//
you're reading...

Europe

Hello, Goodbye, and Peace – Shalom from Tel Aviv!

Shalom from Tel Aviv, Israel!

Dani Wolberger

Dani Wolberger

My name is Dani Wolberger and this semester I am studying abroad at Tel Aviv University. While at home I concentrate in Business Economics & Public Policy, here I have decided to take a break from business courses and truly immerse myself in the culture by taking courses such as “Israeli Society through the Cinematic Lens” and “Israeli Environment”, which is essentially an archeological dig once a week at a real site! Before classes begin in February, the University requires all abroad students to complete an intense month-long Hebrew course. We learn Hebrew from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm every day so we can better navigate the city and feel like true Tel Avivians. I must say this course is a lot harder than I expected! Before I start to bore you, let me explain my history with this amazing city and country. Growing up with an Israeli father I always had a deep connection to Israel and after spending my second semester of senior year here it truly became like a second home to me. Deciding where to travel abroad was difficult as I was unsure if I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone and study somewhere I had never been or go back to a place that I missed and yearned to return to so much. In the end, the heart wants what the heart wants and here I am!

Bauhaus

Bauhaus

Tel Aviv is truly a unique city, blending the old with the new, and this is evident everywhere you look. Modern bars and restaurants are housed in old antique buildings designed in Bauhaus style, see photo. Another example is the orthodox Jewish men standing outside the supersized mall, Dizingoff Center, passing out prayer books on a Friday before the Sabbath. It’s things like these that you can’t see anywhere else, a true blend of a modern, technologically advanced city with an old and rich history.

We students are not actually located in downtown Tel Aviv. We’re a short 10 minute sheirut (shared taxi) away from the city which is pretty perfect because we get the perks of being so close to Tel Aviv but still have the feeling of being on a beautiful campus. I must say for a country with a water shortage, Tel Aviv University doesn’t look anything like a desert. There is the greenest grass I’ve ever seen in the middle of campus with statues made by art students interspersed. With the weather being about 70 degrees Fahrenheit everyday we spend our afternoons sitting at the beach drinking the most delicious iced coffee (I think it’s more of an ice cream than a coffee) or sitting on the quad on campus working on our Hebrew homework.

Volleyball on the Beach

Volleyball on the Beach

A huge highlight of the Overseas Program (OSP) is that the university has a team of “social counselors” that focus solely on providing excellent excursions throughout the country for us, completely free of charge! So far we have been taken on a night tour of Tel Aviv where we learned about the different types of architecture in the city and how it relates to different time periods in Israel as well as a play put on by a famous theatre troop comprised completely of blind-deaf actors. This event was extremely meaningful for all of us as it not only gave us insight in to how these people live their daily lives but also how Tel Aviv, as a municipality, goes the extra mile to make sure people with disabilities are being taken care of in this fast-paced city.

Although it’s only been two weeks since we arrived here most students are adjusting very well to the different culture and are beginning to feel right at home in Tel Aviv. I truly have not felt home-sick or bored at any point since we landed and I know every day will continue to get better and better. For anyone interested in studying here I hope this can provide some insight into the experience you too can have!

Friends at the Port

Friends at the Port

Shalom for now,

Dani Wolberger

Danielle is a GWSB Junior studying Business, Economics, and Public Policy.  To read more about GW’s study abroad program at Tel Aviv University, click here

Discussion

No comments yet.

Post a Comment

What are you looking for?

Archives

Recent Posts

2nd Annual “A Year in Review”
May 14, 2014
By GWSB Student Assistant
Where in the World is GWSB Summer Edition!
May 14, 2014
By Robin
Collegiate Inventors Competition
May 14, 2014
By Robin
May’s Instagram Contest: GWSB FINALS!
May 7, 2014
By GWSB Student Assistant
Carly Wraps Up Her Semester in Brussels With Her #onlyabroad Moments
May 7, 2014
By helen