The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya is exceptional for many reasons. Founded in 1994 by Professor Uriel Reichman, IDC is Israel’s first private college.
It is also the most international Israeli university, with 25% of its students coming from overseas to the Raphael Recanati International School. These students come to study government, business, psychology, communications and organizational behavior, but just as significant is the fact that IDC students get to meet, socialize and network with people from all over the world.
“We have students from 84 countries,” says Jonathan Davis, Head of the Raphael Recanati International School and Vice President of IDC. “We are the most international university in Israel. The largest universities have, at best, two or three percent of their students from overseas.” The English advantage 
The Raphael Recanati International School was established in order to allow students from around the world to benefit from high-level academic programs at IDC by offering courses in English. In fact, more than any other Israeli educational institution,
IDC offers a diverse range of programs in English.
“If you want to do business, you need to know English these days,” says Davis.
“The fact that we teach in English is also a stepping stone for those who don’t know
Hebrew well enough to be able to come and study in Israel. It’s a great way of allowing a critical mass of people to study in an environment with which they are familiar.” In addition, many Israelis who would like to perfect their English-language skills and meet students from other countries also study at RRIS.
Zionism has always been at the heart of IDC. “While they are studying here, many of our students take an ulpan to improve their Hebrew. Recently, we initiated a summer ulpan which is also open to the community,” says Davis. “In fact, 70% of those who study here end up staying in Israel on a permanent basis. It

Students speak about IDC
Benny Maidenbaum, 20, from Lawrence, New York.
“I am currently studying psychology at IDC and my experience here has been very meaningful. The social atmosphere is amazing due to the fact that people are from different parts of the world and come from different cultures and backgrounds. It is truly a learning and eye-opening experience. The reason I decided to come to IDC is because I studied at Bar-Ilan University’s one year program and loved it so much that – although I was getting ready to go to college in New York – I decided that I had my whole life to be in the Big Apple and that I might as well try something new. IDC offers interesting courses and electives that are internationally accredited. The classes are so interesting that my Dad even signed up at IDC to take an anti-terror seminar while he takes a sabbatical in Israel. This is my first actual experience living on my own and the administration made everything easy for me, especially regarding academic requirements.”

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Academic programs
BA in Business Administration
BA in Communications
BA in Government
BA in Psychology
MBA in Business Administration
MA in Government: Diplomacy and Conflict Studies, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Securities Studies, Research Track with thesis
MA in Organizational Behavior

Makes us one of the largest academic absorption centers in the country, if not the largest!” The school currently comprises around 1,450 students from all over the world, out of a total student body of 6,500, including significant numbers from the United States, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union – but also from Latin America, South Africa and Australia, plus handfuls from other countries such as India, China, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco. 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 Davis. “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,” he continues. “One fantastic way of creating a bond is to study together. We have introduced courses in Zionism and the Bible, so we can explore our roots as well.”
Removing walls It may be a relatively young university, but IDC has gained a respected reputation around the globe. “There is a high demand for all our courses,” says Davis. “I wish we could accept everyone who applies, but we can’t.” The future vision for IDC can be summed up in one word: growth. “In ten years we hope to have a student body of around 7,000,” affirms Davis. “We would like to have a campus that includes dormitories, a sports complex and a very large student union, and it would be a campus that runs 24 hours a day. We envision always having at least 25% of our student body from overseas.” In its founding statement, IDC aimed to be “a university that will help remove walls of hostility in the Middle East, will serve students of all religions from this region and the rest of the world, and will advance the principles of peace.” So how is this put into action? One of the most

Studying at IDC is like joining a global community, where social and cultural activities add another dimension to education

Popular programs at IDC is the Diplomacy and Conflict Studies track (with a newly added Negotiations Division) in the Lauder School of Government, in which students learn about conflict resolution and counterterrorism, both extremely relevant topics for Israel and, indeed, the world. IDC also builds bridges by arranging conferences where students, academics and guests from all over the world take part and discuss vital issues. Now in its twelfth year, IDC’s annual Herliya Conference is one of the most important dates on Israel’s political calendar. Another initiative for building

Bridges is the Ambassadors’ Club, where students learn how to explain events in Israel to people overseas. When study time stops, there is a whole host of extra-curricular activities available to students, including sports, a choir and a dance troupe. IDC also organizes field trips all over Israel which include hiking and mountain biking. In fact, there is so much going on at the campus that it has its own magazine and its own radio station that broadcasts to Raanana and Herzliya.

Bureaucracy busting
Davis explains that “IDC offers a much less bureaucratic system. Our acceptance process is more global. If a student is accepted into a good university in the United
States, the UK, Australia or South Africa, such a person has a good chance of being accepted to IDC without all kinds of unnecessary bureaucratic procedures so prevalent in this country. If you don’t need a psychometric exam to get into a good university there, then why force someone to do it here?” For those coming from the
US, IDC accepts the SAT exam, which is much more user-friendly to students from that country.
Another of IDC’s relative advantages is its affordable tuition fees, which are significantly lower than those of colleges and universities in the US. Degrees granted by IDC are accredited by the Israeli Council for Higher Education. “It’s like studying at a very good European or American university at a fraction of the price,” notes Davis. Furthermore, scholarships are available, as well as student loans and grants from a number of countries. Yet, the biggest draw for those considering studying at IDC is what Prof. Uriel Reichman, President and Founder of IDC, calls the “openness to the international horizon.” Studying at IDC is like joining a global community, where social and cultural activities add another dimension to education, while having the privilege of doing this in Israel. !

Students speak about IDC
Eve Mamane, 20, from Geneva, Switzerland
“After a few weeks at IDC, I understood that I had found exactly what I was looking for: a place where my ambitions would be not only welcome, but supported and encouraged. As a student of the Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS ), I have the privilege to study every day with people who come from all around the world. Each event that happens touches my classmates directly, whether it is the independence of a new country (one of my classmates is from South Sudan ), the migration of refugees (another one is from Somalia ), the dream of the fall of a long and painful dictatorship (several of my classmates are from Venezuela ), or the passing of laws limiting the right to wear Burqas (others are from France ).
This international environment allows me to live a unique experience, learning not only from experts, doctors and professors, but also from the stories and points of view of citizens of my age. This multiculturalism my classmates and myself learn to live
in enables us to extend our learning beyond our classes, as well as to understand with an incomparable depth the issues we study in class. Furthermore, IDC is more than a school – it is a community, almost a family. Although we are many students without our close families here, feeling alone is something we barely encounter. The students
learn to know Israel together, and the administration is always here to help us out. I am now about to start my second year at IDC and am very excited about it.”

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