For years and years Israel has been a top travel destination to people around the world for its religious diversity and history. Not only does it have holy sites for Judaism, but also for Christianity and Islam, offering interns the opportunity to explore the “home” of all three religions. Another big reason to intern in Israel is its exceptional potential for professional development. With several metropolis sized cities and major international connections, Israel can give an intern a unique, resumé enhancing experience while also providing opportunities to explore one of the most historically rich regions in the world. Lastly, there are internships in Israel that suit every type of intern.
The city of Jerusalem offers interns the opportunity to really experience history. Jerusalem is a mix of antiquity and modernity, where traditional markets stand alongside stereotypical Western office buildings. The capital of Israel includes a vibrant downtown with premier eateries and shopping, as well as the Old City, a maze of winding alleyways and colorful markets enclosed by walls dating back to the 16th century. Those who intern in Jerusalem will be able to find almost any type of internship placement, but the fields of archeology, international relations, and economics are especially popular.
Interns who choose to live in the northern city of Haifa will gain incredible career enhancing experience. Internships in Haifa include opportunities to work with top companies, such as The Technion, in most industries, including the chance to work in the international technology park of Matam, which is home to the R&D divisions of Apple, Google, Qualcomm, IBM & Intel, and more. After work everyday, interns can walk to one of Haifa’s four beaches, or grab a ride on the Carmelit Subway, Israel’s one and only subway.
If you’re looking for a bit quieter of an experience interning in Israel, head to the north; the Galilee region gives interns the chance to immerse themselves not only in Hebrew and Israeli culture, but also intern in Israel in one of the few areas solely focused on development. If you choose to intern in the Galilee region, you will most likely live very close to the beach and the Old City of Akko, the region’s most ancient city. The Galilee region is great for a wide variety of internships; whether you are interested in teaching, working with startups, or the environment, interning in the Galilee region will provide you with professional enhancement in a more traditional Israeli environment.
Finally, there is the famous city of Tel Aviv. One of Israel’s most well known cities, Tel Aviv is highly modern and has internship placements in nearly every field. The city is rated as a top travel destination, thanks to its pristine beaches, restaurants and cafes, which can be found everywhere, and bars, that are open till the crack of dawn. This wonderful city is also chock full of amazing architecture, including the “The White City”, museums, art galleries, open-air markets, and numerous cultural and historical sites. Finally, Tel Aviv is budding with a unique art scene. If a relaxed beach city on the Mediterranean coast that offers placements in basically every field imaginable sounds appealing to you, then look no farther than internships in Tel Aviv.
Due to Israel’s position of prominence in international trade and its continued focus on business development, along with its rich cultural history, those who decide to intern in Israel will be able to choose from internships in virtually any field. Whether you’re looking into hospitality, archaeology, education, medicine, ecology, museum studies, or computer science, Israel has it all.
For those looking for a more stereotypical internship in Israel, that most American companies won’t have a hard time recognizing, individuals should stick to placements in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. The bigger the city, the more “normal” the internship in Israel. However, if you’re looking for an off the beaten path type of internship in Israel, make sure to explore options in the Galilee region. Almost every type of organization or company in Israel accepts foreign interns, whether it’s working with Israeli wildlife or contributing to the marketing industry of Jerusalem.
The length of an internship in Israel depends on both your preference and the specific program requirements; however, most internships in Israel range from four weeks to a year. Interns are normally expected to work 20 to 40 hours a week in Israel. Finally, interns only need experience in their placement areas if it’s a specialized industry, such as finance or biomedical science, or if they are going to work in an organization that requires some background in the Arabic language.
In general, internships in Israel are unpaid, with a very small possibility of finding a paid opportunity. However, most internship programs will provide at least some accommodation and meals for interns. Program fees for interning in Israel vary per program; but on average, a six week internship in Israel might be $500 and a twelve week placement might be $650. These fees usually include the costs of securing an internship placement, as well as accommodation. Interns should keep in mind that Israel is a comparatively expensive country, with prices similar to many Western countries; a regular meal will cost about $13 in a big city and a Coke will cost about $2.50. Make sure to budget before interning in Israel, and ask around for affordable options once you are there.
Accommodations vary with every internship placement and program, but most applicants can expect to live in apartment style housing. Alternatively, interns may also be placed in a co-ed dorm room, with up to four people per room. While these situations may seem basic at first, the most necessary component, air conditioning, will usually be included and appreciated. Internships in Israel that are associated with universities or academic programs will often place interns in university housing on campus, which may mean living with other local or international students. Many interns who end up in university housing do not regret it, as it is considered one of the best ways to integrate into Israeli culture.
In terms of visas, if you are a United States citizen, a tourist visa can be issued to you upon arrival, and will last up to 90 days. If you are interning in Israel for longer than 90 days, make sure to get in touch with your internship program provider or employer to make sure you have met the necessary requirements needed to intern in Israel for an extended period.
Among the many benefits of interning in Israel, one of the best is the opportunity to intern in basically any industry desired. If not the wide array of available industries, then the chance to learn more about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and spend your free time working alongside local NGOs or peacebuilding groups.
Some of the most common challenges faced by those who intern in Israel include pick pocketing, insects, and budgeting. However, when it comes to the latter issues, as long as you prepare ahead of time by budgeting accordingly, keeping an eye on your valuables, and bringing some insect repellent, an excellent time is almost guaranteed.