Australasian Union of Jewish Students

FAQ - AUJS Academy

FAQ - AUJS Academy

The Basics

What is the application process for AUJS Academy-Onward? 

Step 1:

All application forms are to be completed online through our registration system

Registration fee is $30 USD – This is non-refundable.

(Registration is to be done under the participant’s name only)

Step 2: Interviews

After submitting your application form, you will be contacted by an AUJS group leader.  You will be invited to an interview which will be held between August and September. The interview will allow us to get to know the incoming group and to better design the program to suit the particular cohort.

Your group leader will be in touch with you after registration to set a time for an interview.

Step 3:

Upon acceptance, you will be required to pay a deposit of AU$1,000 to ensure your place on the program. This fee is non-refundable.

This deposit will be deducted from your total payments required for the program. 

How do payments, costs and subsidies work? 

For information about Payments, costs and subsidies, please see our Payments and Costs page

Who goes on Academy Onward?

Academy includes participants from all around Australia and New Zealand and are aged between 17 and 21.

Who runs Academy Onward?

Each group of 30-40 participants will be accompanied by 4 Madrichim (leaders) – made up of a male and female from Australia and a male and female from Israel. Our contact person in Australia will be the AUJS International Programs Director, Romi Rutovitz. 

Can I be in the same group as my friend?

Participants can request two people with whom they would like to be in a group. Participants generally stay in rooms of four.


Program Content

What are the differences between the two Academy Streams?

Israel Starter-Pack

Whether this is your first visit to Israel, or you're a returning customer keen to tour and explore, this is the track for you. This track includes all of the must-see sites, educational programs, as well as a behind the scenes view of the Israeli culture and landscape. Participants of this track will also participate in an 'options week' to immerse themselves within an area of their interest. 


This track is ideal for those returning to Israel or looking for an immersive short-term program. With reduced touring, this track includes a 20-day internship at an office of your choice (applications allowing). From start-ups, to hospitals, to event planning... the opportunities are endless!

Israel+ participants will learn what it is like to work and live in Israel, whilst gaining life skills in an area of their interest through their immersive internship. On the weekends - and throughout the program - both tracks will join up for big-ticket Israel sight-seeing.

If I do the Israel+ track will I still get to tour Israel? 

All Academy participants will participate in the "big ticket" touring aspects as one cohort. From climbing Masada to floating in the Dead Sea - Israel Immersion participants will still have plenty of opportunities to see Israel from top to bottom. 

How often will the tracks be together?

Tracks will never be separated for more than 4 days at a time. Academy is one cohort, with two tracks, so if your friends decide to do a different track, you'll still have plenty of time together. 

What are the Special Interest Week options for the Israel Starter-Pack Track?
  • Gadna - Become a soldier in the IDF and learn what life is like for Israelis when they turn 18. Wear the uniform, experience army wake-up times and even learn how to safely put together and shoot a gun.
  • Desert Experience - Discover your inner Nomad! Sleep under the stars, learn survival skills and enjoy the beauty of the Negev with hiking, rappelling and camping on this unforgettable journey into the wilderness.
  • Politics & Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) - Volunteer in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, see the Old City from the perspective of all three religions and hear from people deeply involved in Israel's political landscape. 
How much is free time there on the program?

There is one free weekend during the program - providing a great opportunity for participants to visit Israeli family or friends and free evenings scattered throughout. Participants on the Israel Immersion track will have more opportunities for free-exploration (after office hours). 

How does Shabbat work on the program?

There will be 6 Shabbats on the program – including one Onward-Israel Seminar and one free Shabbat. 

Each group Shabbat is a wonderful experience to explore another side of Israeli life and spend leisure time with the other participants.


Safety and Security

What measures does the program take to ensure my safety?

The safety and security of participants is our highest priority. We are in constant communication with the relevant authorities to ensure that all our activities are within the latest guidelines. Importantly, free time on Academy is structured and while there is time for going out, shopping and discovering Israel, these times form part of the itinerary and are coordinated by Madrichim.

We are in constant communication with the 'Cheder Matzav' (Situation Room) to ensure that all of our activities lie within the daily guidelines set by the Israeli Defence and Education Departments.


Transport and Logistics

How are participants transported around Israel?

Participants will be transported on a private coach for the duration of the program. On the program, participants are not allowed to catch public transport - unless given direct permission. Depending on circumstances, taxis may be used to transport participants. Israel+ participants may need to travel independently to and from their internship offices. 

Can I extend my stay in Israel?

You may choose to extend your stay in Israel. There is a small fee to step out of the group flights.

I have an Israeli passport. Will there be travel issues if I apply for this program?

Israelis must enter on their Israeli passport. You must also contact the Israeli embassy and get an Army exemption which must be carried with you.

How is travel insurance organised?

Travel insurance is compulsory. We recommend you purchase travel insurance through FBI Travel when registering for your flights.  The insurance pack is at a reduced cost.


Spending Money in Israel

How much money should I bring to Israel? Are some forms of money better than others?

Please do not bring substantial amounts of cash with you. This will not be insured. We recommend about $100 per week for spending money. This will be for any purchases or activities during free time and snacks - all expenses for the program are covered.

Does the program cover the cost of a phone?

Please be aware that phones are not covered by the cost of the program and that participants will have to pay for this service. It is a program policy that all participants have a mobile phone with them while on the trip for security & practical reasons. We will advise which phone company to use.