Gburg Abroad, Part 1: Kelsey Chapman '15 studies the historical complexity of Israel

More than half of Gettysburg students spend at least one semester studying off-campus. In 2013, the Institute of International Education recognized this commitment to engaged learning when it ranked the College 5th in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for mid-length (one semester) duration study abroad. Over the past 10 years, Gettysburg has been ranked within the top 20 institutions in this same category.

Last year, 346 Gettysburg students studied abroad in 33 countries—including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Morocco, the Netherlands, Argentina, Ghana, and Greece. In this five-part series, five students share their off-campus studies stories, and how these experiences have helped to alter their perceptions and reshape their goals as they plan for their lives on campus and beyond.

Kelsey Chapman ’15 
Economics major, Middle East and Islamic Studies minor
Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Jerusalem, Israel

I chose to study in Israel because I'm a Middle East and Islamic Studies minor, and felt that I didn't know enough about the country. Israel is in the news so often, and I knew that living there for a semester would be an invaluable experience that would give me a more nuanced and informed perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Besides that, I wanted to study abroad in Israel to learn about all of the aspects of the country that have nothing to do with the conflict.

On her coursework:
I took a class called Issues in Israeli Society, in which I learned about tensions between Orthodox and Secular Jews, and those between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. These tensions are so important for understanding the country’s dynamics. We also discussed the effects of compulsory military service on society, women's issues in Judaism, and the status of Arab citizens of Israel.

Read More