University of Haifa International School Student Blog
Hi everyone, my name is Joseph, and I’m going to be making posts to University of Haifa’s International School blog. I wanted to write a post about my experience in August ulpan, Hebrew, since it’s been done with for about a week. In short, it was an amazing experience, one that I would encourage anyone reading this blog to really consider doing. As a beginning student of Hebrew, I feel that the instruction in the language was superb, especially considering the fact that the class only lasts a month – you learn a lot of vocabulary, and you’re learning practical language that can be used with pretty much anyone you run into. I’d say ulpan is worth at least a semester of foreign language instruction in the typical university setting.
However, there’s a ton more to see and do during ulpan. There were several organized day trips, to places such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the Bahai Gardens. My favorite trip was to Caesarea, because of the rich historical significance of the site, during the time of the Romans. The tour guides are also excellent. The seaside path from the Roman ruins, running past the hippodrome and toward the Byzantine era ruins offers a spectacular view of the sea. It’s definetley a great place to visit during a trip to Israel for any reason.
Both inside and out of the classroom, you have amazing opportunities to meet people from all over the world, which is probably the best aspect of ulpan. Coming from the University of Florida, a lot of times it seems like you’re just one person in a huge crowd, but here, it’s really easy to meet and form friendships with people, meaningful ones. I think I’ve been able to do a lot of growing because of my experience in ulpan, and I look forward to the coming Study Tour and Fall semester here at the university.