Study Abroad | Masa Israel

Study Abroad

The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies // WHERE NATURE KNOWS NO BORDERS">The Arava Institute for Environmental Studies // WHERE NATURE KNOWS NO BORDERS

Publish Date: 
January 26, 2017

By Ofek Ravid

 

Ofek Ravid, 25, from Kibbutz Glil Yam, studied at the Arava Institute for two semesters. He tells us about his transformative experience in Arava's unique and fascinating academic program, with classmates from all over the region and the world.

 

I arrived at the Arava Institute in September 2015, not really knowing what to expect. I’m an educator and social activist in Israel; I had worked on the elections for the Knesset the year before and lost, and was looking for something meaningful to do, as well as increasing my academic knowledge about the regional environment. The Institute seemed to be located basically on the other side of the earth:  I’m from the center of Israel, and had never lived in the desert before.

 

Little did I know how much I was going to discover there. My best summary would be: The place taught me about nature and its interactions with human beings. Kibbutz Ketura, the home of the Arava Institute, is located in a beautiful area with places to hike all around. I would go out into the desert almost every day to relax or hike up one of the mountains overlooking the Arava valley.

 

In addition, maybe because of it’s remote location, the Institute allows for a unique community to form where Israelis and Palestinians live together and cooperate, which was a new experience for me. Most Israelis see Palestinians either as desperate people living under occupation, or terrorists, every single one, and here I suddenly was given a chance to live with them: cook dinner, drink coffee, study, dance, sing – and talk politics or religion. I had the opportunity to see them as human beings, nothing more and nothing less. Add to that our Jordanian neighbors and international students from around the world, and you have a winning mix.

 

I worked on research projects related to sustainable agriculture together with someone from Jericho, and one of my best friends was from Irbid, Jordan. I don’t know of any other place in the world where I could have experienced that particular blend of multiculturalism.

 

The academic program included courses I haven’t seen at any other university in Israel, but hopefully their importance will soon be recognized widely: political ecology, sustainable agriculture, environmental politics and others. Likewise, being able to observe and cooperate on research projects led by the Institute’s scientists was incredible. I especially enjoyed experimenting in the gardens of  Dr. Elaine Solowey [director of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture]. She really made her projects and her expertise available to us.

 

It was great to study and get involved in projects that are valuable for everyday life and the optimization of natural resources in Jordan, Israel and Palestine. I traveled together with Jordanians to understand environmental problems around the Dead Sea, and I studied greywater systems in Auja, near Jericho, with Palestinians and Germans.

 

Last but not least, once a week we would all meet for the Peace-Building Leadership Seminar, where we would talk about the real political and historical issues in our region. Here, I got such insight into the Palestinian narrative; I learned to understand the conflict in ways the daily news could never have taught me.

 

 

Internship program

In addition to the academic study program, the Arava Institute offers 2-12 month internships in five transboundary research centers focusing on areas of key environmental concern — water management, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, ecology and sustainable development. Budding professionals and researchers have an opportunity to focus their research in these areas and contribute substantively to transboundary research through a defined project under the direction of a faculty member, while gaining valuable professional, academic and personal experience, and participate fully in campus and peace-building activities. The Institute welcomes interns from varied backgrounds, including the social and natural sciences.

 

Interdisciplinary environmental studies

The Arava Institute brings together Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and international students for an interdisciplinary environmental studies program. Students study natural and social science courses for one or two semesters, while living in a unique multicultural community on the Institute campus in Kibbutz Ketura in the southern Arava desert. All courses are taught in English and are under the auspices of Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Undergraduate and graduate level credit is available for academic courses. In addition to the academic courses, all students are required to attend the weekly Peace-Building Leadership Seminar and participate in a variety of campus life activities, including a weekly comprehensive Environmental Leadership seminar. International students may apply for a Masa scholarship.

 

The Arava Institute has hosted students from over 230 American universities. For more information about the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, go to arava.org.

Technion - BSc in Mechanical Engineering

Program Description

The prestigious bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering is taught entirely in English at Technion’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The Faculty is internationally recognized for its leadership in research, education, and innovation, having educated Israel’s engineering leaders holding key positions in high-tech, government and defense industries. Students are taught by senior academic staff, scientists and expert lecturers from industry, and benefit from a stimulating environment and state-of-the-art laboratories – among the most advanced of their kind in the world. The program provides students with a strong base in the engineering sciences alongside project-based laboratory and design experiences, to develop their independence, creativity, and leadership in an era of incredibly rapid technological change. New developments in the fields of microsystems, biomechanics, and medical robotics pose exciting challenges for mechanical engineers as well as new opportunities for driving innovation.

Typically, mechanical engineers are suited for employment in diverse areas, including the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical industry, computer, communications, nanotechnology, robotics and power-generation industries.

  • Main Subject: Graduate Academic Studies
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Engineering 
  • Duration:
  • 10 Months 
  • Age:
  • 17-25 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Technion - Israel Institute of Technology 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Technion - BSc in Mechanical Engineering 
  • Price:
  • $ 19000 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 15,2017 - June 15,2018  Apply to this program

Tel Aviv University - Community Action in Tel Aviv

Program Description

  • Main Subject: Volunteer Programs, Undergraduate Academic Studies
  •  
  • Duration:
  • 4.5 Months 
  • Age:
  • 18-30 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Tel Aviv University - The International School for Overseas Student 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Tel Aviv University - Community Action in Tel Aviv 
  • Price:
  • $ 8700 
  • Accommodation:
  • Not Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • January 17,2018 - June 03,2018  Apply to this program

Tel Aviv University - STEM Semester

Program Description

  • Main Subject: Graduate Academic Studies, Undergraduate Academic Studies
  •  
  • Keywords:
  • Science 
  • Duration:
  • 7, 12 Months 
  • Age:
  • 18-30 
  • Language:
  • English 
  • Organizer:
  • Tel Aviv University - The International School for Overseas Student 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • Tel Aviv University - STEM Semester 
  • Accommodation:
  • Not Included 
  • Meals:
  • Not Included 
  • Program Dates:

English for the Workplace

http://www.masaisrael.org/sites/default/files/English%20for%20the%20Workplace.jpg

Program Description

This course is for young adults who are interested in developing English language skills for use in the context of a workplace. The course takes workplace English as its starting point, and offers functional language phrases and virtual workplace scenarios. Students will learn the language needed for searching and applying for employment, preparing for interviews, taking interviews, starting on a new post and working with new colleagues.


In addition to the above program, students who intend to apply for higher education studies in an Israeli academic institution will be offered a preparation course for the entrance exam AMIR.


This course is aimed at non-native English speakers who have studied English to at least intermediate level (approximately B2).


The course is designed and taught by the academic staff of the English Language and Literature and EFL departments of Oranim College.

 

For more information:

Gabi Farberov
masaoranim@oranim.ac.il
972–(0)49838952
 

 

  • Main Subject:
  •  
  • Duration:
  • 4 Months 
  • Age:
  • 18-30 
  • Organizer:
  • Oranim Academic College of Education 
  • Program appears on grant application as:
  • English for the Workplace 
  • Price:
  • $ 4600 
  • Accommodation:
  • Included 
  • Meals:
  • Included 
  • Program Dates:
  • August 27,2017 - December 27,2017  Apply to this program

The Top 8 Beaches in Israel">The Top 8 Beaches in Israel

Posted March 5th, 2017

Written by Andria Kaplan-Aylyarov

 

Yes, BRRR. The weather is cold outside and as you kindle the Hanukkah flames and spin that dreidel, warm yourself up and imagine you’re under the Tel Aviv sun, soaking up the rays on one of these beaches.


…Because seriously, where else would you rather be?

 

1. Banana Beach
Located on the southernmost edge near Jaffa this beach is home to Friday night drum circles, hula hooping-bikini wearing girls, endless games of Matkot and sunbather after sunbather. Think of it as a Bohemian paradise right next to Tel Aviv.

 

2. Gordon Beach, Frishman Beach, Bograshov Beach
Welcome to beach-mania. These three beaches offer endless white sand, beautiful people and the perfect dose of sunshine. Located right in the center of Tel Aviv these beaches offer a great getaway with tons of bars and restaurants. Each beach is the perfect place to catch the addicting Tel Aviv sunset plus, there’s a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream stand at Gordon Beach. #YUM


3. Trumpeldor Beach
Walking down the beach in Tel Aviv you’ll spot an unusual statue and you know you’ve arrived at Trumpeldor Beach. This is a quieter beach amongst its neighbors since there are no facilities or lifeguards.


4. Jerusalem Beach
Formerly known as Geula Beach, Jerusalem Beach is located right off Allenby Street and near the very well-known Opera Tower building. You’ll find falafel shops and bodegas everywhere, so don’t worry about packing snacks for the day. It’s not touristy and is the perfect spot to meet all your friends for a relaxing beach day.



5. Tel Baruch Beach
Tel Baruch Beach may be one of Israel’s cleanest beaches. Fully equipped with green lawns, outdoor workout area, and seaside café it’s the perfect escape from a long week of classes or a big night out. 


6. Metzitzim Beach
If you wake up early enough on a Friday or Saturday morning,  take a stroll down Namal Tel Aviv, and  grab a coffee while you check out Metzitzim Beach. It’s more family oriented but offers three volleyball courts and an outdoor workout area. If that’s not your thing, however, keep walking north and you’ll catch twenty-something Israelis sipping Goldstar and hanging out.


7. The Surfer’s Beach at the Hilton Hof HaGolshim
Besides beautiful people watching all day long check out The Surfer’s Beach and prepare to be amazed at the skill, the surf, and the boys. It’s a hot spot to kayak or learn how to paddle board too!

 

8. Coral Reef Beach(Red Sea):
Okay, so this beach isn't in Tel Aviv but it's a sun worshipper's paradise. You can go from sand to snorkel to world-class resort within minutes. The best part? There's a good chance your Masa program already has a trip to Eilat planned. #GetReady



Andria Kaplan Aylyarov is a Masa Israel Alumna and content marketing specialist for Masa Israel Journey. She loves a good glass of white wine and wishes she was 85-years-old and living in Boca, but she currently resides in New York.

 

To learn more about Masa Israel and the programs we offer, click here. 

 

How to Reach Ivy League Levels of Tech Innovation">How to Reach Ivy League Levels of Tech Innovation

Posted February 2nd, 2017

By Oren Toledano, co-founder and CEO of Israel Tech Challenge

 

We’re called the “startup nation.”

 

Despite being smaller than the state of New Jersey, Israel has more Nasdaq-listed companies than any other country in the world except the U.S. and China. Our businesses are quick to grow and to create. They are built on a mentality eager to take risks.

 

But, what is the secret sauce behind Israel’s success? What magic touch do we have that universities around the world are now acknowledging is highly effective and desirable?

 

This is a question others have asked before – most notably Dan Senor and Saul Singer in their best-selling book. One answer they give: it starts in the military. More specifically, in the unique training program for the young recruits of 8200, Israel’s elite military unit where thousands of bright, technically minded soldiers study deeply and master cutting-edge technology. Having served in that unit, reaching the rank of Major, I’d like to go into this a bit more.

 

Over the last three years alone, several start-ups founded by 8200 graduates were purchased by tech giants, including Adallom (purchased by Microsoft), Onavo (purchased by Facebook), and CyActive (purchased by PayPal).

 

In 8200, the idea of “being thrown into the deep end” is taken to a completely new level. The soldiers are expected to learn new skills super-fast and solve complex military problems with limited personnel, in a short time and with surprisingly little guidance. It is a quick, hands-on, intense learning process that leads straight to success.

 

During their training, the average day begins at 6 a.m., soldiers get exactly five minutes in the morning to wake up and dress themselves – and they get another 10 minutes, on the clock, for breakfast. The rest of their day is just as intense, as well as intellectually challenging and rigorously scheduled – an exhaustingly high-level program of study that generally continues at full force until 11 each night.

 

If you can keep up with the demands of this program for its full five months, you come out on the other end as a tech master at the age of 18, and with more technical know-how than an average American college graduate with a degree in Computer Science.

 

And it works particularly well. The unit’s alumni come away with the skills and mentality that are a natural fit for the start-up ecosystem.

 

The thinking and training of 8200 can be applied anywhere around the globe.

 

At Israel Tech Challenge, for example, we teach an international group of students about cybersecurity and data science. Working in closed cohort groups, with intensive training and close mentorship, and given the keys to a strong professional network, the students flourish. The method we use creates open-minded, autodidactic, independent thinkers who can even come up with solutions before the definition or emergence of the actual problem.

 

It is an approach that can help all of us, as an international community, react quickly, adapt to the needs of the market, and create in-demand applications.

 

Today, American universities have started to recognize the need for educational models spearheaded by 8200-like tech boot camps and crash courses in coding. However, this is just a single application of the kind of new thinking brought to the forefront by the 8200. Israel’s experience can and should be leveraged to jumpstart not only the adoption of a new pedagogical system, but also as a groundbreaking model of international problem solving.

 

By adopting 8200’s intense, focused, and uncompromising training methods, American companies and organizations can create a workforce that is better prepared, more disciplined, and capable of overcoming technological gaps quickly, adapting in an agile fashion to changing realities, and learning, without judgment, but with great depth, from past mistakes. And they could do this faster, with fewer resources, attracting only the most talented and challenge-ready employees.

 

Applied effectively, the potential is here for a powerful tool that can shift the way we approach some of the larger issues facing the international community, throwing the most motivated, mentally resilient, and brightest human resources at the problem, while making better use of other resources, like money and time. In other words, we could attack real world problems by engaging technology, and its best practitioners, to help solve national priority issues.

 

Not only could this model prove lucrative and economical, it could be a game changer in terms of results – tech products for a safer planet chief among them.

 

Oren Toledano is co-founder and CEO of Israel Tech Challenge, a partnership between the Jewish Agency, The Government of Israel’s Cyber Bureau, and Masa Israel Journey. Prior to his current position, Oren spent three years as Head of the Aliyah delegation of the Jewish Agency in France-Belgium, and before that served for nearly a decade as an officer in an elite technological unit of the IDF, reaching the rank of Major. Oren holds an MA in Political Science and Security Studies from Tel Aviv University, and a BA in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

Jacob Shiansky">Jacob Shiansky

Regional Representative (NC, SC, TX, LA, GA)
Weight: 
-72

Jacob Shiansky is the Masa Regional Representative for Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. He attended the University of South Carolina and double majored in Business Economics and Management. Prior to joining the Masa Israel team Jacob worked at Robert Half accounting where he worked in Finance Consulting and was a revenue accounting specialist. 

Jacobs@masaisrael.org

Marisa Obuchowski">Marisa Obuchowski

Regional Representative (Baltimore)
Weight: 
-65

Marisa is the Israel and Overseas Engagement Associate at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, where she is very excited to engage local young adults and connect them with Israel and overseas opportunities. 

 

She holds a BFA in Graphic Design and Computer Imaging from Ohio Wesleyan University. After college, Marisa traveled on Birthright where she fell in love with the sites, people, and culture of Israel, and three weeks later she returned to Israel with WUJS Tel Aviv, program of Masa. After returning to Baltimore, she worked as a graphic designer and marketing manager for a Jewish day school and as a part-time swim coach at the local JCC. As an alumna of Birthright and Masa, she understands the meaningful impact of peer-travel and immersive Israel programs and looks forward to providing others with the same transformative experiences.

 

 

mobuchowski@associated.org

Mirit Balkan">Mirit Balkan

Regional Representative (Cleveland)
Weight: 
-62

Mirit Balkan is the I-Connect Manager at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. I-Connect increases number of young Cleveland adults ages 18-30 going on Israel programs including Masa Israel Journey. Mirit began in 2011 and has established herself as the local "to go" person when looking for a long term Israel Experience in the Cleveland Jewish community. Mirit was born in Israel, served as a sharp shooter sniper in the IDF, worked in Walt Disney World and The Gilo, The Rabin Center in Israel. She holds a Master in Interdisciplinary Democracy & a certificate in Peace a building and conflict studies.

 

mbalkan@jcfcleve.org