Today when we say ‘community’ we think it has to do with an online group or consumer brands.
However, what if you could create your own offline community, on the other side of the world?
Create your own community when you are teaching in Israel.
During your experience as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow, you will be teaching English to elementary school kids in various cities and towns around Israel. Leverage this opportunity to create an “off-line” community with your neighbors, colleagues and new friends as you immerse into Israel and enjoy the program.
How? Good thing you asked, here are a few ideas for you:
- Build a community with your neighbors.
You will be surrounded by young international people living around you, Israel Experience makes sure you live in upcoming neighborhoods with like-minded people. You will most likely meet casually in the early mornings on the way to school, or in the afternoons on your way back, and in the evenings as you head out to enjoy all the city has to offer. During your off time, you will want to have time to unwind together and share your day’s highlights, challenges, and similar dilemmas to create a support group of sorts.
- Build a community with your cohorts,
people that are going through a similar process as you, teaching English to an audience you’ve never met and perhaps have never before learned its language. You may not reside close to one another but you will have a chance to connect through the Israel Experience networks and various organized trips and get-togethers throughout Israel.
- Build your own community in Israel with the family you’ve been assigned to.
A family that has taken you under their wing and are there for you during your time in Israel and, hopefully, that you may be still connected to and in touch with when you return back overseas.
How? Here are a couple of options of how to build a community with colleagues in the MITF program
- Get people’s minds off work: Work is fulfilling. But to stay focused and not get burnt out change it up a bit… distract the people around you with outings, trips, and fun get-togethers to recharge for the next day.
- Listen up: Your adventure in Israel is new, exciting, unique and intense. People need and enjoy talking about it – the new encounters, feelings, and absorbing the new culture. Creating a group to support this type of ‘venting’ will surely bring people closer.
- Reach out: Reach out and speak, share and ask. People are happy to listen to you, lend an ear when you need advice, and talk about what is on their minds as you get close and build trust between one another.
But, why is a community good for you? Still hesitant? Pay attention:
- Knowledge: Creating a community of like-minded people means there is a bigger chance of others mentoring you or you mentoring other people. Guiding each other and decreasing the possibility of mistakes. Also, you have a chance to learn from the whole group and ask for advice.
- Connections: Although you are creating a community for the program in Israel, you are also creating future opportunities, personally and professionally. You don’t know who you may meet and befriend that could help you or may need your help it in the future.
- Inspiration: Communities contain various opinions and ideas by their very nature, you may never encounter when alone. Your mind keeps thinking creatively as you exchange, or just hear, ideas from people close to you. Whether it’s for problems you may face or new ideas to enrich your students or venture you are volunteering for.
- Fun: Feeling comfortable around people, letting go, and just having fun is a great outlet from the day to day responsibilities you have. Communities are strong and they support our journey. When teaching in Israel, creating a community will help and enrich your adventure abroad.