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  • Locations: Tel Akko, Israel
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
Anthropology, Classics and Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies
Program Description:
Student at dig site, Tel Akko

Program Overview                            

Tel Akko, Israel: Excavation, Survey, GIS, Conservation, Public/Community Outreach and Archaeological Sciences

Tel Akko Aerial View

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, see

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. 

An additional pre- and/or post-excavation 3 credit independent study or internship specifically tailored to suit each student’s interests is also available. Students should contact Dr. Ann E. Killebrew for pre-approval. Two options exist. For students interested in the Landscape Archaeology Survey, students should arrive on Wednesday June 26th and depart on Sunday August 4th. The second option is to arrive on Sunday June 30th, the first day of the regular program, and depart on Wednesday August 7th. There will be an additional program fee of $900 for room and board plus an estimated tuition cost of $2,355.  The archaeological field school is led by Dr. Ann E. Killebrew, co-director of the Tel Akko excavations and Penn State faculty member.


Dr. Ann E. Killebrew, director of the Akko Archaeological Project, in Israel, is an associate professor of archaeology in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Department of Anthropology at Penn State. She 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.

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

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Collage of students excavating at Tel Akko dig site


Education Abroad Credits

Students will choose one 6-credit course from the following options:

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.

Mosque in Tel Akko Israel
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 2019, please contact Professor Ann E. Killebrew. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.


Successful applicants will satisfy pre-requisites established by the program.

  • 2.5 Cumulative GPA
  • Sophomore class standing or higher at time of study 
  • Brief interview with Dr. Killebrew prior to being accepted to the program

Housing and Meals

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.

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Summer 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.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Tel Akko Municipal ParkPenn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

For more information about this program, please contact Dr. Ann E. Killebrew in the College of the Liberal Arts. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2019

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

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Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 02/01/2019 02/13/2019 06/30/2019 07/29/2019
NOTE: Students participating in the dig must arrive in Akko on June 30th. Students participating in the optional 3 credit independent study should speak with Dr. Ann Killebrew regarding arrival and departure dates. See dates indicated above (under Program Overview) for additional 3 credit independent study.