FAQ

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What is Masa Israel?
Masa Israel Journey connects Jewish young adults to 5-12 month gap year, study abroad, post-college, volunteer, and Jewish studies programs. No other organization makes it easier for young adults to have exciting, life-changing experiences in Israel.
 
Masa Israel is a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel and is made possible by the generous contributions of the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod-UIA. 
Why should I go to Israel?
As a Masa Israel participant, you will live in Israel for 5 to 12 months while exploring your passions, interests, identity and more. Israel is a country of great diversity within a very small area, offering many historical, religious, and cultural opportunities and Israel is also a global leader in innovation in many of today’s most relevant fields—technology, healthcare, the environment, and business.
What support does Masa Israel provide before I leave for Israel, while I’m there, and after I come back?
Masa Israel provides simple access to immersive experiences that are as varied as Israel itself, and helps you navigate the entire process at every step along the way. Masa Israel offers a wide range of programs to fit every need and interest and can help match you to the most appropriate option. Masa Israel also provides grants and scholarships to help make the experience more affordable.
 
The Masa Israel Community provides a built-in network for Masa Israel program participants through social events and other activities that give program participants the chance to meet participants from other Masa Israel programs. The Masa Israel Community also gives alumni of Masa Israel programs a chance to reconnect with their fellow participants and to participate in social and professional networking and service opportunities back in their home communities. Check out community.masaisrael.org to see the opportunites we have for our program participants and alumni.
What types of programs does Masa Israel offer?

 

Through Masa Israel, you can take a gap year after high school, study abroad during college, or pursue graduate study, volunteer opportunities or professional internships in nearly any field. There are truly options for everyone. To find the program that’s right for you, check out our Program Matchmaker.
How much financial assistance does Masa Israel provide?

All Masa Israel participants are eligible to apply for universal grants and needs-based scholarships. The amount available depends on your country of origin, your age and the program you attend. Visit our Grants and Scholarships page for eligibility criteria and for information about what you’ll need to apply.

How do I get a grant from Masa Israel?
First, apply to your chosen program. Then, fill out the Masa Israel grant application. You will receive an email with a PDF version of your grant application. Print and sign the form and send that application to the program you are attending (do not send the application directly to Masa Israel). 
Who can I speak to about choosing a long-term Israel program?
Masa Israel staff members are available to help you or connect you to alumni who can provide you with information about programs. Please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to work with you.
Do I need to speak Hebrew to participate on a Masa Israel program?

 

No. With very few exceptions, you are not required to speak Hebrew to participate on a Masa Israel program. In fact, Hebrew language study – or Ulpan – is considered part of the “Masa Israel DNA” and is required for participants of Masa Israel programs. For more information about the amount of hours and level of Hebrew study offered by your program of choice, contact your program organizer directly.
Are there any special requirements for entering/exiting Israel?
In order to enter Israel, your passport must be valid for six months from the date of entry and throughout your stay. 
 
Every Masa Israel participant can (and is strongly advised to) approach his/her local Consulate General of Israel or the Embassy of Israel prior to beginning a Masa Israel program to request a special Masa Israel visa. The Masa Israel visa is an A2 visa – a multiple-entry student visa (making it possible to leave Israel for a vacation and be able to return without needing a new visa).
 
In order to obtain a Masa Israel Visa, you must visit a consulate or embassy with the following:
  1. The form you received from Masa Israel (PDF file) confirming your grant and/or scholarship amount
  2. A letter from the organizer of your program validating your acceptance to the program
  3. A valid passport
 
The consulate has final jurisdiction with regards to granting a visa, should it have prior intelligence or concerns about a participant
 
Should you encounter a problem when requesting the visa at consulate, an internal letter from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be provided to clarify the procedures. If there is still a problem, please contact masainfo@masaisrael.org.
 
Please Note: The Masa Israel Visa does not entitle you to work in Israel and is only valid for a maximum of one-year stay in Israel.
Which airport should I fly into?
Israel has only one international airport – Ben Gurion International Airport. It is located near Tel Aviv and the airport code is TLV.
What kind of currency do I need in Israel?
Israeli currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). If you want to acquire shekels prior to your arrival in Israel, ask your bank if they can order some for you. Alternatively, ATM machines are widely available at the airport and throughout Israel. The best option is to change your money at one of the many exchange points in every major city, which do not charge a fee for exchange.
Trip Logistics
Am I accepted? When should I depart for Israel? When can my relatives visit? Where will I be staying? Can I extend my stay in Israel?
 
ALL of these questions, and more, should be directed to the organizer of the program for which you have signed up. Masa Israel Journey is the umbrella organization that provides the funding for and support for long-term programs in Israel, but the actual trips are operated by a wide variety of educational organizations.
Until when can I apply for a grant?
Requests for grants, including all required documents, must be submitted no later than your program’s halfway point. Requests for needs-based scholarships must be submitted no later than 60 days before the program’s offical start date (or if an exception has been made, no later than one day before the program’s start date). For any request for financial assistance, you must submit my passport number and all documentation required to receive the grant or scholarship no later than the program’s halfway point, or else you will lose your eligibility for financial assistance.
Safety and security
The safety and security of Masa Israel Journey program participants, staff and partners is our top priority.Masa Israel Journey maintains strict standards for safety and security on all program sponsored activities.
 
As a joint project of the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel, Masa Israel programs receive updated information regarding safety and security regularly and are able to respond to official recommendations. Our staff is in touch with every Masa Israel program to ensure information is shared effectively and to assist as needed.
 
If you have questions regarding safety and security, please contact us on Facebook at facebook.com/masaisrael, on Twitter at @masaisrael or speak with our helpdesk at 1.866.864.3279 or masainfo@masaisrael.org.
 
What are Israel’s medical facilities like?
Israel offers some of the world’s best medical care and medicines are available in Israel. Visitors are required to have health insurance and – in most cases – medical insurance is included in the cost of your program. You can find information in English about emergency medical facilities and after-hours pharmacies in the Jerusalem Post and the English language edition of Ha'aretz newspapers.  
 
If you take any medications regularly, be sure to have the generic name and active ingredient, as well as a copy of the prescription, with you as brand names will be different.
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