Religious and Social Meanings of the Holy Land

BY HANNAH WALDMAN, Class of 2019 

Biology and Psychology majors, Chemistry minor

SMU-in-Israel is a 10 day Ways of Knowing study abroad course during J-Term 2017 that covers meanings of the Holy Land through the fields of archaeological and religious studies.


When I applied to go to Israel for Jan Term 2017, I had no idea how incredible the trip was going to be. Every site we visited, every person we met, made an impact that will shape the rest of my life. I knew that I would have an amazing time, but nothing could have prepared me for the feelings of wonder and inspiration that I experienced. We visited numerous stunning historical sites and had the opportunity to walk where biblical heroes actually lived. No feeling can compare to the one you get while standing in a Temple built two thousand years ago. I’ve never felt so enveloped in beauty and culture as I did walking the streets of Jerusalem or standing at the top of the Masada. Every day we learned a little more about Israeli history, and I learned a little more about myself. In just ten days, I gained an enormous amount of perspective about the world. Better yet, I was able to experience such beauty and awe with two excellent professors and a group of great classmates by my side. The friendships I developed will be with me for years to come. If you are at all wondering whether studying abroad is worth it, the answer is yes. Even today, there aren’t words to describe how much this trip has affected me. All I can say is that the appreciation I have for this trip and the love I feel for the country Is-real.

Learn more about SMU-in-Israel here.


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