Hi I’m Max and I’m studying an MBA at the Tours business school named ESCEM, located 2 hours south of Paris, France. In order to graduate, we have to have an experience abroad of at least 4 months. I was looking for an internship through my business school’s network. I applied for around 4 or 5 job offers, sending my CV and cover letters to companies in different cities abroad. A couple of days later, I found the perfect position at Student Mundial in Tel Aviv, Israel for 6 months as a marketing intern.
My first days in Tel Aviv
Looking for an accommodation in Tel Aviv was not easy, especially during the summer when the city is full of tourists from all over the world. So I decided to book a room in the youth hostel at Hayarkon 48 in Tel Aviv. The location was perfect, 200 meters from the beach – can you imagine anything better? Once I arrived, someone from the hostel brought me to my dorm room. The room was really big with 6 beds and with a huge balcony. And I didn’t mention yet but you can enjoy a huge rooftop to lay in the sun and have some fresh beer during the sunset.
During the first week, I experienced the hot temperature of the country, which is nice, but the humidity is pretty high, as you get wet within 5 minutes even if you are just laying on your towel on the beach. Fans and air-condition will be your best friends in Israel. If you can’t find any place to cool down, go to a juice shop. I used to have one with Josh, my boss, after lunch and it was really refreshing. I’ll share our favourite mix for those who want to test it, you should ask for oranges, apples, passion fruits, dates, ginger and mint, I m sure you will love it!
Eat local specialities, it’s so tasty!
Vegetables and fruits are especially amazing here, and you can find anything you want at the Carmel Market. You will get used to having Hummus for many of your meals. Also during my stay, I ate the best “Shawarmas”, “Falafels” and “Sabich” ever in my life. The food is so tasty with a bit of “charif”, which means spicy, but you will have to love spicy food because it’s really burning sometimes.
I was working for Student Mundial as a marketing intern for 6 months. I was helping to build the new website with the design team. I used to work with Uri, the web developer, doing some testing and quality assurance. On a daily basis I was dealing with new students, helping them to find good accommodation abroad for their studies. In the rest of the time I was doing some business development. Working with the team was so nice. We were working from Josh’s house with our best friends the fans and a strong Turkish coffee (“cafe shachor”).
Tel Aviv, the city where you never sleep
From my arrival, mid June until my girlfriend’s arrival in September, I rather enjoyed the city of Tel Aviv than travelling in the country. I wanted to wait for her to discover the whole country together. We found an amazing shared house located on the Rothschild Boulevard. We had our room and we shared the house with 3 incredible roomies. Annie, from the US; Michael, from the US; and Sanne, from Netherlands. We used to go out, partying on the rooftop, have some late Shabbat dinners, going to the market and the beach. We had so much fun together.
Tel Aviv is the city where you never sleep, all night long you will find people partying in some clubs downtown, walking on the beach and even having a midnight swim! When we were going out we used to go to the Radio Bar known as EPGB and The Block, which was my favorite. It was really easy to move in the city, by foot it’s cool but you can rent bikes. Also if you are lazy or even for long distances, you can take a a shared taxi-like minibus (“monit-sherut”) and it will cost you around 7 shekels (about £1,5). You will recognize them because these are yellow minibuses. Sometimes with the roomies we used to take a taxi to go out to some clubs, and it was a good option to save money as you split the price if you fill the car.
Travelling across the country
In order to travel across the country, which isn’t that big, you can take the train or the bus to reach Jerusalem in one hour and half. You can go to Haifa, up north or Eilat down South by bus. But the best thing to travel inside the country is renting a car; you will be free to go to some very cool places. My girlfriend and I rented a car for a few road trips to Massada, the Dead Sea, Tiberias, Rosh Hanikra, Cesarea and Montfort. Just be careful on the road since people drive like crazy.
The landscape is insane in Israel. Our road trip in the South was crazy. We decide to wake up at 2am to enjoy the sunrise on Massada in the desert. Once we arrived there, we took the snake path by night to reach the top in 45 minutes and arrive just for the sunrise. Then we went to Ein Gadi to hike and see the waterfalls in the natural reserve. On the afternoon we went to the Dead Sea. It’s amazing how you float on the water. Be careful to not taste the water or get any single drop in your eyes, it will really burn. Be sure to wear some shoes to not cut yourself on the rocks. We wanted to try the mud so we went to the Ein Gadi Spa to have a mud bath. It’s amazing how your skin becomes so soft after that.
Time to come back
The roommates and us were always ready to share moments and events around a big dinner. I remember the thanksgiving dinner on the rooftop, lit with candles and cooked by Annie and her boyfriend Pepjin. For the New Year Eve, we had another dinner, cooked by our new roommate Pushkar with typical Indian food. Both were so good.
As we ran out of time, we were already in January, and the time to go back home was close by. We will keep incredible moments in mind with awesome people. All the good things have an end, but we spent 6 incredible months in Israel, such an incredible country. Even if it’s good to be back home to see the family and your friends after a long time abroad, one day we’ll be back there.