UMD: A Globally Connected University

UMD-Summer: Israel: Documenting Tel Aviv: Digital Film and Storytelling (COMM)

Jerusalem, Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel
Terms offered: 
Program Type: 
Credit Type: 
Minimum GPA: 
Non-UMD Students Eligible to Apply: 
Graduate Students Eligible to Apply: 
Language of Instruction: 

SU 19 Israel
Documenting Tel Aviv: Digital Film and Storytelling will explore digital film production and narrative story construction in one of the world's most compelling locations. We consider history and the contemporary form of the documentary, blending theory and cultural studies with practice. Starting on June 1, 2019 we will make a series of short films and/or essays documenting Israeli culture, political life, the peace process. We will conduct trips to local points of interest and social justice organizations. Given our location in Israel, this class will encourage students to tap the political, social and cultural resources within the city and the larger country.

The skill set needed to produce new-media has become a desired asset for today's communication student, as many organizations produce their own in-house media. The course will culminate with a final individually directed documentary short film of 5-10 minutes in length, or in a written personal report/story/feature article (publication quality).

Israel is unique as it rests on a nexus between the East and the West. The environment changes the media producer/digital communicator (as we have seen first-hand in our personal and professional lives). You will immerse in the Israeli environment to research, study and engage in story telling. You will emerge from the course with a nuanced understanding of politics, cultural interchange and narrative construction.

You must be in good academic and judicial standing and you must not have any registration blocks to participate in this program. The minimum GPA for this program is listed above.

Open to UMD and Non-UMD Undergraduate.

This program is open to all majors.  Communication Students, Jewish Studies, History, Journalism, Israeli Studies, Government and Politics are encouraged to apply.
Digital filmmakers and storytellers will want to participate in order to build digital portfolios and practice project development in a foreign environment.

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the eligibility requirements, reach out to the program director (listed in the Contacts tab) to discuss your interest in the program.


After you commit to the program, Education Abroad will enroll you in the following three (3) credit UMD course:

  • COMM398: Documenting Tel Aviv: Digital Film and Storytelling

The credit you earn during this program will count as resident credit.


Housing is provided in central Tel Aviv.

The costs listed are for summer 2019.

Application Fee $50
Billable Costs
Billable costs are charged to your student account. They are due based on the Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering's payment schedule. Be sure to check your statements when they are available.
Education Abroad Fee $500
This fee is charged to your account when the application status changes from "Accepted" to "Committed." This fee includes Education Abroad services including registration, billing, advising, risk management, and pre-departure orientation.
International Health Insurance $43
Tuition $4,877
This fee is charged to your UMD account upon course registration. This fee includes: Tuition, in-country transportation, course related activities, group meals, and teaching services.
Housing Fee $0
This fee represents the housing provided during the program.
Out-of-pocket Costs
Meals (estimate) $500
Visa $0
Passport $145
Roundtrip Airfare (estimate) $2,000
Course Materials $0
Optional Activities/incidental expenses $300
Optional trip cancelation/interruption Insurance (estimate) $180

NOTE: If you are a non-UMD graduate student, you will need to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD graduate school to participate in this program.

Please refer to the following resources for more information on funding study abroad

PLEASE NOTE: All University of Maryland study abroad programs are financially self-supporting and, therefore, subject to cancelation due to low enrollment.

Adam Nixon, Faculty Program Director, is a filmmaker and television producer with a Ph.D. from UMD, an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU and an M.F.A in directing. Adam has been a finalist in the Sundance Screenwriting contest and an Official Selection of the Beverly Hills Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film and Script Festival, the Cannes Underground Film Festival, The San Tropez and Nice Film Festival and the Mountain Film Festival. He is instructional faculty in the Communication Department as a Full Time Professional Track Lecturer teaching courses in documentary, screenwriting and digital media. Adam has produced over 700 television broadcasts; primarily political talk shows in the U.S. and internationally (Middle East, Europe, North Africa). He received a National Emmy Award Nomination as a Field Producer with NBC Nightly News on September 11, 2001.

Dr. Leah Waks, co-instructor, is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Dr.  Waks teaches communication theory, persuasion, and group dynamics. She is an expert in leadership training, mediation, and conflict management. Her main research interest is in the interplay of cognitions, attitudes, and emotions in conflict creation and conflict management, in organizations and in groups.Dr. Waks has published in the Journal of Communication, the Howard Journal of Communication, and elsewhere.

For course, itinerary or in-country information, please contact the Program Director. For general questions or assistance with applying, contact EA Short-term Programs.

As a part of this program, you will engage in the following activities:

  • Research at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center;
  • Site visit to Jerusalem Archeological Dig;
  • Field production of student directed documentary films in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem;
  • Potential Group trips include the Dead Sea, Ein-Geddi, Jerusalem's Old City, Haifa, The Knesset, Bar Ilan University, Eilat, Haifa University, and The University of Tel Aviv.;
  • Visit to New Media production house in Tel Aviv.
Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Summerterm 2019 03/01/2019 03/11/2019 05/28/2019 06/15/2019