Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Newsletter

Studying abroad in Israel: A law student's perspective

Student Voices

Photo for Studying abroad in Israel: A...

Image courtesy of Amit Liran

UCLA Law School student and study abroad scholarship recipient Amit Liran shares insights from his semester abroad at Tel Aviv University where he immersed himself in Israeli and international law in and outside of the classroom.

"Israel definitely has many things to offer those studying abroad there. I would recommend the experience to anyone who has the opportunity to study in another country."

I am a third year law student at UCLA School of Law. During the fall 2018 semester—my second to last semester in law school—I had the opportunity to study abroad at the Tel Aviv University (TAU) Buchmann Faculty of Law with the help of the Harry Sigman Scholarship and the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.

My decision to study abroad was prompted by my passion for Israel. As an Israeli and a supporter of the State of Israel, I felt inclined to experience higher education in the country. Furthermore, the study abroad program at TAU offered several English language courses that fit in with my interests and career path in both business and international law.

Of the several courses I took, my favorites were Financial Derivatives and Legal Aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; the former because it was highly technical and pragmatic yet unique to a law school education and the latter because I found placing the history of the conflict within the context of international law to be fascinating.

Along with my classes at TAU, I also spent time at two internships while I was in Israel.

First, I worked as a legal intern at Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center). The mission of Shurat HaDin is to use legal channels to defend Israel and Jewish rights. My work there consisted of researching and drafting legal memoranda for court filings in U.S. litigation cases against sponsors of terrorism on behalf of terror victims. The work was both fascinating and fulfilling.

Second, I interned as a research assistant at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a think tank affiliated with TAU. At the INSS, I worked with a law professor and researched various legal and national security topics. I also had the opportunity to attend conferences at the INSS on national security matters in which individuals who had served at the highest echelons of Israeli government and defense participated.

Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention the more entertaining aspects of studying in Tel Aviv. My classmates were very friendly and welcoming. I immediately made new friends, both Israelis and others studying abroad, and enjoyed the world famous Tel Aviv nightlife and social scene.

I had no issues finding a place to rent right in central Tel Aviv for my stay. Tel Avivians like to have fun around the clock, so students planning on studying abroad there should not plan on sleeping much. Whether it is enjoying the amazing food of the many restaurants in Tel Aviv or going to live music events, there is always something to do in Tel Aviv. My class even organized a yacht party off the beautiful Tel Aviv coast.

The relatively small size of Israel and its public transportation also make visiting places outside of Tel Aviv easy, and I stopped by the Old City in Jerusalem and took a tour of the Knesset.

Israel definitely has many things to offer those studying abroad there. I would recommend the experience to anyone who has the opportunity to study in another country. You never know—you may even meet your bashert there!

Many thanks and my deepest gratitude go to the Harry Sigman Scholarship, the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, and the UCLA School of Law for their assistance and support of my study abroad experience!

Amit Liran was born in Israel and moved to Los Angeles at a young age. After high school he moved back to Israel for several years where he served in the IDF. He is a current J.D. candidate at UCLA School of Law, specializing in Business Law and Mergers & Acquisitions. He holds a B.A. from UCLA in Business Economics and Middle Eastern Studies.