When I finally arrived in Israel 8 days ago (it seems so much longer to me!), I had to spend my first night in Israel at the airport in Tel Aviv. Absorbing first impressions, I waited till 6 in the morning to get a Sherut (which are shared taxi which start as soon as they are fully loaded) and headed to Jerusalem.
During the ride, I already made first contacts to fellow students. After the arrival and the check in at Hebrew University in East Jerusalem (took us about 40minutes to get from the West to the East of the country...), we got to see our student village the first time.
The village consists of several blocks made, like almost all buildings in Jerusalem, from besch Jerusalem stone. My room in a 5-persons apartment is nice and comfortable. But the best thing is:
I can see the Dome of the Rocks from my window! Fantastic!
In our village, there are several hundresds of people living. Right now, there are mostly internationals, because the semester has ended.
The first night I had to stay alone in my apartment, but on the following days, Shira(a girl from Florida), Gong(Chinese), Rana(Californien girl with Palestinien roots) and Ruben(from Italy) joined. They are really great guys and we have an amzingly open atmosphere in our apartment!!
During these days, Im talking to dozens of different people from all over the world each day. To get to know so many people at once is really a challenge because of the names...;-) and most of the sudents are extremely open.
I guess around 60% of the people here are American(you know that I like that:-) ) and about the same are Jewish. They are here because of their studies, to learn Hebrew, to discover their roots or - like me - because they are interested in the region/cultures.