As of January 2013 undergraduate students will be able to study abroad in Israel through a University program, the Study Abroad Office announced in a press release Thursday. In a shift of the Northwestern's international travel policy, which until now has excluded affiliation with countries with U.S. State Department travel warnings, the University is offering study abroad programs at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.
“Given the geo-political and cultural importance of the Middle East, both historically and more recently, we welcome the study abroad opportunities that Northwestern's new travel policy opens up for our students in this region,” said Study Abroad Office Director Bill Anthony in the release.
Students will be able to take a variety of classes in both Hebrew and English, including an intensive month-long Hebrew language program offered at the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University. Weinberg senior Candace Mittel spent last winter and spring quarters at the Rothberg school, in a program unaffiliated with Northwestern.
"It makes life a lot easier for the program to be offered through the school," Mittel said. "I had to unenroll from Northwestern and get special permission from the Univeristy just to go."
According to Mittel, Israel is an ideal site for international study.
"There's an incredible diversity there – diversity of religion, of ethnicity, of nationality – I don't know anywhere else where you can find such an eclectic and diverse group of people all being accepted into society," Mittel said. "It was the best six months of my Northwestern experience, and it wasn't even at Northwestern."