Study in Israel, learn in English with Bar Ilan University
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Study in Israel, learn in English with Bar Ilan University

Deborah is a freelance journalist

While some of us dream of living in Israel, making aliyah is far from an easy commitment.

But one way of getting a taste of living in the Holy Land, while finding out more about making aliyah is by studying for a degree in Israel.

Bar Ilan is one of Israel’s top universities, based in Ramat Gan, with its international BA programme – taught entirely in English – attracting hundreds of students from around the world,

First established in 2011, the international BA programme is aimed at people who want to live and study in Israel, but who might not be confident at speaking, listening and studying in Hebrew.

Students can apply for a variety of degrees, including communications and political science, communications and English literature, economics and business administration and English literature and linguistics.

Josh Weixelbaum, Bar Ilan‘s director of international student recruitment and academic marketing, says the university sees global applications, from the USA, UK and Canada to Latin America, South Africa, Australia and China.

“One of the biggest benefits to students is that they are exposed to new ideas, cultures and nationalities,” says Weixelbaum. “Students are exposed to other students and lecturers from all over the world.”

Another benefit is the cost: degrees are priced at the standard Israeli tuition fee, a very reasonable 13,500 shekels (£2,815) a year, while if you decide to make aliyah to study at Bar Ilan, the Israeli government will cover the cost of your degree.

Weixelbaum says that the “Israel factor” is a significant reason people choose Bar Ilan.

“Many people want to live in Israel, but it’s not a legitimate option for them,” he says. “Here is the chance to study for a degree that’s in another country, but not in a foreign language.

“Here’s a chance to study for a fully-transferable degree at a world-renowned university with research partnerships with universities around the world.

“You can have your degree and choose to leave after, but we find that around 70 per cent of people end up staying in Israel.”

The degrees available to English-speaking students are an exact mirror of their Hebrew counterparts.

If a student is confident studying some parts of their degree in Hebrew, or would like to improve their grasp of the language, they can also take any courses they would like to in Hebrew.

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