Thirteen senior officials from leading universities and study abroad programs in the United States have arrived in Israel for a week-long visit aimed at developing new study abroad partnerships with Israeli institutions. The visit is being organized by Masa Israel Journey, a partnership between The Jewish Agency for Israel and the Government of Israel, along with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delegation includes deans, study abroad directors, and other senior officials from Brandeis University; Columbia University; Cornell University; Emory University; Georgetown University; Princeton University; Stanford University; Tulane University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Michigan; the University of Virginia; and Yale University; as well as the Director of Education Abroad Programs for the Institute for International Education.
Participants will visit the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Ben-Gurion University, the University of Haifa, Bar Ilan University, and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, meeting with top administrators and international student coordinators at all seven institutions. They will also experience some of Israel’s high tech and innovation hubs and will visit several Masa Israel Journey programs, including a social justice volunteering and internship program in Tel Aviv; an intensive Arabic program at the Givat Haviva center for Arab-Jewish coexistence; and internship programs at the Peres Center for Peace, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hadassah Medical Center, all of which are aimed at exposing participants to the diversity of extracurricular experiences and opportunities available in Israel. The trip will conclude with a summit aimed at developing concrete ideas for new study abroad programs in Israel in partnership with Israeli institutions.
According to the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s 2013 Open Doors data, 283,332 U.S. students studied abroad during the 2011-2012 academic year. Of those who went abroad, 3,189 chose to study in Israel, placing the country 18th in IIE’s ranking of top study abroad destinations. This week’s visit, along with the process it will set in motion, seeks to increase that number significantly, exposing ever more American students to the unique benefits of studying and living in the “Start-Up Nation.”