One of the main issues when one is deciding to embark in the adventure that is graduate school has to do with the funding, and rightly so. Education is an investment, not an expense, nevertheless it is unavoidable to put the money into the equation, and for this reason the M.A. in Political Science in Action at Tel Aviv University is happy to share with our prospective students and candidates some of the alternatives you might have to apply for a loan or a scholarship. Indeed, a great proportion of our current students have received some kind of financial support to come here to Israel and enjoy what is not only a high quality academic program, but a personal life changing experience.
First of all, you should know that the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a fantastic program to provide financial aid to international students. And guess what… Yes! We are glad to tell you that as a candidate for the M.A. in Political Science in Action at Tel Aviv University you may qualify to receive that scholarship. The program is part of the Cultural Agreements that Israel has with several countries around the world, and we encourage you to consider this option if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:
Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada (Province of Quebec), China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, The Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Republic of Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.
To learn more about the requirements, conditions and all the details regarding the scholarship offered by the Government of Israel, please visit: http://bit.ly/hKOfBB, and contact the Embassy of Israel in your country. You can go to the following site to locate the embassy or consulate in your area: http://bit.ly/ITN5pz .
You also may want to visit the Tel Aviv University School for Overseas Students website, where you can find a list with some other sources of financial aid and scholarships. Please, note that different institutions and agencies have their own requirements and criteria, so take your time to peruse and learn if you are eligible: http://bit.ly/K0tEvt .
Secondly, there is also the possibility to apply for a loan to pay for your studies. The School for Overseas Students has also compiled a list with some of the available options: http://bit.ly/KpvF6S. Again, we suggest to read carefully to learn all you need to know about the terms and conditions for eligibility.
Last but not less, you must know that our program has a Deferred Payment Plan interest-free option, so you can pay your tuition in four parts along the academic year. To learn more about this plan and the many ways in which you can cover your academic expenses please visit “Payment Options”: http://bit.ly/JfRKjX .
Remember that these are only some of the alternatives at your disposal, and the sites provided here are a good place to start. Yet, we also encourage you to browse the web and make a little research of your own. Chances are that private and governmental agencies in your country of provenance also offer scholarship and financial aid opportunities. In any case, you are very welcome to contact us and we will be happy to assist you with more information.
Why would a non-Jewish Mexican guy who is interested in politics ever wanted to cross half the globe to get a master’s degree in Israel? Tel Aviv University (TAU) is a first-class world-renowned institution, that is a given. But still, for someone with my background, let alone my provenance, traditional wisdom would suggest going to The United States or Europe. What then led my way to Tel Aviv, and why is the program in Leadership, Communications and Elections a strong option for any international student who wants to be playing in the big leagues? In a few words: academic excellence, a practical approach on politics, and networking -not that having the Mediterranean beaches 15 minutes from campus and living in one of the hottest cities in the world is not important!
Perhaps my own experience in the program would help illustrate these points. Academically, I am an internationalist. Professionally, prior to come to Israel I spend three years in the staff of Carlos Salinas, former President of Mexico, dealing with matters of research, analysis and communication strategies. Given such previous experience and interests, the program at TAU immediately called my attention for its practical approach to political science. Indeed, at the classroom I been having the opportunity to share my own practical experiences on the field. Conversely, what I am learning is not only theoretically rigorous but also relevant in its real-world application. It is this mixture of scholarly quality and a practical drive that makes the program unique in shaping both, the theoretical and practical skills needed if one’s actions are going to have real impact, either making research or creating and implementing policy. An aspect of the program in which you can really taste its practical approach is the Ambassador’s Forum, a weekly meeting with diplomats from different countries and fields of activity at which we engage in discussions on both, the junctures of current events as well as the structural tendencies of world politics. Another attractive feature I found has to do with the multidisciplinary orientation. Along a core set of requirements as its cynosure, the program offers diverse elective courses in order to specialize according to personal career plans. Even more, we enjoy the possibility to take courses from other graduate programs, meaning that it is possible to strengthen and fine-tune particular areas of interest, from financial management at an MBA course, to a whole catalogue of classes at the environmental or conflict resolution programs, just to mention a couple of examples.
In cahoots with the practical and multidisciplinary approach goes the networking. Here I share three examples from my personal experience. First, thanks to the program I could apply for an internship position at a think thank based in Jerusalem which was looking ex professo for the quality in research and analysis that TAU students provide. This institution, among other things, develop policy papers on critical issues that land in the desk of key policy makers in the Knesset and in the executive branch. Second, during a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized as part of the program, I had the possibility to meet and get acquainted with some of the top experts responsible with designing and implementing the israeli strategies in communication and public diplomacy. Third, I also found that there is in Mexico, as in many other countries, an organized network of TAU alumni working in a wide range of fields of activity, in both the private and public sectors. Opportunities like these not only look good on the résumé, but are above all an invaluable way to enrich an already stimulating and sound academic experience.
Incidentally, I cannot emphasize enough how much living in israel has broaden my personal and cultural horizons. It is not only the zest of wakening up every morning in the magnificent and beautiful Mediterranean coast. I have had the opportunity to travel, making friends from the five continents, start learning Hebrew, enjoying an ample cultural offering, discovering new literature, going to the Israeli Opera one day, to the new hot-spot in town the other, or simply take the fields of the White City. In Tel Aviv one can always avoid perfunctory routines, even in a demanding graduate program, almost in a nonchalant fashion: when I have had enough of studying at the library, I just grab my bike and go do my readings at HaYarkon Park, next to the river; sometimes I even have leeway to drive to Rothschild Boulevard where I can read for my next class and have a coffee while enjoying the bonny atmosphere of the surrounding Bauhaus architecture.
Finally, I also was lucky enough to receive the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel which granted me a scholarship. You should visit the Embassy of Israel in your own country asking for information, since there are many opportunities of this kind sponsored by the Government and other agencies. Last, but not least, you can always visit the program’s website, and above all, get in contact with Lilach Akerman, our program’s administrator who, I can tell by personal experience, will make your live much easier, answering all your questions and pointing you in the right direction with patient and kindness.
Whether I decide to continue an academic journey in any other top institution in the world, or going back to my country and get involved in politics and public service (or even if I change my plans and make a démarche towards private practice) the theoretical framework, practical skills and networking I have been acquiring at TAU, and in particular in the Leadership, Communications and Elections program, constitute an invaluable set of critical abilities to tackle the analytical as well as operative challenges found in the very competitive academic and professional environments to which, I am sure, you as well as me want to be part of.