Checking In: Life at BGU Thus Far

By Nancy - May 23, 2018

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The path taken to succeed in life is certainly not straight. It’s curved and occasionally has roadblocks, U-turns, and there will be plenty of surprises. Coming to Israel was undoubtedly the greatest detour I could have imagined. When the Fall 2017 semester began I had no intention of studying abroad or traveling at all. It was an incredibly last-minute decision to apply and see what happened. My closest friend, Aidan, was largely behind this decision to apply, as were family and friends. Once I did apply, it became a whirlwind of emotions from being accepted to BGU OSP then deciding to commit to this experience. Fast-forward to December and I was packing my bags preparing to restart my life halfway around the world! This amazing opportunity presented itself at random and I choose to dive in. I haven’t regretted this choice even once. Studying at Ben-Gurion University has provided me with the opportunity to sincerely and authentically reevaluate this path which is life. To be entirely honest, every study abroad experience will have its low moments, whether or not these are outweighed by happy moments is what defines the program you choose.

Recently we were given an option to speak with an OSP faculty member regarding our time here. We could discuss remarks about the program and our personal experiences here. After choosing to participate in this mid-semester feedback opportunity, I felt fantastic. My comments were overwhelmingly positive although I did share one less favorable reflection, which was taken seriously. It was not only addressed with sincerity but we had an open discussion which solved the issue altogether. The faculty member and I had an outstanding conversation from start to finish. I am genuinely impressed by all that Ben-Gurion University has to offer. The OSP’s commitment to student success is incredible. A word of advice for future students: speak up! Don’t hesitate to bring up any little questions like “Where is there a water fountain on campus?” or bigger dilemmas like “My roommates and I don’t get along, could you help?” The program is here to help us have a great experience!

The three greatest aspects of this past month have been (1) exploring the Jerusalem Citadel (the Tower of David), (2) going shopping with friends at a local mall and (3) finding out one of my instructors shares my love of learning about international humanitarian response! I also truly enjoyed speaking to a group of students from Penn State here on Birthright. A few fellow OSP students and I spoke to them about our experiences here. It was an interesting event! We only have about 40 days remaining; I cannot wait to see what this next month has to offer.