Reflections on My Second Semester at the University of Haifa

By Alexandru Ilie, a student of MA program in Diplomacy Studies, 2016-2017 Cohort.alex2

The second semester just ended and my master’s program is slowly coming to an end. It seems like just yesterday I was arriving at the University of Haifa worried that I missed the orientation session and didn’t have the chance to meet everyone. I guess time moves fast when you’re having fun.

Most of the students already had their graduation parties, ceremonies and now they’re enjoying the beach and sun. However I have to wait until the end of July in order to finish my classes, since I took one summer class that sounded very interesting and didn’t want to pass up on it (Geopolitics in the Middle East).

Since I’m waiting for my summer classes to begin, I wanted to share with everyone in a few short descriptions my experiences with the classes had in the second semester.

Human Rights, Ethics and Diplomacy (Prof. Michael Gross) – It was a mandatory class for my program (Diplomacy Studies), but the class is excellent! Prof. Gross always managed to make classes interesting providing by great discussions on new and relevant topics, inviting interesting speakers and most of all he challenged our ideas, making us develop clear arguments. I highly recommend this class.

International Diplomacy and Communication (Prof. Abraham Ben Zvi) – Prof. Ben Zvi is the head of our Diplomacy Studies program (mandatory class) and he made sure our class with him is packed with information. He offered us a lot of interesting discussions with in depth analysis of conflicts and important events within International Relations and Diplomacy, giving students a great whole picture. Beyond that, he invited great speakers who shared with us their experience and views on the constant changing world of diplomacy. Another class I highly recommend.

Model United Nations (Prof. Dana Vashdi / MUN Board) – It was a great continuation of the first semester! We had a lot of interesting debates and I had the opportunity to participate in an international conference in Nice – France.   Also, during one class we had a crisis where it got a bit out of hand because of the fun. The United States delegate got kidnapped, China proposed to make sushi out of sea monsters and Bolivia became friends with Atlantis. If you want to practice debating while meeting students from other study programs, this is definitely the class for you!

Multi-Track Diplomacy (Prof. Edy Kaufman) – This class is from the Peace and Conflict program and it was a lot of fun. Prof. Edy Kaufman has a lot of experience in conflict resolution and mediation, and you learn this from the first meeting, since he offers students a lot of practical information with any theory presented in a very captivating manner. During the class we had a two day workshop on the topic of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – offering students a lot of time to test what they’ve learned. The class is great for anyone who’s interested in learning practical skills in de-escalating situations, conflict resolution and mediation.

Paths to Peace (Prof. Ran Kuttner) – The class is also from the Peace and Conflict program and it’s a very good accompaniment to the Multi-Track Diplomacy class. Prof. Kuttner is tries to create a very friendly atmosphere during his classes, encouraging discussions on the theories presented and offering students the chance to share their views within the conflict resolution and mediation approaches.  The class offered a lot of interesting discussions and media on how to tackle all types of conflicts. If you’re looking to learn more about the theories of solving conflicts and their challenges, don’t miss this class.

Overall, the semester was amazing and all of the classes were a great in their own ways and I hope you will have the same great experiences when taking these classes.




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