Tag Archives: packing

Enquiring Minds Want to Know!

5 Oct

Rainbow over Haifa, as viewed from campus

My departure date is just around the corner and I have been getting lots of questions. I thought this would be a good time to answer some of the more common questions I have been getting. A lot of questions were answered in the original list of Q & As I did when I started the blog. If you have questions that I haven’t answered yet – feel free to leave them in the comments.

Q: When do you leave Reno?

A: I fly out early October 17th. I will arrive in Israel the afternoon of October 18th.

Q: When do you come back?

A: I know my Israeli health insurance runs out September 13th, 2013 so I’m guessing I will return sometime around that date.

Q: Where will you live?

A: I will live in a dorm on campus. I will have my own room with an en-suite bathroom. I will share a common area and kitchen with five other women.

Q: Do you have to dress conservatively?

A: No, unless I’m visiting a holy site (must cover shoulders and legs, if exposed) or walking through a very conservative and/or Orthodox neighborhood.  Imagine a major dose of American style with a dash of European flair and you have Israeli style. It’s very much the same as the US. I’ve heard Israeli girls dress very…freely…when going out on the town. Flip flops are common everywhere (more than one person has told me to wave bye to my closed toe shoes) even in the most formal settings. I’ve even heard that Crocs are super popular there but I really can’t see myself caving to that trend!

Q: Will your classes be in Hebrew?

A: No, they will be in English and I will be taking intensive German (so I can read original documents for my research). Hebrew is the primary language in Israel, however, a large portion of the population also speaks English. I’ve got Hebrew  basics down – please, thank you, how much does this cost? I have no doubt that I will learn a lot more just by being surrounded by it.

Q: How many bags are you bringing?

A: I’m aiming for just a suitcase and a hiking backpack to be checked and a small carry on with my laptop and other essentials. The same that I took to New Zealand.

Q: Isn’t Israel really dangerous?

A: I am an avid news watcher and I read the Jerusalem Post every day. I am well aware of the security situation in the Middle East. However, despite what the American news may lead you to believe, Israel is safe these days. Security checkpoints abound, soldiers are a common sight (they still have compulsory military service there) and people look out for one another. The main threat is from outside of Israel’s borders. The University of Haifa has very stringent crisis plans in place and I will register at the American consulate in Haifa. I promise, I will be well looked after.

Q: Are you getting excited/scared/overwhelmed?

A: Yes. I am getting excited about this fantastic new challenge and all the new experiences ahead of me. I’m anxious to meet the other students on my program and dive into a topic I’ve been interested in for a very long time. I can’t wait to explore my new city and country. I’m looking forward to carving out my own place in such an interesting setting. I’m sad about leaving my loved ones and friends – I will miss them dearly.

Q: Do you have any goals with this blog?

A: Yes, I hope to help you get to know Israel and the Middle East while telling you what I’m up to at the same time.