Aardvark: Gap Year Program in Israel

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About

Aardvark Israel Gap Year offers 5, 9 and 11 month programs in Israel for recent high school graduates from all over the world that combines immersion into Israeli Society, service to the community through volunteer work and internships, and learning about Israel and Judaism through both formal academic and informal educational encounters. As a fully accredited university program, students may earn college credit for their coursework while on the program.

Aardvark Israel meets the needs of today's "millennial" students by offering a core program with a menu of add-on options enabling students to build their own gap year, including a religious oriented track and a chance to visit countries around the world. Aardvark Israel also meets the needs of today’s parents by providing a better program for a better price than what is currently otherwise available.

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Questions & Answers

Yes most kids do party but it’s also really not a big deal to stay in. There’s a solid group of kids that won’t go out and there’s no pressure or anything.

Reviews

88%
based on 21 reviews
  • Housing 8
  • Support 8.1
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 16 - 21 of 21
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Shmulik
10/10

worst part was that it ended

My gap year in Israel was the best year of my life, hands down. As long as you can handle being somewhat independent in a foreign country, aardvark is the number on program out there. Aardvark is about letting you shape YOUR israel experience, so prepared to have to take initative sometimes in taking your own classes, your own trips around israel, buying your own food etc. This may sound daunting but being in charge of your israel destiny is such a good experience to prepare you for the real world. Don't get me wrong though, aardvark is always there for you in whatever you need.

How can this program be improved?
Oftentimes the planning and organization of certain activities were rather last minute, which seemed like a big deal at the time, but looking back the good times shine above all therest.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Haynderson
9/10

Aardvark

Aardvark was awesome. Classes were easy, I had a fun internship that looks solid on my resume, and the social scene was unbelievable. Honestly, the main reason I originally came to Israel was because the drinking age was 18, but after 4 months I legitimately can say that I not only met some of the best people and friends I could have ever hoped for, my semester abroad gave me a life long passion to the state of Israel which I think is necessary for every Jewish youth.

How can this program be improved?
Give people the option of who they room with. Furthermore, make Sar El optional, one week long opposed to two weeks, and not at the beginning of the semester.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sharon
9/10

Aardvark Israel

Doing a gap year isn't an easy step in life, but I believe that it's one to take. Being on Aardvark Israel I'v learned so much about this beautiful country and even about myself. Going into a new cuture and society helps to educate on many topics. A gap year like such, will forever be the best experience I've ever done. Not only did I fall in love with my fellow Aardvarkians but also this wonderful state of Israel: and now I'v returned to continue my studies here. No matter where I head off too a peice of aardvark is with me everywhere I go.

How can this program be improved?
The one thing I would change about Aardvark Israel is the choice of classes. I believe that we should have more choices then the ones offered. For example more about history or Israel and such. It will help us learn the country better and understand out surroundings.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ben
10/10

Aardvark is The Go To Program for Gap Years in Israel

I was amazed at the high level of planning and accommodations Aardvark gave to me and my fellow participants. The entire program was outstanding and gave the best Israel experience ever! Aardvark beats Year Course and all the other Gap Years in all regards of the experience: the location (the heart of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv), accommodation, events, madrichim, counseling, freedom, field trips, support, friendliness of staff, welcoming you to a new home, and options for european travel.

I especially took advantage of the International Trips. This is because the staff, mostly Liron Milbar the marketing coordinating and prospective participant go-getter, plans the trips for you and for a fairly economical price. I went to Oslo and Bergen, Norway, Barcelona and Girona, Spain, Dublin and Belfast, Ireland, Beijing, China, Berlin and Oranienberg (where the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and Nazi Headquarters were located), Germany, Florence, Sienna, and Rome, Italy, Prague and Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, and Amesterdam and the Hague, The Netherlands. The planning consisted of many events in these cities over the course of 4-5 days. The plans included museums, historical tours, jewish culture in Europe, and most importantly and trip to the Israeli Embassy to meet the Ambassadors to Israel in Europe.

However, the experience in Israel is far more outstanding! The volunteer work is motivational. The tiyulim are indescribable to the extent that it is just fun and great to see the Golan heights, Tsfat, City of David, Temple Mount, Sde Boker, Sderot, and so much more. Plus, you have the freedom to have fun when the night begins or go to the beautiful Tel Aviv beach or western wall. All in all, you can experience the best of Israel through the Aardvark program.

I also urge any college students to take the courses offered as a part of Aardvark seriously and find out ahead of time about the transferability. It goes through American Jewish University an accredited university that transfers to most Cal States and most UC schools, so if you are going to a UC or Cal State make sure you look into the requirements for transferability! I found out the hard way.

The Israel experience is real when you do Aardvark. The freedom of self expression coincided with true friendships is something that you will experience in Aardvark, but nowhere else. I can say I met life long friends throughout my Aardvark experience and learned about myself more than ever! The bonds you will make and interpersonal relationships are there, you just need to courageously sign up! Do it for you and do it for your Jewish identity and personal growth.

How can this program be improved?
One thing I would change as part of the program would be the emphasis on college classes and the importance of doing well for all of the participants. I know that we volunteer and that's extremely important, but college is the foundation of who we will be and what career we will explore and it seemed that volunteer work was emphasized more than classes and doing well in them. Emphasize classes more and you'll be by far the best Gap Year program out there, if not already!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Joey
10/10

It's your year

My favorite thing about Aardvark is the dependence they give each participant. Too many gap year programs have you "living" in Israel, but you don't actually get to LIVE in Israel! Aardvark's entire philosophy is based on a self exploration of Israel. They want you to go camping in the Golan with friends, hear the best live music at the hottest venue, or get a little lost in the marketplace. They want you to really feel the country, in a way that suits you best. Yes, there are required elements of the program, but aside from that your time is yours. Aardvark just wants you to enjoy it. And love Israel.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Gracie
10/10

The First Year of My Life

The nine months I spent in Israel on this program were the start of my life. The friends I consider family, the sites I explored and the memories that will stay forever with me all happened because of Aardvark. I have befriended and engaged in other Israel programs and through all of my first hand and online research, I still cannot speak higher of any experience other than aardvark.

When the war broke out during my stay there, one would expect an eighteen year old girl to flee home to her parents. However, because of the support and love this program provided for me, I reacted in the exact opposite fashion. I couldn't leave my newfound home and I knew in my heart it would be harder to leave than to stay.

The courses I took and the teachers that led them guided me to the college I am at now. Through my creative writing class specifically I ended up at an arts school in Savannah, Ga. Because of the diversity and popularity this program holds, I now have friends merely a bus ride away here in the south when I was raised halfway across the world in California.

I thank Aardvark everyday for the individual I've become and they couldn't have offered me anything greater.

Yes, I recommend

About Aardvark Israel

Aardvark Israel invites high school graduates and college students to join our trendy, young, hip, urban experience. We offer different types of programs all located in the two most exciting cities on the planet: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

With...