Francois Laurent did his internship at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel between February 15th and June 15th 2017.
To cut a long story short, my internship at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel between February 15th and June 15th was formally composed of two elements. First I was doing research most of the time. I could choose my topic and worked very independently. As my main supervisor said: „ This internship is what you make out of it“. I had a desk at an office where 8 other interns worked on different fields such as water management, sustainable agriculture and in my case, on cultural ecosystem services. During four months I got to write a paper. And by the way it will be published soon. Another part of the internship consisted of being a tutor for an Ecology class which entailed uploading documents, making sure the students (classes can have as many as 35 students) come along and some organisational things.
Another part of this internship was taking part in a peace building seminar which focuses on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. During this seminar you sit once a week during 3 hours with your fellow students and discuss the conflict. It was very interesting although not focused on the environmental aspect.
Here I give you a more concise list of advantages and disadvantages that encompass all elements important to us students:
- Independent work on your own topic
- Work in a transdisciplinary, multicultural setting
- Work in a unique environment in a Kibbutz community surrounded by 40-50 students and interns
- You take part in a multitude of trips and excursions about water management, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, ecology or alumni conferences
- You will have to work independently, whether you want it or not
- It is not payed and if you do not get a scholarship, it is quite expensive
- You will be in the desert in a Kibbutz which means it is quite isolated and very hot