Frequently Asked Questions
CSLI Study Program of Israel
Do I need a Passport or Other ID?
Yes, you will need a passport. If you don’t have a passport, please order it immediately. You won’t be able to travel without it. You can apply for a passport online, and at some government agencies including the US Post Office. To find out more passport information or apply online at: U.S. Department of State passport webpage. New airline regulations state that you must have your passport before you can reserve an overseas airline ticket. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.
Please make a photocopy of your passport to bring with you and place somewhere else in your luggage in the event that your passport was lost.
It is also recommended that you bring your driver’s license or other legal form of identification other than your passport.
Do I need a Visa?
A Visa is not necessary to enter Israel if you are a U.S. Citizen.
Do I need health insurance?
Yes. You are responsible for securing full overseas medical emergency coverage through your medical insurance provider for the duration of this trip. You should carry a copy of your insurance card when traveling abroad. Your coverage needs to begin no later than the date of your initial departure to Israel and should remain in effect for the duration of the trip.
Will I need to have any vaccinations?
Israel does not require U.S. Citizens to get any vaccinations. However, travelers should check with their physicians to determine if additional vaccinations are recommended for travel to Israel. Vaccinations depend on a travelers' vaccination history. Also, travelers should check the Center for Disease Control Traveler's Health Webpage for updates on Israel.
Is it safe to travel in Israel?
The U.S. Department of State posts travel alerts and warnings for specific countries on their Travel Abroad Webpage. This website also includes tips on traveling abroad that are country specific.
They also offer free service called STEP. You can register your trip which enables your personal information and your trip information to be sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to your destination. Per the State Department, this information is vital to help them contact you if there is an emergency in the area while you are traveling overseas. In addition, you get the benefit of receiving alerts that may impact your trip to ensure you make informed decisions on your travel plans.
How physically demanding is the program?
There will be a good deal of walking and standing each day as we explore biblical landscapes and sites. The trails are not always paved and can be uneven at times. The temperatures can also vary from hot to cold. You will need to stay well hydrated while traveling.
You should be able to walk for a sustained period of at least an hour, walk several miles during a day, stand for at least an hour and climb a few flights of stairs in order to participate in these activities.
It is recommended that you begin a daily walking regimen of 30 minutes a day to prepare for the study program.
The Institute may be unable to provide special accommodations for people with disabilities. Also, those who have a health or mental condition that may interfere with participation in program activities, need to consult with their physician to determine if they are able to participate in a physically demanding study abroad program. If a potential participant has any questions, they should email us at email@example.com.
Will I have internet access?
The hotels we are staying in will provide wireless internet service, as will many café’s in the country. Check with your cellular phone provider to see about coverage in Israel on your cell phone.
How should I pack for the trip?
Please pack light and bring clothes you can wash in the sink and dry overnight. It can be cold, warm or hot during the day with a chance of rain. Everyone is responsible for carrying their own luggage. Please no fancy clothes; old outdoor clothes that you can leave behind are just fine for our daily field trips. Casual dress is adequate for dinner. Also, please do not bring expensive jewelry.
No shorts, low- cut or tight shirts, or short-sleeve shirts above the biceps are allowed in churches, synagogues, mosques or countryside in certain cultural areas. Bring a cushion to sit on (as rocks get hard).
Washcloths are not provided by hotels in Israel so bring your own if you want.
Also bring a towel and swimsuit if you plan to swim and a pair of shoes you can get muddy and wet. We hike everyday so good lightweight, non-slippery shoes are best. Collapsible walking stick also comes in handy.
Please remember your passport, driver’s license, credit / debit cards, Bible, flashlight, camera, batteries, medication, prescriptions, personal items, earplugs and backpack, (optional color markers for marking maps). Also, hat with full round brim, sunglasses, sunscreen, antibacterial wet wipes (or Purell) and tissues are essential.
Everyone should bring their own copy of the “Field Notes” which will be sent about 3 months prior to departure. Make a photocopy of your Passport signature and picture page and keep it in a different location than you passport.
What kind of money can I use in Israel?
ATM’s are available in Israel if you have Visa or Master Card to withdraw Israeli Shekels. Most Israeli establishments will accept your credit card and that may be easier than using cash. Personal checks are also accepted in some instances so your checkbook might come in handy. Travelers Checks are difficult to cash so they are not useful.
Just check with your bank and/or credit card company as regards their fees and exchange rates.
You can check out this website, www.xe.com/ucc/, for the current exchange rate.
Should I call my credit card company to let them know that I’ll be traveling overseas?
Yes, some banks and/or credit card companies will put a hold on your account when they see unusual activity on your credit card if they do not know of your travel plans.
What kind of electrical plugs are used in Israel?
Israel uses 220 volts (USA uses 110 volts). Therefore, 220 volt adaptor plugs are necessary for any of your electrical cords such as cell phone chargers, blow dryers etc…
What are the hotels like in Israel?
Unlike U.S. hotels, twin beds are used in most hotel rooms.
Will we get restroom breaks while traveling?
The study program leader will try to plan for restroom stops every 1 ½ - 2 hours.
How can my friends and family reach me in Israel if necessary?
Contact Information: Numbers dialed from the USA
GEMM Tours - Israel Re: Dr. Jim Martin – Bible World Seminars 011-972-54-811-6680
October 11-18, 2020 Jerusalem – Olive Tree Hotel 011-972-2-541-0410
October 19-23, 2020 Galilee – Ein Gev Holiday Village 011-972-4-665-9800
How do I get to the Olive Tree Hotel in Jerusalem from Ben Gurion airport?
Bus Service provided by Tour from Ben Gurion Airport to Olive Tree Hotel: A tour bus will be available to take participants to the hotel in Jerusalem. It will be at Ben Gurion Airport between 3 – 5 pm.
Earlier arrival or Late arrival: If you should choose not to take the provided tour bus and would like to arrive earlier to hotel or if you arrive later than expected here are the suggested ways to travel from Ben Gurion to the hotel:
Sherut –(Large taxi) – Rate per/person
How do I get to Ben Gurion airport at the end of the study program?
The progam will end at Ben Gurion airport on Friday, October 23 in the late afternoon so that you can catch an evening flight.
Optional Travel Insurance?
A number of people have inquired about travel insurance. The C.S. Lewis Institute does not provide travel insurance however, if you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, you may want to check out this website which provides a list of providers along with a variety of plan options. (https://www.travelinsurance.com/).