Why American Universities are looking to Eilat as the next campus for their students?

Study in Israel’s CEO Shlomo (Momo) Lifshitz is hosting an international academic delegation at Ben-Gurion University’s Eilat campus which aims to bring overseas students to Eilat to learn culinary arts and hospitality.
Dessert by Checf Avi Alimi Photo by: Chef Avi Alimi

A high-powered academic delegation from six countries have converged on Israel's southernmost city of Eilat this month as the desert resort continues to assert itself as a global center of excellence in training for the hospitality and culinary industries.

The twenty-strong group, which includes participants from the USA, Latin-America, and Eastern European states, will get a close-up look at the new unique English-taught culinary and hospitality programs for overseas students being offered by Study in Israel in cooperation with Ben Gurion University's Eilat campus, Israel's leading institution in the field.

The two internship tracks being offered combine top-class instruction from seasoned educators with real-world experience gained by interning in the city's plentiful four and five-stars hotels and tourism venues.

Study in Israel (also known as Lirom Global Education) organizers of the ‘Familiarization trip with hospitality and culinary arts training programs,' as the week-long visiting delegation is called, are keen to showcase the unique advantages of the five and six months courses being delivered in Eilat, the first time a major Israeli academic institution has offered international students the ability to learn Israeli, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and hospitality in Israel through the medium of English.

Students can opt to study either of two exciting academic trajectories, the first: guaranteed to ignite a passion for Israel's famed cooking, which was among the world's fastest-growing ethnic cuisines last year and the other in Israel’s vibrant tourism and hospitality market.

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Chef Levy Ohayon from Ben Gurion University Eilat campus training students Photo by: Ben Gurion University Eilat Campus - Study in Israel

Those are a 14 credit academic program in Hospitality and Tourism and a Certification in Israeli, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean Cuisine.

To maximize the students' professional development while studying in Israel, both programs are packed with activities designed to provide a complete immersion experience in the local hospitality industry.

Designed especially for the needs of international students, the programs, which start in fall and spring, are taught and organized entirely in English.

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The culinary aspects of the courses provide a comprehensive grounding in all aspects of the local cuisine in addition to providing focus sessions on popular specialties such as vegan and Arab cooking. The academic trajectory includes the option to study modules on entrepreneurship, tourism marketing, and hotel management operations.

In addition to the main teaching hours, students will be able to partake in weekly lectures delivered by key hospitality personnel in addition to bi-monthly workshops to supplement their knowledge of a variety of important culinary and hospitality topics, such as wine, meat and spices, and customer service.

Students at Eilat Campus - Ben Gurion University Photo by: Ben Gurion University Eilat Campus - Study in Israel

To round the programs off, a seven day tour of Israel, divided into two itineraries, ensures that participants' experience of the vibrant country they will call home for five months extends far beyond Eilat.

Both programs are taught in the intimate setting of the Eilat campus of Ben Gurion University, whose Department for Hospitality and Tourism is ranked sixth in the world in tourism research.

The Eilat campus, opened in 2002, teaches only 800 students per year, providing the institution with an enviable teacher-to-student ratio that other teaching campuses can only dream of.

Most enticing of all, however, is the programs' meager price tags, particularly when contrasted with comparable programs in other English-speaking countries.

For a tuition fee of just $1,500, students receive an unbeatable deal of top-class academic instruction, accommodation within the institution's student dormitories, three meals a day, and even receive a stipend of $200 spending money, - in addition to free trips to sites around the global tourist hot-spot.

Commenting on the delegation,  Shlomo (Momo) Lifshitz, a long-time operator in the international tourism to Israel and now CEO of Study in Israel, whose organization is responsible for marketing the courses to English-speakers abroad and bringing the delegation to Israel, said that the programs: "take us one step closer towards realizing our vision of Israel as center for global education and Eilat as a hot-spot for not only tourism but for high quality academic education and professional practicum in the fields of hospitality, hotel management and culinary arts. We are thrilled that our delegation includes Deans of hospitality schools from well-known universities, top Brazilian celebrity chefs and key figures in the industry. "

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