While we know that your reason for choosing the University of Haifa is the desire for a challenging academic experience, we also know that you want the opportunity while you are here to explore and understand Israel as much as possible. For this reason, the International School provides you with numerous social activities throughout your time at the University of Haifa.
You can take advantage of the opportunity to immerse yourselves in Israeli society in different and significant ways. Firstly, there are several volunteer opportunites both on and off-campus that will expose you to day-to-day Israeli society. Secondly, the International School offers a student buddy program that matches international students with local Israeli students. On holidays and the Sabbath, you may request to join a local family for a festive meal, which has been proven to be rewarding for both the student and the families involved.
The International School employs full-time Madrichim (or "Social Activities Coordinators") who build and implement the social activities program. The Madrichim live on campus, and it is their responsibility to assist you in immersing yourself in campus life as much as possible. All social activities planned by the International School are included in the tuition fee, so we encourage you to take advantage of them all. Activities planned by outside providers, but advertised for you through the International School may have a charge. Whichever activities you choose to get involved in, you are guaranteed to have an amazing social, cultural and educational experience here at the University of Haifa.
Types of Social Activities
Every semester includes, but is certainly not limited to, the following:
Traditional Shabbat Dinner: At the start of every semester, we invite all the students to join us for their first Shabbat in Israel. Along with the University Rabbi and International School staff, we sing traditional Shabbat songs, teach the students the blessings as we recite them over the wine and food and we all enjoy a traditional Shabbat meal together.
Haifa Tour: At the start of every session we take our students on a tour of the city exposing them to the different neighborhoods (and views) and the plethora of religious communities in and around Haifa. We show them where the best places to shop for food, eat falafel, find pharmacies or exciting night life venues and how to navigate through the city on public transportation.
Israel Night: Every Tuesday evening we organize a cultural evening activity for our students that touches upon a different aspect of Israeli life (i.e. guest lectures, Israeli artists, group discussions, Israeli music sessions etc…)
Israeli Movies: Every Sunday we show a different Israeli movie to our students that is based upon a different and relevant viewpoint of Israeli society such as the army, the Kibbutz Movement, immigrating to Israel, religion, and more.
Hikes: One weekend a month we take our students on an overnight hike somewhere in the country, either in the Northern region or Southern. The hikes include a cookout, bonfire, and sleeping under the stars. The hikes are led by professional Israeli tour guides and allow our students to see parts of history where they actually took place. (i.e. Golan Heights, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea, Eilat)
Academic Tours: Every Sunday our students have a chance to go on a field trip around Israel with one of their professors on an academic field trip. This enables our students to take their classroom outside and understand the dimensions of Israel. (Gilboa, Mount Arbel, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek, Ghetto Fighters, Akko, Nazareth…)
Active Campus Life: Our students share their dorms with Israelis, are invited to all campus and city wide activities, and are also registered in classes alongside Israelis. As diverse a campus as we are, our students get the chance to integrate and befriend the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Druze and Bedouin student body that exists here in Haifa.