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  • Locations: Tel Akko, Israel
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Program Description:
This program has been temporarily suspended through summer 2022. Visit the Global Programs COVID-19 site for current information on the status of Education Abroad programming. You may also contact the faculty leader or check back for information about future travel on this program. 



  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 
  • Brief interview with Dr. Killebrew prior to being accepted to the program
  • Students should be prepared for long, hot days at the dig site 

Program Description 

This 6-credit archaeological field school at Tel Akko, with a 3-credit pre-excavation independent study/internship option, integrates the multifaceted aspects of twenty-first-century archaeology that combines excavation, survey, geographic information systems (GIS), landscape archaeology, conservation, heritage studies, archaeological sciences and community outreach. Located on the Mediterranean Sea and the only natural harbor in the region, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Acre/Akko/Akka is the focus of this unique and cutting-edge archaeological field school. Throughout its history, Akko has served as a major emporium for the ancient world. Bronze and Iron Age Akko, situated east of the modern city, appears prominently in ancient Egyptian, Ugaritic, Assyrian, Classical, and biblical accounts. Known locally as Napoleon's Hill, or Tell el-Fukhar, excavations on this ancient mound, have uncovered remains of Canaanite, "Sea Peoples," Phoenician, Persian, Greek, and Hellenistic culture. During more recent times, it has entered history as the city that withstood Napoleon's two-month siege and marked the end of his campaign to conquer the Middle East. Today Akko is a major tourist destination, well-known for its picturesque and historic Ottoman period town that is constructed on the ruins of the best-preserved Crusader city in the world. The archaeological field school is led by Dr. Ann E. Killebrew, co-director of the Tel Akko excavations and Penn State faculty member. For additional information regarding this archaeological project, visit the Tel Akko project website.

This field school includes beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of archaeological fieldwork.  The beginner's courses introduce students to archaeological field methods, a general overview of the history and material culture of ancient Israel and the eastern Mediterranean, and hands-on artifact processing. In addition to excavating on Tel Akko, students design their own field school experience and can select from a variety of courses and disciplines. These include survey, GIS, 3D documentation, landscape archaeology, archaeological sciences, conservation, and community outreach. Lectures, workshops, lab work, and field trips to archaeological sites and museums will complement the fieldwork. These courses fulfill the 6-credit archaeological fieldwork requirement for the undergraduate CAMS archaeology option and ANTH field school requirement. 

To see a video about the Tel Akko program on YouTube, filmed on site, navigate to: Penn State and the Tel Akko Total Archaeology Project

Students will arrange their own air travel/transportation to Israel in consultation with Ann E. Killebrew. For US citizens, tourist visas are issued by the Israeli government upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. Note that Israel has very strict COVID-19 requirements and security screening. Neither the Tel Akko program nor Penn State university can guarantee or be responsible for issuing of visas or other required documents for entry. Also note that activities are planned for each day of the program. Independent student travel during the course of the program is not allowed.


Summer: Please note this program will not run in Summer 2022. Please check back for future iterations of the program!

Program Leaders

Program Leader Information

  • Dr. Ann KillebrewAssociate Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Department of Anthropology at Penn State
    • Dr. Ann E. Killebrew, director of the Akko Archaeological Project, in Israel, has directed or participated in numerous archaeological expeditions in Israel, Turkey and Egypt. She is a noted expert on cultural interconnections in the eastern Mediterranean region and has authored or co-edited several books and numerous articles.


Course Descriptions

All students will be enrolled in their choice of course options listed below, for 6 credits:

CAMS or ANTH or JST 492, 493 or 499: Excavation, Survey, GIS for Archaeologists, and Landscape Archaeology (6 credits) 
Entails excavation, intensive survey, an introduction to GIS for archaeologists, and landscape archaeology. This course will introduce the students to the basics of archaeological excavation and survey methods, will give a general overview of the history and material culture of ancient Israel and the eastern Mediterranean, and will include an introductory course to GIS, 3D photogrammetry and LiDAR. The students will participate in daily excavation on the tell, afternoon labs and pottery processing, and lectures.  

CAMS or ANTH or JST 492, 493 or 499: Excavation, Conservation, and Public Archaeology (6 credits) 
Entails excavation, conservation, and public archaeology. This course will introduce students to the basics of archaeological excavation, in addition to workshops/lectures on conservation and seminars/lectures on dealing with the various communities and shareholders involved with the preservation and interpretation of Israel's archaeological sites.

CAMS or ANTH or JST 492, 493 or 499: Excavation and Archaeological Science (6 credits) 
Includes excavation and a seminar and lab dealing with an aspect of archaeological sciences (e.g. archaeometallurgy, zooarchaeology or archaeobotany).

CAMS or ANTH or JST 496: Advanced Field Archaeology (6 credits) 
This course is designed for students with prior archaeological field experience. Students may register for this course only with the permission of the instructor and director of the project.

Graduate study credit or internship credit is possible with permission from Dr. Ann E. Killebrew.

An additional pre- and/or post-excavation 3 credit independent study or internship specifically tailored to suit each student’s interests is also available with pre-approval from Dr. Ann E. Killebrew.

For information regarding participation in the Tel Akko Archaeological Field School for 2021, please contact Professor Ann E. Killebrew

Course Selection

Students are required to take the prescribed course listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for this course. To determine how this course will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses offered on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
  • Complete your Course Selection Questionnaire in the ‘Post-Decision’ section of your application to choose the course you want from the cross-listed program options.

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in 6 credits and have the option to earn 9 credits
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation

Housing and Meals


Generally, housing arrangements include two students per bedroom as the default arrangement. For summer 2021, students will have the option of a single-occupancy bedroom for the duration of the program due to COVID-19 concerns. Students who wish to opt into single occupancy accommodations (single bedroom with private or shared bath) must complete their Supplemental Housing Questionnaire after they have been accepted to the program. Students will be charged an additional fee of $700 per week for single occupancy housing.

Students participating in the Akko Field School will reside at the Nautical College, located in the modern city of Akko on the Mediterranean Sea. The rooms will be dormitory-style, featuring full board accommodations with three to four students per room.


Most meals are provided by the program.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Summer Costs

Program costs are estimates and subject to change up to the program commitment deadline. If Penn State tuition rates are adjusted for summer 2021, then the education abroad program fee would be scaled accordingly to arrive at the same total billable amount listed on the budget sheet.

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.

Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.


The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

Withdrawal & Refund Policy

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule. 

Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account

  • Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee 

  • 29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee

Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

After the Start of the Program

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility Considerations

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Programs Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Students should expect long, hot days at the dig site. 

Gender and LGBTQA Considerations 

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations 

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.


You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline, February 1. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.

Education Abroad Advisers

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.