University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Though the Spring semester has come and gone, and a new Summer Ulpan will be starting soon, I am not ready to say goodbye to Israel. Luckily, I don’t have to yet, as I am staying in Israel for most of the Summer. But, here’s a goodbye post from Jessie, a Haifa International student from Spring semester who is back the States. Thanks Jessie!
Today was my final day of class, my final day walking around campus, my final falafel and my final night with some absolutely great friends. To send off this great experience we had a huge potluck party with tons of food and wine. Saying goodbye was harder than I thought I would be, as I’ve made some amazing friendships here. But I really want to use this post as one giant thank you.
At the beginning of this experience I was really scared and overwhelmed. So many people know me as a homebody and I still getmade fun of for my overnight camp experience at Camp Louise. Guys, get over it I was 9. As my parents would attest, I definitely hit a bunch of bumps during this experience, but I am so confident that I am coming home a stronger, happier and overall better human being.
The University of Haifa has been a unique study abroad experience. With planned trips, group nights and of course the madrichim (Michal and Tomer and Naama during Ulpan), the International School truly created a sense of community and family, which I think is truly rare when studying abroad. I felt as though Haifa became my home away from home and what a beautiful home it has been. With beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Carmel Mountain on the other, I must say that it could honestly be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Haifa has acted as my home base to leave and come back to while exploring the rest of this amazing country, and I would not have wanted to study anywhere else.
When thinking about how in just a short 24 hours I will be home in Huntingdon Valley, I feel like much of this will seem like whirlwind and I’ll probably have to pinch myself to see if it really happened. All in all, I’m excited to go home. I’m excited to hear and read English everywhere, eat my mom’s home cooked meals (and Hatboro’s chicken salad mom, don’t forget to buy some ☺) and of course seeing the people I love and have missed for these 4.5 months. Recently I’ve grown tired of the impolite aspects of Israeli society and I’ve especially grown tired of living in such a disputed part of the world. But it’s helped me appreciate what I have at home and I hope that I no longer take my life for granted. I know in a couple of weeks or months I’ll forget how I was growing restless to come home and want to be back in the Talia Dorms with everyone, but I know I’m leaving with a lot of great memories.
So I’ll leave you with some last images of the campus. And for now I say goodbye to Israel and thank you to the people who I have spent these last 4.5 months with and to the city of Haifa. You truly are an unknown wonder of the world.