Student Exchange Programs in Israel
Would You Like a Change?
Spend a semester or two in Israel; go to some of the best schools while enjoying all the small and energetic country has to offer. See the historical and religious sites around Jerusalem and in northern Israel, enjoy the beauty of the desert in the Negev and visit the lowest place on earth, The Dead Sea. Are you a beach person? You can swim with dolphins (or without them) in Eilat, chill out on the beaches of Tel Aviv or go to the quiet shores of northern Israel. The locals are known for their energy, good humor and friendliness. You will feel it at any club and dance bar.
And then there's studying. Israeli universities enjoy world-wide recognition and hold student exchange programs with some of the leading universities in the world. Traditionally, most cooperation in student exchange programs was with North American and Western European academic institutions. However, in recent years many Asian and Latin American universities have joined the programs. Currently, students from over 80 countries attend Israeli universities. Most of them are doing so as part of student exchange programs. International Students find top professors as well as interesting courses and internships
while enjoying their stay in Israel.
What can you study?
You can find dozens of study programs and hundreds of courses in English that are open to exchange students – in engineering, law, business and economics, social sciences, humanities, environmental studies and science. Each university publishes its course catalogue for next year so you can see for yourself which is the best school for you. However, keep in mind that you must make the necessary requirements at your home university or college and see which university programs are recognized by them.
How do you create your schedule?
International students elect their classes prior to their arrival at Israel. They do so with the academic advisors of their home universities to ensure that they will receive the credit points for the chosen courses.
In what language do you study?
International students coming to Israel usually choose to take classes in English. However, classes in Hebrew, Arabic, French and Russian are also available in some institutions.
Do you get credits for the courses you take in Israel?
The two main benefits of students exchange programs are that students get to stay and study in a new country while obtaining credit points that will be counted in their degree.
Are you going to have Israeli students in your classroom?
Unlike international "closed" programs (programs that are designed for and attended by a given group of students), students meet both Israeli and international students.
How long are the programs?
Exchange students may spend a semester or two in Israel as part of the program. If students wish to stay here longer, they will have to ask for special confirmation from their university.
Who gets in?
Both undergraduate and postgraduate students may attend the programs. The admission process is held at the students' home universities. Mostly, only students with a GPA of 3.0 (80) or higher are even considered for such programs. In some cases, especially in honors programs, students must have a much higher GPA (at least 3.6, 95).
In case students do not attend an English speaking college or university, they will be asked to take an English proficiency test.
Does it cost money?
Students participating in students exchange programs in Israeli universities do not pay tuition fees, as fees are covered by their universities. While studying in Israel, students continue to pay for their home universities, meaning that students that stay a year in Israel will pay that year's tuition to their college or university back home. Special summer programs
are not included and students must pay for their costs.
Furthermore, if students choose to take language courses in Hebrew or Arabic lessons
, they must pay extra (usually $1,100 - $1,500). Students will be required to pay for housing expenses, insurance and additional costs. In most cases, students are required to pay for their flights.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
– offers hundreds of courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students in business, law, psychology, Jewish studies
, Middle Eastern studies, plant sciences, environmental studies as well as other fields. The Hebrew University is also popular because of its location (short driving distance from many historical and religious sites) and its wide array of courses in English.
Tel Aviv University - offers many courses in English for BA, MA and MBA tracks. TAU's science and engineering postgraduate courses are very popular especially in the following areas: materials science, nanotechnology and medicine. Law, business and economics grad students may choose programs that provide them with firsthand experience - practical workshops and internships in Israeli firms and companies.
Bar Ilan University (Ramat Gan) – offers many international tracks in social sciences and humanities. Bar Ilan takes pride in its international law program, open for exchange students. The study program changes every year as it includes guest lecturers from around the world. The track mainly focuses on international law and may include courses in environmental law, the Arab-Israeli conflict from a legal perspective, global economics and law and patent law.
University of Haifa – offers many programs open for exchange students, mainly for grad students. Students may attend classes in art therapy, child development, holocaust studies, diplomacy and Israel studies, as well as courses in business, national security and patent law. At the moment, it is the only Israeli university to offer international programs in Maritime Civilization and Marine Geosciences that are open to exchange students.
Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Be'er-Sheva)
– offers many courses in English that are open to exchange students, mainly for grad students. Students may elect classes in history, Israel studies
, gender studies, literature, linguistics, political science and more. Exchange students can also intern in various departments: psychology, engineering, biotechnology, environmental sciences, life sciences, ecology and archeology.
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa)
– is one of the best science and engineering institutions in Israel. Semester programs in English
are available in many fields, including: architecture, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, mathematics, medicine, physics and electrical engineering. The Technion is part of the IAESTE organization and as such it offers student traineeship in Israeli universities, high-tech companies, industrial corporations and architecture firms.
Bezalel Academy (Jerusalem) - is one of the best schools in Israel for arts, design and architecture. Bezalel has an exchange program with more than 100 art institutions worldwide. Architecture, industrial design, urban design, ceramic and glass design and photography are some of the departments offering fascinating and challenging courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
IDC Herzliya – offers various courses for B.A. and LL.B. students that may choose classes in government, psychology, communications, business, computer science and law. Grad students may elect courses in government, law and business. IDC is probably the most international college in Israel, as almost 25% of its students are non-Israelis.
Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (Ramat Hasharon) – has an exchange program with Berklee College of Music in Boston. Students of the latter will attend special workshops in jazz, pop and world music, and will perform in Rimon ensembles.
Beit Berl College (Near Ra'anana) – specializing in education, this college has agreements with several European countries, and welcome undergraduate students who are in their second year or higher, to come and study for a semester.
Ort Braude College (Karmiel, Galilee)
– offers courses in Engineering for third-year students. Students will also participate in a 5 week pre-semester program that includes Hebrew classes
and tours around Israel.