THE AARDVARK MONTHLY – DECEMBER 2020
Dear Future Aardvarkians,
Thank you for choosing Aardvark Israel for your Gap Year experience! Welcome to our monthly newsletter. We want to keep you informed on the day to day happenings, Add-Ons, Weekly trips, Internships and Volunteering, and so much more!
Here you can find more information to help you prepare and get excited for the once-in-a-lifetime experience that is Aardvark Israel!
Semester in Review!
by Josh Abrahams, London, UK
When the Coronavirus pandemic swept across the UK, my options looked bleak: Go to university and have a subpar online experience, or take a gap year and sit at home, waiting it out. That was until I heard about Aardvark Israel and the opportunity to travel abroad despite the current situation.
Every day here has offered something different from the last, and I’ve had so many unique experiences. Israel itself is a unique country, for better or for worse, and that has put me in many situations I would never encounter at home in London. Indeed, the Jewishness of the country never fails to escape you; there’s a certain charm in being sold a menora set at a bar in Eilat at 1 AM on the first night of Hannukah, and lighting the candles as if we were back at home.
But Israel as a country is so much more than just Jewish: it’s Israeli. People often equate the two, but really they’re so different. Israeli culture is a stark contrast to the western world, and I’ve loved every minute being immersed in it. Aardvark Israel has allowed me to feel like a true Israeli. Living near Levinsky Market, I have spoken to lots of locals who work in the area, establishing my daily routine like anyone else in Florentin. I even managed to befriend several shop owners, most notably my falafel guy Eli (who makes the best falafel in Tel Aviv…you should go check him out).
Despite my primary residence being in Tel Aviv, I and others have taken to travelling around the country on weekends. Having the freedom to explore Israel has been amazing, with my friends and me travelling to a range of destinations from Acre to Eilat.
The beauty of being a gap-year student is feeling like the world is yours for the taking. Unfortunately, many of my peers back home had their plans cancelled. However, I feel like I was still able to get that experience by being on Aardvark Israel, and for that I am extremely fortunate.
decorate your apartment & more?
Aardvark Israel Campus Tour
We asked Matthew and Danya to give you an Aardvark Israel campus tour of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem! Check out the apartments, classrooms and office, and neighborhoods in both of our cities!
Hear from our Students:
The Good Things That Happened in an Otherwise Terrible Year
Chicago native Evan McMahon was scheduled to begin at Dartmouth College in the class of 2024, but is currently a student on our Aardvark Israel 2020-2021 Program! Read in the Jewish Journal how COVID changed Evan’s life in monumental ways and has allowed him and his peers to do absolutely amazing things in the context of this global pandemic.
When you come to Israel for your gap year with Aardvark Israel, you will spend time in Ulpan (language school) and improve your Hebrew skills over the course of the year. This is a list of the 10 most important slang/commonly used phrases on the streets that will help all incoming gap-year students or English speakers survive in the holy land, put together by our very own Josh Glucksman from Chicago.
10 songs that 18-year-old Israelis can’t get enough of
ISRAEL21c intern and Aardvark Israel student Tess Levy took to the streets of Tel Aviv to find out which tunes her Israeli peers are addicted to right now.
Start listening to some of these songs to get in the mood for your gap year!