i am extremely close to my mom and family and before sem i had never been away from home alone before. i never even went to camp! i was TERRIFIED for sem!!!!! b”h, i can honestly say that it was the BEST decision i EVER made!!! i loved every second of it. the only time i was homesick was when i came back in middle of the year, and then went back….i will say that each parent has to know their child. israel is NOT for everyone, and there are challanges that come along that are not so easy to pass being that your parents are not there and not seeing what youre doing anyway….i will also say that more then the classes in school, i think personally i learnt the most from just LIVING with other people, seeing how they grew up, helping them through their ups and downs…..my younger sis was also never away from home before, etc. and she is there now, and b”h, shes livin it up!!! its a great year and mostly everyone comes back having LOVED it…dont worry!!!