It’s time to trade gray and cloudy skies and rain for endless sun and beaches. If you’re the person who craves new experiences and thrives off adventure then say hello to Tel Aviv, your newest study abroad destination. Tel Aviv is packed with markets known as shuks, music festivals that give some of the best in the world a run for their dough. Here’re 5 Reasons Why Studying in Tel Aviv is Brighter than London, Literally: The Music Festivals England as a country has established themselves for having quite the rap for being a leader in music festivals dating back to the arrival of the Beatles. Israel, on the other hand, is becoming a top player as well and has secured numerous top bookings this past year like Avicii andSIa. If you’re looking for a music festival experience that’s not based on green fields but pushes it to the edge by being held in the desert, near the Dead Sea, or on the shores of the Galilee then welcome aboard. Here are 4 Festivals You Must Experience in Israel Before You Die:

Midburn Festival   InDnegev Festival   Minus424 Dead Sea Rave   Doof Festival

The Clock Towers Why tell time with your Apple watch when you could tell time with hundred-year-old clock towers?  You are in luck my friend because both Tel Aviv and London have enormous clock towers for you to use. The Big Ben, located in London was built in 1844 and the origin why this clock was built is still unknown. Some say it was named after a famous English boxer, others say it was for the royal family. Either way, it’s great option to replace your Apple watch… if you feel like paying $18.00 dollars, which is the entrance fee. Dunt Da Dunt.

If you would rather spend your dollars elsewhere while studying abroad and see an old Clock Tower amongst ancient ruins then head to Tel Aviv-Yafo and check out Migdal haShaon Yafo, a.k.a. the Jaffa Clock Tower. This Ottoman designed clock tower stands three floors high and sits amongst an old stone promenade which will surely give you gram worthy pics.  

The Method of Waiting in Line The British are known for their polite manner which is why you must never skip the line or cut the queue as they say. You will upset them very much if so.  However, in Israel, you will have a rather different experience, which can be quite amusing. You will never have any idea if the person to your right, left, behind or in front is the beginning or end of the line. Whether you’re waiting for an ice cream, buying something at the Shuk, or getting on the bus just push your way through — There is no such thing as first or last in line here. You’ll notice from the way Israelis “wait in line” that the culture is fast paced. Once you arrive in Israel you’ll hit the ground running and opportunities will be at every step of the way.

The Coffee & Tea The British, although stereotyped to love their tea actually prefer coffee. We apologize for smashing your dreams of having tea parties all the time. If you do love tea and coffee, Israel has some quite unique offerings. Your program will take you on a few trips to Bedouin villages where you’ll participate in lots of tea drinking, in tents on massive Persian-style rugs.  We promise it will feel surreal. If you’re a coffee drinker, your taste buds won’t believe the “iced cafes” from Aroma.  Imagine you’re walking to the beach because you’re in the Mediterranean after all and the only way to compliment the glowing tan  you’re about to get is by feasting your lips on mocha colored iced café  that is nothing but pure deliciousness. These bad boys put any Starbucks drink to shame. Plus, all of Aroma’s coffees are served with a little chocolate. #Bonus

The Markets Rummaging through British antiques, jewelry and munching on small bites sound like the perfect market experience that is if you haven’t experienced the vibrancy and atmosphere of the Israeli “Shuk.”  Calling all foodies and thrifters everywhere the shuks in Tel Aviv will have you and your wallet smiling from ear to ear. Whether you’re in the famous Shuk HaCarmel that’s filled with falafel spots, tchotchkes, and beer stands or prefers a high-end market like Sarona there’s a shuk for all kinds.   Here’s the top 5 you must check out: Shuk HaCarmel Nahalat Binyamin Shuk Levinsky Jaffa Flea Market Sarona Food Market

Written by: Andria Kaplan Aylyarov

Photo credits: Mruwka Photography Israel, Secret Tel Aviv, JTA,

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