University of Haifa International School Student Blog
This past week was the first week of school.
I started off the week meeting new study abroad students who came on Sunday from all over the world. Finally there are three other UT Austin students here with me and other students from Italy, Germany, Hungary, and of course the States. On Sunday night we all went to his place comes with options of spicy sauces. That was heaven for me right there. The sauce was so spicy that my eyes were watering up. I’m adding David’s falafel shop to my list of great places to eat in Haifa! I spent the rest of the night meeting new people and trying to remember their names with their faces, but to be honest it was pretty difficult.
The next day was our International School orientation where they explained all the rules and regulations as well as introduce us to an exciting upcoming semester. It was nice knowing where everything was and giving other people directions to the dorms or other buildings. Around 3 pm that day I had my first class in Arab-Israeli relations. The professor has had a lot of experience in this field and I am excited to learn from him. There are however so many people in that one class that people were sitting on the ground just to listen to the professor. Luckily this first week is only shopping week, which means we can sit in any classes before locking in our schedule for the semester next week.
Tuesdays are going to be my busy days. Because I have two back to back three hour classes in the same room. My first class at noon is Contemporary Arab Thought and Culture. My professor for that class is amazing and really keeps you engaged for the full 3 hours. I learned so much in that one class that I am excited to learn more. This class also requires a presentation and essays, but the topics are pretty interesting. My second class of the day starts at 3 pm and it is Media in the Arab World. Of course this class interested me because we are looking at the media in major Arab countries who rule over the news cycles here like Egypt and UAE. I have learned that there are 22 Arab countries, however in the second class we will be only discussing the 17.5 out of 22 countries in the Arab world. After finally going home at 6 pm on a Tuesday we still had a social activity at 7pm. The social activity was fun because the Madrichim’s had different games planned out for us. You would think they would be easy, but that’s not the case. Immediately we were doing trust exercises and having people walk on a tight rope that we were holding as well as standing on chairs and crossing from one side to the next. We were split into the Blue team (my team) and the Red team and were really competitive. Unfortunately the Blue team loss, but in the end we all got some pizza!!
My Wednesdays are great because I don’t have classes on Wednesday!! WOOT WOOT! It’s one of my catch up days and I am glad it’s right in the middle of the week. I didn’t do much expect some grocery shopping and laundry. Wednesday night we had a meeting on upcoming tours and volunteer opportunities that I really want to be a part of. I am excited about helping out while I am here and making the most of my study abroad experience.
On Thursday’s I only have class at 3 pm which is Terrorism and Responses. I really like the professor because he is from New York and has had a lot of work experience with both the US government and the Israeli government, He likes to be sarcastic in class but he also makes you think about different perspectives which is always great. Since we have students from all over the world it is interesting to hear the different questions each student has to an answer.
Basically I have classes only on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and the rest of the days I have to myself to keep exploring Israel.
October is a special month in Israel because of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. So more vacation days are on the way. I like to think of it as having the first week of school and then labor day. Except classes don’t really pick up until October 25th.
Lastly the weather is changing from humid hot days to windy and cold days. Since I’m a Texas girl I need a jacket like always!! People think I’m crazy, but I haven’t experienced a real Fall or Winter. Dealing with some allergies right now hopefully I’ll get better soon!