Study abroad programs offer more than educational opportunities

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By Jared Beinart
Staff Writer
@Jared_Beinart

As the spring semester winds down, students across campus prepare to take advantage of summer study abroad programs in Israel where they can hope to immerse themselves in the language and culture, and further explore a specific area of academic interest.

From exchange programs to university-affiliated partnerships with Israeli universities in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Maryland students have increased opportunities now to travel abroad while earning class credit, according to Education Abroad advisor Ilana Waldman.

Exchanges offer a true immersion experience at a leading university and the ability to join a new campus community by taking part in co-curricular activities at the host institution,” said Waldman. “Other approved programs in Israel offer international student dormitories, a diverse course schedule, a Hebrew Ulpan [language study program], among many other things.”

The University of Haifa and the Israel University of Technology (Technicon) are two of the UMD-affiliated programs available to students that offer the chance to take courses while also participating in volunteer programs and internship opportunities, Waldman said.

Maryland’s strong partnership with universities in Israel and the potential to work and study abroad has been a draw for students applying to this university.

“I made sure when I was applying to college, the university I went to would allow me to study abroad in Israel,” junior engineering major Evan Feinberg said. “Being an engineer, there is one clear choice for studying in Israel, which is Technicon. [It] is often called the MIT of Israel.”

Due to the Israeli university semester schedule, Feinberg’s program began in mid-March, well after College Park’s semester begins but Technicon was able to connect the engineering student to an internship with a startup in Tel Aviv.

“I am taking full advantage of my time in Israel, going on an overnight trip almost every other week,” said Feinberg, who has spent time in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Be’er Sheva and Haifa.

Students across campus also take advantages of opportunities outside of Maryland-affiliated programs, including Onward Israel, a program that pairs American college students with internships in Israel.

Adam Lubliner, a sophomore finance major, is taking part in the program this summer after several friends recommended the experience.

“I hope that this program provides me with a valuable internship but will also allow me to enjoy two months in Israel in which I hope to learn and appreciate more about the Israeli culture and society,” said Lubliner, who will have the chance to work with a finance startup called FinCheck.

The breadth of programs offer a little something for everyone and students can check out the various opportunities, including enrolling at Ben Gurion University in the Negev or studying with Ethiopian immigrants, on the UMD Education Abroad website, Waldman said.

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