Dear Future & Potential ISH residents,
As many of you prepare to embark on the journey of a lifetime; let me start by telling you about my experience in Washington D.C. and the International Student House (ISH).
It all started last July when I received my acceptance letter into The White House Internship Program. For years it seemed impossible, and the amount of rejection letters didn’t exactly boost my confidence. A few months prior to this I lost my Abuela (grandmother) to deteriorating health. My Abuela was an astonishing strong woman, who never backed down form any hurdles life through her way. Having been left as a young widow with three young daughters, she managed to overpass all expectations, and was one of the first women ever to own a store in El Cocuy a small town near Panqueva Colombia. She would always say: “La esperanza es la última que se pierde” so before passing away she made me promise to never give up on my dreams, no matter how hard and impossible things seem. That’s exactly what I did when I applied for the 7th time to The White House Internship program and to my surprise I was accepted.
My happiness and relief quickly disappeared as I soon realized I only had less than month to plan my stay in D.C. Having the strict and overprotective parents that I have and love didn’t exactly help my situation. Craigslist was out of the question and then I came upon and old article back from 2002 that mentioned ISH as a residents for international students.
The rest was history…
I’ve been at ISH for almost a year and if I had to describe the International Student House in one word it would be R-e-s-p-e-c-t.
Let me explain:
The past few months have been a difficult time being away from home; which is Israel. I’m sure many of you have seen the news or read the newspaper and it comes as no surprise that I would feel this way. Having to pretend to smile came easy for me; I didn’t want anyone to see my pain or fears for my family and friends that got recruited to the military and for the most part I got away with it, except when I was at the house.
What most of you will soon realize are the friendships you make with the student and staff members at ISH are beyond anything most of us ever experienced. They become your family away from home. Not one day went by without someone asking me how my family and I were, despite their political views or nationality.
As hard as it is to explain what life is like to someone who’s country isn’t in a constant alert for war it’s almost impossible to explain how three words “How are you?” really affect a person in a state of need and just like with family, your new friends at ISH know you to well for your own good at times.
I’ll be completely honest; I didn’t go on any wild adventures this past month. I didn’t have much time to spare with trying to juggle two new internships and having a uncertain future back home, but instead it was the calm “one on one” times or as we call them at the house “Tea Time” I had with my close friends that are the ones I will cherish and remember and it will be those memories that you will want and continue to have as the new residents of ISH.
So for those of you about to jump into the unknown remember…The International Student House isn’t just a house…it is our home.
Highlight from my summer months at ISH
I was on the winning team for the “Pub Quiz Competition”