Explore the Middle East with Educational Travel Collaborative, L.L.C.
Our connections and offerings in this region are without a doubt the best in the world - you'd be hard-pressed to find travel professionals, let alone educators, who know this field better. We are excited to share our passion with you! The "spotlight" features below will give you an idea of a few possible destinations - but we know every corner of the region.
The adventure of a lifetime...
For its importance in both classical and modern studies, the Middle East is one of the most under-explored parts of the world by young people - despite the exceptional hospitality of local communities! Set yourself apart from the crowd and dive in!
There's a reason this part of the world is top on our list of potential destinations - the Middle East and North Africa (MENA for brevity's sake) is a part of the world we are profoundly experienced in supporting educational travel to, as well as traveling the region and calling it home ourselves.
This historical crossroads offers so much, and we are happy to help you make the most of it, whether it's a stopover to another destination in Doha or a three-month sojourn through Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, The West Bank, and Egypt, whether you're debunking stereotypes in Tehran's trendy restaurants or wandering the souks of Tunis or Marrakech, residents of the region want to give you a chance to see the world through their eyes.
Spotlight: The West Bank
Cultural and Religious Legacy
Jericho. Bethlehem. Nablus. Jerusalem. Whether you're religious or not, you're aware of the historical and ideological significance of these locales. This is the beating heart of the Middle East and has been for millennia. Agricultural practices here, threatened by both climate change and the political climate, have continued unchanged for thousands of years - there are olive trees growing here that have been alive since before the founding of the first Greek city-state. Visiting such an ancient place, at the heart of so many people's passions all around the world, is a unique experience - and lends itself to those interested in researching modernization, sustainable agriculture, religious coexistence, traditional art, calligraphy, and much more.
Conflict and Competition
This part of the world gets a reputation for conflict - simply search for "Israel," "Palestine," "Apartheid Wall," or "Home Demolitions," and the conflict will pop up on your screen. For young people interested in engaging with and understanding the complexity of our world, the West Bank is a particularly important, and surprisingly accessible, destination.
While religious and ethnic lines divide many communities here, all sides are open to foreigners and deeply driven to share their perspectives on their lives. We can facilitate your engagement with Israeli settlers, Palestinian refugees, and the communities caught in between, giving you a perspective no one else in the world can. Whether it is control of land, agricultural resources, or - key in this part of the world, water - the situation in the West Bank will remain a key priority for politicians, trade leaders, development economists, and international business leaders for decades to come. Our partners on the ground work with leading academic institutions, including Harvard University, and give us the same local expertise and passionate logistical coordination to help you to develop your focus and deepen your knowledge.
Spotlight: The River Nile
Take unplugging to a whole new level
The River Nile is, as it has been for millennia, the source of life for the people and wildlife that live on its flood plains. Traveling Egypt by sail and rail is one of the quintessential travel experiences in the Middle East and the world. From the megacity of Cairo to trading outposts along the river's twists and turns, you can explore the impacts of climate change, visit the ancient sites of Luxor and surrounding cities, and get a feel for life along this legendary river beyond the tour busses and tourist hustle.
Decolonization and Control of Resources
The Nile is also at the center of major controversy - a treaty from the British colonial era gives virtually all rights to its water to the people of Egypt, despite the Nile running through far more nations. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a massive hydropower project in Ethiopia, threatens the way of life along the Nile if Egyptian diplomats are to be believed. Tensions over how to use the scarce resources of the Nile as they become only more precious due to our changing climate are a central case study to global conversations around sustainable development, international peace and conflict resolution, and equitable decolonization.
As with any area of the world, there are particular planning notes that you should be aware of - the Middle East is no exception. Here are a few tips to help set your expectations for your Middle Eastern adventure!
One of the things we find ourselves supporting aspiring travelers through most often is the adjustment of their expectations around how much they should attempt to see and do in a set amount of time. We want you to have the time to soak up the culture and sites you'll encounter on your travels, and make real and meaningful connections. With that in mind, we wouldn't advise less than two weeks in any given country - go significantly below that and you'll be making some serious sacrifices.
Culture and Safety
This part of the world gets a bad reputation, mostly undeservedly. While competition and conflict define life in parts of the Middle East, as a foreign visitor who is not a party to these conflicts, and who can help better global understanding of the situation on the ground, you will be well taken care of by the local population. Still, we will unpack specific safety and security guidance for you as we collaborate on your itinerary to make sure you understand the rules and expectations in each place that you'll visit - mostly to avoid any culturally embarrassing moments!
The political situation in this part of the world adds one significant hurdle for those planning to travel to the region - the need to organize logistics in such a way that one won't be forbidden from entering one country for recently spending time in another. This is relatively easy to accomplish - we can even assist you in applying for a second passport if you feel your itinerary requires it, although that is unlikely!
Estimated Costs and Pricing
Every trip is different, tailored to what you want to do and see, and your speed and style of travel. That said, these ballpark figures provide a solid estimate of what all-in costs would look like, including our fees, international airfare, and day-to-day meals and expenses. Estimates are for one traveler, see our pricing and design page for more information on small groups, and pricing differences for gap year travelers versus shorter-term travel.
Tunisia and Egypt
21-day Excursion from: US$ 5760
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 4000
Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine
21-day Excursion from: US$ 6180
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 4872
Israel, Iraq, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi
21-day Excursion from: US$ 7650
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 7000