University of Haifa International School Student Blog
As Boston University’s (my home university) semester is winding down, I am at the halfway mark of my semester here at University of Haifa. It is unbelievable that I have been living in Israel for about 2 and a half months! The only downside of April in University of Haifa is that all my midterms are coming in the next couple of weeks. The best part of April is Passover break. For Passover, a couple friends and I will be taking a weeklong trip to Spain. Due to Israel’s central location, it is not too difficult or crazy expensive to travel to Europe, North Africa, and the rest of the Middle East. Many of the students here are city-hopping throughout Europe and meeting their friends who are studying abroad there. As for my group, we decided to plan a cozy trip through some of Spain’s major cities.
We will start off in Barcelona, make our way to Granada and Toledo, and then end up in Madrid. We already set up our AirBnB (making this a much more affordable trip), and are beginning to plan the different sites we are going to hit. I really hope to see Alhambra, which is a beautiful Arab-influenced palace in Granada.
Passover will be a bittersweet experience because after all that excitement, I will only have one month left in Israel. I do not know how I am going to fit in every place I want to go and still have time to write up my final papers. I hope to visit Eliat again, Jordan, and maybe even a trip to Cairo. Regardless of the places I ended up going, my time here in Israel has already been completely full of traveling, trying new things, and enjoying my abroad experience.
When I told my friends that I was going to study in Israel, many of them thought I was crazy to go to such a “dangerous” country. I understand that there are some dangers when traveling to the Middle East, but I have felt nothing but safe in Haifa. I realized that the way the media portrays Israel shows only the Arab-Israeli conflict, and not much past that. Yes, that conflict is very much real, but I do not believe it defines this entire country and its population. Now that I have lived here for some time, I can better talk to people back home about a lot of their misconceptions and ideas about the Middle East.