An international group of 52 undergraduate and graduate students from Imperial College London recently spent a week Israel getting acquainted with the local high-tech scene.

The students hailed from countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Ethiopia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark and Spain, and are studying business or technology subjects including biomedical engineering, aeronautics, healthcare, economics and management.

The group visited startups, established companies, accelerators, research Labs, VC firms and universities. Among them were Mobileye, IBM Research Lab, Barclays/Techstar Accelerator, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Weizmann Institute of Science, OurCrowd and Peres Innovation Center.

Imperial College students at Mobileye, Jerusalem. Photo: courtesy

They attended a Big Data and Digital Health conference organized by mHealth focused on the relationship between Israel and China; and participated in a discussion about British-Israeli scientific cooperation at the residence of British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey.

“This trip forms part of the gateway to the 10-week summer internship program in Israel that we also organize, which offers placements with the likes of the Technion, EDF Energy, and a wide variety of startups,” said Léon Wiederkehr, president of Imperial’s Israel Society, which led the trip.

A Saudi Arabian PhD student wrote on his evaluation form: “Prior to the trip, I had an opinion that Arabs and non-Jewish people in Israel are treated unequally, however I was happy to see that most of them are living normal lives, going to university, owning businesses, having the right to express their religious and personal beliefs.”

Aeronautics student Wojciech Kowalski from Poland wrote: “This trip really showed me the modern Israel. I’ve always imagined it as this ‘Biblical’ place that was frozen in time 2,000 years ago. Now I truly understand the modern culture of Israel. I learned to truly appreciate how the country manages to flourish in such unwelcoming geographical and political conditions.”

“I am glad to have contributed to the realization of a trip to Israel which allowed 52 students from different religions, cultures and nationalities to get to know Israel from the cultural, scientific and entrepreneurial point of view, with the goal of making students understand what makes a small country like Israel a strong player in the high-tech world,” said Barbara Coen, a graduate management student at Imperial College Business School and one of Israel Tech Trip 2019’s organizers.