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Jerusalem, Israel

As Christians, we desire to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. December graduate Robyn Simmons has actually accomplished this. Simmons spent her last college semester, Fall 2010, at Jerusalem University College’s Fall Semester Study Abroad Program located on Zion Hill in Israel.

There were about 50 students involved from all over the United States, Germany, Africa and Japan.

Simmons decided to fulfill her language requirements abroad. She enrolled in four courses: Arabic, Rabbinical Thought and Literature, Prophetic Landscape and Physical Settings of The Bible. Arabic was her favorite and the only class taken off JUC’s campus, in the city of Bethlehem.

Physical Settings of the Bible is required of all first time students. Attendants traveled to the location where Jesus was born, the “path” he walked, the place where David and Goliath fought, the well where Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, where he was nailed to the cross, crucified, prepared for burial and buried. They visited the Mount of Olives, Herod’s palaces, The Dead Sea, Mary’s birthplace, the room of the Last Supper, David’s tomb and many other biblically historical locations.

“I feel so blessed to be able to say I have actually seen them with my own eyes,” Simmons said.

Each Friday, everyone on campus would celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, starting at sundown on Friday and ending at sundown on Saturday. Students would attend a semi-formal dinner with readings and prayers. After dinner, Vespers would be held with worship and sharing. “One of the main things I learned this past semester was a new meaning of Sabbath for me and what God is truly asking of us,” Simmons said.

“I would love to return,” Simmons said. She would enjoy returning with someone who hasn’t been there before so that she can help introduce them to the area. She also suggests this study abroad program for all interested. She talks of how warm, inviting and understanding the JUC staff is and how much she has learned through this amazing experience.

Simmons’ advice? “Be prepared for some serious walking time:  and have a camera and a journal.”

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