As I am sitting in the Toronto airport, I am rereading my notes of my latest blog, and started to reflect on my last few weeks on Long Island. After months of talking about "going to Israel for a year", this adventure is now in its beginning stages. Over the past few weeks, I have made my rounds, on saying see you later to some very important people in my life; family, friends, mentors, professors, administrators, coworkers, and teammates. Throughout this period of time I had the same questions pop up over and over again. I will now answer, in writing, all of the most frequently asked questions during my farewell tour.
Why Teach Internationally?
I have lived on Long Island for the past 22 years. As I talked about in my first blog, I feel like everybody needs to have an experience where they step out of their comfort zone in order to really figure out who they are. This is my chance to do just that. One chapter just ended with graduating from Molloy College, and now is my chance to control my next chapter. I wanted to be a teacher so I could make a difference in my students' lives, now I can do this on an international scale.
I always knew about the MASA Israel program, because I would constantly get emails from them, about different programs and opportunities. It was my last semester, and I was on break from student teaching at Calhoun High School (my high school I graduated from), and it finally hit me that I had to figure out what my next step was going to be upon graduating. I had the choice of going to grad school, finding a full time teaching job, or do something unique. I knew from the start the first two choices were not really options. When I got the application for the program, the first thing that popped into my head was "how much does it cost?" After doing some research I noticed that there was no application fee, so I had nothing to lose. I applied to the program, and as I was going through the multiple interviews, it finally dawned on me that I had to participate in this program. It just felt like the right thing to do.
English can be taught all over the world. I am sure each one of you know of someone who has taught english abroad. If not, now you do :) I am sure I could have found a program in another country to teach English, but I do not think I would have connected the same way as I will in Israel. I got to experience Israel as a tourist back in 2012 for my Birthright trip. This country is just so unique and stunning. How can you go wrong when the Mediterranean Sea is within walking distance of your apartment. This country has such rich ties, and they are so welcoming to all visitors of the country. It's great when you can feel at home and still be thousands of miles away. The purpose of all these various types of trips, is to get people to come back to the country. I still do not know how to explain this feeling, but the trips really make you love this country. You cannot always believe what you read and listen to through the news. The news just tells you all the negative that is going on, but I know Israel as a loving and caring country and I cannot wait to spend the next 10 months here.
I would love to here peoples opinions and questions so feel free to comment below!!
At the time I am publishing this piece, I have already spent a few days in Israel, but do not worry I already have other posts in the works, and pictures to be posted. Stay tuned to the continuation of this adventure.
What is the purpose of traveling, and why is it so important for people to do? To quote St. Augustine, "The world is a book, and those do not travel read only one page." I just came from a college that has an amazing international education program, but I failed to take advantage of it. Hearing about all the amazing experiences my friends had traveling, I knew that I had to explore the rest of the world. My only international experience was back in the summer of 2012, when I went on my Birthright trip to Israel. That experience had a huge effect on my decision to teach in Israel this next year, but I want to take a step back to when I was in high school.
The talk about traveling all started in my 9th grade global history class. My teacher - now mentor - Dr. Goldberg would continually talk about an experience he once had in college called Semester at Sea. This program allows for college students to live on a cruise ship for a semester, while traveling around the world to over 10 countries. Having this seed planted in the back of my mind from the beginning of high school, I knew I had to live abroad for a long period of time. I wanted to take advantage of the great abroad program at Molloy, but that did not fit into my schedule. Now for the next 10 months, I will fulfill the goal of living abroad by teaching in Israel.