University of Haifa International School Student Blog
My schedule at University of Haifa International School is a unique one, to say the least. I only am taking two courses and both courses are on Wednesdays, so I am only in class one day a week. This leads to a lot of people asking me if I am a fulltime student, and when I say yes, they say how. Here is how it works. I am a part of the Honors Peace and Conflict Studies program which means I am in a 4 credit seminar. I then turned my 3 credit Women in Israel elective into a 4 credit seminar. Finally I am interning with an absolutely amazing organization called Ultimate Peace, and this internship is worth 4 credits. These 3 commitments add up to 12 credits and make me a fulltime student.
Many people consider my approach to this semester to be one of laziness; to them I say that it is a semester for me. I have never enjoyed sitting in classrooms and listening to lectures, and so when I figured out how to minimize that part of education I took immediate advantage. I see my fellow students in this program who have to wake up early and go to class Monday through Thursday and it makes me all the happier that I am not doing that. Instead of a short weekend with my family in Jerusalem I get to spend 5 days at a time with them. Instead of a short day or two long hikes, I have the time to spend 3 or 4 days hiking and still have a day or two of recovery before class.
Studying abroad, in my opinion, should not be about the school you are at or the classes you are sitting in. Study abroad should be about the place you are. So many students spend their days looking down at Haifa from the top of the mountain where the university is located, but not enough people go into the city and take advantage of it. So many students go on the academic field trips or the trips planned by the madrichim but don’t go and explore Israel for themselves. There is so much more to this country than all the tourist sites (of which there are countless), and it is my intention for this semester to spend my time in the real beauty of this country.
So yes, academically I am being lazy, I embrace that. But this semester is for me. I am not trying to prove myself to anyone, and I am not trying to be an academic. Univeristy of Haifa has given me the opportunity to have a fantastic semester doing things that I am passionate about, and I am taken full advantage of that. No I don’t spend my days in classes and my nights doing homework. I spend my days exploring the country and my nights exploring the cities. This semester is exactly what I have been hoping for.