By Václav Misík, alum of MA program in National Security Studies, 2017-2018 Cohort.
Israel. It’s been more than a month since I came back home [to the Czek Republic]. I didn’t want to write anything until I was done with all my papers but I handed in my last one a week ago so I’m at liberty to briefly sum up this wonderful year. Prior to my departure I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous and asking myself: “Who am I gonna live with? Is the chosen M.A. program gonna be any good? Is the country gonna accept me?
Well, people I met and lived with turned out to be some of the most incredible human beings I had ever come across. I’m sure the friendships forged in Israel will last forever (not exaggerating). A big shout-out to all my Americans, Germans, Canadians, Israelis, Dutch, Greeks, Norwegians, and others for being so cool, nice, helpful, and open-minded. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.
The program was actually really good. Of course it had its flaws (everything does) but I’ve learned a lot. Going to Israel to study national security seemed like a pretty good idea and the program repeatedly proved me right. It was particularly interesting to sit and watch the dynamics of the Middle Eastern conflicts from the front row. Following discussions with my teachers and classmates were always truly enriching. It also made me realize the complexity of the ongoing conflicts. They are not just black and white and more I learn about them more complicated they seem.
Last but not least, the country greeted me with open arms. I never felt unwanted or looked down upon there. Of course there were times the Israeli chutzpah was just too much and I yelled and swore but I kind of liked this Middle Eastern straightforwardness.
Israel. I didn’t plan to, but I left a piece of my heart there.
Want to hear more about Vaclav’s experience as an international student at the University of Haifa? Watch here!