“There’s never been such diversity in a University,” say Master’s students at UHaifa International


By: GALIT DIAMANT | Published On: 14 May 2023, 2:55 pm
The Times Of Israel

The University of Haifa offers eighteen international masters programs and a once-in-a-lifetime multicultural experience

“Breathtaking.” If we had to sum up the University of Haifa’s campus in one word, “breathtaking” would be the one. Situated in a prime location on the top of beautiful Mount Carmel, with enchanting views of the Mediterranean Sea, UHaifa International welcomes 1,200 students from 90 countries worldwide each year to a once-in-a-lifetime multicultural learning experience in the beating heart of Haifa – Israel’s most diverse city and academic campus.

Dr. Adar Ben-Eliyahu (Credit: University of Haifa)

UHaifa International’s graduate school offers eighteen English-taught Masters programs in versatile content worlds, including Business, Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Marine Sciences, Prehistoric, Underwater & Coastal archaeology and more. “Most of our Master’s programs can be completed in just one year, and combine theory with hands-on experience and practical must-have tools to succeed in the 21st century workplace” says Dr. Adar Ben-Eliyahu, UHaifa International’s Academic Head. MBA focusing on Sustainability or Technology, International Relations, Peace & Conflict Management, Archeology, Maritime Civilizations, Marine Biology, National Security, Public Health, Political Science, and Holocaust Studies are only part of UHaifa International’s offered programs.

Walking the talk of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The first in Israel to align with the United Nation’s Sustainable development goals (SDG’s), The University of Haifa is committed to its equal opportunity policy. “Our personalized student-journey provides administrative and financial support so that every student can fulfill his or her dream of completing their Masters, regardless of their socio-economic status”, says Michal Morgenstern-Laor, Executive Director of UHaifa International. This includes not only merit-based and need-based scholarships for eligible students, but also unique D.E.I Scholarships – offering up to $5000 to students with a proven track record of promoting social impact in the fields of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Part of walking the talk of diversity, equity and inclusion means growing a community of stakeholders who share our values in both mind and in action. We created the D.E.I scholarships to attract eligible students who are literally in sync with our mission”, explains Morgenstern-Laor.

Michal Morgenstern-Laor (Credit: University of Haifa)

While Haifa is considered Israel’s most diverse city, UHaifa International’s students coming from all over the world fit in naturally both on campus and in the city’s eclectic blend of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Bahai residents. “I wanted to study in a diverse, multicultural environment, and found what I was looking for at UHaifa International”, says Nanette Anyomi from Ghana, a Masters student in the International Relations Dual Degree program in collaboration with the University of Warsaw. “Our campus is a microcosm of the world, I’m lucky to have roommates from the US, Greece, Australia and India, make friends from all across the globe and experience a city where all cultures and religions coexist in harmony”.

Nanette Anyomi (Credit: University of Haifa)

Anyomi adds that the school hosts Shabbat dinners to make international students feel at home, as well as many parties and celebrations for Halloween, Hanukah, International Women’s day and more. “They even organized a World Cup soccer party to watch the games”, she says.

Diverse geography and academics

Haifa’s geographical combination of mountain, ocean and urban views reflect another aspect of its diversity. “The opportunity to live on top of Mount Carmel, study underwater and coastal archaeology and access the Mediterranean Sea as my natural lab was exactly what I was looking for”, says Karsyn Johnson, a master’s student in Maritime Civilizations from Oklahoma, USA. “The location is perfect, with chill settings on and off campus, quick access to the ocean, and a cable car to breeze downtown”.

Uriel Peizer. Credit: University of Haifa

Similar to Johnson’s choice to study Maritime Civilizations, UHaifa International offers other diverse Masters programs which are unique and rare on local and global levels, such as the master’s program in Holocaust studies. “I always wanted to study in Israel,” says Uriel Peizer, a graduate student in Holocaust Studies from both Argentina and the USA. “I chose the University of Haifa because it is one of the few schools in the world that could offer me a Master’s degree in this amazing field, combined with relevant hands-on internships and work experience at globally renowned institutions such as Yad Vashem and others”, he says.

The program also offers opportunities to meet and connect with Holocaust survivors and hear their testimonies. “I recently met a 93 year-old Holocaust survivor on campus. If it wasn’t for this program, I wouldn’t have had this unique experience,” he adds.

Peizer says that student life in the dorms and social activities on campus are incredible. “My neighbors and flat mates have become great friends. We spend lots of time together in study groups, hiking on Mount Carmel, sitting in the sun or grabbing a bite on campus or downtown”.

Diversity and the human factor

UHaifa International’s diverse mindset can be sensed from the first steps of the student’s journey. “Choosing to study abroad is a bold step which demands a strong personally-tailored support system, ” says Morgenstern-Laor, “Our study advisors have an important role to identify at an early stage what kind of assistance each student needs to make their academic dream a reality”.

Eleonora Luzatti. (Credit: University of Haifa)

Eleonora Luzatti from Italy, UHaifa’s student advisor, understands this perfectly. “After literally being in their shoes as an international student myself, I know how exciting studying abroad can be, but also realize firsthand how challenging it is to leave everything behind and move to a new country”, says Luzatti. “That’s why I make a point of figuring out how I can help make things easier for our students. Each student needs something different: some need help with admission processes, some need access to financial support, and others need a one-on-one with the program’s Head or with a student to finalize their decision”.

Karsyn Johnson. (Credit: University of Haifa)

“The international school’s faculty was there for me with anything I needed”, confirms Johnson. “Their personal attention was something I had never experienced before and strengthened my decision to study here.” Johnson also speaks highly of the school’s warm welcoming attitude throughout the school year. “Everyone is so friendly and helpful, and our professors are always encouraging us to learn more by inviting us on another dig or a dive.” Anyomi adds that “the administrative staff was there for me during the admission process, and helped me arrange my visa. The classes are very detailed, the professors really nice and friendly, and the city is amazing with unbelievable views and warm people.”

“If you want to experience Israel while pursuing higher education, the University of Haifa is definitely the place to be”, concludes Peizer.