On July 17 of this year, I embarked on an adventure that terrified me. I had never traveled alone before and had never crossed the Atlantic. I was so nervous and had so many expectations about Israel, the people, the research; I knew it was a unique experience that I could not miss, and I am so happy with how it turned out. I can't do justice in words to what the summer school was for me. The experience on an academic level was fascinating.
First of all, academically, it was very enriching. I had the opportunity to experiment in of mechanical and biomedical engineering. The research topics were not only fascinating but also very important: cures for cancer and devices to help people with disabilities. Being in such high-quality labs and using high-caliber equipment and samples was incredible. Also, the researchers I was learning from were very nice people and were always willing to explain and help. They made the learning process enjoyable, and I took away a lot of knowledge from the experience. I was expanded my knowledge on specific topics that I had already seen in class and learned about things that I don't think I would have learned anywhere else.
In adittion, the trip was not only an academic experience but also a cultural one. To tour Israel the way ORT allowed us to was unique. During the trip, I visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Masada, Rosh Hanikra and Tzfat. Besides being able to appreciate the beautiful landscapes that Israel has, I was exposed to a lot of history and culture. In Jerusalem, visiting the Kotel was invaluable. The Old City in Jaffa is spectacular. Being in Masada was breathtaking. In Tzfat we were able to be part of a Bar Mitzvah. On the other hand, going to Braude College allowed us to see a little bit of the typical life of a college student in Israel.
Finally, I want to talk about the people I met. While it was an academic experience, and I gained a lot of knowledge, the people made my experience magical. We were 20 teenagers between 16 and 18 from 12 countries (Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Israel, Bulgaria, Italy, Russia, Czech Republic, France, Mexico and Panama). It is very nice to meet people from other countries since it allows a very cool cultural exchange, but being surrounded by people with similar interests is priceless. To be able to have deep conversations with people you hardly know and to make friends so quickly is magical.
Going to Israel was a unique experience, and I thank the school for giving me the opportunity.
Eleventh Grade Student
Colegio Isaac Rabin
You can visit https://ort.org/en/student-summer-schools/stem-summer-school/ for know more about this incredible program.