Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bridget's Spring 2010 Semester in Israel

My name is Bridget Trent and I am studying for the Spring 2010 semester in Jerusalem at Hebrew University. I am studying through a co-sponsored program through IU and Hebrew University's Rothberg International School. I study International Studies with an emphasis on the Middle East, Human Rights, and Social Movements. I am also studying Hebrew and Arabic, which leads to some funny mistakes. I stay in the Student Village near the Mt. Scopus Campus of Hebrew Univerisity in east Jerusalem. I would reccomend this program to students that want to learn about MANY different viewpoints of political situations in the Middle East.
On the weekends, I have visited Ramallah by taking an Egged bus to the Damascus Gate of the Old City, followed by bus #18 to the Qalandia Checkpoint in the northeastern outskirts of Jerusalem. Finally, I would be picked up or take a taxi closer to Ramallah where I would meet my friends who reside in the city.

Once at the Qalandia Checkpoint, I took pictures of the graffiti (Photos 2 & 3). It is quite interesting to observe graffiti from all over the world and the messages they portray. This checkpoint is one of the most imfamous in the area, known for it's long waits and tough questioning before allowing West Bank residents to pass through. It is situated on the main road between Ramallah and Jerusalem. I have also included a picture of grafitti from my trip to Bethlehem in Early March (Photo 1). I find it quite interesting how political dissent can be expressed in so many ways.
If you would like to learn more about this program please click here for more information on this IU Overseas Study Opportunity.

Today, over 23,000 students, from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, study on the University’s four campuses, including some 1,200 visitors from abroad and new immigrants, who have come to its Rothberg International School to pursue degrees or earn credits for transfer. The School has become an international arena, a magnet that attracts students from around the world. They converge here to find intellectual challenge, religious bonds, political analysis and cultural activity. In the hallways of the School you will hear English spoken in the accents of New York, New England and the Deep South, of Britain, Australia and South Africa. You will hear the sounds of Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Korean and Japanese reverberate in the Rothberg International School. The Hebrew University brings all these students, from over 50 countries, together in Jerusalem to share a common experience in Hebrew – their new common language.
Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is well known for its abundant historical and holy sites and fascinating tourist attractions. A city sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Jerusalem is a melding of past and present, of ancient roots and modern innovations. In addition, this thriving metropolis is rich in art galleries and museums, theaters and concert halls, restaurants and cafes, pubs and dance clubs. Exciting festivals, exhibitions, international conferences, sports competitions and many other special events are held throughout the year. Click here to see more pictures from the Rotherberg International School.

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