Author: Shannon Rooney


Riding a camel in the Jordanian dessert is once experience Taira Fowler ’17 can cross off her bucket list. This past summer the civil engineering major headed to Jerusalem for a three-week summer program at Notre Dame’s Jerusalem Global Gateway, which is located on the seam of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

The program is one of Notre Dame’s 17 summer study abroad programs in countries that include Brazil, China, the United Kingdom, and Uganda. Around 58 percent of Notre Dame students study abroad in more than 20 countries through semester-, year-long, or summer programs. Students have access to the University’s five Global Gateways in Beijing, Dublin, Jerusalem, London, and Rome. These centers provide academic and intellectual hubs where scholars, students, and leaders from universities, government, business, and the community gather to discuss, discover, and debate global issues.

Notre Dame study abroad programs are part of our commitment to shaping global citizens. “I don't think I would have ever had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East if it were not for the opportunities provided at Notre Dame,” says Fowler. “I am extremely thankful to the University for giving me the chance to explore the world.”

In Jerusalem, Fowler and her fellow students stayed and attended classes at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute. They toured holy sites within the Old City including the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Speulchre, and the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif), which houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The culmination of the program was a trip into Jordan, which included the aforementioned camel ride.

Fowler chose this particular program because of her interest in the history of the region. “One thing I find extremely interesting about Jerusalem is its ever-changing physical/political boundaries. The separation of the Israelis and the Palestinians in the Holy Land is extremely complex and never really completely understood by others.”

Plus, Fowler says, she’s a total foodie loved experiencing the local cuisine.

Want to know more about study abroad at Notre Dame? Check out ND Admissions Live to hear from our study abroad director and a panel of current students.