The Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS) at IDC was established in order to allow students from around the world to benefit from high-level academic programs in English. RRIS currently comprises around 1,800 international students – 30% of the total IDC student body of 6,800 – including significant numbers from the United States, Canada, Europe and the Former Soviet Union – but also from Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and many other countries. In addition, many veteran Israelis who would like to perfect their English-language skills and to meet students from other countries also study at RRIS. With this distinctly international flavor on campus, it is not surprising that IDC firmly encourages global networking.
When you graduate from IDC you have friends all over the world, notes Jonathan Davis, Head of RRIS and VP for External Relations. One of the cornerstones of IDC is to do everything in our power to strengthen the bond between overseas Jewish communities and the State of Israel. Many of our graduates who return to North America become future leaders in their Jewish communities and fine ambassadors for the State of Israel, Davis continues. Most of our students take an ulpan and improve their Hebrew. In fact, 70% of those who study here end up staying in Israel on a permanent basis, and many of our graduates serve in the IDF. It makes us one of the largest academic absorption centers in the country, if not the largest!
IDC Herzliyas 20th birthday is a good occasion to check in with graduates and see how their careers have developed over the years. The Power of Giving spoke with alumni, mainly from RRIS, who told us about their experience at IDC and how it impacted their professional lives since graduation.
Dvora Charness, BA Communications 2012, from Canada
Growing up in the Jewish community of Montreal, Canada instilled in me a sense of Jewish and Israeli pride which I wanted to explore further. After completing my college degree in politics at home, where I was elected President of the Hillel on Campus and Vice President of City-Wide Hillel the following year, the natural step was to continue my higher education in Israel. IDCs Communications program was the perfect fit because I was able to combine my love for politics and Israel advocacy in the world of communications. Upon graduation in 2012, I began working for one of Israels largest channel providers, Ananey Communications, in their International Business Development department, where I worked with production companies all around the world and was the local agent for MSNBC and CNBC in Israel. Currently, I am the producer for the English Prime Time News at i24news, a new international news network. IDC gave me the tools needed to help me begin a professional career in a field I have always been passionate about.
Mickael Gartner, BA Business 2007, from France
Born and raised in France, I moved to Israel at the age of 14. Following my military service as a platoon commander, I decided to study business in a leading Israeli business school. I compared the different schools and universities according to three criteria: the professors, the campus and the geographical location. IDC was the only one with professors coming from global top-tier universities, a campus that looked like an American university, and a location 15 minutes from the dynamic life of Tel Aviv.
My experience at IDC was amazing. I met some of my best friends, learned Economics from the professor who wrote the books used in most Israeli universities, and could apply my learning on two ventures in parallel to my studies. Although I was in the Hebrew program, I was the first person to ask permission to take classes in English at RRIS to improve my English, and the answer was straight away positive. Today, combining programs is common at IDC, but already back then, the openness of the school to help students achieve their goals was exceptional.
After graduating in 2007, I spent a year in China and two years in France working in e-commerce, before coming back to Israel to work in a large software start-up. After a few years, I decided to do an MBA at London Business School. As an interesting fact, when joining LBS in 2013, I figured out that 75% of the Israeli students were from IDC! I am currently working at Microsoft in London in a licensing management position.
Camila Seta, BA Communications 2014, from California
After my time at IDC, I decided to move back to Los Angeles and kick-start my career. My first job was working on set in television production with an MTV show, but after some time I understood that it wasnt quite the right field for me, and luckily, I had a degree that would allow me to shift gears. This was the beauty of my Communications degree from IDC – my Visual Content specialization covered everything from television and film production to global marketing, social media strategy, diplomacy in the media and more. Eventually, I landed the job I hold today – Director of Public Relations for the Government of Israels Ministry of Tourism, Western Region, USA. Humorously enough, I ended up leaving Israel only to work for that same country, but this time from home. My job is to promote tourism to the country I called home for three years, to show American celebrities, top athletes, fashion designers and other influential people why they should visit a place so dear to my heart.
My time at IDC allowed me to speak to people from 86 countries and this global perspective on Israel really helped prepare me for my job today. My degree from IDC helped my career, but the biggest asset was the human experiences that came with it. This is what I appreciate and value the most.
Sonia Hason, BA Communications 2013, from Italy
I grew up in Milan, Italy, and when I finished high school I decided that I wanted to study in an international environment in Israel, and I found IDC. When I look back, I think that probably it was the best choice I ever made. Studying at IDC didnt just mean receiving a diploma and starting a career. It meant growing in a dynamic, culturally diverse environment, measuring myself against people from different backgrounds and working together with some of the best professors, who teach in a very different style than in other universities: inspiring, informal and very practical. But what I am really grateful for are the people I had the chance to meet – the most interesting, eccentric, fun, smart, deep and stubborn people I have ever met.
When I finished IDC, I started working in the communications department of an investment bank in Milan, where I still work today. It is probably one of the most hectic fields there is. Its a constantly changing environment and the job is completely unpredictable. We have to be flexible and to adapt (or better, to anticipate) all the new forms of digital communication. One thing I know: my three years at IDC were essential for the person I am today, for the role Ive ended up covering and for what the future has in store for me.
Eve Mamane, BA Government 2013, from Switzerland
Im 24 and originally from Geneva, Switzerland. I studied at RRIS from 2010 to 2013 and obtained a degree in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy. I have now been living in Israel for five years and made Aliyah right after graduating.
When I chose to leave Switzerland and move to Israel to study at IDC, I had a precise goal: to get a BA degree from a school where the point was to turn the students into knowledgeable thinkers who would be ambitious and seek excellence. After joining IDC, I quickly understood that I found exactly what I was looking for. As a student at RRIS, I had the privilege to sit in class with people of 86 different nationalities. This multiculturalism my classmates and I learned to live in enabled us to extend our learning beyond our classes, as well as to understand the issues we studied with an incomparable depth. It tremendously enhanced my studying experience and enabled me to develop a priceless network of partners and friends all around the world.
Today, I work at Wix.com, one of the most admired Israeli start-ups, in the foreign team of the marketing department. I am also engaged to a former classmate from RRIS, who came to study at IDC from Venezuela. My experience at IDC made me a quick learner and fully adaptable to international professional environments, and made me bring multiculturalism into my own home. I recommend the school to the most ambitious and adventurous people I meet; it is without a doubt an outstanding alma mater to stand by.
For more information about IDC Herzliya, go to www.idc.ac.il.