This study focuses on the intersection of global and local identity as it pertains to the case of Israeli youth studying at United World Colleges (UWC) versus those studying at local secondary schools. We examine how education at UWC schools shapes the national identity of Israeli high-school seniors, in contradiction with their socio-economically matched peers who studied at local Israeli schools that encourage a distinctly locally oriented identity. Specifically, twenty Israeli youth participated in semi-structured interviews; ten of them had just completed their final year of studies at UWC schools abroad, whereas the other ten had recently graduated from the Israeli public education system. We show that Israeli youth at both UWC schools and Israeli schools were pushed away from a cosmopolitan outlook, each for different reasons. As such, we discuss how complex relations with one’s nation’s political conflicts promote locally oriented identities even for students who were educated with a cosmopolitan ethos and surroundings, such as Israeli students at UWC schools.