University of Haifa International School Student Blog
My name is Gael Lagunas and I am a student from California. It has always been a dream of mine to travel to Israel and after my first three weeks here, I can truly say that dreams do come true. I decided to partake in the summer language program in order to immerse myself a little in Israel’s culture before beginning my year abroad here, which I am looking forward too! I have participated in the Arabic Language course and I have had fun being in the class. My favorite part of this course is our weekly trips to different sites around Israel. Last week we went to the Golan Heights and our tour guide who was Druze showed us few of the Druze villages there. Afterwards, he invited us to his home and we ate snacks and drank coffee while he talked to us more about the Druze religion. It was really a nice experience! Personally, I love learning languages very much; thus, this class has been enjoyable. Although I am in the Arabic course, I have also began to pick up on some Hebrew as well just by speaking to my neighbors who are Israeli and to my friends who are participating in the Ulpan. I have also learned some phrases in Croatian since three of my friends are from Croatia. One of the things that I have enjoyed while being in Haifa and Israel, is the fact that it feels like home. This is my first time out of the country by myself and the people, the faculty/staff, and the environment; both in the city and at the University of Haifa have made it beyond welcoming. I have already made a group of friends here along with my roommates whom we all call “familia”-family! So much has happened within the last three weeks that it feels as if I have been here longer. Words don’t do justice to the beauty of Israel. I’m now entering my last week of the summer language program and I can’t believe it. Time is flying by way too fast. Although I have not been here for that long, I can already see how much Haifa and Israel has to offer. It is full of diversity and culture and I am grateful to have the opportunity of studying abroad here. I can’t wait to see what this academic year has to offer!