The time of my life. Past Review

By (International/Global Studies., Trinity University) - abroad from 08/27/2013 to 01/05/2014 with

IFSA/Alliance: Jerusalem - Diversity and Coexistence

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
While it would have been nice to study arabic language in an Arab country, Israel was a safe and stable alternative given the current political climate, and still provided great access to native speakers. I learned a great deal about all three Abrahamic religions, increased my knowledge of the Arabic language, and got a great perspective on the region as a whole.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was enrolled in the Arabic Immersion program. This program was very intensive and required a lot of study to stay on top of your workload, but it was very rewarding and I learned a great deal. The professors were very patient and always helpful.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

If you like hummus and falafel you will dine like a king, and for cheap. If not, there are tons of other options and a wide variety of foods to choose from, even for those who are non-kosher such as myself

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My program had weekly excursions into the city to meet and speak with native Arabic speakers. In addition, a large portion of my free time was spent wandering the city and meeting people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I sprained my ankle badly in Mid-October (about halfway through the semester) and the Hebrew University Staff and the Madrachim (Resident Advisors) were extremely helpful in getting me to a doctor who spoke English and provided excellent care. In addition, the health insurance coverage you are required to have was accepted everywhere and provided comprehensive coverage.

* Safety:

As with any city, your safety depends on being aware of the situations around you. When planning on visiting conservative or religious areas, be sure to dress modestly. Be mindful of your host country's customs and beliefs.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$100.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Invest in the Rav-Kav bus pass. This will save you tons of money when traveling both within Jerusalem and the country as a whole.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 1 semester of Intermediate Arabic
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Try to use the language around the dorms if you are living with other people attempting to learn the same language. Label everyday items with flashcards to constantly remind yourself of the names of common items.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Experiencing a new culture
  • Seeing the history of the Old City
* What could be improved?
  • In-country IFSA Butler activities.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had a better background on religious studies to have a greater appreciation of the significance of certain locations.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!