Sammi | Masa Israel

participant year: 
The first time I came to Israel was on Birthright in 2009. Although the program was for two weeks, that was more than enough time to fall in love with Israel. I chose the Oranim internship program because I liked how it was for 5 months and that I would get to spend more time in Tel Aviv, and I liked how this particular program takes us on monthly trips around Israel.
Graduating college with an Elementary Education degree, I knew that I wanted to help Israeli students with their English. For my internship, I am at a private elementary school in Yafo. Although I am not teaching my own lessons yet, I am working one-on-one with students and working on their grammar, I conduct conversation groups with the native English speakers and I create mini lessons such as writing a letter to the President of the United States explaining Israeli's current situation from the point of view of an Israeli elementary student. 
As much as I enjoy my internship and really getting to know all of my students that I work with, I really like the time that I have for myself outside of school. Whether I'm with friends from my program, friends from college, with family or just laying on the beach, Israel is treating me very well. I've been here for 2 months now, and I already found some favorite restaurants and great walking/jogging paths. On nice days, I love to go to the beach, walk through the Shuk or simply find a park to take pictures at. When I'm with friends, you'll most likely find me out at a new restaurant or at the corner bar. 
Being in Israel is a big step for me because I have never done a study abroad program or anything of the sort but by taking Hebrew classes, I am able to get around Tel Aviv with little to no problems. I recommend that anyone who is able should go on an Israeli program, because it truly will change your perceptions about Israel, the people who live here and for me I learned a lot about myself.