Could you provide a short background of yourself?
I have lived my whole life in Pennsylvania. Then, I went to UWC USA and graduated last spring. This summer I started working, [I] saved up a lot of money, and started traveling in the winter.
How did you hear of EMIS? What made you choose to come? What were your expectations?
I heard about it from my Israeli co-year at UWC, who visited the school and told me about the awesome opportunity. It’s such a new school, [before I came] I didn’t have the chance to meet anyone from it and hear a firsthand experience. I just came with an open mind.
Have you achieved your goals/aims since you have been here, and what were they?
I was interested in being in an international environment again. Since graduating, I have missed people who care about the world, and I was interested in cross-cultural understanding and engaging with social issues. I haven’t placed myself in situations where [people] do care (not saying these are the only places in the world where they exist), but I was very excited to come back to a place where I could be inspired again, and I have been.
Do you have a highlight from your time at EMIS?
Sitting in the dining hall, after you have finished your food, just sitting back and talking with people. I have been able to learn and be inspired by people here. Truly, it has been an incredible mix, and group of individuals. I’d very much love to see how everyone flourishes here. There’s a community and love, and you can see it when people walk through the hallways. Seeing that and having experienced it has made my time here very special.
If you were to ask yourself an open question about something related to EMIS…
Q: What do you wish you could say to EMIS students?
A: You each have so much power and life and love in yourselves to give to your community and [to] the world. I’m really excited to see what you all do and how you can support each other and bring EMIS values into your lives after your experience here. I really want each person here to feel that they have a voice and power on this campus. You are what makes it special, and there is so much power in that.
How long did you stay, and how would you reflect on the length of your stay?
I was here for a month and a half, and I definitely wish that I could stay for longer. I’ve only now been starting to understand the system here, like who to go to for what [and] how students interact here. I believe in the sustainable change model; I don’t just want to bring something in and leave and have it disappear. I’ve been having a hard time deciding what to bring in, because I don’t want to just force things on the community and then not be there to support them. I would recommend people stay longer!
Do you think that working with the boarding house enabled you to get in touch with more students?
I think there’s a connection and disconnection. I tried to stay away from the houseparent role, but people would still come to me and it’s interesting because I have no authority here, but sometimes I’m seen as a disciplinarian. I have no keys, or access to people’s medications. It’s a bit useless coming to me for help, unless it’s just for some tea 🙂
A really cool part about being an intern is that you get to sit with students at lunch, and then sit in the teachers room with the administration. This has enabled me to see the school from many angles.
Can you give us a few words of advice for future members of the EMIS community?
A future IBDP Candidate: It’s high stress. But during your study breaks, do something meaningful. Make them count. These are your last moments with people who you have spent the past two years with. Don’t let the months pass you by, this is the time!
Future volunteer/intern: I would say that no one is going to give you permission to do things, just go do it. If you see a need, just go for it. There are so many resources in the school and the Kfar, and you can find them once you start doing something!
What five words would you use to best describe EMIS? Please give a short explanation why.
Inspiring (from all of the students and faculty, and the fact that this place exists)
Frustrating (because these places are limited in the world, and I wish everyone could have an experience like this)
Insightful (I’ve been able to see what it’s like to start up a school and how it’s structured, as well as more about education, which has made me reflect on my past experiences)
Engaging (Every single day here is full of activities and people to talk to, and new things to do and try… I’ve never had a boring day here)
Challenging (I have had many ideas challenged, even politically, and personally. It’s been a time of a lot of realizations and growth. Being surrounded by amazing people makes you have a lot of amazing realizations)
Interviewee: Jodi Robertson
Interviewers: Anna Kraeftner and Emily Perotti
Transcription: Hannah Cook
Editing: Hannah Cook and Emily Perotti