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(Photo Credit: TAU)

Tel Aviv University’s New Academic Integration Tracks Welcome Olim

3 March 2024 |

TAU partners with Israel Student Authority to launch new degree options for recent immigrants.

Since the beginning of the October 7 war, there has been a noticeable surge in citizenship requests and Aliyah to Israel, particularly from France and the United States, but not exclusively. Responding to this growing trend, Tel Aviv University (TAU) is introducing new academic integration tracks in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration. These tracks offer a unique opportunity for new Olim to start studying in English or French and eventually graduate in Hebrew.

Professor Milette Shamir, Vice President International of TAU: “Discovering the overwhelming interest in moving to Israel, during my recent travels abroad, has left me truly astonished.  It’s heartening to see how many young people are eager to make aliya at this challenging moment in Israel’s history.  The new Integration Tracks could not have come at a better time.”

In the upcoming year, TAU will introduce two English tracks and one in French offered through the Lowy International School. Students opting for English can choose between a BA in Liberal Arts and Management and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

For French speakers, there’s the option to apply to the Programme de Licence en Sciences Sociales, Politiques et Économiques with a choice of five fields of study that include Economics, Political Science, Communication, Anthropology & Sociology, and Labor Studies. Currently, it is the only French-taught program in Social Sciences in Israel.

Hebrew Classes, Networking Opportunities, And More

These programs provide newly arrived immigrants with a valuable opportunity for soft integration into Israeli society and the educational system. The academic integration track includes fully-funded Hebrew learning, with intensive language courses during semester breaks and additional Hebrew classes throughout the semesters. Before transferring to the Hebrew track, students take the Yael exam to assess their Hebrew proficiency.

Students in the English undergraduate track have an option of studying Hebrew for two years, while those in the French track will have a shorter, yet more intensive year-long Hebrew course as their academic workload will be lighter – with only five subject courses in their first year of studies.

 

Additionally, students have the opportunity to work part-time, acquiring valuable local work experience. Daria Gurskaia, a second-year student in the BA in Liberal Arts and Management who made Aliyah in 2023, highlights, “In my current job, I get to apply the knowledge and skills we’ve learned in the classroom. Our program effectively prepares us for the job market, and working part-time during my studies will surely help me build my career.”

“Students will be able to immerse themselves in the local community while studying alongside Israelis, making them more eligible for jobs in Israel upon graduation.”—Louise Hyatt, the program coordinator for BA in Liberal Arts and Management.

MA in TESOL graduates will receive an Israeli teaching certificate upon completing the full two-year program, enabling them to find employment in schools or colleges in Israel. In addition to a strong theoretical foundation, the curriculum includes practical training. 

“Our students teach English classes either in local schools or through the TAU’s Center for Language Excellence,”—Kate Klementieva, TESOL program coordinator.

MA TESOL students find immense value in this practical component of the program. For Elli Kichik, a TESOL student participant, the practicum is a standout feature: “I can watch a real experienced teacher at work, and also teach myself.” She is confident that the TESOL degree will unlock numerous opportunities for her in the future: “I’m already applying the skills acquired during the course in my current teaching practice.”

Beyond Academics: Comprehensive Assistance System

Making Aliyah is a significant decision, and TAU, in collaboration with the Israel Student Authority, offers extensive support. Admitted students will receive support from a designated Olim student counselor on campus throughout their studies, addressing academic, scholarship, and other concerns. 

 

Additionally, Olim students have access to psychological guidance, provided either by a social worker or through a psychological support framework subsidized by the Israel Student Authority.

The tracks also come with partial or full funding for eligible students, and housing support grants are available to new Olim.

Student Spotlight

Noa Joffe, originally from Germany, made Aliyah in 2021 to connect with her Israeli and Jewish roots. Reflecting on her decision, she shares, “Life in Israel is hard, but the experience is worth it. The multiculturalism and diversity here have taught me many things about life and helped me develop myself.” 

Noa Joffe, Olah from Germany

“One can learn about Israel by coming here for a vacation, but one will really benefit from it only if one takes the jump to the unknown and engages with the challenge of studying in a new country. For me, it was the best decision I could have taken.”

Joffe emphasizes that studying at Tel Aviv University reinforced her decision: “It is a big challenge, but the reward of making it is the greatest feeling.”

How to Enroll?

The tracks are open to new Olim who made Aliyah less than 3 years ago. The maximum age for undergraduate applicants is 27 years old, while for the graduate program, the cutoff is at 35 years old. 

What is particularly important, undergraduate applicants are exempt from submitting psychometric test results, a requirement for Israeli applicants.

To check your eligibility, you can contact the English or French-speaking coordinator at the Israel Student Authority.

Explore new academic horizons, embrace cultural diversity, and contribute to Israel’s future by joining TAU’s integration tracks. To discover more about opportunities for Olim at Tel Aviv University, please visit the dedicated webpage.

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