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The Medical School
for International Health

Click the photo to view one of our of videos in our MSIH Day in the Life​

series that features second- and third-year medical students at the MSIH.

Student Housing
Classes begin formally in the first week in August. In the past, students were advised to arrive just a few days before studies begin. Having surveyed recent classes, we now recommend that incoming students arrive one to two weeks earlier to have some time to adapt to their new environment and familiarize themselves with the university. If possible, we encourage students to arrive in about two weeks before the start of the required orientation, but if schedules do not permit early arrival, students may arrive the Wednesday before classes start. Students are not advised to arrive on Saturday (Shabbat), in light of limited transportation and accommodations on the Sabbath.

2010 Rhee beersheva map and locations.JPG

Thanks to Daniel Rhee, MD ('13), who created this map of Beersheva in 2010.  Click here to take a google virtual tour of campus. 

Students usually find comfortable accommodations at either of two well-known Beer-Sheva establishments. The Leonardo Hotel is relatively expensive, although MSIH students can get the university price of about 450 NIS per night if they book their reservation through the MSIH office at BGU once their acceptance is confirmed. Avia Hashofet, university guest rooms in dormitories, offer a less expensive option that is available one week before classes begin (see​) and is open to accepted students. This, too, may be reserved through the MSIH office.

There is no on-campus housing for graduate students at Ben-Gurion University. Medical students live in rented apartments or houses, a plentiful supply of which may be obtained at reasonable rents in areas within walking distance of the Ben-Gurion University campus.

A wide variety of accommodations is available to meet the needs of single students living alone, students with roommates, married students with children and those with pets. Please note that students traveling with pets are responsible for arranging kennel services for the period they are in temporary housing during the summer orientation.

Once you are ready to look for more permanent housing, our student liaisons can help incoming students with apartment hunting and review of leases. Ultimate responsibility for arranging housing and lease payments, however, is solely that of each individual student.​

Student Extracurricular Activities

clip_image003.jpgStudents in the Medical School for International Health are encouraged to become active participants in the dynamic university community. Libraries and athletic facilities are open to medical students and the university offers access to a wide range of movies, shops, theaters, restaurants, and musical performances, as well as a point of entry to Beer-Sheva's diverse cultures and community activities.

First year blog: MSIH

First-year students are blogging about their experiences on the blog: Now in its fifth year,we have had over fifty first-year medical students (and sometimes their spouses!) write about their experiences studying global health at the MSIH.


Global Health Made Local
Our newest volunteer experience; MSIH medical students are paired with an Israeli medical student, and both visit local families who are managing medical issues, and need help navigating social services, managing chronic illnesses, and navigating the Israeli healthcare system. Students visit the families twice a month, plus meet with other volunteers monthly. Click to view a great video on the founders of the program:​


Student newspaper BLGN
Medical School for International Health students take part in a multitude of extracurricular activities, including the publication of a student-run newsletter called BLGN; click her to view the Winter 2014 issue, and click here  BLGNWinter2014.pdfBLGNWinter2014.pdf and participatein the following organizations:

AMSA (American Medical Student Association)

AMSA board members for the 2015-16 academic year include



dient: Shauna Dunton

Social Chair: Luisa Bonilla.  Luisa's main focus will be to plan Prom and other events

Treasurer: Jeffrey Kolominsky.  Jeffrey will manage the AMSA budget and run the bookroom.

AMSA board members for the 2014-15 academic year include:

Presidents: Josh Kugler and Reva Frankel (2017)

Treasurer: Joy Moy (2017)

Events Chair: Jodi Ezratty (2017)

First Year Representatives: Alon Slutzky and Shauna Dunton (2018)

AMSA holds a number of events during the year, one of which is the AMSA sale, which gathers donated goods from graduated upperclassmen, for re-sale to fellow students. The profits are split between the sellers and AMSA, which uses the proceeds to fund MSIH-AMSA chapterevents during the year.

The MSIH-AMSA chapter provides guidance on various AMSA Scholar opportunities, which offere year-long distance learning courses structured around readings, response papers and conference calls by field experts. For more information, click here:

Surgery Sheva, which used to be run as the EMIG (Emergency Medicine Interest Group)


ASRAN (Israeli Medical Student Association in the Negev)

Bedouin Tutoring Program

MSIH students teach English to a group of high school students at the Umm Batin high school, located in a Bedouin village twenty minutes south of Beer-sheva. MSIH medical students establish connections with the students, go on field trips, and can learn a bit of Arabic as well. Volunteers meet every Saturday. This is an especially successful program, which enables the MSIH students to interact with people from other cultures.

Ethics Advisory Committee
In addition to participating in interesting lectures on medical ethics, which include talks, case presentations and debates,there is also an Ethics Book Club, which meets several times a year to read and discuss medically-related books on ethics. This year's group is beginning with How Doctors Think. Last year, the group read Death of Ivan IlyichMy Own Country, and What Doctors Feel.

Families in Medicine Group

Global Health and Medicine Working Group

Jayne Shadlyn and Kristie Hadley manage the Global Health Office, where students can express their ideas about their global health education at the MSIH and deliver feedback to the GHM working group, which consists of students and faculty at the MSIH.

Medical Students for Choice

Mental Health Interest Group: visit their Facebook page here:


Physicians for Human Rights

Save A Child's Heart

MSIH Student Council
The role of the MSIH student council is to provide an efficient and organized 2-way route of communication between the student body and the administration. School-wide and class-specific issues/concerns/questions are given to the class representatives, who then deliver them to the council meetings. Student council meetings are held once a month, and are open to all (keep an eye on the extracurricular calendar or your email for details). Minutes from student council meetings as well as monthly meetings between student council and the administration are distributed to the entire MSIH community.

MSIH 2015-16 Student Council members and class representatives include:

M2: Kristina Hunter and Aaron Zweig


Benzi Samueli and Nathan Douthit

MSIH 2014-2015 Student Council members include:

MSIH Student Council President Virginia Byron

Treasurer- Esther Lee (2017)

Administrative Chair- Charlotte Alexander (2017)

ASRN Rep- Hannah Glinter (2017)

Volunteer Coordinator- Cyan Mcfarlane (2018). Cyan manages all local volunteer opportunities, keeping tabs on what MSIH students are currently doing in the community, and organizing school-wide volunteer projects. She has instituted a weekly Volunteer Newsletter, with highlights on new opportunities for students.

External Affairs Rep- Alon Slutzky (2018). Alon will also connect current students with visiting alumni, and help assist with the MSIH Student Mentorship program.

M1 positions:

Class reps- Aviva Friedman and Luisa Bonilla

Curriculum Committee reps- Yoni Taylor and Chase Neff

Global Health reps- Alison Higgins and Sahana Kamalakannan

Minority Affairs rep- Kristina Hunter


Third year medical students at the MSIH guide second years as they prepare for the Step One exam. All third year medical students participate in a student-run survey of their USMLE step one experience. They then hold a panel discussion at the beginning of the year, and discuss topics such as:

Approaches to studying throughout 2nd year, and how they changed over the year.

What your weekly schedule was like during the dedicated study period.

How did the experience of taking the exam compare to the experiences you had studying for the exam.

You will not be expected to discuss the details of your score, but may want to discuss if you are happy with your score.


The BGU Student Union
posts a weekly newsletter to their website, full of all the events going on at BGU. You can visit the site by clicking the link here....there is a lot going on!

Students contribute to the Appendix, MSIH's literary journal.  You can visit its website at to read the Spring 2011 issue.

Students also contribute and update a student-run website which is full of interesting information about student life in Israel.  You can visit this website at


Gurion University's website has recently added more pages in English for its foreign students, and its another good source of information for MSIH students.  Visit it here:


We're on Facebook!  Visit the Medical School for International Health Facebook group for the latest information and updates.You can also visit the new Ben-Gurion University Facebook fan page for interesting information and photos!​