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Stephen Muss (Miami)

Studying abroad in Israel

Even though teens decide to come and study abroad for many different reasons, I think these 3 reasons best fit. Traveling/studying abroad can connect you to the culture/heritage in the land you’re in, you can meet new people/find new interests, and you have a sense of independence.

Connecting with the culture or heritage in the land you’re studying in is very important. Especially if you’re doing HSI and you’re Jewish, connecting to the land of your ancestors is so important. For me personally, connecting to Judaism was one of the biggest reasons why I chose to be a part of HSI. The fact that I’m also Israeli and reconnecting with my heritage and family is such a special opportunity that the Jewish people can’t get anywhere else

Next, meeting new friends and finding your interests. The people you meet will change you in good and bad ways. They can hype you up and support you, or you can learn from experiences. Traveling abroad helps you see ideals and morals in different perspectives and can definitely give you a new sense of self. You can also meet people who can help you discover new interests or hobbies. Also being in a new land can also offer you potential interests.

Lastly, being teenagers and without your parents. Or without anyone you know in general, definitely gives you a sense of independence and responsibility. Instead of being back home with your parents on top of your grades and homework, YOU are responsible for YOURSELF and no one is going to baby you around. Also you travel out to town with friends and it really is like a college experience.