Why Be a Trip Leader?
In Their Own Words
The goal is to make sure that everybody is having fun and learning about Israel as much as possibleAlexei, Duke University
It's the intimacy of seeing things first hand that really makes a massive difference on the tripAliza, Harvard Kennedy School
Being a leader is being able to guide people towards new experiencesCarine, Boston University
My hope for participants is to understand that this is not just something that you see on the newsDvora, Yale Law
Our goal was to make it an objective trip so they could create their own views and their own opinionMargo, University of Arizona
It’s a once in a lifetime type of experienceMegan, Yale Law
To be a leader is more to be leading by exampleMiranda, Tufts University
When you get here you see their faces and realize the great impact you have on this worldMoriya, Harvard University
You serve as a mentor and friend to the participants while travelingOfir, Harvard Kennedy School
You actually create this in your own hands. I think it’s an unparalleled experienceOmri, Columbia University
We can show our peers how we see IsraelTal, Duke University
The most rewarding experience is seeing everyone respond to the things that we're doingTaly, Columbia Law
Israel is one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries on earth. Not only is it “the Holy Land” to many as well as a “Startup Nation” and world leader in technological innovation, but it is also a country with a diverse population and considerable challenges. The trip presents an opportunity for you to take your peers beyond their preconceived notions and build new understandings of the complex realities of Israel. It’s a chance for them to see Israel through your eyes.
It takes time and a serious commitment to organize a trip to Israel, one that provides meaningful, transformative learning experiences as well as fun for your peers. It will offer you ample opportunities to demonstrate leadership, management, planning, team building, financial analysis, and more.
Would I make a good trip leader?
Leading a trip has been described as transformational and the highlight of the graduate school experience.
It’s also a major commitment – to the students, partnering organizations, and your co-leaders. Once plane tickets are bought there’s no turning back. Consider these questions:
How much time will it take?
Trip planning usually takes three hours a week, building to as much as ten hours a week as departure nears.
Will I have to do everything?
No. Leading a student trip will require you to be a decision-maker and a team player who shares the workload and collaborates with co-leaders. You will also work directly with a tour guide and tour company.
Do I need to be an expert on Israel or fluent in Hebrew?
No, you do not have to be an expert on Israel or fluent in Hebrew to be a successful trip leader. More important is a passion and enthusiasm for the trip, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to seek out the help you need.
Where can I get help, support and advice?
Israel & Co. is a nonprofit that works directly with dozens of student trip leaders every year, providing many forms of programmatic and financial support. Israel & Co. staff is available to work with you, and also to put you in touch with mentors–previous trip leaders who can provide guidance.
Do I have the personality and temperament to lead a trek?
Much of the pleasure of leading a student trip to Israel comes from enjoying interpersonal and group interactions, and being genuinely interested in other people’s thoughts and ideas as well as sensitive to group dynamics.
How will I manage the details?
With trips like these, the devil is in the details. Logistics matter. A responsibility you will share with your co-leaders is managing the details before and during the trip. This web site provides you with advice, tools, and templates for doing so.
Can I create cross-cultural partnerships?
As a Middle Eastern country, Israel has its own culture, language, and social conduct, some of which may not be familiar to you. It is both a pleasure and a challenge to cooperate professionally and introduce student travelers to this foreign land. Be prepared to build and enjoy a cross-cultural partnership.
Can I respond appropriately to last minute changes?
In every trip, carefully laid plans fall through – sometimes at the last minute. For instance, a speaker may become unavailable; a venue may be closed; or a something might happen that requires you to rethink your itinerary. Plan for these possibilities. Then remain calm, keep smiling, and make adjustments as needed. The tools on this site will help. You will also have the support of the tour company and Israel & Co. to adjust to last-minute changes.