“Take Advantage of Your Time at Tel Aviv University”

International students attend a designated orientation weekend at the Lowy International School

03 March 2024

On February 29 - March 2, the Lowy International School hosted an Orientation Weekend for all international students starting their studies at TAU this academic year. The weekend included an informative orientation session, a networking event, and a Shabbat Chill activity.


For the majority of TAU’s international students in full-degree and study-abroad programs, the spring semester begins on March 4. Many students who studied remotely during the first semester due to the war have now arrived in Israel to attend in-person classes. Additionally, a large number of students have recently flown in to start their exchange or study-abroad courses.


Ting-Hsin Yen, an exchange student from Taiwan, is majoring in neuroscience, but at TAU she’s opted for a course in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Studies in addition to courses in her major.


"I’ve always wanted to know more about the Jewish culture and I’ve never had a chance to study it,"—Ting-Hsin Yen, an exchange student from Taiwan


Cayla Cohen, first-year Liberal Arts undergrad majoring in psychology, has just recently come to Tel Aviv from California. "I absolutely love Israel," she says. "That’s one of the reasons I wanted to do the program – to enjoy the life here, meet new people, and get to know the culture."


How-Tos to Tel Aviv University


The weekend kicked off with an orientation session designed to familiarize students with studying at Tel Aviv University and living in Tel Aviv. Over 90 attendees had the opportunity to meet the Lowy International School team and hear first-hand about the array of support services and opportunities offered. 



Milette Shamir, VP International, Tel Aviv University welcomed all international students, expressing hope that TAU will become their home away from home for the duration of their studies, be that a semester-long study abroad program, a three-year undergraduate degree, or a five-year PhD track. 


"We’re really privileged to have earned your trust in coming here this semester. We feel certain that the same spirit that led you to study with us will ensure your success here."


Prof Shamir encouraged international students to meet new people and make new friendships during their time at TAU. "I’m sure some of the friendships you’ll be making in the coming weeks will endure years after you’ve graduated and forgotten about your time in Tel Aviv.”



She also noted that the staff of Tel Aviv University and the Lowy International School in particular strive to support international students and make their integration into the university as smooth as possible:


"You’re surrounded by a professional team of people who want your experience at TAU to be a success. You are in very good hands."



The Student Life Team, committed to guaranteeing international students a delightful and secure experience in Tel Aviv, described the work that they do to help students seamlessly integrate into both the university and Israel. 


The team’s main focus is on fostering a vibrant international student community at TAU. During their time at TAU, international students can join various activities, such as mingling events, themed workshops, guided tours, and visits to national parks, museums, and galleries. Students are also encouraged to start clubs in their areas of interest.


A separate session was devoted to living in the dorms—it covered a wide range of practical issues concerning safety, services available, rules of conduct, etc. 


Elevating Networking Skills


On Friday, the Lowy International School held an Ambassadors Club Event as part of the series of highlighted events of the year. Lowy student ambassadors, as well as other students interested in the topic, got to learn about maximizing networking capabilities for personal and professional growth in a workshop led by Lirone Glikman, an international thought leader in networking and personal branding.



As Valeria Svirska, a graduate student in Sofaer Global MBA program, who attended the event, shares, "Lirone's insights into building authentic connections and creating a memorable personal brand were nothing short of inspiring. Her networking approach, based on genuine relationships and strategic engagement, provided actionable strategies that everyone in attendance could immediately implement."


Chilling on Shabbat


Finally, the weekend closed with a relaxing social gathering organized by the Student Life Team. Over 50 international students got together at the Green House, home of the Lowy International School, to have a leisurely lunch with delicious food, play board games, and participate in a friend-dating activity to get to know each other. 


The event, held for the first time, allowed international students to immerse themselves in the spirit of Shabbat, which was a new experience for many. The initiative was planned by the Lowy International School's Social Affairs Committee which is made up of driven students who aspire to help bring the international community together through engaging social events.


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