Cody Norton is from Los Angeles he attended Indiana University. He is currently living his best life on Destination Israel’s Tel Aviv Internship Program.

Q: Why Israel?

Because why not! I am 26 years-old, it is easy to pick up and move at this age so this is the time to chase a dream. I am by no means religious, but I want to ensure that future generations have a chance to experience Israel, whether they are secular or religious. The Jewish people only have one home and the feeling that I felt the first time I came here, I want others to have the same opportunity so if I can be here contributing to the economy then I will. Plus the weather and food is just as good or even a little better than L.A.

Q: What was your favorite moment this far in your journey?

If I did have to say one moment, it would be when we took a boat with 50 people out in Eilat and just enjoyed the time with each other. I have built a little family of people here that supports and looks out for one another.

Q: What is your program like, what makes it different from working/interning at home?

Its the daily cultural exchange with individuals in my program. My roommates are from Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay by way of Brazil, so we learn from each other or just laugh at how different we are sometimes, but always respect each one another. The same thing happens at work because Israel is so multi-cultural and everyone’s voice is heard when at work because there isn’t the same strict hierarchy in the workplace compared to back home.

Q: How do you think you’re time in Israel has helped you on a journey to a meaningful career and future?

I have been introduced to so many people professionally, but more importantly random people you meet socially want to help me professionally as well. Here I am applying all the skills that I have learned throughout the years and learning daily as well.

Q: Any advice for incoming interns in Tel Aviv?

Advocate at your internship because this experience is all about you. Before you come to Israel figure out what you can offer and what you want to learn, otherwise you will be frustrated.

Also, SAY YES TO EVERYTHING. Do not sit at home watching Netflix or doing the same thing over and over again, try new things because you might be pleasantly surprised with the new experience that you have.

Q: What’s next for you after Masa?

Going on a short vacation, but leaving all my belongings in Israel because this has become my home. I plan on getting an apartment with friends, making Aliyah, and becoming a productive member of the community here in Tel Aviv.

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