Aardvark Israel Immersion Programs

Aardvark Israel

About

Aardvark Israel is a program which combines volunteering/interning and learning while living in apartments in Israel (right in the heart of Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem) and experiencing Israeli society from many different perspectives.
Aardvark Israel is also fully accredited by the American Jewish University, participants can earn up to 30 college credits, whilst also volunteering, interning, touring and deepening their connection to Israel and exploring their Jewish identity. We also offer international trips and special interest add-ons such as Marva (Army); Magen David Adom, Entrepreneurship, and Selah (Jewish learning).
Aardvark provides our students with a balanced structure enabling them to build their resume, have meaningful experiences and enough free time to make their own plans to enjoy Israel.

Reviews

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Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would rate this year 10/10, largely due to the fact that I was in Israel during COVID and blazed my own trail for a lot of experiences but also because Aardvark overall is one of the best Mada programs.

Biggest cons: the staff programming was juvenile at many points, the classes were far from university-level and questionably accredited, and the type of students who choose to come are so wide (due to coronavirus) that it ranged from curious, intellectuals to New York private schoolers who have never met a poor person in their life, which made community building and shared experiences hard to facilitate.

Biggest pros: the Tuesday trips were phenomenal with amazing locations and great history from qualified tour guides, the Jewish experiences were amazing and the program has an excellent Rabbi and learning options, and, lastly, the locations of the apartments are the best in the country, being Rechavia and Florentin. Overall, if you come to Aardvark for the right reasons, it will be the best year of your life.

What would you improve about this program?
Better internship options, optional classes for those not taking credit, more freedom for participants who want to choose their own path.
Default avatar
Betsy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved Aardvark Israel. This program allowed me to connect to my homeland while learning more about myself and building relationships with my peers. Not only did I explore the country each week, but Aardvark provided me with an incredible volunteer opportunity in which I interacted with children from all walks of life within Israel. My semester with Aardvark was, and will remain, one of the best four months of my life. The people I met through Aardvark became my
second family and I am beyond grateful.

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Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Over the course of about 7 months, I made a lot of friends from around the world - and that’s what a gap year is all about. We went on many awesome trips and got to meet a lot of interesting people. Personally, I had a great experience at my internship working at a school for asylum seekers. There are few things I can knit pick to criticize about the program. If I could change one thing, I wish they could have mixed us in more with Israelis so we could have made more friends outside of the program. However this is up to you. During my free time, Some of the guys and I used to go to the basketball courts and play with Israelis. During my time in Aardvark I was able to learn Spanish while with some of the other students. Definitely worth it. Aardvark is dope, I would recommend it.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When my girlfriend and I walked into a religious neighborhood in Jerusalem and almost got attacked. Or when we were playing basketball and almost got into a massive brawl with some Arabs. It was chill tho.
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Naftali
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I had an abysmal experience with the staff of Aardvark. I suffered a moderate-severe injury while I was on the program. They were completely unsupportive of my medical needs. After countless appointments with different doctors in Israel, the staff still tried to undermine the severity of my injury even after it was confirmed by the doctor. Even worse they threatened to kick me out if I didn’t comply to their requirements for MY injury, I would think that would be the doctors/ my parents call. Would not recommend.

Default avatar
Jaimi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Aardvark Israel was the best experience of my life! It was through the program that I was able to gain new skills, experiences and greater independence. The support the program provided me by encouraging Ng me to pursue my own personal goals whilst creating lifelong a friendships whilst deepening my appreciation and love for Israel was astounding. The international trips exceeded my expectations, as well as the Hebrew and educational speakers which taught me so much more than I thought possible.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the limited information given to students about the best places to spend free time.

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