Undergraduate Student Blog, Speaking of Princeton

Undergraduate Student Blog

Author: Rachel Newman ’16

Paramus, New Jersey • Psychology View Profile

Going Back

Off to Israel for 10 days

Hi, friends: 

Finals are over; it's on to intersession.

Tomorrow night, I'll fly to Israel for the first time since before college.  I took a gap year for the 2011-2012 academic calendar to study in Jerusalem.  I was in a program called Nishmat, an all female institute for higher Jewish learning.  The program was a combination of intense Bible/Jewish Law studies and travel.  I lived with Israeli and Ethiopian women in the program, mixing languages and cultures in a unique and exciting experience.

And now I'm going back to visit my sister, who is studying there this year in a similar program.  It's crazy to think that the last time I was there, I lived there and now I'll be somebody's guest. It will definitely feel strange to be a tourist.  I've been to Israel before in that capacity, but only as a little kid.  I wonder if coming in as an visitor will almost feel like culture shock.  Speaking of culture shock, I'm also (hopefully) going to meet up with friends that I haven't seen since I lived there. My friends don't speak English, so I'm super hoping that my Hebrew will come right back.  I grew up learning Hebrew (I went to a Jewish day school), but one thing I learned when I lived in Israel for a year is how different learning a language in a classroom compared with speaking it every day like a native.

Me with my roommates in Israel
Throwback! Me almost four years ago on my gap year with my roommates.

Also, don't even get me started on how old I feel now that my baby sister is living abroad and almost headed off to college.  SO weird.  It will kind of feel like time travel to head back to where I was before college--as the person I am now--and see my sister experience some of the same things.

I should really go pack now, but I'm super excited to fill you in on my travels!