It was a long 5 months of waking up every day at 7 in the morning for 5 hours of intensive Hebrew, but on the last day, when the whole class sat around a table full of food and drinks telling stories entirely in Hebrew, it made it worth any struggle! I am so lucky to have had an amazing new immigrant ulpan experience at Ulpan Gordon in Tel Aviv. My teacher was fantastic, the students were so amazing and diverse, and I truly had the most amazing time improving my Hebrew to the point where I can now almost totally express myself (though not so eloquently) in the foreign language.
When I arrived to the Ulpan on the last day of instruction our classroom was transformed into a small banquet hall with a large table in the middle of the room filled with tasty goodies and drinks galore! I usually don’t eat breakfast but on this day I made an exception! And, of course, since I was in a classroom full of French and Russian people, alcohol was an essential part of the “last day” festivities (despite that it was 10 in the morning).
When we were finished with the food and the drinks we situated ourselves around the table and took turns talking about our experiences in the Ulpan and our plans for afterwards and the greater future of our new lives in Israel. There were so many amazing stories of people who will further their studies, make new homes for their families here in Israel, begin working, and more, and I was so proud to be a part of such a great group of people. When everyone was done with their turn to speak, our teacher, Sarah, gave us each a blessing to take to back to our homes, and a certificate of Ulpan completion. We had been in her tutelage everyday for almost 5 months that I felt like she was more of a family member than a teacher, and I was so happy to have had such a fantastic experience with her.
After I was given my certificate, I gave my teacher one last hug, went down to the secretaries office, signed up for my next level of ulpan, and then headed home with a great sense of accomplishment!
The next two days I had time to just relax and unwind before I started my first full time job here in Israel! The job has been going really well so far, and though it is a lot of work I’m so happy I’m starting to become financially independent. It’s a great job with amazing people, and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to work for a company that is growing and expanding at such a rapid rate. It is a big communications firm and all day I’m dealing with people doing risk assessment, my job is interesting, and I spend 8 hours a day constantly doing some type of work which makes the time pass very, very quickly. I consider myself so very luck to be employed, and plan on working very hard until I start school in the fall. The great thing about being a new immigrant is that I don’t have to pay any kind of taxes for 3 years so every hour I work I earn the full amount of money! Not bad if you ask me!
I recently had a meeting about school as well which is another aspect of my life that is about to get very exciting. First of all the meeting was fantastic because it was conducted entirely in Hebrew (which makes me a tad bit more confident about studying entirely in the foreign language), and I found out that I could use all of my old transcripts and SAT scores from the USA which means I won’t have to take any more crappy standardized tests! That was really the best news. After 3 years and a half of a year devoted to a clinical internship I will be a licensed clinician who can work on a doctorate while I start my own practice! Now all I have to do is get into school 🙂
Stay tuned for a very fun Valentine’s day post!