Ready, Set, Whoa to Israel!

It’s almost time for fellow Sun Devils and me to get busy livin’, Israeli style! What is so awesome and compelling about the ASU: Counter-Terrorism in Israel study abroad program? I have not yet been, but in the twinkle of an eye, I will be landing in the Promised Land, (or the Holy Land, or the Land of Canaan, or many of the several references Israel is known by)!

I am the most excited to learn about the Israel Counter-Terrorism study abroad programs key features:

  • suicide bomber interdiction
  • intelligence gathering
  • counter-terrorism
  • jihadism


Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel
Seeing Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be a highlight of this program!


Us Sun Devils preparing to step foot in Israel chose two classes to focus upon for this program. I selected the Science of Detecting Suicide Bombers and Police and International Terrorism. If I had it my way, I would choose all of the offered classes.

So, who am I? My name is Sarah Carlos, and I’m a mother of two toddlers and a wife of an active duty infantrymen in the Marine Corps. Living in the military lifestyle means a lot of packing up and moving. As a result, I am an ASU online student.

Last fall semester, my family and I received orders across the country. During finals, I was able to complete school work on my laptop each night in a hotel while traveling 2,905 miles. This is my first time as an online student, and while it is very different from physically appearing in class, it works for my lifestyle. I have met many other stay-at-home moms and various individuals saying online school is impossible. It is not easy, but ASU dives deep in prepping students to create their own, unique work-life balance.


Sarah Carlos' Family Photo
With my two children and husband in front of the two Iwo Jima Monuments on the Parris Island base in South Carolina


I also use a free, completely beneficial ASU success coach via telephone, whom I was able to confide in regarding my home, work, and school life. After each appointment with my success coach, I hang up the phone feeling more motivated and with proposed solutions from my success coach to my struggles at the time. As an online student and mother, I never thought I could thrive this much as an online student. I was recently selected to join the ASU National Society of Collegiate Scholars, received two scholarship I applied for online, and my study abroad dreams transformed into reality! With determination and “stick-to-itiveness”, anyone can go study abroad, whether online or in class students!

Several people have asked me, “What is counter-terrorism, anyway?”; in simplicity, it is the reaction or retaliation for some previous act of terrorism. I am pursuing a BA in Public Service/Public Policy (Homeland Security/ Emergency Management) and planning to add another BA in Criminology/Criminal Justice. During this journey of degrees, I’m completing my last class to receive my five year prolonged (since my firstborn) AS degree in Radiation Protection Technology. My goal is to use these combined academics to better the world from terrorism.

On a personal note, I became aware of terrorism when my big brother deployed to Iraq, right after 9/11. I was young, but not young enough to be unaware of the tone of his voice during a phone call from Iraq. He witnessed the loss of many lives, as well as my husband when he was deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan. My wish is to take action, whether it’s working in public policy to better the laws regarding terrorism, being a counter-terrorism specialist, etc. With this study abroad program, the possibilities are endless.


Masada National Park, Israel
I look forward to visiting sites like this one — the Masada National Park in Israel!


In Israel, we will learn about the measures Israeli’s have taken to deal with terror-related threats and risks, how Israeli’s have changed security practices and procedures learned from past terror attacks and preventing future attacks. Now, if that doesn’t sound thrilling enough, imagine walking through the Old City of Jerusalem, swimming in the Dead Sea, visiting holy sites such as the Masada, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher!

So, what is on the packing list?

  • Casual/modest clothing (no offensive slogans or images-I’m keeping it plain!)
  • Scarves for women (to cover heads at holy sites)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Water pack
  • Sunscreen (sunshine, sunshine, sunshine!)
  • Hat
  • Swimming attire
  • Alarm clock
  • Electric converter (Israel uses the European 240-volt system- don’t blow up your hair dryers, ladies!)
  • Laundry soap
  • Camera
  • Notebooks for lectures

It’s almost time to fasten our seat belts ladies and gents! We’re heading overseas, and the journey is on! For more information on this program, check out the program here: ASU: Counter-Terrorism in Israel.



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