Exchange Student at HIT, Israel

"מאז שאני זוכר את עצמי, תמיד סקרנו אותי סיפורים מישראל, אם בתחום האקדמיה, סרטים או חדשות.." רשמיו של וישוואנאט פסומרטי, סטודנט הודי לתקשורת חזותית, שהגיע לחולון לחילופי סטודנטים וגילה שהוא לומד אצל המאייר האהוב עליו.

For as long as I can recall, stories about Israel have intrigued me, whether in academics, movies, or the news. For instance, the distinctive national flag, the unmatched artillery, and the unfailing snipers caught my interest. Israeli resilience in the face of unrest, and their degree of progress despite it, is unceasingly inspiring.

My interest in Communication Design at HIT is more recent. It came from work done by a friend, who was also a student exchange at HIT, from an earlier graduating class. I made up my mind to come here. All I had to do was to wait for the opportunity. When it did come, it was totally unexpected, and I had very little time left to act. The flight landed at Ben Gurion airport the day before the start of the new semester. I fell in love with the people, and Tel Aviv, right away. I received so much help in the navigation of my home-to-be by public transport, with no knowledge of the Hebrew language.

איור מקורס איור עם תומר חנוכה

איור מקורס איור עם תומר חנוכה

Experiencing Israeli culture is life changing. Living under a veil of threat affects preparedness for life, and the perception of threat. Everyone is straightforward in their relations, and humor is used as a tool to enable it. Respect is not for age, but for experience. Irrespective of who you are, and whom you are addressing, if you don’t understand something, you don’t give up until you do. Naturally, if this is the world you live in, you need to speak up if you want to be heard. However, this does not take the form of cut-throat individual competition. On the contrary, there is camaraderie. Everyone shares an eye for those in need of help, and offer it unconditionally. So many times throughout my stay I would feel undeserving of help, until I realized it is not about me. It’s about the community – all the people together – helping out where we can, and everyone is better for it.

תמונה כיתתית

תמונה כיתתית

Illustration was one of many courses in which I enrolled at HIT. It was a sophomore year course. I had ended up in the class very serendipitously, and I stuck around. The thoroughness of study was unparalleled. Our faculty member would talk us through examples, and his feedback was extremely constructive. My Google search results indicated I had searched him previously.  How could I have already made the search? I hadn’t known his name till yesterday. I immediately recognized the work, for I had been following it for a few months now. The detail in the illustrations, the color combinations, the composition, and the narrative, were captivating and distinct. I never would have dreamt of studying with Tomer Hanuka, and yet here I was. There are numerous such instances when earlier experiences connected to encounters in Israel. What are the chances?

Viswanath Pasumarthi, B.Des, Graphic Design, National Institute of Design, India

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