The history of the Jewish people, and its roots in the Land of Israel, spans some 35 centuries. Israel is located in the Middle East, along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. It lies at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
Long and narrow in shape, the country is about 290 miles (470 km.) in length and 85 miles (135 km.) in width at its widest point. Although small in size, Israel encompasses the varied terrain features ranging from forested highlands and fertile green valleys to mountainous deserts, and from the coastal plain to the semitropical Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Approximately half of the country’s land area is semi-arid.
Israel's climate is characterized by sunshine, with a rainy season from November to April. Regional climatic conditions vary considerably: hot, humid summers and mild, wet winters on the coastal plain; dry, warm summers and moderately cold winters, with rain and occasional light snow, in the hill regions; hot, dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and semi-arid conditions, with warm to hot days and cool nights, in the south.
Israel is a country of immigrants. Since its inception in 1948, Israel's population has grown almost ten-fold. Its 7.8 million inhabitants come from varied ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, religions, cultures and traditions. Today Jews comprise some 75.4% of the country’s population, while the country's non-Jewish citizens, mostly Arabs, number about 24.6%.
The State of Israel was established in 1948 and Jewish independence, lost almost 2,000 years earlier, was renewed.
Jerusalem, Israel's capital (population 788,100), has stood at the centre of the Jewish people’s national and spiritual life since King David made it the capital of his kingdom some 3000 years ago. Today it is a flourishing, vibrant metropolis, the seat of the government and Israel’s largest city. Tel Aviv-Yafo was founded in 1909 as the first Jewish city in modern times.
Israel is a parliamentary democracy with legislative, executive and judicial branches.
Israel's industry concentrates on manufacturing products with a high benefit that are primarily based on technological innovation. These include medical electronics, agro-technology, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, solar energy, food processing and fine chemicals. Trade is conducted with countries on six continents. Some 48% of imports and 32% of exports are with Europe, boosted by Israel's free trade agreement with the EU. A similar agreement was signed with the United States.
Hebrew, the language of the Bible, long restricted to liturgy and literature, was revived a century ago, accompanying the renewal of Jewish life in the Land.
With more than 2,000 years of history, Israel is at the crossroads of some of the world’s major cultures and religions, and a great place to get an international education.
Higher education plays a pivotal role in the economic and social development of Israel. In 2009-2010 some 280,000 students attended the country's institutions of higher learning. Of these, 38 percent attend universities and 41 percent are enrolled in colleges, while 21 percent participate in distance-learning courses.
Israel's institutions of higher education have full academic and administrative freedom and are open to all students who meet their academic standards.
Institutions of higher education operate under the authority of the Council for Higher Education, organized by the minister of education, and includes academics, community representatives and a student representative. The Council grants accreditation, authorizes the awarding of academic degrees, and advises the government on the development and financing of higher education and scientific research.
Public funds provide 70 percent of the budget for higher education, 20 percent derives from tuition, and the rest from various private sources. In recent years higher education study programmes in Israel have become more career-oriented, with larger numbers of students enrolled in the wide range of professional studies.
In most cases applications are submitted online. After the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed, and will be contacted with an admissions decision. In some cases, an interview will be required, which can be held either in person or via telephone or Skype.
Application documents include:
Universities may have additional requirements. Make sure to ask for detailed information before applying to your chosen university in Israel.
For more details visit: http://www.masaisrael.org/programs/apply
Immigrants and students lacking the necessary qualifications may attend a special preparatory program, which enables them to apply for admission. A standardized test is used as a higher education admission exam. The test covers three areas: quantitative and verbal reasoning and English language proficiency. It is administered by the Israeli National Institute for Testing and Evaluation (NITE).
Israeli universities are among 100 of the top world universities in science and engineering-related subjects, according to the QS World University Rankings. Taught subjects include mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, engineering or life sciences.
Summer Programs are offered in general academic areas as well as language offerings in Yiddish, Hebrew and Arabic. Intensive Language Program are offered in Hebrew, Yiddish and Arabic. A wide range of Graduate Programs is also available in Israeli universities.
Opportunities are available for international students to spend a semester or year in an exchange programme experiencing another culture, volunteering, doing an internship, studying, or developing their Jewish identity. Jewish Studies programs are designed to deepen your connection to the Jewish traditions and identity.
Higher studies in Israel offer a broad selection of courses taught in English, along with courses in French, Spanish, Russian, and Hebrew delivered by experienced faculty.
To find and compare English, French and Spanish language courses visit: www.languagelearningportal.com
Whether you are interested in hi-tech innovation, community building, art, scientific research, renewable energy, music, language, or archaeology, Israel has an array of cutting-edge companies, socially conscious organizations, top-notch educational institutions, and warm communities that will welcome you during your program. Students are encouraged to build lifelong connections with Israeli citizens.
The higher education visa is valid for up to one year and for multiple entrances and exits. Recipients of this visa are not permitted to work in Israel.
The visa is granted to students who provide the following documents:
Every participant is required to visit his/her local Israeli Consulate or Embassy of Israel prior to his/her arrival, in order to obtain a student visa. Request additional information from your local Israel Embassy or Consulate.
For more information visit: http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/consularservices/pages/visas.aspx