I am currently a fourth year student of the University of Toronto and is participating in an exchange program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I am majoring in Jewish Studies and Near and Middle East Civilization with a minor in Political Science. I consider myself an avid but amateur “photographer”.
by Andrew Lee
For the past three years, my dream has been to study in Jerusalem, Israel. As my marks in the previous year did not meet the standards of Hebrew University, I strapped myself down for a year of intensive study in hopes of a second attempt to achieve my dream. This proved to be successful, as I am now in Israel studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the next ten months. With my life packed into two suitcases, I arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto with a smile on my face, excited for the journey that lay ahead.
Air travel these days is often a strenuous activity. Security checks, luggage scans, random security interviews have all become common, especially when travelling to Israel. I guess I never really thought about it, but going to Israel would surely require me to undergo fairly intensive screening. I had previously been warned that strenuous security protocols may occur, and therefore took no offence. After undergoing these checks, my enthusiasm was a bit dampened by the time I managed to arrive at my seat. Throughout the long flight across the Atlantic, other passengers on board were excitedly chatting amongst themselves, which made sleeping near-impossible. By dawn, my lust and yearning for Jerusalem was rekindled as we neared Israel. Once I exited the airport, I was met by a statue of a Menorah, which reminded me of the revolt of the Maccabee and their recapture of Jerusalem. In that very moment, it finally dawned on me that I had arrived in the Holy Land and that I would be spending the next ten months in Jerusalem. Despite the obstacles I had to face to get here, I am here and my dream is about to come true.
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