As an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis, I had the opportunity to take part in the Hebrew University’s Spring in Jerusalem Honors Program in 2017. The Honors Program gave me the unique opportunity to complete both a tailored internship and a significant independent research project that were well-aligned with my academic and professional interests.
My internship at the Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI) in Jerusalem’s city center gave me the opportunity to connect with Israeli professionals and see how issues of human movement were being addressed and discussed in the region. Similarly, my research project, completed under faculty supervision, exposed me to the complex issues faced by East African communities who were seeking asylum in Israel.
While these experiences were probably the highlight of my time at Hebrew University, I am also grateful for the relationships I built with other students. I found great diversity among both the student body and international community and was grateful for the trips around the region that Rothberg made available to us. Along with friends from the program, I ate sweets at night in the Old City during Ramadan, attended an Easter service at sunrise, and enjoyed Kabbalat Shabbat in Haifa.
Upon my return to the US, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors. After working in immigration law in the San Francisco Bay Area for two years, I received a prestigious Fulbright Partnership Award to complete my Master’s in Global Security and Borders at Queen’s University, Belfast.
My achievements post-graduation are certainly connected to my time in Jerusalem. Not only did I have a great experience in a complex city that I love, but I was able to tailor my internship and research portions to better position me for life post-graduation.
I have since returned to visit campus–purchasing my favourite hummus at the same little grocery store and watching the sunset from Binyamin Mazar Street.
If you have the opportunity, go!