Israel Opens Borders for International Students


The State of Israel announced that new international students would be permitted to enter the country in order to commence their academic studies during the 2020-2021 academic year.

After the government enacted restrictions in mid-March amid the coronavirus pandemic that prevented non-Israeli visitors from entering the country, international students will be able to come to Israel, Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chair, Planning and Budgeting Committee, Council for Higher Education announced Monday.

The new approval to open the border to all international students was lauded by the Council for Higher Education and academic institutions across Israel.

Many universities and colleges are still accepting applications for this upcoming year; the fall semester in Israel begins in mid-October. Information on Israeli higher education institutions and academic programs in English can be found on the official Study in Israel website.

Throughout the pandemic, universities and colleges in Israel have made significant attempts to provide support for international students for their academic success.

They are now focused on guaranteeing their students’ arrival in Israel: A group of universities recently organized a flight from Mumbai, India to Tel Aviv for current and new Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellows who were unable to travel to Israel due to the lack of flights between the countries amid the pandemic.

Students arriving from “Red Countries,” as defined by the Ministry of Health will be required to complete a 14-day self-isolation period upon arrival to Israel under the supervision of their academic institution, in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines. Students from “Green Countries” are exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period.

The Council for Higher Education of Israel recently launched the new Study to promote Israel as a study and research destination. The Council has also provided earmarked funding to its public higher education institutions to develop international student services, and create a range of fields in which Israel is globally recognized, including Entrepreneurship, Innovation, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and more. The Council also finances and manages a number of fellowship programs for international students and post-doctoral researchers.

“Internationalization is one of the main strategic priorities for the higher education system in Israel and we are committed to integrating top international students in our universities and colleges. We are glad that international students will still be able to come to Israel and welcome them to engage in our world-class academics and research.” – Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chair, Planning & Budgeting Committee, Council for Higher Education.

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