Why did you decide to study abroad?
I always had a passion to travel and study in new places. The huge decision to study abroad was fueled by my passion for learning how the people of Israel live. I wanted to experience the Israeli daily life so I can better understand what they are going through. My friends in the Greek Community encouraged me to follow through with my passion to study in Israel. They were the biggest influence on my decision to study there because they had done so in the past.
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
I was able to afford this amazing opportunity with the generous help from Diversity Abroad. I am forever thankful of them because without Diversity Abroad's assistance I would not have been able to experience this enlightening journey.
What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?
I wish someone told me not to overpack. If you are thinking of going abroad, you can buy most things at your destination. Over weight luggage is not worth the cost.
Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?
I identify as an Iranian-American woman. My ethnicity made me the target of racial profiling in the Israeli airports. As soon as the security officers saw my passport and the place of my birth, I had to undergo heavy security for the sole reason I was born in Iran. I had never been under such scrutiny but I did learn that for security one must pay with their time and patience.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
My experience in Israel thought me to not be intimated to ask questions. I learned that patience is key to understanding a difficult situation. Also, listening to people requires immense patience because they can have opposing views but through communication it can be understand.