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Stephen Muss (Miami)

Life in Israel is very different then what I expected it to be.

Life in Israel is very different then what I expected it to be. While it is an advanced and developed country sometimes aspects of life here seem to almost contradict that. When I first arrived in Israel, it was the best feeling ever. The day finally came to start AMHSI. Getting into the rhythm of living abroad was a struggle. At first you’re nervous because you don’t know anyone. You’re living with people in a dorm room who you know nothing about. Everyone on this program is in the same boat. We are all trying to make new friends and adjust to the new lifestyle we are going to live for 4 months.

One really big thing I had to adapt to was the food on campus. The food here is not the greatest. And I know, you’re probably thinking, what is she talking about, the food in Israel is amazing. Well you are right, the food in Israel is amazing, but the food on campus is not comparable to other food in Israel. I have learned to figure out how to find the good foods in the chadar ochel and to not eat all meals there while still staying in my budget. For example, I buy food from the store and keep it in the fridge and other times eat out. In Israel, you have to have an open mind. You’re not at home, with your parents or your family. You are living abroad in a foreign country, with other kids your age. It’s honestly great having counselors because they’re like a friend parent. They’re a friend in the way that they help you with your problems, and a parent because they tell you what to do and give rules. You learn to not be afraid to talk to to people. When you have questions, you learn to ask for help and find the information you need.

Don’t be afraid to speak a little Hebrew even if you know barely any. It’s great to practice Hebrew with strangers. You shouldn’t be afraid of the language barrier. Also it takes a bit of adjusting to get used to Israelis. They have a very different culture than America. They are very loud but also warm, caring, and welcoming. I hope this helps to give a glimpse of a students life and Israel and how to adapt to a foreign country.