptoms. Be sure to bring a letter from your doctor if you have any special medication.
Alarm clock (if not using your mobile phone), camera (with extra memory cards), flash light.
Bottle opener and can opener, perhaps as part of a utility pocket knife set. (Pack in main baggage and do not carry in your hand luggage.)
Adaptors for Israeli power outlets (types C & H)
Please pack lightly. You must be able to carry the luggage that you bring. The College does not provide porters to help you with your suitcases.
All course participants are expected to have TRAVEL insurance to cover the cost of flight cancellations, as well as INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL insurance for medical care while abroad. You can usually purchase trip cancellation insurance through your travel agent or on-line.
BEFORE you purchase your airline tickets, please check that your place on the program has been confirmed as the College DOES NOT refund airline tickets for any reason.
We strongly encourage you to check with your medical insurance provider, as you MUST be covered if there is a medical emergency during your trip.
- You must have a valid passport. Most countries required a passport which is valid (doesn’t expire) for at least six additional months from the date of entry into the respective country. If your passport is about to expire, please renew it prior to your trip.
- Pre-arrival visas to enter Israel are not required for citizens of Australia, Canada, the United States, Western Europe and many other countries. You will be issued a tourist visa, usually valid for 90 days, when you arrive at the airport.
- However, it is your responsibility to know whether or not Israel requires a pre-arrival visa for citizens of your passport country. Please consult the nearest Israeli Consulate or your travel agent well before the start of the course to see if you need an Israeli visa as it may take several weeks to obtain an Israeli visa. St George’s College cannot obtain a visa for you.
- If your personal travel plans involves an excursion back and forth between Israel and another Middle Eastern country (e.g., Jordan, Sinai/Egypt or Turkey), you will need a multiple entry visa for Israel. For courses that include travel to another country, such as Jordan, a group travel visa will be obtained by the College.
- If you ever plan to travel to an Arab country (other than Jordan or Egypt) on your current passport, the immigration official at the Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv (or any border crossing) should not stamp your passport. If you make this request in advance, the official should stamp the white immigration form which you are given as you land in Israel. If you do not receive the immigration form on the plane, it is available at passport control. Please complete the application form before proceeding through passport control. You must keep the immigration form with your passport at all times. You will need it when you leave Israel.
Arrival and Departure Information
It is highly recommended for you to arrive in the country at least a day or two prior to the beginning of the course in order to recover from travel fatigue and jet lag. Accommodations may be available at the college before and/or after the course. If you wish to stay additional nights at the college, you should contact the College before making your airline reservations.
Please note that extended stays before or after the course are not always available. The charge for extended stays at the college is $80.00 per day, per person, which includes bed and breakfast.
Once you finalize your travel plans, please let us know the date and time of your airport arrival, so we can plan for your arrival at the college.
There is a staff member on duty at the college twenty-four hours a day. Regardless of when you arrive, there will be someone here to welcome you and to show you to your room.
In any case . . .
With the exception of the Introduction to the Bible Lands and the Bible and Archaeology programs, you are expected to be in the College in time for the opening service in St George’s Cathedral at 18:00 on the night before the program begins. The service is followed by an evening meal and an introductory gathering.
The opening night (room and board) is included in your course fees.
The course ends with a farewell gathering, reception and final dinner. Accommodation on the final night and and breakfast the next morning are included in your course fees.
Transportation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
As you exit the front of the terminal (outside), turn left to find the transportation area.
You have three choices, each of which require you to have cash in either shekels or dollars.
Tell the driver to take you to St George’s College, Jerusalem (33 Salah El Deen Street).
The College is opposite to the Israeli district court.
A shared or service taxi, which is called a sherut (she-root). The sherut stand is located just outside the terminal building and is clearly marked in English: ‘Service Taxi to Jerusalem’. The price per person is US $18.00, which is subject to change. Once the taxi is filled with passengers, it will drive to Jerusalem, eventually dropping you off at the College.
Private Taxis are in the same area as the sherut taxis. You should negotiate the price before getting in the taxi.
The College can arrange for a taxi to pick you up at the airport. The charge for the taxi is $70 USD or NIS 250. The driver will meet you inside the airport arrival hall, and the fee for the taxi should be paid directly to the taxi driver before the start of the journey. If you change your mind upon arrival and take another taxi (sherut or private) to the college, you will still be charged the $70 fee.
If you would like to hire a taxi through the college, please contact Genia at firstname.lastname@example.org at least three weeks in advance.
Money and Finance
Currency in Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). The College does not change money.
We recommend that you change some money into shekels before you depart for Israel, or as soon as you arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. There is a Bureau de Change in the arrival hall near baggage claim. Personal checks drawn on Australian, Canadian, US and UK banks can be changed for shekels at local money changers near the college. Personal checks are accepted in some stores that do not accept credit cards. There is a cash point (ATM) at a bank near the college.
The college accepts credit cards but does NOT accept traveller’s checks.
The college also accepts cash as well as personal checks drawn on Australian, Canadian, US and UK banks.
A non-refundable $500 USD course deposit is required in order to register for the course, and a full fifty percent (50%) of your course fee must be paid two months before the first day of the course. The remainder of your course fee can be paid upon your arrival at the college. For additional information and policies regarding the payment, course cancellation and the possible transference of paid fees to a future course, please contact the College Registrar.
Gratuities for the College staff and course services (e.g., bus drivers, restaurants, etc) are not included in your course fee. The College requests the payment of $100 USD per course member to cover these gratuities, and then no additional gratuities are required during the course. This supplemental fee can be paid together with the fees (in dollars or shekels) when you arrive at the College.
You will need to budget for personal expenses, including stamps, laundry, bottled water, photocopying and, of course, souvenirs. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are not included in your course fee.
Note: All prices listed above are subject to change.
Climate and Weather
The winter climate in Jerusalem from November through March is wet and chilly. Winter temperatures generally range between 45-50° F during the day and between 35-40° F at night. It occasionally snows in Jerusalem. The summer climate in Jerusalem from May through September is hot and dry. Summer temperatures generally range between 85-95° F during the day and between 65-70° F at night. Temperatures in the Jordan River Valley, including Masada, the Dead Sea and Galilee (Tiberias) are generally 5-10° F warmer year round than in Jerusalem.
Therefore, clothing requirements and preferences vary according to the season.
The housekeeping staff can wash and dry your laundry for you for a small fee, or you may rinse clothes by hand and hang them on clothes lines on the roof of the college (4th floor). You can purchase laundry detergent in Jerusalem. An iron and ironing board are available at no charge.
Each of the College bedrooms has comfortable beds, wardrobes, bedside tables and lamps, desks and chairs, a sink, a large mirror and a telephone. Each room also has an en suite toilet and shower. The bedrooms, toilets and showers are cleaned every day. Towels and bed linens are changed regularly. For overnight trips away from the College, we stay at guest houses with similar amenities.
The College has a limited number of single rooms, which are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The single supplement at the College is $25 USD per night. Single supplements outside the College range approximately from $25 – $40 USD per night.
The electric current in Jerusalem is 220 AC, 50 cycles. All College bathrooms have a wall outlet / converter for shavers only. Outlets in the rooms can be adapted for a 2-pin as well as a 3-pin plug. If you come from the US, you can convert your 110 AC, 60 cycle items by using a transformer. You may need both a transformer to convert the electricity and an adapter plug to fit the outlet. Transformers and adapters are not available at the college. You should purchase them at home or in the airport, or you can purchase them here in Jerusalem after you arrive.
Internet and Email Access
The College has computers and wireless internet access for course members.
Long distance phone service is available in the College for a charge, or you can purchase phone cards in Jerusalem. Phone cards generally offer cheaper long distance calling than making direct calls. If you bring your mobile phone from home, please ensure that you will have access to international service through your phone company once you are here.
For course members who are 70 years old or older, the college requires a doctor’s certificate stating that they are fit and healthy for the course.
The Edmond and Patricia Browning Library contains more than 21,000 volumes. The library is available for your use during the course.
College contact Information
All mail should be sent Air Mail to:
St. George’s College Jerusalem
Post Office Box 1248
Jerusalem 91000, via Israel
Please send checks by FedEx or bank transfer.
Contact the bursar at email@example.com for details.
As mail to and from Jerusalem can take two to three weeks, please do not plan to receive parcels and packages while at the College.