Elisabeth Kramer, 24, student of BA in Accessoire Design at Pforzheim University about her study abroad in Jerusalem, Israel, at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.
When I made my decision for studying abroad for one semester I only chose to apply for one school: Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem.
The reason why I chose this particular place was based on the fascination the school draw to me after I found out about its existence and the fascination about the city of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is one of the most interesting cities in the world in my opinion, the western gate to the Middle East.
The coexistence of the three world religions in this 900.000 populated city is one of the most exciting thing about living in this city.
Although it is often said to be dangerous (which is undeniably true for some parts), the atmosphere in the city feels very safe and it is beautiful to see that people, who usually hate each other for their religion and beliefs, life so closely together and everything works. Walking around and stumbling from one jewish orthodox to a muslim neighbourhood is such an interesting scenery that I haven’t experienced in any other city that I’ve ever travelled to.
Also the incredibly fascinating history of this city has been a huge reason for me to come to the Holy City.
The whole image of the city is shaped by the use of the Jerusalemite sandstone. Every house is built with this beautiful stone which makes the architecture very homogenic and even more interesting to find out about at the different periods of time.
Jerusalem is cozy and young, a perfect city to study and has culturally a lot to offer and if you want a day of holiday or relaxation - Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea are just a bus ride away! On shabbat the whole city except a few restaurants shuts down, which creates a very special and appreciative feeling.
Bezalel Academy is considered the best art academy in Israel and was founded in 1906. Nowadays it has two campuses in the city: one in the heart of the city for architecture only and one that is connected with the Hebrew University next to a botanical garden.
Architecturally the campus that I visit every day is constructed as a maze and it was really hard for me to find my way around in the first days.
The school is beautifully located on a hill from which you can see the Dead Sea on a sunny day. For me as an accessories design student the worldwide offer of similar programs is limited. Most of the schools offer only fashion, jewellery or shoe design.
Bezalel Academy has a very unique program, because you can learn all of the design forms mentioned above.
The vibe of the school is very young and international and as well as the population of the city the students are also from completely different backgrounds, which makes the school as unique as the city. The school is also really modern and has for example its own art supply and a little supermarket with an amazing offer of the sometimes much needed coffee. The language in the classes is mainly in Hebrew but most Israelis are fluent in English that they’re always helpful and happy to translate.
Another aspect which I really appreciated was that the professors show us themselves how to use different and new techniques which I haven’t experienced like that in Pforzheim. It is a different way of teaching at Bezalel which I like.
What came as a surprise to me in Israel is that it’s a very modern and western country. Although there’s only one train or tram in the whole country, the country is far more digitally functioning than Germany for example. Many young people here are politically active, which gives the country some good hope.
The food is incredibly good, since they have such a variety of different foods from around the globe due their many influences and immigrants from other countries.
All in all - Israel has a lot to offer and you can discover everywhere some interesting and inspiring things.