Study Abroad Advocates For Global Cooperation Against Climate Change


Photo by: Julia Espinoza

Alumni from the Arava Institute talk about their studies of environment cooperation in the Middle East, Monday, Feb 3 Sarah Braverman, manager at the institute, led the discussion, which focused o the institute’s main focus of environmental and soci-political issues in the region

Graduates of the Arava Institute visited Fresno City College on Feb. 3 to recruit new students to study environmental cooperation in the Middle East.  

The Dialogue Project is a discussion led by alumni of the institute that aims to widen the cultural backgrounds made up of their student body.

Being culturally inclusive is crucial to global environmental cooperation, which is why they brought this discussion to the FCC campus. 

“We would like to see more people, especially from California, coming to our program,” said Sarah Braverman, Arava Institute university relations manager and alumni. She said that students who join the program also gain a unique experience to include in their resume for future job seeking opportunities.

According to Braverman, the central focus for students in this program is the environment, but the experiences that come from the institute are applicable to any career path students may choose.   

“For North American students in general a lot of the issues that we see in the Middle East exist here in the United States. Race, religion, police brutality: these are topics that come up on campus that we talk about out there but they absolutely apply back here,” said Braverman. 

The Arava Institute wants a wide variety of students under different majors. It is not only limited to those who want to pursue a career in the environmental or socio-political fields.

“There is always something for you at this program. If you’re interested in being a leader, this is a good program,” said Braverman.

With tensions between groups in the Middle East, the Arava Institute brings together students from Israel, Palestine and other countries to focus on the multifaceted impact of climate change.

Alumni of the institute Mohammed Jarad and Shira Fisch also joined the discussion.

Recalling their personal experiences, the graduates of the institute explained how being raised in different geographic locations affects how we communicate about environmental issues.

“When you grow up in Israel, you don’t have many opportunities to meet Palestinians. Pretty much none,” said Fisch who was born in California but moved to Israel with her family when she was 7 years old. 

The Institute was created to bring people together who may have not been able to meet otherwise, while also aiming to create future leaders.

“We know that we want to do something for the future for our descendants and we can’t keep this injustice going forever,” said Jarad. 

Although the Institute’s main focus on environmental issues is within the Middle East region, Braverman said that students from all over the world are enrolled for the purpose of a better understanding of international environmental issues.

For more information about applying for the program contact Sarah Braverman at [email protected] or visit the website