Saturday, March 16, 2013

My daily life at the Techion - lots of hills!

This is my building - the Department of Education in Technology and Science
After a slow start, my daily life at the Technion has gotten a lot more fun and exciting lately! When I first arrived, it happened to be exam period, which was followed by a break between semesters. That is a little confusing to me, because we are about to have a week off for why didn't they just time the semester around that? Who knows.

Fortunately, this week the campus has totally come alive with students. It feels like any college campus in the US with students hustling to classes, hanging out in the student center and lounging on open fields when the weather is nice. Oh, and the weather has started to get really nice, like 80F and sunny!

Like the rest of Haifa, the campus is extremely hilly. Walking from my building to the student center is a pretty serious leg workout!

Today I sent an email out to the international student mailing list to see if anyone wanted to meet up at the student center for lunch, and ended up having lunch with a group of about 12 people. It's a really international mix! I was expecting it to be mostly american jews and a few folks from the UK, but I was completely wrong. There are students from all over, and for the most part it was their research that brought them here. I'm not sure what percent is Jewish, but it's surely less than 50%.

At lunch today we had students from Italy, Germany, China, South Africa, India and more. It makes me feel really lucky that I am a native English speaker. I learned English with no effort at all - but I'm so impressed with all these students who speak 2 or 3 or more languages and are taking classes or doing research in English, which is not their first language.

This is one of the few flat areas of campus. It's right outside the student center so it's good for hanging out. The building in the background is a new computer science building.
Caroline and I have definitely made the Technion a center of our social life here, and it's kind of nice being back in a university community like this. I've got all these international students to socialize with, and Caroline has the Masters swim team.
This is the indoor pool. It's olympic length (50m) which is really hard for me, but I'm getting better. In a month or two they will also open the outdoor pool. Fun!

The Technion has a beautiful swimming pool, and the the whole facility is free for technion staff and students. We got Caroline a pretty cheap membership, so now we can go twice a week to swim together. Caroline is swimming with the aforementioned Masters club, and I am doing my best to learn to swim. We try to get in the pool 30 minutes before her club starts, and she gives me a mini-lesson and some things to practice for the day. I'm still a very poor swimmer, but I'm getting better. I'm hoping that by the end of the time here in Israel I will be able to swim 400m without stopping. Right now I can only do 50m, so that is definitely a big improvement!

In just a few days, my parents will be coming to visit, and then soon after that my siblings are coming too. It'll be a really nice couple of weeks to have them all here. I haven't seen my siblings in half a year!

More updates and photos coming soon.

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