Preparing for Your Seminar

We are thrilled that you will be traveling to Israel with Project Interchange and hope that you are eagerly anticipating your departure. The majority of your logistical travel concerns will be addressed by our seminar team prior to your departure, but  please do not hesitate to contact the Project Interchange office with additional questions at sundelln@projectinterchange.org for US seminars, and ganemrosenm@projectinterchange.org for international seminars.

In the meantime, the section below should answer many of the questions that you may have about your trip.

What are the travel arrangements and lodging for the seminar?

Participants typically fly economy class. Depending on the time and date of travel, your delegation may travel as a group, or participants may fly separately. The majority of delegations stay in four-star hotels in single rooms. Student groups may stay in double rooms or guesthouses where appropriate. Subject to availability, participants may upgrade to business class and higher-level occupancy accommodations at their own expense.

Do I need a valid passport and a visa to travel to Israel?

Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your intended departure date from Israel. If your passport is due to expire before that time, you must renew it before you arrive in Israel.

Visa information can be found here. Citizens of many countries need a visa to travel to Israel.

Is it safe to travel to and in Israel?

The safety of participants during their stay in Israel is of paramount concern to Project Interchange. Our staff in Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem is in frequent contact with security authorities in the United States and Israel. Throughout the seminar, the security situation along all trip routes and at all visitation sites is monitored frequently. In the case of a relevant security advisory, the trip itinerary is modified by Project Interchange.

All groups travel on a private bus accompanied by a licensed tour guide and a Project Interchange or AJC staff member. Participants are asked to follow various security precautions throughout the seminar, including: not using public transportation; not traveling outside Israel; and not traveling to the West Bank, Gaza strip, or any other territory under Palestinian governance, unless doing so as part of the Project Interchange program.

It is recommended that participants visit the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory website: www.state.gov/travelandbusiness/.

Will I have access to the Internet?

At most hotels in Israel there are business lounges where you can access the internet for a small fee. For those with laptops, many hotels also offer wireless internet.

How much money should I bring?

We recommend that you bring no more than $100 to $150 in cash with you to Israel. All major credit cards are accepted and ATMs are numerous throughout all of the large cities. All transportation in Israel and most meals are paid for by by Project Interchange. You are responsible for covering the cost of any personal expenses during your trip.

Which language(s) are spoken in Israel?

The official languages of the State of Israel are Hebrew and Arabic, though English is very widely spoken. Unless otherwise noted, most, if not all, Project Interchange sessions will be conducted in English.

How can I be reached while in Israel?

Prior to departure, each participant will receive an itinerary and the contact information for the Project Interchange/AJC staff. Please share the itinerary and contact information with your family and/or company.

In addition, some American and international cell phone providers are compatible with the Israeli cell phone system. Please check with your individual cell phone provider to see whether your particular phone and plan include coverage in Israel. Cell phones are available for rent in Israel and can be picked up and dropped off at Ben Gurion Airport. Participants are responsible for making their own arrangements for cell phone rentals. Please note that international phone calls on hotel phones are very expensive.

Lastly, as mentioned above, internet access and/or business lounges will be available at most hotels.

Do I need special health insurance while in Israel?

Most insurance plans continue to provide coverage for plan members who are traveling internationally. We recommend that you check with your individual health insurance plan for details. In most cases, should you need medical attention, you will be required to pay out of pocket for your care. Upon your return home, you will then have to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Will there be free time for me to explore on my own?

Time is allotted during all seminars for shopping and exploring. Each group is usually given at least one unscheduled meal and participants are encouraged to venture into local restaurants to experience Israeli culture on their own. All sessions and scheduled meetings on the itinerary, however, are considered mandatory.