An Expected Journey: There and Back Again Past Review

By (Computer Science, University of Florida) - abroad from 07/17/2014 to 12/19/2013 with

Tel Aviv University: Undergraduate Semester in Israel

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Hebrew improved considerably, I experienced a new culture, and I made amazing friends. I consider this trip extremely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

While the academics were quite easy, the classes were extremely interesting. In addition, most of the classes I took are not offered at my home university, therefore making this opportunity a once in a lifetime experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

While at times the program could be a little unorganized, this is not so much the fault of the university as it is the trademark of Israeli culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I did not live in the dormitories provided by the university.

* Food:

One of the main reasons for studying abroad in Israel was the food. Whether the stands all around the city or the vast array of restaurants, I was never disappointed with the selection. In addition, the food seemed much healthier and fresher than American food,

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

While the university provided many opportunities and field trips to tour Israel, it could sometimes be tough to understand a different culture and speak to people when I do not fully speak Hebrew.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I do not know if it was the amazing weather or what but I did not get sick once while in Israel for my 6 month trip.

* Safety:

While Israel can at times have safety concerns, I never felt in danger. There was campus security and a gate to keep out all unwelcomed visitors.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Living on a student budget was difficult but I think that was more of a by product of me wanting to explore Israel than the country being more expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It would vary from week to week but I spent around 600 - 800 NIS which is the currency in Israel.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook at home when possible, plan your trips in advance to save money, and split taxis.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

During our language classes, we would only speak in Hebrew but outside of the class, I would speak Hebrew only as much as I wanted. Since, I knew Hebrew adequately, I usually spoke more often than some of my other friends. It was truly up to me to decide how much I wanted to speak the language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? One year of basic Hebrew
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Take the foreign language class even if it is not required. Also, speak the language as much as possible even if you have a bad accent or do not know all of the words. The only way to truly learn a language is by practicing it.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the friends I made
  • the culture
  • the food
* What could be improved?
  • I should have lived in the dormitories
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The time goes by so fast so do not waste it. You should not only say yes to most adventures but be the person asking others to try new things.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.