How to Afford the Best Five Months of Your Life

Courtesy of the Career Israel blog
 
It’s often that our fabulous Career Israel Concierges get the question: “How do I pay for these five months?”  
 
Well, we’ve had over 1200 participants since 2007—so, we promise, it’s possible.  First of all, if you qualify for the $3,000 from Masa Israel Journey for the five-month program (and maybe even more in additional scholarships), then you’re paying $4,400at mostfor five months of rent in central Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, health insurance, a Hebrew course, educational seminars, and trips throughout Israel—which is pretty awesome.
 
Plus, the investment you’re making in your professional development is incredible. Any alum will tell you that getting international career experience in Israel will certainly help you land the job of your dreams.  Just ask us to put you in touch with one of them!
 
But, if all of that still makes you nervous, here are some tips from alumni who had those same concerns and still made it happen:
 
Tess: I knew that if I wanted to experience life in Israel, it was now or never. I finished college, worked for a year, and packed my bags.  Everyone had warned me that Israel was expensive, but I was determined to make it happen. I gave myself a strict budget of $125 per month. I shopped in the shuk, enjoyed all of Jerusalem’s free activities, and developed incredible friendships. Because I kept to my budget, I was even able to spend two months hiking the Israel Trail from Eilat to Tel Dan at the end of the program.
 
Ariel: I decided to participate in Career Israel just three weeks before the session began. I wasn’t happy at my job and knew I needed some more job experience to get ahead. Plus, I’d done Birthright and wanted to get back to Israel. I quit my job and registered for Career Israel, though, honestly I didn’t know how I’d do it. So, I just started calling everyone in my community, and I mean, EVERYONE.  My local Federation helped me out, as did the Hebrew Free Loan Society, which wrote me a check for several thousand dollars.  Thank you!
 
Jessica: I really wanted to come on Career Israel because I was interested in exploring my Jewish identity and loved the idea of developing my career at the same time. I really wanted to enroll in the September session, but I just couldn’t swing it.  So, I took a deep breath, went back to work, and saved up for the February session. I am so glad I came when I did. I can’t imagine a better group of people to spend five months with!
 
Natalie: After experiencing Israel as a Birthright participant and then as a leader on the Israel Experience’s trips, I was hooked.  Nothing would get in my way of making Career Israel happen for me.  I not only got funding from Masa Israel, but I also won the AZM scholarship.  Some people think that it’s impossible to win awards.  But someone’s got to win them!
 
Want more advice?  Our Career Israel Concierges would be happy to talk you through it and to put you in touch with other alumni.  Email Aviva at AvivaSe@israelexperience.org.il and check out Masa Israel’s additional funding page for more options.
 
 

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