When you think of Israel, you probably think of the high-tech capital Tel Aviv with its beautiful beaches and fun nightlife, along with the more serious but equally fun and eternal Jerusalem. However, Israel has so much more to offer than these two cities. There is so much to explore, and Israel’s hidden gems await you with Masa. You can find work and/or study opportunities outside of the better-known cities. There are so many beautiful places to discover and Israel’s hidden gems allow you to experience another side of this country and mingle with the locals.

Throughout this post, I will highlight some of the unique opportunities you can take advantage of with your Masa program. With Masa, Israel’s hidden gems from the Arava desert in the south to Haifa in the north and beyond will expand new horizons for you and another side of Israel. 

Explore the Hidden Gems of Israel

Explore the deserts of Israel with Masa

Suppose you’re looking to study abroad or do an internship in the desert on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, water management, or desert ecology. In that case, the Arava Institute might just be the perfect option for you. The Arava Institute is located on Kibbutz Ketura, around 20-30 minutes from Eilat. One of the unique features of this program is that people come from all over the world, as well as from Jordan and Gaza. The Institute offers a variety of unique studies and opportunities. 

israels hidden gems

The Arava desert is a personal favorite of mine because it is a completely different atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of the Northern cities. Even if the Institute isn’t for you, exploring this area is a must. Kibbutz Ketura and the other kibbutzim are surrounded by date trees, which they harvest in the summer. The hidden gems of the Aravaa start with the neighboring kibbutzim of Lotan and Neot Smadar. Plus, Neot Smadar has its own restaurant, called the Pundak Neot Smadar, which serves up delicious vegetarian food as well as its own cheeses, olive oil, wine, etc. Plus, you can also visit Kibbutz Yotvata Park, where the Yotvata milk comes from, and try their delicious ice cream. 

Also, starting in August, you will have the opportunity to do MITF in Mitzpe Ramon. Mitzpe is also known for its relaxed, cool desert vibes and fantastical views during the day and especially at night. MITF also offers teaching opportunities in Beer Sheva. Beer Sheva is known as the capital of the Negev Desert and is also one of Israel’s fastest-growing cities. It’s home to Ben Gurion University and has a large student population and a vibrant culture for young adults. Beer Sheva also has a large immigrant population and many Bedouin communities in the nearby areas. Living in one of these kibbutzim or towns will really allow you to uncover another side of Israel. 

israels north hidden gems

Explore the North of Israel with Masa

MITF also has opportunities awaiting you in Haifa and Akko (Acre). Haifa is Israel’s third-largest city and has gorgeous beaches, scenic views from Mount Carmel, and forests perfect for hiking. It is the home of the glorious Bahai Gardens and Temple, theaters, concert halls, restaurants, and museums. Two of Israels leading universities, the University of Haifa and the Technion, are located here, giving the city a vibrant student life and lively nightlife. Akko, just 30 minutes North of Haifa, is one of Israel’s most unique cities. Located on the Mediterranean, it is surrounded by well-preserved city walls, buildings, and tunnels built by the Crusaders and then the Ottomans and so forth. Today, Akko is home to a large population of Jews, as well as Arabs. 

If you don’t want to teach English in this area but instead you want to study, you can do so at one of the top universities in Haifa. Or, if you want to gain work experience, you can do that too! For example, if you are interested in marine biology but also want to experience Israel’s high-tech scene, you can do so as a Data Programmer at the Israeli Coastal and Marine Engineering Research Institute, Cameri. Or, if you want to gain hands-on experience working at an NGO, the Haifa Rape Crisis Center is always looking for interns to help with their fundraising and combat sexual violence. 

The surrounding areas of Haifa, such as the Druze villages and towns, transport you to another reality in Israel. If you choose to do your internship or studies in this area, make sure to explore Isfiya, one of the first villages in Daliat-el-Carmel. Or you can enjoy a nice afternoon at the Tulip Winery (it’s also kosher!) in the area. 

Israel’s Hidden Gems Await You with Masa

The possibilities are endless when you decide you want to do a Masa program. We will make sure to find you the right opportunity in the area of Israel you want to be in. Dare to explore and seek out opportunities that not everyone else is doing. I am positive you will never look back. 🙂 

Set up a meeting with a program advisor today!

P.s. Here’s a pretty photo of the sunrise over the Jordanian mountain range from Kibbutz Ketura 🙂. 

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