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Controversy has dogged Israel since its inception, and many people choose to steer clear of the country, thanks to its often unfavourable coverage in the news and online. Peek behind this veneer though and you’ll find a country that is not only safe, but also full to bursting with great sights, sounds and activities for anyone on a gap year in Israel to experience. Ask anyone who’s visited this corner of the Middle East: Israel is a gem waiting to be discovered by travellers from all over the world.
Israel is undeniably one of the centres of world religion, meaning that there are absolutely loads of different – and incredibly important – religious sites to see. The Wailing Wall is regarded as one of the most important sites within the Jewish faith and notes are placed in the wall, which contain prayers to God. But that’s not all – there’s the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Al Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, to name but a few of many. Whatever your religion, you’ll stand in amazement at what Israel can offer.
It’s not all religion in Israel though, as you’ll find out. Cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa have great nightclubs and bars, but be warned: they are not cheap! Heading out of the cities and you’ll find some great natural sites, such as the Ramon Crater and the Dead Sea. Plus, the divers among you will jump at the chance to SCUBA in some of Israel’s pristine waters, especially in and around Eilat, located on the Red Sea. Still not sure whether you should take a gap year in Israel..?
Working in Israel
From working on farms through to working on an Israeli summer camp, there are plenty of options open to those looking to work while on a gap year in Israel. Internships are also often available, and Israel makes a great alternative to other, more usual, countries offering this type of work experience. Volunteering is also common, especially volunteering on a kibbutz,
It is possible to travel onwards into the Middle East, but you do have to be careful, as some other countries won’t allow access if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. More liberal Middle Eastern countries, such as Jordan and Turkey, are your best bet. More popular is a journey straight into Europe, to see the cities and historic sites the continent has to offer.