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This first week has been everything I expected and more.

This first week has been everything I expected and more. I have made so many new friends and even tried so many new foods. I have made many goals, both academic and personally, that I hope to achieve in my time here in Israel. These goals will not only enhance my experience here, but also give me something to look back on when the program is over.

My first academic goal is to do all of my homework and assignments as soon as they are assigned. At home, procrastination is not normally an issue for me. Here, there is always something else you could be doing besides homework, and it is sometimes challenging to feel like you are missing out on something because you have to finish homework. So far, this has not been a big issue, but if the workload starts to get heavier, it will be very important to do my assignments before anything else. Another one of my goals is to participate in Israeli Studies class more. In the first week or so, I have more just been listening and observing, rather than really participating and getting into it. At first, I was a little intimidated because I did not know nearly as much about the information we are learning than other students in my class did. Now I realize that everyone is just learning, and everyone’s participation can enhance the discussions. I also feel that in order to get out as much as possible from that class, it is crucial for me to be as into it as possible.

I have also set a few personal goals for myself. I knew coming into a new country was going to be difficult, especially with the language barrier. My goal by the end of the trip is to be able speak very simple hebrew, just to be able to communicate when we go out. For example, I want to be able to ask simple questions and say common words. Another personal goal I have set for myself is being able to manage my money well. This is difficult because I love going out into town for dinner during the week with friends, and also buying things for myself on trips. In order to accomplish this goal, I am going to try and eat on campus most weeknights, and because of this I will save money, and also have more time for school work. I believe all of these goals are challenging, yet manageable, and will make my time here even more meaningful and enjoyable.