Seeing the Bigger Picture (and having fun!)

By Nancy - April 19, 2018

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As a little girl I always knew that I wanted to help people. Adults would often ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer changed a few times throughout the years although each potential job involved helping others and a splash of adrenaline. Being in Israel, I have realized that this experience is beyond my wildest dreams! Once a little girl with very very big dreams, I never could’ve imagined being 20 years old, picking up my life, and moving to Israel for six months. This opportunity is equipping me to better fulfill that dream of helping others. I hope to join law enforcement upon graduation next year. During the last three months I have grown in both cultural-awareness and situational-awareness, and there has undeniably been development on personal and professional levels.

I have felt the most development in cultural-awareness. Living in Israel is such a unique experience. Though I have always been open-minded and accepting, I never truly understood the intricacies of living in a culture other than my own. Being here has been like putting on 3D glasses; I can understand and view so much more! There are commonalities and differences which I have begun to grasp better. I hope to use this newfound awareness as a learning-tool moving forward. My time here will lend itself to becoming a stronger law enforcement officer down the road. I will be equipped with language-acquisition skills, intimate knowledge of the challenges of moving to a brand new place, and stronger situational-awareness. The American Immigration Council shares, “One in five New Yorkers is an immigrant… one in six is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.”[1] This means that regardless of wherever my college-career takes me, I will likely be encountering folks who are immigrants or family members of immigrants on a regular basis. I will never understand what it feels like to move permanently to a new country, but now I can understand on a more personal level some of the excitement and challenges of living in a new country.

While there have been moments of truly fantastic personal/professional growth, there have also been times where we are simply having fun and living in the moment!

The Overseas Student Program took us on a phenomenal trip to Masada and Kfar Hanokdim last month. This was without a doubt the most fun adventure I’ve gone on thus far. Not just in Israel, but during my lifetime. We hiked up Masada, had a campfire, slept in a tent in the desert, and rode camels. My absolute favorite activity was our hike at the very end of the trip. It was a rocky hike with breathtaking views of canyon-like areas. At the bottom of a steep climb down, many students swam in a waterhole with an amazing panoramic view! I honestly loved every single moment of this OSP trip. I cannot wait to update you on what happens throughout the next month of my study abroad journey!

[1] https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigrants-in-new-york