Written by Vagner Rener Fernandes da Silva of Brazil, MA student in the Israel Studies Master’s program at the University of Haifa.
Coming to Israel to be part of this program has been a journey: it was not easy to get here, because of all sorts of barriers and difficulties. When I arrived, in the summer, I took the Intensive Hebrew Ulpan Course and it was a real challenge to me – since Hebrew is a Semitic language and has a totally different pattern compared to Latin root languages. But, I learned a lot – I would say. Apart from that, meeting locals and people from all parts of the world – on and off campus – adds a lot to my learning pilgrimage not only academically, but also culturally. I also have to mention the cultural richness of the trips we make to various sites, which are part both of Ulpan and Master’s programs.
Now, that the MA Program has started, it has been just so exciting to get to know – through books, articles, movies, conferences, trips, classes and, mainly our highly qualified professors – how Modern Israel has been historically built throughout the centuries. As we all know, Eretz Israel history, culture, geography, demography, etc. are not easy issues to understand – if, at all, possible to grasp. But, despite her complexities and weaknesses, this melting-pot nation has been helping many other peoples and nations in various fields: Religion, Literature, Sciences, Technology and so on.
So, I just want to say thank you to the International School for being part of my personal learning journey of new and fresh discoveries.