Application Process

Who can participate in the Bible Lands program?

Learners of any age—students and non-students—can participate in the Bible Lands program. Certain eligibility requirements apply for college students, and for minors not accompanied by an adult. (See "Student Information" below.)


When is the program offered?

The Bible Lands program takes place annually, and occasionally biannually, with different destinations offered on each trip. The January 2018 Bible Lands program Israel and Palestine will take place January 2-11, and the May 2018 Bible Lands program in Greece will take place May 19-31.


How do I apply?

Full-paying participants can view and print the Bible Lands application online and submit it to the FHU Abroad Office. Acrobat Reader is required to view the application. The application deadline for the January 2018 Bible Lands program is September 29, 2017. Full-paying applicants are required to submit a $500 deposit (refundable until September 29, 2017) with their application to reserve a spot in the program. The trip can accommodate a limited number of participants. Once the program is full, later applicants will be placed on a waiting list after they pay the $500 deposit. All applicants who are placed on the waiting list and do not make the program will have their deposits refunded.

Students who wish to apply for one of the spots subsidized by the Melissa Renee Biggs Memorial Trust may apply using this online form no later than August 18, 2017. (See "Student Information" below.)


Where do I send my deposit and application?

Cash or check deposits may be mailed to FHU Abroad:

FHU Abroad (Box 139)
Freed-Hardeman University
158 E Main St.
Henderson, TN 38340

Make checks payable to FHU, and specify in the memo line that the deposit is for the “Israel program.” If the name of the participant is not the same as the name on the check, please also note for whom the deposit is being made.

To pay by credit or debit card, contact the Office of Business Services at 731-989-6347 or 731-989-6689.

Applications may be submitted to FHU Abroad by mail to the address above, by email to fhuabroad@fhu.edu, or by fax to 731-989-6412. Please include a cover sheet when submitting an application via fax.


Are there any other materials I need to submit?

In order to participate in the program, applicants must complete and submit all FHU Abroad forms, including a Release and Indemnification Agreement, a Payment and Withdrawal Policy, an Emergency Information Form, and an Insurance Waiver (if applicable). All forms will be made available to program participants during pre-departure orientation.



How much does the program cost?

The all-inclusive program charge for the January 2018 Bible Lands program is $3,500. The program charge includes:

  • Pre-departure preparation
  • Transfer between Henderson and Nashville airport (optional)
  • Round-trip airfare from Nashville to Tel Aviv (other departure locations can be arranged, but prices may vary)
  • All airport taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Eight nights of hotel accommodations (4-star)
  • Full board (buffet breakfast and dinner at hotels, group lunches)
  • Ground transportation (private air-conditioned tourist bus with Wi-Fi)
  • Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee
  • Entrance fees to all sites and attractions as per itinerary
  • Professional tour guides
  • All tips (guides, drivers, hotel luggage porters, and wait staff)
  • Travel insurance


Will there be any other expenses?

Participants are responsible for the expense of obtaining a passport (if applicable).

If a single-occupancy room is required (as opposed to a standard double room), there is an additional $500 charge. Upon request, single participants may be paired up in double rooms when possible, but the double-occupancy rate cannot be guaranteed for single participants.

Participants may incur incidental personal expenses while traveling if they wish to purchase souvenirs and/or gifts.


When will I make payments for the program?

Payments should be made toward the cost of the January 2018 Bible Lands program according to the following payment schedule:

  • $500 deposit - upon application to secure spot (deadline September 29, 2017)
  • $1,500 - November 1, 2017
  • $1,500 - December 1, 2017

An additional $500 is due by December 1 if a single-occupancy room is required.

The cancellation and refund policy applies to all deposits and payments. Reference the Payment and Withdrawal Policy for more information.


How can I make payments?

Payments may be made to the FHU Office of Business Services in the same way as the $500 deposit. Checks may be mailed to:

FHU Abroad (Box 139)
Freed-Hardeman University
158 E Main St.
Henderson, TN 38340

Make checks payable to FHU, and specify in the memo line that the payment is for the “Israel program.” If the name of the participant is not the same as the name on the check, please also note for whom the payment is being made.

To pay by credit card, contact the Office of Business Services at 731-989-6357 or 731-989-6689.


Student Information

Is there financial aid available?

A donation from the Melissa Renee Biggs Memorial Trust has made it possible for a select group of FHU students to participate in the January 2018 Bible Lands program at a significantly discounted rate. Twenty FHU upperclassmen will be selected to participate in the program, with over 85% of the cost funded by the grant. These twenty students will pay only the $500 deposit, and all costs associated with the trip will be covered (excluding passport expenses and incidental personal expenses such as souvenirs and gifts).


What are the student eligibility requirements?

All minors and college students, whether enrolled in classes at FHU or elsewhere, must have completed two semesters of college coursework and achieved sophomore classification with a minimum GPA of 2.50 in order to participate in the program. Students whose GPA falls below 2.50 or who are on any kind of probation—academic, disciplinary, or otherwise—may not participate.

Only upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher may apply for one of the twenty spots subsidized by the Melissa Renee Biggs Memorial Trust.

All students will be required to participate in pre-departure orientation during the semester before they participate in the program.


How do I apply for one of the subsidized spots?

If you are an upperclassman with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher, you may apply for the Bible Lands program at a discounted rate of $500 by completing this online form no later than August 18, 2017.

Twenty student applicants will be invited to participate in the program, and student selections will be announced by September 1, 2017. The composition of the student group will correspond approximately to the enrollment in each of the four colleges at FHU: Arts and Sciences, Education and Behavioral Sciences, Business, and Biblical Studies.


Will I receive course credit for the program?

All student participants may enroll in three hours of academic credit associated with the program through the course BIB299A/399A Middle Eastern Cultures. The twenty students who are selected to participate in the program at the subsidized rate must enroll in the course, which may be used to satisfy the Bible class requirement for the spring 2018 semester.

The course will include five reflection papers of 2-3 pages each, in which the students will reflect on their experiences during the program:

  • Geography: the impact of the region’s geography on yourself and the events of history
  • History: the region’s history in view of what you have experienced
  • Culture: the cultural aspects of the region and your own perspectives
  • Socio-political: the current sociopolitical situation Israel and the Middle East
  • Spiritual: your own spiritual journey during and since the trip


Will I pay tuition?

Full-time students who enroll in BIB299A/399A Middle Eastern Cultures will not be charged any additional cost for the course, as the hours will be included in the spring semester's comprehensive charge. Students who are enrolled less than full-time will pay the part-time comprehensive charge (see Tuition Details).


Preparing for the Program

What is pre-departure orientation?

All participants in the Bible Lands program are required to complete mandatory pre-departure orientation sessions before participating in the tour. The orientation sessions will be completed either on campus or online via video presentations and written documents. Orientation sessions will cover topics like safety and appropriate conduct, history and culture, packing tips, and general program information.

The FHU Abroad Office will contact participants with information about pre-departure orientation after the application deadline or once all available spots have been filled, and any questions about orientation should be directed to the FHU Abroad Office.


When do I need to apply for a passport?

Applicants who do not already have a passport should begin the passport application process immediately. Valid passports are required in advance for all participants in order to make travel arrangements. For information about how to apply for a passport, reference the State Department website.

Even if you already have a passport, check the expiration date. To be admitted to Israel, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you intend to enter Israel. If your passport will expire before then, it must be renewed.


Will I need a visa?

U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Israel for periods of less than 90 days. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining any visas or re-entry permits necessary for visiting Israel; check the foreign entry requirements for your country of citizenship and contact of the FHU Abroad Office for assistance. Tourist visas often require more time to process than passports, so apply early.


How does the FHU Abroad office address safety concerns?

The health and safety of our program participants is always very important to Freed-Hardeman University. Every effort is made to keep our students and participants safe and secure. Safety will be thoroughly discussed during pre-departure orientation to educate participants about safety concerns, appropriate conduct while traveling abroad, and what to do in the event of an emergency. In the event of an emergency, the FHU Abroad Office will be in close contact with the tour hosts in Israel as well as the students, participants, and family members involved.

The U.S. State Department works to alert U.S. citizens of any international travel risks, and all of our international program participants are urged to register their travels with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free program provided by the State Department that allows international travelers to receive the latest travel updates and information about their location.