gap year in israel

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Hi, my name is Teagan Cimring and I am from the Bay Area, California. I was born in South Africa and moved to America at the age of nine where I attended a Jewish day school until 8th grade. Starting at the age of 12, I began attending a summer camp in Israel, which changed my whole view on the country and got me thinking about spending more time here. I attended the public high school in my area, and to maintain my involvement in the Jewish community, I volunteered at Friendship Circle. Ever since I was a freshman in high school, I knew that I wanted to take a Gap Year I just didn’t know where I would end up, but I am extremely thankful that I found Aardvark.

Currently I am living in Florentine, Tel Aviv for one semester. Being able to envelop myself in Israeli culture has definitely been a highlight for me so far. One of my favorite moments has been when groups of people approach me for directions and I am truly able to point them in the right direction, thanks to my Ulpan classes! I enjoy the freedom that Aardvark offers its students as I believe it is one of the best ways to explore the city and the culture and truly gain a sense of independence. I have also loved living in my own apartment with my roommates and learning how to cook my own food, my mom is even insisting that I make my whole family dinner with my newfound cooking skills once I return home.

My internship is at Coinomy, an early stage startup working on an interdisciplinary financial product aiming to provide trade, exchange and storage solutions for a broad array of customers and financial assets. I have been working as the Design and Communications intern and have been participating in the design of Coinomy’s website, marketing, and communication materials. This experience so far has been invaluable to me. I have learned so much about the field of Design (a passion I wish to pursue in my future) as well as the intricacies of creating a startup. I feel as if the work I am doing for this company is very meaningful and I have been given a lot of responsibility and freedom in creating useful materials for them. It has been such a unique opportunity to be able to work with professionals in a field I am interested in and cannot wait to further my learning in the upcoming months!

Overall, living in Israel and participating in Aardvark has allowed me to grow and mature into a more independent student. I have gained more insight and understanding into the world around me outside of the classroom. I believe that my experiences and knowledge that I have gained thus far and will continue to gain will allow me to make a greater contribution to my community in college and the world.