by Elan Karoll

There are so many ways the University of Illinois is connected to Israel. How many of these do you know?

1. Israeli-Illini are part of our family

Numerous Israeli international students call Chambana home. Even more students are Israeli-American dual citizens. We may not have many camels here, but I guess squirrels are okay too.

2. Want to Study Abroad?

The University offers two study abroad programs in Israel: one through Tel Aviv University, and one through The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Many Illini enjoy these programs every semester! Don’t worry though: over 80% of Israelis speak English! Learn more about Israel study abroad options here.

3. Israel Classes = Great Gen Eds

Learn about the Holy Land and get some credit for it. You can take courses in Israeli Literature and Culture, Israeli History, or Hebrew Studies. UIUC also has a student-run course called Illini Students Discussing Israel which meets once a week to learn about Israel.

4. Calling ‘Alma’ Nerds!

At U of I you can participate in joint research projects with Israeli institutions. Israel is ranked second in the world in number of startups per-capita. Israelis also have tons of Nobels. YALLA – head to the lab and get to work!

5. Israel May Help With Those Tuition Bills

The State of Illinois currently invests over $10 million in the State of Israel, which creates revenue. Also, Illinois has sold over $3 billion of goods to Israel! That means more money to go towards public education. ?

6. We have many Israeli profs, some are even famous

One notable University of Illinois professor is Arab-Israeli screenwriter Sayed Kashua. His award-winning TV show, Avoda Aravit, is one of the most popular in Israel! The Jewish Studies Department brings educators, like Kashua, from Israel to teach at our campus through their “Israel Studies Project” – awesome! (image source: The Tower)

7. Show your love with RSOs


Enjoy hummus with Illini Students Supporting Israel, stretch those Hebrew skills with Cafe Ivrit, get political with Illini Public Affairs Committee (IlliniPAC), have a good discussion with JStreet Illinois, and learn something new with the Illini Students Discussing Israel group. If you love Israel, the University of Illinois is a great place for you!

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