Q: What is your full name, where you are from, University in the states and University/program here?
From California, USA
Went to University of California, Irvine
Master’s program in Public Policy, specializing in Conflict Resolution and Mediation program at Tel Aviv University through Masa.
Q: Why Israel?
I went on Birthright with the LA Jewish Federation and they provided a brochure for all the Masa graduate programs. On birthright, I was inspired to return to Israel and learn more about the conflict in the Middle East. Upon looking through the Masa’s brochure, Tel Aviv University’s Masters in Conflict Resolution seemed to match my interests perfect. TAU’s program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the conflict, from social psychological to historical to religious perspectives. I liked that the program also teaches practical skills to conflict resolution, such as negotiation, mediation, and facilitation classes. Furthermore, class trips have taken us on a tour of the security wall led by the man behind building it, the Knesset, and the Great Mosque of Jaffa. Additionally, internship opportunities range from an array of NGOs to security organizations to businesses. The experience is unique to Israel.
Q: What was your favorite moment this far in your journey?
Although I love the program, my favorite moments have been outside of the classroom. On the last night of Chanukah, I wanted to do something special. My classmates and I got together and sang, laughed, and ate yummy food together. It’s moments like these I will never forget.
Q: What was your program like, what made it different from studying in the USA?
Where else can you study international conflict up close in such an innovative city like Tel Aviv? It has provided endless opportunities to learn through experiencing a new culture and meeting people in the conflict resolution field, such as mediators, diplomats, and non-profit creators.
Q: How do you think studying in Israel has helped you on your journey to a meaningful career and future?
I’ve always been in awe of people who immerse themselves in other cultures and become fluent in new languages. Two of my closest friends that I’ve met here spent the last 6 years of their lives doing this, which has inspired me to do the same. I want to go down a career path that allows me to travel, learn new languages, and immerse myself in new cultures. The positive experience I’ve had in Israel has only reinforced this desire.
Q: Any advice for incoming students or newbies to Tel Aviv?
The best advice I received was from an alumni: “It will be nothing like you expected and everything you hoped for.” Go in with an open mind and heart. It will absolutely be life-changing.
(The beauty of Tel Aviv)
(Me and a friend from my program who inspires me everyday)
(Tour of the security fence-choose whichever you like best)
(A normal Sunday morning spent volunteering at a refugee daycare center)
Read more in Miranda’s blog A Year In Israel