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Summer Abroad this summer? How about Israel?

It’s a dream to go someplace alone and explore the place all by yourself. It is even better if you make new friends and learn simultaneously. A summer abroad is the best way to be spending your summer. Most people generally go places like UK or USA for their summers. Israel happens to be a comparatively underrated destination for students. It is, however, a great lively city which never sleeps and the curriculum there is enriching as well. Sachi Chopra, a second-year undergraduate, went to Israel for her summer program and she had a great time. Her experience motivates us all to go to Israel at least once!

Q: Tell us more about your experience in Israel? Where did you study?

A: Israel is one of the unique places I’ve ever been to. Everything about Israel is breathtaking. The place, the way the cities are built, the people and the food – everything about this place is enriching and dynamic at the same time. I’m at a loss of words because what you experience in Israel is undoubtedly going to be different from any place you’ve ever been to. For the summer program, we stayed in Tel Aviv. It’s a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. I did a Business Entrepreneurship Program at Tel Aviv University. The course focused on case studies on Israel being The Start-Up Nation.

Q: What was the best part about Israel? Highlight your favorite memory.

A: The best part has to be coming to a realisation that Israel was/is nothing I imagined it to be. I cannot pick one, so I’ll tell you about 3-4 memorable anecdotes that I’m very grateful to have experienced. There was this day where we drove through Palestine, the West Bank, experienced someone being baptised in the Jordan River, and then went floating in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Apart from this, for me, things like walking for hours through the Tel Aviv Promenade next to Gordon Beach, walking through Neve Tzedek (the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside the old city of the ancient port of Jaffa), exploring neighborhoods in Jerusalem, visiting the first Kibbutz (Degania, 1909) and just networking with new people, have to be my favorite memories from my 2017 Summer.

Q: Comment on the course structure there.

A: The academic structure, from what we experienced, is relatively more relaxed than Ashoka. Having said that, the curriculum at Tel Aviv University is made very practical and hands-on, and that’s something which has a huge effect on how students learn.

Q: How were the fellow students? What did you do in your free time?

A: We met people from across the world at our summer school. People from different age groups, and different spheres of life. My cohort was very diverse, while there were undergraduate students, we also had a 40-something year old businessmen, we had postgraduates, amongst a good majority of people who came to learn Hebrew, or study Entrepreneurship/CS. In our free time we explored different localities and neighborhoods, or just walked to the beach!

Q: What was one unexpected/ shocking place you saw there?

A: It definitely has to be the Israel/Syria border. The UN officials who guided us around took us through bunkers, and told us about ‘casual’ bombings that happened at places in our sight, 2 weeks prior to our visit!

Q: What advice do you have for other students going to study there?

A: Don’t think twice. You’re making a huge mistake if you choose not to go. It’s going to be the best month of your life. I guarantee it. Also, carry as much sunscreen as possible! You’ll regret not doing this. Haha.

Q: What all are you involved in on campus?

A: I’m in the Ashoka Business & Consulting Club (Creative Director for the Ashoka Business Review, a core team member of the ABC Consulting Casebook Team, and the media head in the ABC Strategy/Operations vertical), President of Caperture (The Photography Society of Ashoka), I’m on the Editorial board for The Edict and the Curator, and a member of the Entrepreneurship Network of Ashoka.

Q: What do you think about Ashoka’s course structure in entrepreneurship?

A: It’s diverse. The classes are conducted in a very interesting manner and are quite fun!

Q: What are three things you hate about your day at Ashoka?

A: I have no spare time, ever. So it’s just that. Haha.

Q: What are three things you love about Ashoka that you didn’t find at Tel Aviv University?

A: Help from the housekeepers and cheap food! Apart from this, I can’t really think of much because I loved the independence we had as individuals in Tel Aviv. We have a lot of help at Ashoka, and after visiting Tel Aviv I’ve realised how much we take it for granted, here at Ashoka.

Q: What is something you are really passionate about?

A: Making creative content and business.

All images are courtesy of Sachi Chopra.

I am an Economics Major at Ashoka University. I love to travel and explore different cultures and traditions. Writing has been my passion because language is very powerful and plays an important role in impacting lives.
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