Rothberg International School broadens range of programs taught in English, offering over 20 courses in summer 2013

RIS alumni who attended the School’s Preparatory Program-Mechina in the 1970s, seen here with current Mechina advisor Lena Berkun (kneeling, 2nd from left, front), were among those who gathered at the December 16 reunion marking the 40th anniversary of RIS programs that help students successfully integrate into Israeli society December 19, 2012: In recent years the Hebrew University has significantly expanded the number of courses and graduate degree programs it offers in English. The University's Rothberg International School (RIS) — which has offered study-abroad programs for visiting undergraduates for many decades, as well as graduate degree programs taught in English since 1995 — serves as the platform for promoting this initiative.

The RIS has expanded its already-extensive curriculum to include new courses that embrace and address the changing nature of modern society in areas such as law, politics, nonprofit management and leadership and the Middle East. “Our new curriculum has been carefully developed, taking into account several of our unique attributes,” says RIS Provost Prof. Mimi Ajzenstadt. “These include our location in the Middle East, our status as a relatively young country that has experienced trauma and conflict, a land of the Bible and ancient Near East with a rich archaeological life, a vibrant modern country where English is spoken widely, a city where the three monotheistic religions intersect — and, last but not least, an internationally acclaimed institution of higher learning where openness, tolerance and pluralism prevail.”

In the past year, the RIS has partnered with the Faculty of Law to launch two new graduate programs taught in English (LL.M. in international business law and intellectual property, LL.M. in human rights and international law), as well as a master’s program in bio-medical sciences with the Faculty of Dental Medicine. Master's programs offered by other Hebrew University academic units include the Glocal program in community development and several agriculture programs at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agiculture, Food and Environment, as well as a doctoral program in brain research at the University's Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences.

During the summer, the RIS — which has won much acclaim for its intensive Modern Hebrew language courses (Summer Ulpan) — also offers language courses in Biblical Hebrew and Arabic. Some 20 courses will also be taught in English at the RIS in summer 2013, including new offerings in filmmaking and documenting Holocaust survivors and their stories, militant radical movements in contemporary Islam, multiculturalism in Jerusalem, and archaeology of the New Testament, as well as two-month internships.

Students at the RIS come from all corners of the world. This past year, students from Togo, New Zealand, Benin and Burundi were among the approximately 2000 overseas students from 70 countries who studied the Rothberg International School.

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