Incredible Experience! May 13, 2016

By (Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 01/18/2016 to 06/03/2016 with

Tel Aviv University: Undergraduate Semester in Israel

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a better understanding of the world around me and of myself. I also discovered how complex some of the areas of the world are and that what we see portrayed on TV, especially news, is not necessarily the reality of the situation. It has been an incredibly worthwhile experience.

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.

Some of the classes were incredibly interesting and useful to my experience abroad. Others, were less so, but I can't say I had any one class that was entirely terrible.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Tel Aviv University office was there to help with whatever I needed and tried to be as accommodating as possible.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The university does not provide food, but the on campus cafeterias were definitely better than what is available back at home at UT and the city of Tel Aviv has incredible food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It is a little tougher here since regular university students are not taking classes with you since their courses are in Hebrew, not English. However, if you put yourself out there and attend some of the integration programs the university sets up then you can feel very integrated into the local culture. It is just up to you!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

While it may sound strange, I felt safer while I was in Israel than when I went to travel Europe during my breaks. The university and city/country security is exceptional.

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

This has been the most amazing experience of my life. I've come to love another country and its people so much, pushed myself far outside my comfort zone, and learned so much from both the classroom environment and the country around me.

Finances

* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $65
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? You can eat out for either very cheap or pretty expensive, so it is up to you how much you spend a week. But both spending very little each week or a lot are easily doable.

Language

* 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

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? Intermediate level
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? It is easy to never really have to speak hebrew here, but if you make the effort to talk to waitresses, bus drivers, shop owners, etc. in hebrew you're ability to speak the language will improve immensely.

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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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
  • The city
  • The university enviroment
* What could be improved?
  • interaction with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Plan to take Hebrew throughout the semester on the program and not just during their Ulpan program. It will be much easier to keep up your hebrew if you have the class everyday in conjunction with speaking out in daily life.

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.