This article talks about the journey of an EMISer coming to EMIS for the first time from Austria.

Please click on the link to read about her time here:
http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/ausland/austausch-log-israel-abitur-im-internationalen-internat-a-994782.html

Eating Kosher and Wearing Dirndl 

Anna Kraeftner, 17 years old, has a 12-hour day and lives in a room with 3 other girls. Privacy? None. Nonetheless, this student from Vienna is happy as ever. 

Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv: my mind goes crazy. What will everything be like? The room? The school? The food? Will my classmates be friendly? Open-minded? Passionate? Is this really a good decision? Two years far away from home? All these questions were running through my head at that moment. When I arrived on the campus of Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS), I was welcomed nicely by my classmates. Minutes after my arrival I was already convinced that I would get along with them very well. Since April, we had been in contact through various social networking sites, and it felt like we had known each other forever even though we had just met for the first time. We didn’t shake hands; we hugged each other.

Our living situation consists of 4 students in each room. My roommates are from Albania, Cambodia and Palestine. In all the rooms there are four desks, four closets, and two bunk beds, as well as a bathroom with a toilet and shower. There is not a lot of privacy but it works out better than I thought it would. Obviously, it is not always easy for four students to share a room, but we make it work well and I learn how to compromise with my roommates.

Schedule: Turtles and Economics

At 6:00 a.m. the first alarm in my room goes off. Mine goes off at 6:40 a.m. Shortly after this, our houseparent knocks on the door to remind us to be in the dining hall by 7:15 a.m. Before classes start, we have 30 minutes for breakfast. The school building is two minutes away from the door to my dorm room, so on the way back from breakfast I grab my school supplies. In school I study German, English, Chemistry, Economics, Business Management, and Mathematics. For after school activities I take part in debate club and journalism. Together with other students, I helped create a blog about our lives as students at an international boarding school in Israel. Additionally, I created a French club, and am doing sports and am part of the Environmental Society that takes care of endangered turtles living in our campus.

After five periods of school, we have a 45-minute break for lunch. The dining hall follows kosher guidelines. When we see brown trays we know it is a meat meal, and if there is dairy served during the meal we use pink trays. There is a buffet that usually consists of hummus, pita, couscous, salad, and noodles and soup. Friday evenings we are required to wear a white top in honor of the Shabbat holiday.

After the lunch break, there are three periods of school and then after school activities begin, as well as time to study and do homework. Latest, at 10:30 p.m., we need to be in our rooms. Students who are required to clean the facilities begin at 10:30 p.m. and we cannot be in their way. At 11:00 p.m. lights are turned out: “Good night, laila tov!”

Like a Looooong Vacation

We are slowly getting into a daily routine, although I still feel like I am on vacation. The palm trees on my walk to and from the dining hall, which I walk six times a day remind me of paradise. On the campus there are many animals, including peacocks, chickens, cows, and horses. Additionally, there are various schools from kindergarten through college. In the past 28 days I have been having such a great time and learning so much, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

So far as a large group with supervision we have visited the nearby town twice. It takes about fifteen minutes by foot to get there. Once we were allowed to go in small groups, with an Israeli, to a city, obviously we decided to visit Tel Aviv! I had so much fun with my friends, and we got to practice our first few Hebrew words! But, the trip made me a little bit sad, as I was reminded of my visit to the school in June with my mother.

When I was here with my mother, we visited the same exact mall. The Israeli Army Soldiers, equipped with their large guns, was unusual to me at first. Even though that is normal here, I felt a little unsettled by their presence. The only other time I had seen so many guns was at the airport in London many years ago. But now, being back in Israel for a longer period of time, it is something that I am more accustomed to. Thankfully, the situation in Israel is stable at the moment. I hope that the situation continues to remain stable and we do not have to see the inside of the bomb shelters, although we are thankful that they will keep us safe if we need them.

Written in German by Anna Kraeftner

Translated by Anna Kraeftner and Hannah Cook

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