Questions Everyone Asks About My Gap Year
Everyone has those couple of questions they get asked when they get home from a program, vacation, camp, college, or study abroad, and gap years are certainly no exception. But it's so tiring to answer all the questions every time you see someone for the first time in a while... So here are some of the ones I've gotten most often. Check them out and then fill out the document below to prepare yours ahead of time! (note: this is satire, but it's also true...)
"So... how was Israel?"
It was 194gr8, IsRAELI great. Eilat of fun. LODs of fun. I had teVERIa impactful experience and it Herzl-ot that I had to leave. What do you want me to say?
"What was your favorite part?"
I mean my favorite part was living in the center of Jerusalem and making the holiest city in the world my home. Also, I really liked school? But you want to hear about holidays or special events, so I guess I'll go with Simchas Torah. The dancing in the streets, dozens of hakafot, and happy vibes across the country... it's one of the most unifying experiences I had all year.
"What did a typical day look like?"
Well, my program in particular was split into two semesters. First semester, I lived in Jerusalem and studied Israel, Judaism, and Hebrew at Hebrew University's Rothberg International School. I took the bus to and from school every day and ate either at school, our hostel/base, or in restaurants around Jerusalem. Second semester, I moved to Teveria, where I lived alongside my peers in an apartment and volunteered as an English teacher for elementary school students as well as in an after-school program.
"Why did you go to Israel?"
Because I love Israel! Spending a year in Israel is one of the best ways to truly understand what day-to-day life is like there. Plus, who wouldn't want to drive by the Old City on the way to school? (If you're speaking to a high school student, add: You should definitely go on a gap year!)
"Did you feel safe... ya know... over there?"
Uh, very much so. In fact, when all of the anti-Semitic incidents started to go down in the fall, I felt far safer in Israel than in the States. Even on the one day that there were rockets fired near-ish to Jerusalem, my teachers all gave us protocols and I even felt comfortable going to brunch that morning!
These are some of the questions I get about my gap year, but you know your questions best. Feel free to mix and match what you get asked the most with the questions above, and add your own answers into the document below to have on-hand when someone gets a little too curious.