Why did you decide to study abroad?
I decided to go abroad to study language, specifically Biblical Hebrew. It is a language that will help me in years to come as I apply to a Divinity school and a language that is spiritually meaningful to me as well. There was no better place to study Hebrew than Jerusalem itself!
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
Originally, I was planning on biting the bullet and paying for my trip out of my own pocket, working it off later. However, I applied to a DiversityAbroad scholarship for Summer Programs in Hebrew University of Jerusalem and I got it! Thus, the scholarship covered all my expenses for going abroad.
What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?
I wish I knew not to plan everything out the way I had -- it only caused disappointment and dissatisfaction. Take things as they come -- don't try to prepare for them. Be ready for new experiences and don't be overly ambitious or overly boring. Take the middle road and you'll have both a memorable season and a fruitful one.
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 first and foremost identify as a follower of Jesus Christ and a man seeking to love God and people. I didn't experience any blatant discrimination because of my faith and identity, but it did engender many fantastic conversations. These conversations with people who both shared my views and people who sharply disagreed with them taught me much about human opinion and widened my worldview just as much as staying in a foreign country did.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
Besides the great conversations, I also spent close to 5 hours a week in a classroom, studying Biblical Hebrew. My academics, as they should, flow into my long term career goals. Eventually, I hope to become a pastor and serve God. Knowing Hebrew will allow me to read the Old Testament in its original language.