Way More Israel is the ultimate gap year program servicing young Australians. Way More Israel is a 5-month program that lets you live and explore Israel but also gives you the opportunity to intern and focus on your career whilst also enjoying your gap year to its fullest.
The program prides itself on giving its participants an all-around experience that encompasses Hebrew ulpan, tours, workshops, hands-on Jewish learning, group volunteer projects and cultural activities all whilst living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The internship/volunteer component is 3 months. During this time, participants develop and sharpen their skill sets. This is a game-changer and will put participants’ leagues ahead of their future colleagues by enhancing their resume and ultimately their future career prospects. The last month consists of spending time in the North of Israel combining hiking, community service, and hands-on learning. Weather-permitting, participants spend time outdoors in this holistic Israel experience.
My experience on Way More Israel in the Spring Semester of 2019 was hugely enjoyable and rewarding. In late January, I arrived in Israel wide-eyed and excited to be embarking on a 5-month internship program in Jerusalem, based in the Old City. I had done a couple international programs before, but something felt different about this from the beginning. I instantly formed a great connection with the other program participants, who hailed from all over the world. Most of us seemed awed by our surroundings in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City – surrounded by religiously-observant Orthodox Jews, with the Kotel just around the corner from our residence and not to mention Jerusalem’s other holy sites. It was certainly a world away from the North-West London suburbia I call home.
This year I moved to Israel for an internship at Alyn children’s rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem. I am currently working in the innovation space under a program called PELE. Essentially it is the engineering department of the hospital. Technically I work in a bio-mechanical laboratory but it’s not nearly as fancy as it sounds. I spend my days in their beautiful offices, working on various projects to challenges that don’t yet have solutions. Anything from an electronic bubble machine so a girl with only finger movement can blow bubbles. To inferred and distance sensors so kids in wheel chairs can play tag without touching. Here at the office there are partnerships with companies like Microsoft to develop glasses in replace of mousses so people with disabilities can use computers with just their eyes. I have thrown myself on the projects like the presentation for the Forbes 30 under 30. Everyday I think, invent and have fun while being in spaces, which are at the forefront of technology. Then when my job is done for the day I go back home into the old city of Jerusalem and observe the contrast between the old and ancient methods of technology in comparison to the modern and revolutionary innovations that are created out of Alyn. It is interesting to see the progression between what was and what is, between the stones buildings or the concrete of the innovation space. The innovation space is also lead by strong women who have become my role models, yet 3000 years ago when the old city was being built the role of women was significantly different.