My name is Sam Leopold and I’m in my second semester on Aardvark. I was introduced to Aardvark by my older brother, who went on the program several years ago. Before joining the program, I was faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to forgo college for a year. At that point, I had never left the country and I knew that I had a big decision to make. I eventually decided to join the gap year program and I have not looked back. Despite my original uncertainties, I have had a great time on Aardvark. My favorite part of the program has been the trips. I have gone on two already, Spain and China, with Italy and Germany yet to come. These trips have helped me broaden my view of different countries and cultures, as well as integrate myself with other members of the community, whether students in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Part of the reason I chose Aardvark was because of the interning opportunities. On Aardvark I have had several internships, including taking care of animals, working at a rock climbing wall, and writing sports articles for the Jerusalem Post. Rest assured these opportunities have and will continue to shape me as a person.
I have also made many lifelong friends and have had experiences in Israel that I will never forget. Early on in my semester in Tel Aviv, several of my friends and I went dancing with the Hasidic DJ and had an amazing time. One of the most important realizations that I’ve had in Israel is how much I care about the Jewish State. Being in the country has prepared me for any future Zionist debates, whether in college or beyond. We have a right to be here and that right should always be defended.
In Jerusalem, I have started my own Aardvark Instagram TV show called “Ulpan with Sam,” where I teach those watching my version of Hebrew. I encourage everyone to watch, as it will broaden your Hebrew horizon
Yours Truly and Lilah Toast,