One of the biggest reasons that I wanted to study abroad was being able to apply what I learned in my Religious Studies classes to a real-world experience and opportunity. My focus in my major is Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and specifically the ancient origins and history of these three Abrahamic religions. So much of what I learn is based on events that happened in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Being able to live in Israel and have the opportunity to work on a research project that ties together the historical part of Judaism with the modern cultural part is incredible. I love being able to alternate my days developing my project and learning from others while also visiting historical sites important in religious history.
Academically, my goal is to see the project through from start to finish and be able to say I put my best effort into creating something for the Honors College. I would love to be able to use my research for the basis of my Religious Studies capstone class in the fall, which is why taking thorough notes and observations is important for this trip. I also want to visit many of the religious sites I learned about in class so I can go back to Pitt and share these experiences with my professors who introduced me to them. Professionally, I want to further develop my research skills in the humanities. I have a lot of scientific research experience and some in the humanities through my two semesters of Religious Studies research, but have never been in charge of my own project. Personally, I want to get to know Israel as well as I can in the month I am here. Keeping security and safety in mind, I want to explore as many cities and neighborhoods I can to get the fullest experience abroad!