In light of the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel, here’s some encouraging news. It sounds like these CSU students are having a great time studying in Israel.

Dave Bender of Jewish Journal reports.

CSU students give Israel high marks

Students from California State University (CSU) on a reinstituted year-long program at the University of Haifa say they’re reveling in their academic and social life in Israel.

CSU’s return to the Holy Land in 2012 came at the end of a decade-long ban imposed due to safety concerns over bouts of Israeli-Palestinian violence. But that has not caused any misgivings for students like Benjamin Meis, a psychology major from San Diego.

“There hasn’t been one time in the past five months that I’ve felt threatened or that my life was in danger,” the 20-year-old recently told the Journal. Meis is one of eight CSU students enrolled at the University of Haifa.

In 2002, the bombings and shootings associated with the Second Intifada prompted the U.S. State Department to add Israel to an international travel advisory list. That led CSU — with more than 425,000 students on 23 campuses — to suspend its study-abroad program there.

But after lobbying by program supporters, senior University of California and CSU officials in 2011 held a three-day visit in which University of Haifa counterparts stressed that the visiting students were not endangered. The American group reinstated the program the following year.

“The perception [was] that the lack of safety went away,” explained student dean Hanan Alexander, who heads the International School and the Center for Jewish Education at the University of Haifa.