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Israeli and American teenagers are very similar.

After living in Israel for two weeks now, I can definitely say there are many differences between America and Israel, but overall it is easier than I expected to be an American living here. This may be because I am attending an English speaking school and living with American students. However, even the most obvious difference, the language barrier, is not a problem. I expected challenges in communication was going to make living here difficult. However, almost every Israeli I have met speaks English that is clear enough so that I can understand mostly everything that they are saying. Almost every restaurant that I have been to has a menu in English or a waiter that can speak English. Also, my counselors can easily translate everything I need to know.

I have noticed that the driving in Israel is very aggressive compared to Syracuse, NY. While walking through the town of Hod Hasharon, I have heard many drivers continuously hold down their horn and cut of other cars. In Jewish history class, we learned that driver may be more stereotypical in their rude and aggressive behavior because Israel is surrounded by enemies. It is something that I have to get used to being around, but as long as I don’t have to do the actual driving, I’m all good!

Israeli and American teenagers are very similar. For example, every Israeli teen I have talked to listens to the same music and watches the same shows as I do. One of my favorite memories from this trip so far shows just how similar Israeli and American teens are. We were staying at a youth hostel the night before climbing Masada. We started playing music on a speaker and dancing to it in the courtyard of the hostel. Then, a group of Israeli students started watching us from the balcony. Before we knew it, we were all dancing together and having a great time. We played some songs in English and some in Hebrew. This experience opened my eyes to two lessons. First, all teenagers want to have a good time, no matter where they live or the language they speak. Most importantly, Israel is one of a kind. I truly believe that Israel is one of the only places where I can have a dance party with random people that I have never met before and have it be one of my best memories and not one of my awkwardest. So far, I have had an amazing experience as an American in Israel!