Haifa--Israeli Immersion Past Review

By (HISTORY., Beloit College) - abroad from 01/26/2013 to 06/06/2013 with

University of Haifa: Study Abroad at Haifa International School

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Too much to put into words--it was incredible.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

With the exception of the Ulpan, the academics were not very rigorous. Out of five classes I took, only two seemed to particularly challenging . The academic trips were amazing though! The tours provided valuable didactic context for the events we studied in class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The International Office was excellent!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I got a single in the Talia dorms. The room was a dorm room--but it had its' own bathroom with a shower. The single was in a suite with five others, a shared kitchen and living room in between. Because there are never more than two international students in any one dorm--it afforded the perfect opportunity to interact with Israelis.

* Food:

Students provide their own food. Luckily every dorm suit (either singles or doubles) has a kitchen with hot plates. Most even come stocked with utensils, pots, and pans. There are also plenty of restaurants on campus and in the city. The best place to go for groceries is the shook/sook in Hadar where fresh meet and produce are cheep in bulk.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Yes, Israel is more "Western" than many nations in the Near East. Yes, having a Jewish background helped me personally to understand more about the culture. But Israel's culture is distinctly different, and being in Haifa (as opposed to Tel Aviv where the trend is constant imitation of Europe and the United States), you get a much greater exposure to Israeli culture. Out of my four roommates, three were Israeli and of the three one was even Arab. Because of the way the dorms are set up, you get an excellent chance to explore the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

As long as you pay attention to your surroundings and stay in secure areas, you'll be just fine.

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)

You'll spend at least $500-$600 a month, maybe a little more, on food and travel. Best way to save on currency conversion is to use an international credit card with no transaction fees and only get hard currency when you most need it.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? At the most usually around $125 although you can usually manage a little less.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself and buy groceries at the shook/sook in Hadar.


* 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

You can try really hard not to--but it's really easy to do so if you want.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginner level Hebrew, mostly reading and vocabulary.
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? Make friends with Israelis. They're very approachable and the love to help you practice. They're usually really excited to find international students who study Hebrew and will really appreciate it if you can speak it to them, even if it's only a little.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The multicultural city
  • The Israelis
  • The International Students
* What could be improved?
  • More trips
  • More rigerous classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had been a little better at planning so I could make the best use of my time possible.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Arab Israeli Relations

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Dr. Zak Levey
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Absolutely incredible! Fairly balanced, highly informative, and rigorous it examines the Arab Israeli conflict from it's origins to the modern conflict.
Credit Transfer Issues: