Better Than Anyone Could Have Told Me Past Review

By (PSYCHOLOGY., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/13/2014 to 05/25/2014 with

Tel Aviv University: Undergraduate Semester in Israel

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Saying the program was amazing is an understatement. It changed a lot of lives for the better. You learn a lot about yourself getting out of your comfort zone and exploring a new place, but it was also so familiar and homey. Who does not want to live by the beach, shop local artists, and eat fresh food every day with people who quickly become best friends?

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

the course load is very light through out the semester but when the tests and papers come they may seem overwhelming. Many people never attended class - however campus was right across from the dorms so there was little excuse not to. Some classes were more interesting than others - definitely learned a lot of history and culture!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The counselors there were great. They were young and fun and always there if you needed someone to talk to, go to the doctor with, or ask any type of question at all hours of the night. The trips were well planned and very worth while. Every week there was a night activity (show, tour, zoo, comedian, etc) which were worth taking advantage of as well. All our questions were quickly answered; it kind of had a campy feel with the administration (minus the academic counselor who probably hates us all).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was so nice living with the entire program in the dorms! It was a gated community and very safe with 24 hour security at the entrance. The dorms were fine - like tiny starter apartments, and the gym was convenient. Bus stops outside the dorms made getting into town very easy, but better was the location directly across the street to campus which made commuting to class nonexistent.

* Food:

We bought our own groceries, so food was only provided on trips, which was fine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very good job notifying, educating, and including us into local/national events. We truly felt like we were living abroad not visiting.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Felt safer than in my home town.

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)

It was easy to live on a low budget if you had to. But there were so many amazing places to eat and shop, and going out wasn't the cheapest, so it was also easy to overspend a lot. Probably spent a lot less than people in other countries.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't buy everything in sight. But don't restrict too much because this is the chance of a lifetime and you should take it all in - eat and shop like a local (but save mementos like a tourist).


* 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

First month we had intensive Hebrew, then it was no longer required. Most citizens spoke English, so learning the language was a personal bonus not a survival must.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • location
  • people
* What could be improved?
  • language
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You'll spend longer in depression when it's over than the program lasted itself.

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.