Travelling was a dream of mine and college is the perfect time to make that dream come true. So, when I decided to look at study abroad programs, I chose Israel. Specifically: Neve Yerushalyim Women’s Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. Studying abroad is wonderful because it involves being in and seeing a new place. I had an interest in Jewish studies and was placed in a program, named Mechina, according to my knowledge. An interview was conducted before classes began to ensure I was placed in the right level. In order to keep on task with my studies and to make sure I stretched my monies throughout the three month stint I was to live in the holy land, I did the following:
- 1. Set up a strict study schedule- because it is easy to get distracted while at a museum, drinking coffee with new buddies, or hanging out by the beach.
- 2. Go to a grocery store- since that is usually cheaper than eating out every night.
- 3. Researched where I wanted to travel to– well in advance to make sure I had the monies set aside to get me where I wanted to go.
Living in another country where you don’t speak the language can be challenging. I could read Hebrew but I couldn’t speak well enough to communicate where I wanted to go and more importantly, I couldn’t understand if a native Israeli attempted to give me directions. During my travels I found out that most Israeli’s do speak English, but for those cases where an English speaker was nowhere to be found, I did the following:
- 1. Print out detailed instructions on how to get from Point A to Point B in my travels.
- 2. Arrive at the bus or train station well in advance to make sure a non-English sign wouldn’t trip me up.
- 3. Learn a few key phrases in Hebrew to, at the very least say, “Do you speak English?” when in dire need of help.
Living in a foreign country, if only for a few months, is an amazing experience. Everyone should do it once and with a little planning and preparation, there is nothing to fear, just lots of experience to gain!