The object of the year abroad is to increase fluency and understanding of the language, and to provide the opportunity to start work on a dissertation. Naturally, it is also an opportunity to get a taste of life in Israel, to explore many fascinating places and sites, and to meet people from various cultural backgrounds. Students may choose whether to study, work, do voluntary work or do some combination of these. This is important to enable them to become immersed in the language and culture of the country.
The Study Abroad Co-ordinator for Hebrew Studies is Dr Yaron Peleg.
The Tripos regulations specify that students must spend at least eight months in a country relevant to their studies between the end of their second year and the beginning of their fourth. Students of Hebrew must spend the full eight months in Israel.
Students make their own arrangements, with the support and information from the Year Abroad Coordinator. This will often involve applying for a course or negotiating a work placement well in advance. It is also their responsibility to obtain a visa – we recommend that an application is made as soon as possible for this - and to ensure that they have the appropriate insurance.
Students’ Year Abroad plans must be submitted to and approved by the Faculty Board well in advance. The approval is generally given at the first Faculty Board meeting of the Easter Term of the second year. Each student is expected to abide by the terms of any arrangements agreed between him/her and the Study Abroad Co-ordinator and put before the Faculty Board. The Faculty will not refund any fees or other costs incurred for plans which have not been approved in advance.
Students often spend this year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which has an overseas student division – The Rothberg School for Overseas Students. This school provides a special programme of study, lasting from one semester to up to a year. During this year, students are encouraged to undertake an intensive language course (5-6 hours per day 5 days per week during the summer, 6-14 hours per week during Spring and Autumn Semesters). The remainder of the courses taken are at the student’s discretion, and there is a wide range to choose from, including: Israeli history, society, Talmud, Modern Literature, Jewish thought, philosophy, politics and Biblical studies. Most courses are held in English, but there is also an opportunity to attend some classes held in Hebrew.
While students are abroad the University collects the tuition fee at about half the normal rate (circa £1,600 in 2008-09). In general, colleges do not charge college fees for students who are abroad. Students should expect to contribute up to the equivalent amount for tuition that would be paid if they remained in Cambridge; and the University, through the Faculty, may make a contribution towards tuition fees for courses upon production of valid receipts, on condition that the course has been approved by the Faculty Board before the start of the course and provided that funds are available. Any amount which may be available will be notified to students before they go abroad. Funds from the Faculty cannot be used for study of a European language or for any period spent in European countries.
All students of Hebrew Studies, whether home, EC, or Overseas, will be eligible to receive these grants from the Faculty for fees and fares. In addition, students eligible for a student loan and spending at least eight weeks abroad with agreement of their institution are entitled to a maximum student loan and may be entitled to receive assistance from their Local Authority for travel expenses to an overseas institution as well as for medical insurance. For Government financial support regulations, click here.
Tuition fees tables for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem can be found here.