University of Haifa International School Student Blog
16.58 Arrived to the airport in Lithuania and joined the queue to check in to my flight to Kiev, Ukraine and then Tel Aviv.
17.30 I was already by the gate A8. Time passes quickly with a laptop 🙂
A funny thing happened though. After the check in, on my way to the gates, there was another passport check that I really didn’t get at first. I mean, I did not understand why it was there because when I looked around I did not see any customs officers and their mini glass box type offices by any other entrance to the gates either. When I raised my head to the ceiling I saw a notice that these gates were for non-schengen countries. Somehow I do not remember me being so clueless the first time. However, we chatted with the customs officer, she asked me why I was so alert and I started retelling her every thousand and one thoughts that crossed my mind in those ten seconds when I didn’t know what to do. Then she asked me about my trip, where I was going, the duration and reason I was going, whether it was my first time or not going to Israel. When I told her in a cheerful voice that I was granted a scholarship to study Hebrew for one month she smiled at me and congratulated me and told me to have a nice trip.
After my arrival in Tel Aviv I was pretty much more than one and half an hours late. I got my luggage and headed towards the arrival hall and I was so happy to see my friends having arrived to greet me. Who would have ever thought that I would be welcome in the Middle East? All these little things were only starting to make my experience the best in my life.
On the morning of July 4th I took train from Tel Aviv’s central train station to Haifa Hof Ha Carmel. I was surprised it took me only one hour to get to Haifa. With a little help from people in the station I found my way to the bus station, I took the bus 146 and I have to admit the trip all the way up the mountain was breathtaking. I must have looked weird smiling the whole time but the view you see in Haifa is nothing I have seen so far in my entire life.
I got off at the university station and headed to the welcome stand.
What I want to emphasize is my meeting more than two hundred people from more than 30 different countries. This is something I have been waiting so long for. I already made so many friends that I have never thought I would meet. People from the USA, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Finland, France, Germany… And we are all united by the will to learn or improve Hebrew.
On the first day of lessons we already were able to introduce ourselves and read simple words. My classmates are amazing!
I don’t even know how to properly express my gratitude and happiness when talking about being in the Israel, spending time with local and international students…
I am happy and this is all that matters. To wrap up, here is a picture of me destroying my first falafel at the welcome party. All credit for the picture goes to my new friend Muhammad. Everyone is here to help you out, even when getting a picture of something one has been waiting for so long 🙂