International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In-person and virtual advising hours
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.

Walk-in advising hours
Mon - Thurs: 1 - 3 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

Tools sitting on rocks at an archaeological dig site.

Archaeology in Israel

Oakland University conducts an exciting archaeological excavation in Israel during June/July each summer. Our program includes field training, excavations, cultural tours, and immersion in Israeli culture. Hear more about the Israel study abroad trip from Program Director Michael Pytlik.

The dates of this program vary, from mid-June to Mid-July are the excavation periods. The program will run again Summer 2023, Dates TBD.

For more information contact:
(989) 274-0450

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Where You Will Be

Excavations include sites near Jerusalem, Israel. We are housed nearby the excavation site, and on the weekends we travel to exciting historical and cultural sites for touring and relaxation.

What You will do and Learn
What you will do

This trip is primarily an immersion into the archaeology of Israel. We will excavate at a site chosen for its importance in history and the methods of archaeology employed there. We dig with Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Students will participate in all excavation activities, from field work, artifact processing, lectures by experts, and camp life. The day is long, starting at 5 a.m, and can extend until 7 p.m. with frequent breaks and a siesta at mid-day. The lodging for the work week is in a modern hostel or kibbutz with good meals, air conditioning, and other amenities. Students should have a strong interest in archaeology, history of the Near East, and related fields, but one does not have to be an archaeologist. We train everyone in the field.

We travel on weekends to places like Jerusalem, with its huge selection of cultural opportunities, shopping, and food. We also travel to ancient places like Masada, Capernaum, Qumran, Caesarea, and locations like the Dead Sea, the Judean desert, and many more! The food in Israel is varied and very tasty: from plentiful vegetables, lamb, beef, and chicken, to amazing hummus, and fun street food. No one goes hungry!

What you will learn

Students engage in archaeological techniques, address anthropological questions, and seek understanding of the political, religious, and cultural questions of Israel. There is virtually no area of academics that are not enhanced by this experience.

One does not need to be an archaeologist to go on this trip. A greater understanding of the history and culture of this country is beneficial to students of History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Religion, Political Science, Psychology, and more.

The archaeological techniques benefit any student who wishes to gain a greater understanding of the history, religions, and politics of this region in ancient and modern times.


What to Bring:
The application process begins in Fall previous to the trip and must be completed by January 20 for that year's trip. Email Michael Pytlik for an application and subsequent instructions: What to bring will be covered in the questionnaire process and the pre-trip meetings.

Students generally need only their excavation wear, gloves and hats, and good working shoes. There is a required field school for various credits form 2 – 4. Under Anthropology or Religion.

Students should declare their strong interest by the end of December of each year. A questionnaire will be sent out to you regarding aspects of the trip, your previous experiences, and what you hope to gain from the trip. This trip can be physically challenging, but very rewarding.

The questionnaires need to be turned in by mid-January. We may want to interview you further in person or on the phone. Selections are made by mid-late January and two pre-trip meetings are held to acquaint you with the trip. You should apply for a passport immediately, or verify the expiration date of your existing passport - it should expire no earlier than 6-8 months after the trip begins in June.

For the Provost Grant, one must have a GPA of 3.0.

We suggest the following courses:

  • AN 4996 - Independent Study and Research
  • AN 3581 - Archaeological Field School

Each student must complete an application for the dig and state their interest in the program.  Students should realize this is a working trip on an active excavation with all of the required tasks inherent in it.

New! The program is now open to Continuing Education students. Note: grants and donor funds do not apply to Continuing Education students.

Continuing Education Students

We are pleased to welcome Continuing Education students to our trip. Continuing Education (CE) students participate in all activities related to the excavation, and the travel on weekends. CE students must register on the Oakland Continuing Education Website. CE students are non-traditional students who wish to further their educational experience without receiving academic credit; however, continuing education credits do apply. Oakland representatives will help you register online at the orientation meeting for the trip; at this time payment will be due.

CE students will attend all pre-trip orientation meetings, and will depart and return with the group. Once you express interest in the trip we will send you specific information for orientation dates and materials that will need to be completed, such as forms and insurance details. A valid United States passport is required for this trip (passports are not organized by Oakland University).

CE students should realize the cost of the trip includes all weekend excursions, fees, and transportation to the sites and locations planned. We do not deviate from the travel plans for individuals once the trip is underway. Any deviations from the program are arranged by the CE traveler and at his or her own risk.

CE students participate in the excavation day, in the field school, but there is no requirement to complete assignments as is required for other Oakland students.

If you're adventurous, want to experience a real "dig" in Israel, and want to see some fascinating sites, all while being fully immersed in the program, then this is a trip for you!

More details can be found in the Study Abroad office, the Office of Continuing Education or by contacting Dr. Michael Pytlik at


Archaeology in Israel
Dates TBD

Number of credits: 2 or 4 (tuition not included in program cost)
Program cost: $2,000 (estimated out-of-pocket cost)
Application deposit: no application fee
Meals not included: $50 estimated for meals not included
Excursions: included
Airfare: included in program cost
Books and supplies: not included
Extra costs: passport, incidentals, meals during travel to and from Israel