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  • Locations: Ein Gedi, Israel; Jerusalem, Israel; Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior, Sophomore Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Click here for a definition of this term Program Advisor: Ahaji Schreffler
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Winter Break in Israel:
Creative Writing Intensive

ICA Israel Jerusalem

Program Overview

Structured as a creative writing retreat, this program gives students the opportunity to see themselves as historical beings in an ancient country. It includes a cultural and historical dimension that will help add depth to their writing as they find inspiration in the history and natural resources of Israel. The first two days take place in Tel Aviv meeting with renown authors who are also faculty members in Bar Ilan University’s Program in Creative Writing. They will also participate in an Israel Writing Studio workshop on the role of trauma and memory in narrative writing, designed specifically for this group. Next, the group will travel the desert route to Ein Gedi, a desert oasis immortalized in King Solomon’s Song of Songs. Living in a kibbutz setting, students will have the chance to experience Israel’s socialist experiment, most started by Holocaust survivors who were recent immigrants to Israel.  Although there will be a craft talk most evenings and time set aside for one-on-one conferences with the director, days at Ein Gedi will be spent writing or absorbed in activities that support writing because of their historical or environmental significance, such as The Dead Sea, nearby nature preserves, ancient fortresses, talks with kibbutzniks, along with free time for our group to wander the biblical wadis and gardens near the kibbutz absorbed in their individualized writing projects. Last, the group will travel to Jerusalem where they will again experience living in a writing retreat. As a guest at Misheknot Sha’ananim Retreat for the Creative, students will experience living and working at a highly selective international artists retreat where renown artists from all over the world live and work. As in the Ein Gedi retreat, students will learn the history of this ancient city, wander its streets and writing will be supplemented with craft talks, one-on-one conferences with the director, and meetings with local authors, culminating in an open mic event to share the week’s work.

By the conclusion of the program, students will:

  • Complete an early draft of a creative writing project outlined in an individualized writing plan
  • Develop a writing practice at a writers’ retreat
  • Learn new tools and practice key elements of craft
  • Understand the role of memory and trauma to a larger collective consciousness
  • Develop experiential education reflection skills, and understand how engagement shapes your own writing and the narratives you construct.
  • Experience and learn about life on a kibbutz
  • Participate in an open mic event


Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for WRIT T380 Creative Writing Intensive: Israel, 3 credits as part of their winter term course load. Undergraduate students must leave room for the credits in their credit load when registering for winter term, or will be billed for credits exceeding the 20 credit maximum. Graduate students will be billed for 3 Drexel credits at their normal rate.ICA Israel Memorial

Pre-departure requirements: During the fall term, students must meet with Prof. Millan to create an individualized writing plan to work on during the program in Israel, as well as attend two 90 minute class meetings.

Sample Syllabus: Winter Break Creative Writing Intensive in Israel

Pre-requisites: None. Students in all majors welcome to apply.

Instructor: Professor Harriet Millan, Director of Drexel's Certificate Program in Creative Writing and Publishing

Program Calendar

Arrival Date: December 15, 2019
Departure Date: December 24, 2019
*Students who extend their travel before or after program dates are fully responsible for all arrangements during independent travel.

Tentative Itinerary Overview

Date Morning Afternoon Evening
Sunday, Dec 15
  Arrival Orientation & Welcome Dinner at Carmel Market/ Meet the Author
Monday Dec 16 Breakfast/Museum of the Jewish People In-class Writing Workshop on Writing Trauma and Memory with Jennifer Lang Leave for Ein Gedi Arrive Kibbutz Ein Gedi/Dinner on Your Own/Craft Talk (Trauma and Memory) /One on One Conferences
Tuesday, Dec 17 Breakfast/8:10 AM
Writing about Place at Wadi David
Writing about Place continued at Dead Sea Dinner on your own/Craft Talk (Writing about Place)/One on One Conferences
Wednesday, Dec 18 Sunrise Masada Tour
Writing at Site: Scene Construction
Sunrise Masada Tour: Writing at Site: Scene Construction Dinner on your Own/Craft Talk (Scene Construction) /One on One Conferences
Thursday Dec 19 Breakfast/8:30 AM “The Story of a Kibbutz” Guided Tour/Writing at Site: Dialogue Writing Time Kibbutz Museum Tour/Dinner on your own/Craft Talk (Dialogue)/One on one conferences/ Kibbutz Pub
Friday, Dec 20 Breakfast/Depart for Jerusalem Arrive Mishkenot Sha’ananim Retreat for the Creative Arts Shabbat Dinner (group) /Craft Talk/One on One Conferences
Saturday, Dec 21 Breakfast/Shabbat/Old City Walk/In-class Writing Time on Turth in Narrative and Lyric Voice Old City Walk/Writing Time Dinner on your own/Craft Talk (Truth in Narrative and Lyric Voice)/One on One conferences
Sunday, Dec 22 Breakfast/Yad Vashem
Writing at Site: Witness and Documentation
Writing Time/Meet the Author Craft Talk on Witness and Documentation/Shabbat Dinner (group dinner) /One on one Conferences Chanukah Tour
Monday, Dec 23 Breakfast/ /Old City Writing Walk/Meet the Author Old City Writing Walk/Free Time to Write/optional trip  to the Israel Museum Farewell Dinner/Open Mic Event
Tuesday, Dec 24 Depart for Airport  Arrive US  

Program Fee - $2,000

Due September 30, 2019: $500 Advance PaymentICA Israel Masada
Due November 1, 2019: $1,500 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • 9 nights accommodations
  • Local and inter-city transport
  • Airport transfer in Israel
  • Entrance fees and activities (except Masada tour)
  • Breakfasts and 4 group meals
  • On Call Emergency Assistance insurance
  • Guided hikes and tours

Not Included in Program Fee: (Estimated $1,540)

  • Round trip airfare to Israel $1,100
  • Some meals $200
  • US Passport $140
  • Course materials $50
  • Airport transfer in US $50
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students’ eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • A visa is not required for US citizens. Other nationalities, please check the Israel Consulate website for visa requirements.
  • A suggested flight itinerary will be provided. Students must book their own flights. Early morning departure from Israel on December 24th will enable students to return to the US by the afternoon of 24th.

Grade Scale:

A+: 97-100              B+: 87-89 C+: 77-79 D+: 67-69
A: 93-96 B: 83-86 C: 73-76 D: 60-66
A-: 90-92 B-: 80-82 C-: 70-72 F: below 60

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.