A Life-Changing Experience in Israel | Dominic's Student Story

As a transfer student from Chicago, Illinois, Dominic F. was drawn to Arizona State University because of the rankings of the schools in the University and the different global programs they have to offer, which he has taken advantage of by going on the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership’s Global Intensive Experiences to Israel and the West Bank. During this 10-day experience, he was able to research, explore, work and collaborate with Israeli and Palestinian political groups, think tanks and religious leaders.

“It definitely shaped my worldview immensely because you don’t understand the Israeli Palestine conflict until you are there. You can’t fathom it until you are physically talking to a Palestinian or talking to an Israeli and hearing their story and how they feel and how it’s affected their life,” said Dominic. “The mixture between religion and politics and being able to study the conflict in the conflict zone and being able to form your own opinion of what really is going on there. I think that something I tell a lot of people since I’ve gone is that I’ve walked away with more questions than answers but that’s okay.” 

While in Israel, the cohort worked on two service projects, one included picking wheat alongside a Palestinian family, the other took the group to a Kindergarten in Jerusalem where they worked, played and tended to the children. When asked about the latter, Dominic described the area’s conflict and how there is not a lot of willingness for the two sides to work with each other, but, he indicated, that wasn’t the case at this particular school. “...the interesting part about it is they have Muslim children, they have Christian children and they have children who are Jewish. The parents know that they are going to be interacting in an environment where there’s a lot of different perspectives but they are okay with that. It’s a sign of willingness to work with the other side.” 

Arizona State University Study Abroad Israel

Dominic is pursuing his dream of furthering his education by working towards getting into graduate school. He is majoring in Business and Global Politics and after he attended one of the school’s public programming events, he added a minor in Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. Aside from his academic pursuits, he is the current president of the Undergraduate Student Government, an active member of Sigma Nu fraternity and gives campus tours with Devil’s Advocate. 

Arizona State University Study Abroad Israel

“I find that a lot of people that I now work with, whether that’s in student government or extracurricularly through the University, are SCETL minors, SCETL majors or have gone on the GIEs and that is very cool. And when they tell you about their story and their experience, you’re like I have to do it.” 

When asked if he had any advice for someone going on a future Global Intensive Experience Dominic responded, “Do it. Definitely do it. You have to. It’s a great experience, it’s a world-changing experience.” He added, “The whole trip was memorable. I think that being able to travel with such a small cohort, the greatest cohort in the world, making friends with those people and studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict right there in Palestine, right there in Israel, was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I really don’t think ASU offers anything like it.”


The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership offers Global Intensive Experiences during academic breaks. These are opportunities to travel and apply themes learned in classes to real service and leadership projects abroad. Prior to traveling, student participants will join classmates and faculty in the study and discussion of culture, politics, and relevant contemporary issues in the countries they will visit. During their travels, GIE participants will research, explore, work, and collaborate with people from different backgrounds and perspectives in order to gain a deeper understanding of the important issues that they will need to consider in order to be effective, thoughtful, globally-conscious leaders. 

Learn more.