Haifa is the greatest city on the planet May 26, 2019

By (California State University - Northridge) - abroad from 10/07/2018 to 05/30/2019 with

University of Haifa: Study Abroad at Haifa International School

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
That there is hope for peace. This city is evidence of that.

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.

The professors mostly make themselves available to students whenever needed, but the rigor of the assignments and the writing standards are relatively low to what I am used to. Teachers allow students a high degree of freedom to explore the country and apply what they've learned as opposed to displaying that in homework.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very friendly, accessible, and a joy to be around but sometimes disorganized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved the freedom but the apartment was extremely dirty upon arrival and took much time to clean properly. Then there were threats from the dorms mother that it was not up to their standards AFTER I spent so many hours cleaning. Unfair and quite rude but this is on the house mother.

* Food:

The produce available in Isafya was fresh and delicious. All of the appliances available to us made it simple and easy to prepare food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I personally felt very integrated because I have a strong background in the country but I did not feel the school did enough to integrate students with locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

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)

This country is EXPENSIVE, but what can you do.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $90
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook all of your meals...maybe go out to eat once a week at most and, if you do, go get something delicious like a burger at Urban Bar or a Villager's Pie at Fattoush Restaurant. Also, don't buy drinks at bars! This is the best money saving tip anyone can offer.

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? None
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? n/a
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? Speak it as much as possible. When talking with a native speaker, try to integrate as many words as you can into your English. They will be happy to see that you know a few words and will also help you with pronunciation!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the dorm life
  • the city
  • the language courses
* What could be improved?
  • cleanliness before students arrive in the dorms
  • replacing certain teachers...
  • more trips for students in Haifa...the Bahai gardens are fine but take students hiking on the Carmel, into the Druze villages, and down to the beach for activities! We don't need to bus all the way to the Negev for a day...though I did enjoy that trip.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If you take vitamins, bring as many as you can with you! They are extremely expensive here. Taking vitamin C and Zinc daily will help you stay healthy but also, never forget to sweep! This is a dusty country.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'