Personally, the friends I made while studying at JUC remain my friends today. They inspire, encourage and uphold me during times of crisis and times of joy. Additionally, I left for JUC in the midst of a traumatic personal experience. My roommates allowed me to grieve. Classmates showed me how to love others and open my heart to friendship. I am forever indebted to my fellow JUCers for their care and compassion to me during this semester.
I also learned to be independent. Numerous class assignments required me to travel around Jerusalem to museums or other locations by myself. I learned to navigate a foreign city and enjoy the local cuisine, language and smells.
Professionally, studying the Bible in the biblical setting gave me an edge when I returned to finish my Bible college degree in the U.S. I can read a passage from the Bible and visualize the setting which helps me when I teach Sunday School class or Bible studies. My semester abroad also encouraged me to pursue other overseas adventures and be more open to cultural experiences at home.
Academically, the semester at JUC improved my ability to study in a noisy environment and be self-motivated academically. I was exposed to classes unavailable in the States, which boosted my academic resume. After my semester overseas, the college Dean invited me to share my experiences with the student body. Subsequently, other students asked me questions and decided to study there also.