Even stranger than going somewhere new is returning to a familiar place as a new person.
While studying abroad at Tel Aviv University last semester, I learned a lot. I learned about history and culture and politics; I learned how to be an advocate for Israel; and I learned how to start over, in a new place with new people, where everything is different.
Coming home, I had new friends and new experiences. I have a different outlook than I used to, and that helps me to see things in a new light. So coming home, returning to where I grew up, with a fresh perspective has been a learning process in and of itself.
I am spending this summer interning in Washington, DC, at the international headquarters for an organization who’s UD branch has given me the world. And, once again, it allows me to see the city differently.
Growing up in Maryland, I spent a lot of time in DC. The National Zoo and the Smithsonian are just a metro ride away; private tours of the Capitol and the White House have gotten me out of school on more than one occasion. Yet there’s something different about working in the nation’s capital, about looking out my office window and seeing the Chinatown arch or having political lectures, cultural exhibitions, and national museums at my fingertips.
Being in DC–not as a tourist or even as a local kid, but as a working adult–is a new experience all together. It has exposed me to so many different kinds of people, the horrors of the red line of the metro (you MoCo kids know what I’m talking about), and a subculture I never knew existed. Those people you see walking around the city wearing nice dresses or suits have their own story, each one more interesting than the next. Every person I have a conversation with has something new and fascinating to tell me. Everybody has their own story of how they got here.
Coming from DC, going to Tel Aviv, and returning to the US capital has taught me a lot. But most importantly, I’ve learned the importance of a good story. Everybody has something to say, and the best thing you can do is listen, because there’s always more to hear and there’s always more to learn.
Written By: Nikki Golomb
Nikki Golomb is a rising junior studying International Relations at UD, with minors in Jewish Studies and Public Policy. Last semester, she did an independent study abroad program at Tel Aviv University in Israel. She is spending this summer interning at Hillel International in Washington, DC. Nikki is active in many organizations at UD and hopes that her semester abroad and summer experiences will help her to become even more involved on campus with what she is passionate about.