Israel Course

Master’s students in The School of Public Policy travelled to Israel in February for the Multi-Faces of Israel course, to gain international perspective from leaders and industry innovators there.

The Multi-Faces of Israel is a unique course at the University of Calgary and across Canada. Following an intensive series of lectures in Calgary on the history and politics of Israel, students spend 10 days in Israel learning about the similarities and differences in Israeli and Canadian public policy. The course was first launched in 2013 and to date almost 100 MPP and MBA students have participated. The course is designed to broaden students’ policy perspective at the international level.

Topics examined in the course cover The School’s four research areas; Social Policy and Health, Energy and Environmental, Fiscal and Economic Policy, and International Policy and Trade. During the week-long trip to Israel, students travel throughout the country to listen to distinguished academics and high-level speakers from business and government lecture on topics such as security issues; environmental policy in Israel; the issue of Settlements; and Israeli Law and Human Rights, allowing students to actively engage with current leaders and industry innovators.

The curriculum is designed to give students a broad understanding of comparative public policy and the varying dynamics that take place in the development and establishment of relevant policy within a society. The priority of The School of Public Policy is to continue to offer and develop courses that allow students impactful and influential learning opportunities that cannot be found outside of the School.



Students attend a lecture at the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) with Minister of the Knesset Sharren Haskel of the Likud Party.

Students attend a lecture at the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) with Minister of the Knesset Sharren Haskel of the Likud Party.


Israel has developed original and innovative solutions to the most crucial problems faced by modern democracies.

– Prof. Pierre- Gerlier Forest, PhD, Director and Palmer Chair
The School of Public Policy


The program also invites six Israeli masters’ level students for a ‘Mifgash’ encounter to join our students for two days of immersive discussions and peer to peer learning regarding the differences and similarities between our two countries and the day to day lives of the people within them. Students have called their educational and cultural experience in this program life changing and have felt a lasting influence on their progression as emerging leaders in Canada.

Read more about the 2019 trip

Student Experience

 “I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to partake in this trip and for this one week to leave me with a lifetime of memories. If it were not for the generosity of The School of Public Policy and its donors, the costs would have been prohibitive to travel and explore the beautiful country of Israel on my own… as a student, I am incredibly grateful to have been able to hear firsthand from several officials in both the Canadian and Israeli governments, to hear impactful history from our educator (Michael Bauer) and sobering truths from a holocaust survivor (Rena Quint), and to hear real perspectives and culture from Israeli students who shared so much with our class. Getting to meet individuals on this trip allowed me to grow my own network (both within our class and across the world) and to garner a better understanding of the world we live in.”

Shamus Hardie- Israel 2019
MPP student

“The trip to Israel can only be captured in one term…life-changing. It is a constellation of politics, culture, religion, security, economics, and history. As a student, it clarifies everything Israel. As a religious person, it reinforces faith and understanding.”

Jonah Slunteh – Israel 2017
MPP student

“The Israel program was one of the highlights of my Master’s degree. I was able to acquire a strong sensory and tangible experience in conjunction with the depth of knowledge I received both in the classroom and through our guest speakers. This program allowed me to understand and view issues from multiple angles. The compactness and meticulous planning of the program ensured that I was able to make the most out of the journey. It was also an opportunity to get to know some of my MPP peers and MBA students better. Being able to interact with the locals, including six Israeli students, visiting sites throughout Israel and visiting busy markets allowed me to observe the local lifestyle, and gave me a deeper appreciation for the culture and history of the country. Overall, this was an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Dhwani Paul – Israel 2017
MPP student

“The School of Public Policy’s course in Israel was an intensive and immersive educational adventure.  Our days were filled with intellectual and emotional stimulation from well before sun-up until well after sun-down, with exposure to a wide cross-section of Israeli academics, journalists, businesspeople and policymakers that informed, challenged and entertained all of us.  

In addition to obtaining a newfound appreciation for the special bond that Canada and Israel share, we gained insight and perspective into the complexity and scope of many of the geopolitical, cultural and social issues in Israel, and into the diversity of people working to solve them. I finished the trip not only with increased understanding of the issues, but also with an increased conviction to ensure that they are discussed and resolved in a manner that is moderate, balanced, and fair.  

For many participants, including myself, the trip was a life-changing experience that will have long-lasting effects on the choices we make after finishing school, and that will inform us on how best to use our talents, skills and time. Sharing such a transformative experience with such a small group resulted in bonds being formed that will be the basis of life-long relationships, and I know that I can speak for the entire group in saying that the experience was one that we will never forget. 

Blake Leew, P.Eng, MBA candidate, Haskayne School of Business