I landed in Israel on September first, and headed straight to my campus in Jerusalem. I met my roommates and started to unpack before eating dinner at the dining hall and going to sleep. The next morning we went on a trip to a freshwater spring and then to Beit Shean for the weekend with all 200ish students on my program. We spent Shabbat together and had fun ice-breaker programming in order to meet everyone. The following few days were filled with fun activities and free time to explore the surrounding area. We then returned back to campus after the weekend and started to get settled in our new home.
We have been meeting in smaller groups everyday that are a mixture of students our age from all over the world. I have met people from Australia, England, Holland, Belgium, Israel, and more! We all live on the same campus and share a dining hall, so it has been an amazing experience getting to know teens from so many different backgrounds. I also used the buses for the first time this week, and I was able to visit different areas a little farther away from my campus. My friends and I went to Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem, which is around 20 minutes away from campus, to get shawarma(a popular, delicious food in Israel). This area is filled with different shops and restaurants, so we had a great time walking around and interacting with the locals. Additionally, since most of my friends here don’t speak Hebrew, I’ve been able to act as a translator for them and practice my Hebrew. I am looking forward to signing up for my classes later this week and exploring Jerusalem even more!