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1) Bachelor's degree from any field from an accredited institution of higher education. 2) Minimal final grade of 80, or the equivalent for candidates from schools or countries with a different grading system.
My name is Jessica Pennetier, I’m 27 and I was granted a scholarship by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enroll on the International Masters in Security and Diplomacy at Tel Aviv University in 2011.
Without doubt, I can honestly say this was the best year of my life.
After having lived and studied abroad (England, Spain, Russia and Argentina) I was quite used to living in foreign environments but Israel surpassed all my expectations. Coming from France and from a non-Jewish background, I actually knew very little about Israel... Little did I know that I was going to fall in love with the country, with Tel-Aviv, with the people, the food and the fascinating young and vibrant atmosphere!
Studying at Tel Aviv University was a very unique experience. Not only are you at the heart of events happening in the region but you are also immersed in a challenging academic environment. The course combined the right amount of theory and practical case studies whereby each one of us was provided with a much better understanding the dynamics of Israeli society & Politics especially the complexities of the environment in which Israel is developing and the new challenges it is currently facing. The field trips and crisis simulation are, in this respect, incredibly helpful to visualize and put into practice the material taught in class. The excellent quality of the teaching was complemented by an incredibly helpful University staff- who always did their utmost to answer our questions and requests.
Last but not least, my Israeli friends (especially those I met at University) were pivotal in making my year in Tel Aviv unforgettable. They were always there to help me out the best they could, including me in their family celebrations and even taking me on trips around the country. They are the ones who have made me want to go back and live in Israel one day. Thanks to this program and to the Israeli MFA (for its very generous scholarship), I have recently been offered a job as an International Relations Officer for the French Ministry of Defence.
International Security and Diplomacy education allows you to look into the reality of political life around you. This programme is carefully designed to make you go through the most essential elements of academic and practices in the world. All professors have intensive experience not only in academic line of thinking but also in the practical world of politics. It touches upon real and ongoing issues in the Middle East region and in the world. For example, during the academic year, several issues erupted in the region and globally. Wikileaks and the start of the Arab Spring. It was amazing how relevant everything that was taught appears to participants and how easily we could all click to and analyze these new events that will have a turning point in the history of the region as well as the history of diplomacy and politics.
Israel lives the heart of conflict areas and is involved in several of these conflicts. Nevertheless, TAU team of professionals and experts give you an incredibly neutral perspective and are open to debates of all kinds. As a Palestinian I did not feel for a moment any hostility or discriminative act. Guest speakers including senior diplomats and ambassadors are invited to share their perspectives allowing participants of the programme to see how diplomacy works and how talented those people are.
This programme is international. You get to meet and share experience with people from around the world. A very important factor in this line of study and it also allows one to start almost immediate practice of what is being presented in various classes.
I already had a job when I joined this programme but after being stuck at a particular level within the United Nations system. I decided to invest one year of my life and request leave of absence. This degree allowed me to immediately dare and challenge other applicants for more senior positions. This has resulted in success. Today, I serve as a Staff Relations Advisor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in their five fields of operations. I am the main focal point dealing with Staff Unions on enhancing the partnership between management and unions within very limited financial resources. In addition, I also have several offers for consideration and have succeeded in being included in permanent rosters of technically cleared candidates for future employment with the United Nations.
The M.A. Security and Diplomacy program gave me the best chance to study security from the Israeli perspective and live abroad in an exciting country for one year. Overall the program transcended beyond theory and gave our diverse group of classmates an opportunity to explore practical security aspects through activities such as field trips, ambassador’s forum, and the Middle East crisis simulation. Certain seminars in the M.A. Security and Diplomacy program provided me with an occasion to further research cybersecurity related issues which significantly enhanced my understanding. Moreover, the ever-cooperative Secdip staff was kind enough to open doors to a leadership program by the Israel Asia Center whereby I worked on cybersecurity initiatives between Israel and India. Currently, I have moved back to India and have begun with my own cybersecurity start-up called India Cyber Connect (www.indiacyberconnect.com).
I chose the MA in Security and Diplomacy primarily because of the broad course selection, the security field trips, and the wide range of extra-curricular offerings. This program enables students to immerse themselves deeply in both the academic and the professional applications of security and diplomacy, far more so than other similar programs. For a student interested in the nexus between security and the Middle East, being in Tel Aviv and specifically within this program presents an unparalleled opportunity. Having spoken during and after the program with many students in other MA programs at TAU and other universities in Israel, it is quite evident that the opportunities this program offers are both more numerous and more meaningful. The quality of the faculty greatly contributes to the available opportunities and makes the program highly engaging.
Socially, this program is undoubtedly the most diverse among TAU’s MA programs. The quality and scope of this program has generated a reputation that attracts students from the far corners of the world. Combined with Tel Aviv’s robust international atmosphere, this makes for a social scene that is on par with the biggest and liveliest cities in the world. Academically, the program is both challenging and rewarding, giving students the opportunity to see first-hand the subject matter of their academic inquiries. This hands-on approach is also quite helpful in pushing students to pursue relevant internships that contribute toward bridging the academic-professional divide while enhancing their professional attractiveness.
I was encouraged and assisted by the department administration to pursue multiple internships during the program, and during the program I worked at a private geo-political risk consulting company as well as the TAU-affiliated Institute for National Security Studies. Both of these internships directly complemented the nature of my studies in the MA program. I can confidently assert as well that without these practical and complementary experiences that I would not have been hired at my current position –
Development Officer at the Israeli Economic Mission to the Southern United States in Houston, TX, covering the Energy and Security and Defense sectors. All in all, this program is perfect for any student seeking to study or even begin a career with a focus on the Middle East, Israel, international politics, security studies or diplomacy. While that sounds like a broad mandate for a single program, my experience suggests that this was the perfect path into any such career path.
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