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By zamorse

This week was Passover vacation here in Israel. Passover is the Spring holiday in Judaism that celebrates the exodus from Egypt. It's a big family holiday for eight days, and Jews travel all over the world to be with their families and experience the holiday. It's know to most non-Jews by the unleavened tasteless bread that we eat, Matza. In Israel it's like Spring Break, people get days off from work, and the universities are shut down for the week. In the diaspora (outside of Israel), there's two seders (big meals) on the first two nights of the holiday, but in Israel there's only one seder. We went to my mom's friends house in Ra'anana to have the seder with their extended Israeli family.

My parents and grandmother came to visit this week since I didn't have school, and it's been really nice to see them. Instead of staying in Haifa near the university (which is shut down this week), we're staying in Herzliya, which is in the center of the country, just north of Tel Aviv, right on the beach. We rented a car from the airport and have been traveling all over Israel this week.

Today we went to Jerusalem and the Old City, went to the Western Wall and walked through the Jewish Quarter, then walked outside the Old City and had lunch at the famous King David Hotel. And what an interesting experience that was. Today is Easter, so the Christian Quarter was busy celebrating that holiday. It's Passover in the Jewish Quarter, and there are Muslim riots on the Temple Mount in the Muslim Quarter (2 people injured, 24 arrested just this morning). The Old City is a walled ancient city (.35 square miles) in the middle of Jerusalem and has four quarters. The biggest is the Muslim Quarter, followed by the Christian Quarter, then the Jewish Quarter, and finally the Armenian Quarter. So to say that a lot was going on today in such a small area was an understatement.

Yesterday we went to a museum in Tel Aviv. The day before we went to the oldest neighborhood in Tel Aviv to walk around. We've gone up to Haifa this week to see the university and walk around the national park across the street. We went to Yad Vashem (The Holocaust Museum) in Jerusalem, and Beit Hatfutsot (The Diaspora Museum) at Tel Aviv University.

It's been a busy week, but it's been really nice seeing my family since I don't get to see them very much. And living in Herzliya this week is a totally different experience then Haifa---much less diversity, much more wealth, and many more Americans.

I've been to the three largest cities in Israel this week. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa---each with their own unique flavor and characteristics. And I've had the great experience of having my family come to visit me in my second study abroad location. Until next time!

By sdemetry

Hello Again!

As I sit in an airport terminal in Norway, I think my ideas for this blog entry are quite fitting.

My internship has been going extremely well lately- lots of new tasks and responsibility have been handed off to me. But I am now entering a school vacation period- the German university system runs quite differently from ours in the US- and that is where the root of my current challenges lies.

It is difficult to work while traveling- limited internet access and no one to bounce ideas and questions off of in the next room adds hours to seemingly simple tasks. I am, however, about to embark upon a month of nonstop travel, with a load of nonstop assignments to do "at home"  I am a bit worried about deadlines and questions, but I think given the proper planning and considerations, I will be able to be relatively successful. Other than that, the challenges have been relatively minor recently- I have gotten into the flow of working and I know the routine of the office. It is starting to feel really comfortable.

My boss has given me more responsibility, and we have begun speaking more as equals, which is a huge accomplishment in my eyes. I have worked hard to earn the respect of my employers, and it is really starting to pay off.

I am excited for this period of travel to be behind me so that I can finally get back into a normal routine. It is hectic and stressful to think about work while reminding myself to also have some fun and let go of responsibilities- I am holding myself to a bit of a double standard- but it's nothing that I can't handle, and something that I am actually extremely thankful for. Not everyone gets these kind of opportunities, and I have to embrace and appreciate them while I still can!

I will keep you updated as to my struggles and successes, but as for now that's about all I have to share!

Mit besten Grüßen,


By maxikaplan

With only about three months left to my time in London, it’s really begun to hit me how long I’ve been here. I know that six months doesn’t sound like a long time, but recently, for one reason or another, I’ve felt that the next few months are going to go by quicker than I anticipate. With this idea breathing down my neck, my friends and I realized a few days ago that if we were to leave London today, we would not be 100% satisfied with the amount of new experiences and places we have discovered. So, despite our schoolwork, we’ll be taking almost every Wednesday and Saturday “off” to explore the UK and more of Europe as well. We have not yet planned where we will be going or what exactly it is we want to do at these places, but this is a plan that’s better than no plan, and I know that I won’t look back at my time at LSE and say, “I wish I had spent the day inside writing an essay rather than exploring the North of England with my friends.”

I am not sure if GW maintains the same level of involvement with other students study abroad experiences, but it seems that here in London there is another GW event every couple of weeks. On Thursday I’ll be having tea with the other students at the National Portrait Gallery, which might not sound like the most exciting event there is, but the Londoners appreciation for tea is pretty interesting. Some of the places that I’ve been to for tea have over 200 types of teas on their menu, and the food that they pair with it is usually a “biscuit” (dessert) of some sort that is absolutely delicious. If it sounds so far like my week hasn’t been filled with exciting new action, it’s because of two reasons: First, I had to catch up on the work I missed while I was on my mini-vacation, and second is that the highlight of my week was watching someone blow bubbles.

On Saturday, with a rare occasion of perfect weather, my two friends and I walked for hours along the Thames River through many markets and shops, and towards the end came across one of those giant bubble making contraptions street performers use. We stopped for a second, leaning against the rail by the water and not thinking much of it, but as more kids came around and were fascinated by this man’s talents, we found ourselves sucked in. It was an ephemeral moment that words can’t quite do justice to as we stood there fixated on their happiness, but it was akin to staring out at a landscape and feeling that time has climaxed, and suddenly stood still. There wasn’t anything in the world I cared about in that few minutes we stayed there, and watching these kids chase bubbles twice their size was, surprisingly, my favorite moment this week. It is moments like that where I know I’ll look back on these Wednesdays and Saturdays I’ll be taking off with nothing but joy.

By anishag22

As crazy as it sounds, I'm only one month out from my month-long Easter break! That means it's crunch time: I have two essays due the same day in just two weeks. One caveat to all of this is the fact that the next three weekends in a row I will be traveling: First Paris, then Snowdonia (in Wales), then Berlin!

At GW, I practically never take weekend trips, though this is largely due to the fact that the majority of my friends and family are back in California. But being in Europe means I can easily visit my other friends who are studying abroad here because plane fares are much cheaper and my friends are generous enough to let me stay with them.

A few posts ago, I discussed the benefits of day trips, so now here's my breakdown of why weekend trips are going to be the best: 

1. A weekend is the perfect amount of time to briefly explore a new city and get a taste of what it has to offer

2.Weekend trips don't interrupt my weekday school schedule (yes, my professors count attendance)

3.I'm able to travel much shorter distances than my usual D.C.>California trip and at the same time explore so many new countries

4.Last but not least, it will be so nice to finally reunite with my friends from GW and San Diego! No need to be homesick when you've got your best friends from home by your side

I'm leaving to catch my plane to Paris soon (thank goodness Bristol has its own airport!), but I will be sure to post soon about my Parisian adventures.

Until next time-

Xx, Anisha