My first visit to Israel was in December 2015. My mom and I took this picture on the beach in Tel Aviv.

Over Thanksgiving break, I spent some time at home and decided to binge-watch a Netflix series. With my busy schedule at school, watching television can be rather tricky. Since it was a holiday weekend, I decided to treat myself to a quiet night in with the “Gilmore Girls," a tv classic from the early 2000s . As I watched the show, I found myself drawn to the character Rory, played by Alexis Bledel. Rory sees the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, the setting of the show, as her home. Even with her crazy schedule, she always finds herself returning to Stars Hollow, Connecticut. On that night in particular, I found myself in a position quite similar to Rory’s: I am in a period of transition. A place in Connecticut has also come to be my home and I am getting ready to leave this place in three weeks for my semester abroad in Israel.

After returning from break, I found myself at my pre-departure meeting for study abroad. Some of my classmates are heading to places as far away as Mongolia, while others have opted for Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and even a full immersion program in Paris, France! At the meeting, we heard from various campus offices, including Student Health ServicesResidential Life, and from Melissa Pierce, the College’s Title IX Coordinator. Turns out, there’s a lot I didn’t know! For example, those traveling to countries in the Middle East, including myself, were told to register our travel with the State Department. Plus, I didn’t know that a full meal plan is not guaranteed at certain universities abroad, mine included.

If you asked me a few weeks ago if I was nervous about studying abroad, the answer would be yes. Now, the answer is I am very excited to go, but still have some pre-departure nerves, which I figure are completely normal. I am ready to expand my horizons and get “uncomfortable” in all the right ways as Jefferson Singer, dean of the College, said in our meeting. I know that in eight months I will return to my Stars Hollow with stories and a full stomach of falafels.