Before coming on the program I was very excited for the unique opportunities Top Israel Interns had to offer, but unfortunately, many of those promises never came true, and we did not receive the programming that was advertised.
- During the internship placement process, it became clear that I (along with my fellow participants) would have to take our placement process into our own hands. The internship coordinators are NOT helpful. They offered to teach us how to optimize our resumes and cover letters which never happened. Aside from taking weeks to respond to emails, the coordinator responded rudely and simply told me to go to my school’s guidance center to fix my resume, without even telling me what to correct.
- I never heard from her after I found my own internship opportunity.
- There was no internship orientation as was promised
COMMUNICATION WITH STAFF
- I was extremely unhappy with my living arrangements. I had my phone calls avoided and was finally told I could not be moved because they had virtually introduced everyone to their roommates.
- 2 hours later, my only other flatmate at the time was transferred at his request. That was extremely unfair.
- Towards the end of the program, our room was infested with ants, and it took 5 days to get someone to come spray. Until that point, AGAIN, my phone calls were not answered and not returned by the program coordinators. One admitted she did not have authority for certain things that needed to be done.
- Online there are photos of the newly renovated apartments in Florentine posted, stating that’s where everyone is going to live. It also mentions well maintained lobbies and good security.
- Our apartment had neither security nor a lobby, and was situated on the main floor with our apartment door opening to the street.
- The apartments were run down, lower quality, had recurring mold issues which nobody fixed (we were given spray to take care of it ourselves), broken furniture, broken doors, no AC or air circulation in living rooms/showers/toilets/kitchen/laundry rooms.
- We recurrently got little or no notice that the landlord/someone else/strangers/repairmen were coming into the apartment, and they would come in when we are at work or on a day trip. This made me OVERLY uncomfortable- especially when we found out during a day trip that the exterminator was coming, and I had left personal items and envelopes of money laying around.
- Our living situation was sub-par, and definitely NOT worth the amount of money we had to pay. - We also had to travel to the apartments far away for all programming, some day trips, and the sheets and bedding were delivered there (so we had to carry it all home when all of those folks had it delivered to them). We were totally stranded and forgotten.
- The day trips were advertised on the website as amazing- “the program includes two group Shabbatons (weekends away) which includes rappelling in the north, a tour of the Knesset, ATVs in the desert, a visit to exclusive start-ups and much more”.
- We did NONE of those specified items and did not have either group Shabbaton
- The program hit rock-bottom the day we went to the Dead Sea and an Oasis. The lunch they promised to provide consisted of 1⁄2 a bagel per person because not enough food was supplied. Because of the insane disorganization, we missed our next stop (the Jordan River) to get pizza.
- The website claims that past trips went north for “kayaking, camping, to basketball games, enjoyed sushi nights, chocolate workshops [and] wine festivals”
- we did nothing even closely resembling those fun-sounding excursions
- We were also never taken or given the opportunity to attend any of the “social and cultural events” that were mentioned.
- there were many social activities that we were told we would have that never occurred, such as “pot-lock dinner, professional development workshop, movie night” and “opening and closing sessions as well as a seminar where you learn about Israeli start up and hi-tech culture”.
- TII was also advertised as a program that would offer career advancement workshops regularly, which did not occur. For many of us, that was a huge factor in deciding to participate in this program, and was a huge let-down.
I have also been informed that the 5 month program currently running had Ulpan (hebrew lessons) but only for about 1/2 the amount time they originally promised.
JUST AN AWFUL EXPERIENCE. PLEASE TRY A DIFFERENT PROGRAM.
(I enjoyed onward israel, personally!!)