Israel is an ancient land on the eastern end of the Mediterranean. Although it is a little smaller than New Jersey, Israel is an amazingly diverse country full of historical heritage deeply influenced by Muslims, Christians, and Jews. In a very small span, one can travel through the orchards and vineyards of the extremely fertile coastal plains and the arid wilderness of the interior and the Negev desert. Additionally, one can walk to the crowded resort beaches of the Mediterranean, through the forests near Galilee or the secluded and often beautiful landscapes near the unique Dead Sea, which is seven times saltier than seawater.
The ultramodern skyscrapers of Tel Aviv’s booming financial districts contrast sharply with the ancient mosques, churches, castles and fortresses of bygone days, when Israel was the center of the world for all Europe and Armenia.Israel possesses a long, rich history. Today Israel is an economic power in the region. This can be seen with the increase in luxury hotels, shopping malls, and fine dining restaurants for both tourists and the Israeli population. Even though Israel is well known for the spiritual events of its past, non-religious people will find Israel today to be a fascinating, unforgettable destination.
Israel has a Mediterranean climate. The long summers are relatively hot and dry, while the short winters are cold and wet.
Religion and Festivals
The predominant religion is Judaism, which plays a major role in daily life. About 16% of the population is Muslim, while 2% are Arab Christians.
Israel is a major tourist destination and site of pilgrimage. Most come by air. Transportation in Israel is both easy and well developed, and buses are the primary means of public transportation.
Israel is a technologically advanced nation and the only western state in the Middle East. A small state, Israel has just eight state-funded universities, but each of them is recognized globally, and several are ranked among the best worldwide.Israel’s premier university is the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where more than 2,000 overseas students study at the Rothberg International School. It is ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide by QS and SJTU.Also very prestigious are the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University. Both are ranked in the top 150 schools worldwide by QS and SJTU.
There are many scholarships to fund your study abroad experience. Here is a list of Diversity Abroad scholarships available for study in this country:
For more scholarships, visit Scholarships for Study Abroad in Israel
The regional conflict centered on the sovereignty and territorial right of Jewish Israel has seen many terrorist bombings, wars, and uprisings. In 2006 a 34-day conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, a paramilitary group dedicated to Israel’s destruction, resulted in massive destruction in Lebanon and border areas. The conflict has discouraged the tourist industry to some extent. Appropriate caution should thus be taken near the Lebanese border, in disputed areas such as Jerusalem, and occupied areas such as the West Bank and Gaza strip.
Visit the CDC’s Israel page for updated information on health conditions in Israel.
If you have studied abroad in Israel, consider creating a profile and sharing your experience. What you have to say could help inspire another student considering studying abroad. You can also submit an article to be considered for publication on our website.
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Also, here are some links to potential opportunities for students who have studied abroad and graduates interested in work opportunities in Israel.
Students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to exercise caution when traveling to Israel, and more specifically the Occupied Territories due to the tense social and political tensions that exist there. Traditionally, students who frequent Israel for their study abroad experience are of the Jewish faith, so students of other religions or racial ethnic identities may find that there is not as much in-country or program support for them as there may be for Jewish students.
Jewish 76.4% (of which Israel-born 67.1%, Europe/America-born 22.6%, Africa-born 5.9%, Asia-born 4.2%), non-Jewish 23.6% (mostly Arab)
Tel Aviv is a modern city, with lots of nightlife and a strong technology/internet companies. Jerusalem, on the other hand, is known worldwide as a holy land and is often visited by people from around the world of Christian, Jewish or Islamic faith.
Israel's history makes for a unique and memorable study abroad experience. Formed following World War II in 1948, the country is often visited by people of Jewish heritage.
Are you ready for Israel? Here are few essential resources to help make your trip a success:
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