Israel is an amazing country. After having visited it before with Regent through the incredible Passages trip, I was excited to take advantage of the opportunity to intern there this summer. The Destination Israel program is two months long and includes housing, a selection of courses to choose from (like Israeli cooking, Krav Maga, surfing, etc.), and optional events and trips around Israel. I chose Krav Maga for my course and went on a trip to explore caves in the Judean foothills with other program participants a couple of weeks ago. As for the housing situation, I’m the only Christian and one of two Gentiles living in our apartment with a total of seven roommates who are all from North America.
I’m interning in Tel Aviv at this innovative startup app company called Superfy. My job is to market the app by determining a target audience, brainstorming ideas for ads, and contacting various outlets for advertising. The intuitive Superfy app is like a personalized Google messenger, where people can ask questions and be connected with other users who have the knowledge and experience to answer. For example, if someone would like to find out about the interview process or work environment from employees of a specific company they’re applying to, they could ask the question on Superfy and get answers from people in individual chats. Superfy is able to connect users by using information from their Facebook account that they log into the app with. At the time of publication, the app is available exclusively on the App Store, with web and Android versions in the works.
Interning in Israel for two months is obviously very different from visiting for 10 days. When I came here with Passages, everything was scheduled and prepared in advance, which let us students see as much as possible in our week-and-a-half visit without having to worry about the logistics.
But now that I’m living in Israel for the summer, I have to figure out the bus routes, go shopping for groceries, exchange currency – do some more “adulting” than I’m used to at Regent – without any understanding of the language. While many people in Israel speak English, in addition to Hebrew, and road signs have both languages on them, the majority of things (like food products) are at least mostly written in Hebrew. The Google Translate app is going to be my best friend for the rest of the summer! Luckily, some of my roommates have at least a basic knowledge of Hebrew and can teach me useful words and phrases.
There is definitely a significant learning curve to moving from the U.S. to Israel for the summer and I’ve only been here for three weeks, but I’m starting to get adjusted to it all. It’s so thrilling to be living in the Holy Land, and I’m excited to explore it more! At this point, the most exciting places I’ve been to are the beautiful Tel Aviv beach, the historic Old City of Jaffa, the downtown open market – where various vendors sell everything from food to clothes and tourist souvenirs – and ancient caves that were dug a couple millennia ago. There is still so much of Tel Aviv that I want to see, and even more so the rest of Israel! I’m very eager to experience everything God has in store for me in His chosen nation this summer!