Global Impact with Green Projects

TAU’s international students in Sustainable Development MA implement far-reaching initiatives across the world

05 June 2024


Tel Aviv University's MA in Sustainable Development, introduced in 2020, is designed for pioneering leaders of the next generation. This program equips students with the skills and knowledge to address the pressing challenge of sustainable development—providing the global population with sustainable energy, water, and food. This will improve health, livelihoods, and well-being, particularly for low-income communities in developing countries and contribute to environmental protection.


Sustainable Development MA students


As part of this program, students are actively involved in developing and field-testing practical solutions to pressing development and environmental challenges, leveraging Israel's renowned technological innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.


From Real Estate to Renewable Energy


Yuan Zuo, a student from China, transitioned from the real estate industry to sustainable development, inspired by an interview with Yuval Noah Harari in 2018. Yuan's interest in Israel, known for its entrepreneurship and innovation, led her to Tel Aviv University. China's commitment to decarbonization targets by 2060 further fueled her desire to enter this field full of professional opportunities.


Yuan Zuo (second from the right) with her classmates


Zuo is particularly excited about the program's emphasis on fieldwork, such as her upcoming trip to Rwanda as part of the final project. Her team is collaborating with Ignite, an organization providing solar home systems to schools in rural areas without electricity. 


Growing crops in the desert


This hands-on experience is complemented by courses that bridge the gap between academic knowledge and practical application, such as a course on farming, which became one of Zuo's favorite ones: “I dreamed of being a farmer in high school, and now I finally realized that dream.”


“During the winter break this year, I traveled to Egypt and spoke with a Chinese entrepreneur who was experimenting with crops in the desert, learning about the challenges and solutions in desert farming.”



Yuan Zuo at a tomato farm in southern Israel


Zuo has also volunteered on a farm in southern Israel, helping with tomato picking, and traveled to some extremely poor areas in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana, where houses do not have electricity or water. This experience has solidified her career aspirations:


“I hope to join an international organization or company and work in sustainable development to help communities in rural areas and to empower women.”



Public Health Meets Sustainable Development


Erica Katzin, originally from the USA, made Aliya several years ago and brought her background in public health to the Sustainable Development program. Erica is working on a group project focused on favela upgrading in Brazil, addressing issues related to water and sanitation, education, and housing. Her role involves collaborating with startups to pilot their water monitoring and waste disposal technologies in Brazil.


Erica Katzin (in the middle) with classmates and professors


The program's hands-on approach has provided Erica with valuable practical experience, from reaching out to businesses and startups to making impactful real-world connections. 


“I get to develop my skills in the sphere that I’m passionate about - making the world a better place and doing something impactful with my life.”


Erica Katzin presenting in class


Courses in statistics and sustainable development goals have proved particularly beneficial, helping her develop skills to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and understand the broader economic implications of sustainable development.


“We work with real data sets, so it’s very practical.”


Katzin appreciates the program's intense first semester, which laid a solid foundation for her main project in the second semester. Electives such as Introduction to Cyber Events, Readiness, and Response and the October 7 course on the Israel-Palestine conflict have broadened her knowledge and perspective. The supportive communication and assistance from Tel Aviv University's administration have further enhanced her experience.


Shaping a Sustainable Future


Yuan and Erica's journeys in the Sustainable Development program at Tel Aviv University highlight the program's unique blend of academic rigor and practical application. Through innovative green initiatives and research projects, students are not only gaining knowledge but also making meaningful contributions to global sustainable development efforts. Join Tel Aviv University in shaping a sustainable future for our planet.


Applications for MA in Sustainable Development are now open. You can submit your application online.


Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>