Tel Aviv University (TAU) is Israel's largest institution and has earned an international reputation for academic excellence. It is a major center of teaching and research, comprising nine faculties, 106 departments, 90 research institutes and 1,800 full time faculty members. Today, more than 29,000 students are enrolled in Tel Aviv University's wide range of degree and non-degree programs. The scope of its academic offerings is the broadest of any of Israel's universities, including an extensive range of study programs in the arts and sciences, within its Faculties of Engineering, Exact Sciences, Life Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, Law, Social Sciences, Arts, and Management.
For additional information, visit the Tel Aviv University website.
The City of Tel Aviv
With a population of almost 400,000 Tel Aviv is Israel’s second largest city. However, the greater Tel Aviv area, encompassing neighboring cities such as Jaffa and Holon, is Israel’s largest metropolitan area with a population of over two million people. Known as “the city that never sleeps,” it is the most cosmopolitan of Israeli cities and is the nation’s cultural center, with theater, music, and arts communities, hosting top-notch entertainment and nightlife from around the world. The city is also the media, commerce, and business hub of Israel.
Did you know…?
Tel Aviv's White City comprises the world's largest concentration of Modernist-style buildings. Tel Aviv’s White City was built in the 1920s and 1930s by Jewish architects who has studied in Europe and moved to Tel Aviv. It became the first ‘modern’ UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
Notice to Applicants: The travel destination of this study abroad program is in a location currently on Penn’s list of Heightened Security Risk Regions. Study abroad to this location is subject to review and approval by Penn’s Committee on International Travel Risk Assessment (CITRA). Please refer to Penn’s International Travel Guidance for more information.
The program at Tel Aviv University is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Previous study of Hebrew recommended, but not required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of 1 Area Studies course in language or culture by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is required.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at Tel Aviv University consists of 15 credits, comprised of five 3-credit courses (including the appropriate Hebrew course) per semester. These five semester courses are in addition to the required pre-semester Ulpan. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
Penn students who attend Tel Aviv University are enrolled in the Tel Aviv University International School. All students are required to attend a pre-session Ulpan unless they receive an exemption based on prior fluency. Ulpan is an intensive, immersive Hebrew Language course. Students are placed in various levels, according to their fluency, as ascertained by a placement exam prior to the start of the Ulpan. Penn students are required to continue their study of Hebrew at the appropriate level throughout the semester or year of study at TAU as one of their selected regular courses provided that they have not completed the Penn language requirement.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
Grades are reported to Penn on the Tel Aviv University International School grade scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
*When recording on the Penn transcript,A+ is converted to A on this Penn Abroad program.
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Tel Aviv University prior to the start of each semester. More information on TAU’s orientation activities can be found here.
All students are required to attend a pre-session Ulpan unless they receive an exemption based on prior fluency. Ulpan is an intensive, immersive Hebrew Language course, which allows students to elevate their level of Hebrew comprehension, and to improve their understanding of the language. More information can be found here.
Each semester there are several day-long trips to points of interest in Israel as well as some longer trips throughout the country. Students are also encouraged to volunteer in the community through various options offered on-site.
The Buddy System is a project created in collaboration with the Tel Aviv University Student Union specifically for International students. It is a group for students, run by students. The Buddy System's goal is to create a united and multicultural campus at Tel Aviv University. More information can be found here.
Penn students studying at Tel Aviv University have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Accommodations in university dormitories, located across the street from the campus, are available during the academic year and Ulpan session at the newly renovated Einstein dorms. The dormitories are divided into suites of one or two bedrooms shared by two students per bedroom. Each suite is furnished and includes a kitchenette and bathroom. Students are responsible for their own meals.
Dormitory accommodations are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. While it is likely that most students will be placed in the dormitories, participants cannot be guaranteed spaces on campus. Typically, the spring semester housing is more competitive than the fall semester. Those who are not placed in the dormitories may rent apartments off campus.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation.
The Tel Aviv University International School offers various scholarships as well as financial aid to deserving candidates. More information can be found here.
MASA Israel Scholarships provide financial support to Jewish young adult who study in Israel on long-term educational programs. Masa Israel has partnered with the State of Israel and the Jewish Agency to provide this scholarship assistance to Jewish young adults.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.