Six Months in Tel Aviv

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I knew I was ready for a change, for something new and exciting; but what?

The time I spent studying in Israel, at Tel-Aviv University-International, was one of the most important and rewarding experiences in my life. What really stood out to me about studying in Tel Aviv was that it offered me not only great academic opportunities, but also cultural experiences and the opportunity to connect with other students.  The decision to study abroad was unquestionably the best decision I’ve ever made.

Probably similar to all students embarking on a study abroad program, I was afraid and uncertain what to expect.  A new country, six months away from home, going outside of my comfort zone, leaving my family, and making new friends…. I did my research and was reassured to learn that the university I was going to study in offered international programs, and students from all over the world come to Tel Aviv for a few months up to a semester (Fall, Spring or Summer) to take a variety of programs.  Many come to learn Hebrew (Ulpan program) or Arabic, Israel’s official languages. Others come to study academic courses, such as History, Political Science, Philosophy and Business Entrepreneurship.

My experience exceeded all expectations.  I had the time of my life, and was confronted with new experiences every day, which I shared with the most incredible people.  I had planned to stay only one semester, but I was soon begging my parents to allow me to stay the entire year.  Once the year had passed, I found that I enjoyed living in Tel Aviv so much that I couldn’t bear to leave and I signed on for a full International BA in Liberal Arts.  After spending the year, I felt an inability to leave this place that I had become so accustomed to, so I signed up for the full International BA in Liberal Arts and will be spending the next three years here.

To me, Tel Aviv is the most special place on earth, and it is a diverse city that has something for everyone. There really is no place like this – the city offers a rich history, sun-soaked beaches, incredible food, world class entertainment options, and a variety of activities. It creates an amazing cultural mosaic and shows off Israel’s spirit of coexistence and diversity, full of rich culture, exciting nightlife, a snow-free winter, and amazingly delicious food.  As part of my university program, we took trips to northern Israel and to Negev in the south, and it was a great opportunity to explore other parts of Israel.

I am not trying to convince anyone to take the same path I took; however, I do wish to reassure you that despite the very understandable fear of the unknown, you would feel right at home in Tel Aviv.

Serena Carsley-Mann and Alon Coret
Tel-Aviv University

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