U Internship in Israel Program Still on Hold

A year ago, four University of Utah students were living and working as interns in Israel. On Oct. 23, a car bomb went off in front of the housing complex they lived in. By the end of the month, three of the four had come home.

The three students who came home made the decision personally.

“We told the students we would respect their judgements,” said Tim Chambless, intern coordinator at the U?s Hinckley Institute of Politics. One of the students, Linsay Krantz, chose to stay in Israel until her internship ended in December because of the close personal contacts she made in the country.

The program is still on hold.

“I would love to send students to Israel, but we couldn’t do it,? Chambless said. “How can I under these circumstances?”

The internship program in Israel started in July 2000 when peace in Israel looked much more likely.

“When we conceptualized this program, the Middle East was a very hopeful place,” Chambless said. “Also students were asking, we tried to meet the need.”

The four students went to Israel in August 2000.

“It still is a wonderful program,” Chambless said. “Our students who have gone there love the opportunity.” Chambless looks forward to the time when that program can be restarted, but does not know when the necessary peace will come.

“I think we have to approach this with caution,” he said.

Violence has also affected another student’s internship. Tony Milner, a student interning at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia will come home Nov. 1. Milner is coming home because the embassy only wants non-essential personnel there right now. Because Milner started at the beginning of August, his internship will have lasted three months, almost the length of a normal semester, according to Chambless.

Chambless still holds a lot of confidence in the internship program.

“I really believe in this program,” he said. “Those internships gave me life changing opportunities. That’s what I would wish for every one of our students.”

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