BlogEMIS

Here is a collection of all my articles originally published on BlogEMIS.

 BLOGEMIS #ANNAKRAEFTNER

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EMIS PACKING GUIDE


  • Laundry bags You will be washing your laundry in a common laundry room on a specific day each week. Lots of girls or boys will share the same machines, therefore I advise you to bring a laundry bag in order to keep track of your stuff, especially small pieces.
  • Bring some of your favorite food You will eat in a dining hall, yeah let’s just leave it at that: dining hall.
    Also, sweets can give you magical powers here on campus so better bring tons!
  • Shampoo, toothpaste, etc. has been supplied by the school last year, so do not waste your worthy luggage space on them. People in Tel Aviv also need them, so you will find them in drugstores or supermarkets. However, be prepared that you might not be able to read them if you do not speak Arabic or Hebrew. Good luck! No worries though, the locals will help you out if you ask nicely!
  • Lamp Light is a topic that constantly arises within your dorm and between your roommates. Bring your own lamp so you can still do whatever you need, while your roommates can sleep. Trust me, it can be useful during day and night times.
  • Pictures Bring some of your favourite shots with friends and family members to decorate the wall near your bed and your desk area. A little reminder of home never hurts.
  • Flip Flops Bring a pair of flip-flops, they will be your go-to shoes wherever you have to go, from the dining hall to school, literally everywhere.
  • Horse-riding equipment If you are interested in horse-back riding try to bring your equipment, as I know that last year a few students would have loved to have their boots, gloves, etc.
  • Sleeping bag Make sure to bring a sleeping bag for trips; you don’t want to be sleeping on the floor or without a blanket during these nights.
  • Sleeping mask / ear plugs If you are delicate with light or noise while trying to fall asleep, consider bringing a sleeping mask and ear plugs.
  • Blanket / Pillow A personal blanket or pillow has been proven to be useful and comfortable. If you have some spare space, bring one, or put it in your carry-on for the plane.
  • Phone If you want to bring your phone, you can connect it to the school’s WIFI. A simcard can be purchased from 10 NIS onwards. We mostly use Facebook and Whatsapp to communicate.
  • Hard drive Bring an external hard drive to back-up all your documents once in a while, because you definitely do not want to loss all your important documents: IA’s, EE, …
  • CameraYou may want to bring a camera to take your own pictures. However, others have been doing a great job covering all events, and most people only use their phone cameras.
  • Warmer clothes Even though you are coming to a country full of deserts, it does get cold, trust me. Your sensitivity to coldness will change, I promise. Also don’t forget, the AC’s in the summer also makes it cold, so bring some clothes that you can layer.
  • Traditional clothing If you have some at home, take it with you. It is always nice to show others.
  • Socks Just bring lots of them. Dark magic happens and they may disappear.
  • Bathing suit, bikini, shorts There is a pool in the Kfar (abbreviation for Hakfar Hayarok, the Green Village), so you may want to enjoy one or two hot afternoons at the pool. There are also beaches in Tel Aviv, but yeah, we won’t be going there.
Safe travels and see you soon!
* Edited by Eng Sou Ea
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EMIS SPIRITPERSONAL
THE GOING HOME SOUNDTRACK


“Here am I waiting
I’ll have to leave soon
Why am I holding on?
We knew this day would come
We knew it all along
How did it come so fast?” (Maroon 5: Daylight)
“Have me a good time, before my time is up” (Pitbull: Time Of Our Lives)

“Closing time,
time for you to go out,
To the places you will be from” (Semisonic: Closing Time)

“I was here…
I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here…” (Beyoncé: I Was Here)
“I can’t believe I’m leaving, ooh” (Simple Plan: Summer Paradise)

” I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home” (Diddy: Coming home)
“.. I’m leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again” (John Denver: Leaving On a Jetplane)

“I been travelling too long” (Lana Del Rey: Ride)
“Here I come, but I ain’t the same” (Ozzy Osbourne: Mamma, I’m coming home)

“But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feels like
Nothing changed at all
And if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before? (Bastille:Pompeii)

“Give me a second I
I need to get my story straight” (Fun.: We Are Young)

“I remember everyday” (Soja: Rest of My Life)

“I had the time of my life
And I never felt this way before
And I swear this is true” (Black Eyed Peas: The Time)

“Those days are gone,
Now the memory’s on the wall.” (Swedish House Mafia: Don’t You Worry Child)

“I’m gonna find my way back” (Simple Plan: Summer Paradise)
“You can always come back…” (Jason Mraz: 93 Million Miles)

“Take me home.” (Semisonic: Closing Time)

“I will find my way
I can go the distance
I will be there someday” (Hercules: I Can Go The Distance)

* Edited by Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe
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THE PROFOUND IMPACT OF LIFE ABROAD
Living abroad means having the crazy idea to leave everything behind in order to start a new life, experience new opportunities, and take advantage of new chances. The impact of living abroad is life changing. However, going abroad is not always a blast, and sometimes throws you into rough waters.

Once the adventure is over and you return “home”, you may come in contact with the following:

   You realize just how long you’ve been travelling when the WIFI on your phone connects automatically in the airport and on the train, but no longer at home.
   You are probably a packing-queen or king, as you were able to pack all of your belongings into a suitcase at least twice. Congrats, you should be proud of yourself!

   As soon as you hear someone mention the name of a country, your mind flashes to a person that you met or know from there.
   One daily thought: There are so many friends that need to be visited, but where are cheap plane tickets?

   You realize that it can be an advantage not speaking the native language of a country; suddenly you are granted free-speech in private. Enjoy it; this is a luxury that won’t be possible back home!
    Especially if you talk without focusing or thinking, there may be a word or two from a different language that accidentally slips in.

   It may be hard to keep up with everyone, as they follow a different schedule due to the time difference. Good morning on one side of the world means Good night on the other.

   One is no longer enough. You have two homes, two groups of friends, two sets of keys, two different currencies, and two cards for the library, bank, and public transportation… 2, 2, 2.
   You will always miss whatever you do not have at the moment, ranging from food to clothes to friends. The best advice is to enjoy the ones around you, as time flies and you won’t be able to enjoy these things forever. Therefore, live the moment, think about the future and do not waste your time worrying about the past. One day you will hopefully be able to return to the place of your memories and enjoy them again.

   When you return to your familiar home, everything at first sight looks exactly the same, but with time, you do realize the small changes that took place. Just because you leave, the world does not stop.
   As everything looks relatively the same as before, you think you remember the way to the cinema or a friend’s house. Yet you may end up getting a little lost, as you have not seen this part of the world for the past few months.

    You have experienced so much and have so many stories to tell that you do not even know where to start. Yet you have not even told half of them, others are already annoyed and no longer want to hear about your crazy stories from abroad.
   Make the best out of the situations you end up in. Your time abroad is not a dream but rather reality. Not everything will be colorful, but it is in your hands, so just take some paint and do your best!
   Time flies, so seize the moment as a year only has 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds!

*Edited by Hannah Cook

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THOUGHTS OF A STUDENT FLYING HOME
The day has come…

Bye, bye roommates
Bye, bye Journalism Club
Bye, bye classmates
Bye EMISers!

Flying:
The act of sitting on a plane
Boarding, checking-in
Packing one’s bags

Visiting home
Being surrounded by family
Feeling the comfort I felt for years

Booking a ticket
When should I go?
“Jetzt buchen”

“Where should I sit?” I asked my roommates and friends.

How do I get to the airport?
Oh, it’s Shabbat, I will have to take a taxi.
Where is an Israeli? Thank you, Tom.
12:45 Hakfar Hayarok -> Ben Gurion Airport

Security questions:

Finally holding my boarding ticket

Security checks: “Made it!”

Where is my gate? C02 it is.
Time for boarding:
Everyone jumps out of their seat when it is announced that the last five rows should enter the plane. Right, as if all of them would fit in the first five rows. Amazing.

And the changeless safety instructions shortly before we take off

Ready for departure
Bye, bye Israel
I am reminded how much I will miss my surroundings,
As I glimpse at the rainbow adjacent to the runway.


Home, I am on my way


“Ready or not, here I come!”

Back to the country I grew up in

That many people call their “home”
As defined by the dictionary, “home is the place where a person lives”, “a place where something normally or naturally lives or is located.”
This makes both Vienna and EMIS fit the definition of home.
I am not sure if “home” is such a difficult word for anyone else but me.

My thoughts are changing as fast as the plane is moving westward.

Crazy, tonight everything will be similar to what it was a year ago, but not at all to what I have gotten used to since September.

“What would you like to drink, please?” the flight attendant asks me.

Wow, the view from the window is amazing!
The beach, the coastline,
People are enjoying the sun and I am going home to freeze in -2º C

Why am I not just staying and enjoying the sun?

Oh no, the next CAS reflection is due tomorrow!

Two hours to go! The time is running!

I notice the clouds look like a fluffy pillow in a child’s dream.

Winter break, already such a long time ago, still feels so close
The time in Vienna passed so fast, it felt like I was home for three days, but it was actually two weeks.

How will it be this time? Hugging my parents, eating together, being back?

I can now see the ground: it is green, wooded, mountainous and covered in snow.

“We are reaching our final destination”
Soon I will arrive – “oh yes, oh no!”

Landing:
Wow, I am almost back
What do I need to do? Who is there to meet? Where do I have to go? What do I want?
I need a plan!

I AM BACK

However, my thoughts are still at EMIS. I realize this by checking the clock to make sure I am at the dining hall on time.

HOME SWEET HOME

See you in a few weeks, EMIS!

*Dictionary used: Merriam Webster Dictionary
Edited by Hannah Cook, Emily Perotti
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EVERYDAY LIFE, WHAT IS THAT NOW?
 – SPIEGEL
This article is about Anna from Austria’s journey at EMIS.

Anna wrote a German article posted in the renowned Spiegel newspaper, which can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/ausland/austausch-nach-israel-wiener-schuelerin-im-mega-internat-a-1016310.html
Posted on Spiegel February 10, 2015.

Everyday Life, What is that now? – Spiegel

(English Translation)




Everything is different: After 111 days in Israel, student Anna, 17, gets closer to coming home. The Austrian embassy stole her vision, and the family visit in Vienna felt different than usual.

I now have two homes: the boarding school in Israel, and my parents’ home in Vienna. I am always yearning to be in the place that I am not. If I eat hummus or falafel in Israel I am always thinking back to my mom’s different dishes. But, if I go for a visit in quiet Austria I miss being together with my three roommates and 80 classmates.

After 111 days in Israel, I had the first opportunity to return to Austria to visit my family. Originally, a student from Tanzania who couldn’t fly home was planning to accompany me. In order to get the visa, we drove to the Austrian embassy in Tel Aviv. The workers at the embassy spoke to us in three different languages: German to me, English to my classmate, and Hebrew to our houseparent. I actually felt a little at home at the embassy, so much that I felt like I was back in Austria. Yet, the refusal of my friend’s visa was a vast disappointment. In the past few months, I have learned to get along with students from 35 nationalities. Everyone here has the same rights and rules to follow. But outside the campus, the country you come from has a big influence and, unfortunately, not everyone is treated equally.

And Suddenly Silence

Therefore, I flew without my Tanzanian friend, and it was only me and my other Austrian classmate. The airplane was a pathway between our current everyday lives, back to our old everyday lives; a change between worlds. Everyday life, what is that now? The one that I have lived since September? Or the one that I used to live the fifteen years prior?

The pleasure was grand, the family was affectionate, and my friends in Vienna were the same as before. My room looked exactly the same, but bigger than I remembered. My habits changed, and my own bed, which I missed at the beginning, was a pleasure to be in again. Meanwhile, I consider my bed in Hakfar Hayarok comfortable as well. I was able to adapt fast, and I thought it would be more challenging to live with three other girls; Asia, Europe and the Middle East all represented together in a room.

Then there was the tranquility of Vienna. On campus, there is rarely tranquility, and the only time it is found is on Friday or Saturday morning; the Israeli weekend. It makes a difference if you are constantly surrounded by 80 people, or just your own family.

After two weeks home, I embarked on the plane to return to Israel. My thoughts were scrambled in my head; they were in Austria, in Israel, and everywhere in between. The idea of staying in Vienna passed my mind. But, then the longing for my life at EMIS increased tremendously. Before my trip home to Austria, the anticipation was grand. When I arrived in Vienna, I was looking forward to my home at the Eastern Mediterranean International School.

*Edited by Hannah Cook, Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe

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EMISers love to talk about what happens on campus and their experiences abroad. Over 20 students are reporting here on blogemis.com  but additionally, a few also keep their loved ones updated on their personal blogs, such as Anna, Emily, Melissa, Michiel and Puk.

My name is Anna and I am a seventeen year old girl from Austria. I previously lived abroad in Canada, and always really enjoyed all the other students’ blogs. Therefore, I decided to create my own one for this adventure. I write about our experience in Israel, my life, the school, the surroundings, simply everything that is going on in the upcoming years!

My name is Emily and I am from California, USA. Documenting life in a memorable way is always difficult and many times forgotten as the time rolls by by many people. I want to try and share as many small snippets of my experiences as possible. I think that by sharing smaller, more personal details I will want to update more. The blog is mainly to assure my friends and family that  everything is going well. But, as it is in English it is free for all to come and take a look. I hope that by blogging I will remember more of my adventures in Israel, as well as where ever I might go next. Aloha!

My name is Melissa and I’m from Germany. I wanted to create a blog for the 2 years I would spend in Israel, because I think it is a great possibility to share parts of my life with friends and family in Germany, although they are far away. This is why the blog is in German. The main part of the blog consists of photos, I just love to take them, so it may be interesting even if you don’t understand German. It is a personal blog focusing on moments I experience here. I want to keep those moments as a memory and remember them.

Michiel, the Netherlands, http://michieldew.wordpress.com

Hey, I am Michiel, 17 years old, and I am from the Netherlands. The blog was created because of my friends and family that wanted me to start one, to let them know about my happenings here in Israel. This is why my blog is in Dutch. I don’t post new things that often, but when I do, it is a lot. It is not a stupid thing to do, since I really try to write down what I feel, and so the posts are kind of personal diary entries that I share with everybody back home. Also there are quite a few photos on there as well, for example when the whole school went for a trip in the desert. I hope these things can give you an insight on how it is to be in an international boarding school!

Puk, the Netherlands, pukputih.wordpress.com
Goeieeedag people, my name is Puk de Roij and I am from the Netherlands. I have a blog to write experiences I have here in Israël, the Netherlands and other places, even my dreams. Kidding. I love the humus and my roommates and neighbors, also the chocolate in the dining hall  I live in an International boarding school in Israël and I am enjoying it a lot. Here you can find my stories xx Puk ;))

Collage by Naomi Theinert
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BILINGUAL
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

This article is about Anna from Austria’s journey at EMIS.

Please click on the link to read about her time here at EMIS:
Posted on Spiegel November 28, 2014.

I Wish The Day Had More Than 24 Hours – Spiegel




Anna Kraeftner, 17, has been in Israel for three months, and has hardly left her school’s campus. Now, the student from Vienna leaves her school’s campus for her first trip: to the desert.
The first time in the desert; I think to myself: “How will it be? Hot? Beautiful? Which proper equipment should we bring?”. From the beginning these questions were going through my head as I was notified that we were going on a trip to the Negev desert. And finally the trip commences.

I sit on the bus for three hours with students from China, Canada and Tanzania. Similarly to me, they have never seen the desert before. We get off the bus, the view leaving us speechless: endless skies, with shiny hills, and as far as the eye can see there is nothing other than sand and rocks. For me, hiking usually meant woods and green trees, but during this trip, my perception changed hiking in the dry sand, spending hours walking into the limitless distance. It is quiet; very quiet. We continued to hike through a nature preserve, in which we were the visitors, and the plants and animals were the inhabitants. Therefore, we were conscious about our noise, trying to be quiet and leaving minimal trace.

Cold, in Israel this means 18 ° C

I am happy that I chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt even though it is the end of October. Now we realize why our house-parents would not let us go without three liters of water and a hat on our head to the desert. However, when the broad sky turns red from the setting sun, the air suddenly feels much colder.

Well, cold. After three months in Israel that means 18 ° C.

With jackets, sweaters, and long pants we sit around the sizzling campfire, listening to our tour guide who tells us more information about the Negev desert. Many of us are astonished and amazed to learn that 2/3 of Israel is desert. Almost no one knew that there are still Bedouins, the desert-dwellers, living in Israel. The Bedouins are among the poorest in Israel. We also found it interesting that even strawberries and tomatoes grow in the desert by advanced irrigation systems.

There are not only the 85 students from my school on this trip, but also many Israelis from the other school that is on our campus. Usually we only see those students in the dining hall, but this trip gives us the chance to get to talk with them intimately. A trip like this strengthens bonds between people, and think about the future when we will make an effort to greet each other when we meet on campus.

Completely different than Austria

Up to this point I had a routine. It was not even half a year ago that the school principal showed my mother and me the school facilities, and since then I have had the chance to be a tour guide for the many guests who visited for the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was an event that was attended by excited students, proud parents, the whole teaching faculty, prominent figures, and supporters of the school. During the festivities, the glee club sang “Imagine”, the school band played “Here Comes the Sun” and some students prepared a dance consisting of dances from their home countries. The whole event was a huge success.

The classes are different than the ones at home in Austria. It was new for me that we often work in groups to do homework or presentations.

It never gets boring here. There is still so much to know about our classmates who come from 35 different countries. In addition, there is hardly a week that goes by without a workshop from a company or organization, or presentation from a journalist. The only thing that I would wish for is for a day to have more than 24 hours!
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NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
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:
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.______________________________________________________________________

EMIS SPIRIT
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
A typical day in the life of an EMIS student;

6:45 am, “Boker tov! Good morning!” we are abruptly woken up by a house-parent knocking on our door to ensure that everyone is awake.

7:00 am, Time for breakfast! We take a 3-5 minute walk to the dining hall, and observe the beautiful palm trees and Tel Aviv buildings in the distance.

7:15 am, Latest time to check-in with our house-parent in the dining hall. Don’t be late!

7:45 am, Classes start! One period is 45 minutes long and we have eight of them a day. On Wednesday afternoon we also have a 45 minute assembly, and on Thursdays most of us only have 6 classes.

9:15 am, After we mastered two periods of the same class, we have a break for twenty minutes, in which students usually take care of their laundry, eat snacks or just talk with classmates in or around the school building.

11:00 am, Two periods later, after four in total, we have another break and we are halfway through our day!

11:55 am, Lunch time! Everyone finds their way to the dining hall, where we eat every meal. The dining hall follows Kosher guidelines. If pink trays are distributed to us we know it is a dairy meal, and if there are brown trays we know it is a meat meal.

12:45 pm, Back to school!

2:10 pm, Last break of the day, it is time to gain some last energy!

2:55 pm Last class of the day ends, time for a five minute break before Homeroom starts at…

3:00 pm, 15 Minutes of announcements and information

3:20 pm Time for CAS – Creativity Action Service. Students choose from a variety of different clubs such as Student Council, Model United Nations, P.U.T. (Picking up trash), Environmental society, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Theatre, Debate, Journalism, Soccer/Football, Just Dance, Badminton, and many more!

4:20 pm, Official CAS hours (meaning the time allotted on our schedule) come to an end, and most student relax a little bit and then work on homework or study until it is…

6:30 pm, which means dinner time in the dining hall.

7:30 pm, House-parents meeting in our common room, called the moadon in Hebrew, which means “club.”

10:30 pm, Every student has to be in their dorm, in order to have an empty hallway for the dorms on duty to clean the hallways. They mop the floors, clean the club, water the plants, and take out the garbage.

11:00 pm, It is time to turn the light off and find our way to bed. “Laila tov! Good night!”

*Edited by Hannah Cook

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PERSONAL
Just days from now we will leave; we will catch our flight to Israel, no matter where we come from. Chosen students from over 30 different countries will be heading to EMIS, Eastern Mediterranean International School, near Tel Aviv at the end of August 2014
-so am I, Anna from Austria.

Every morning when I wake up my eyes go straight to my calendar, which hangs up on the wall in my room. Here I count down the days, crossing another one off each night before bed, time is passing so fast; it will not be long before we will leave our families and loved ones behind. One last hug at the airport, and then it is Goodbye.

The departure day is not only seen negatively though, on the one hand; it’s obviously our last hug for a decent amount of time but, on the other hand; it is the beginning of a new adventure – EMIS. As the number of days between now and leaving decreases my excitement increases tremendously!

I am ready for the new adventure to start; however I am still working on preparations. I wrote a TO-DO list, which used to seem endless at the beginning of summer but almost everyday another task can be ticked off: VISA, booking a flight, buying traditional clothing and many more are already checked. Figuring out what I will bring, laptop, flag and other important tasks are still to be done. I try to do little bits at a time, but still always keeping my main goal in my head; having everything ready by latest my birthday, which is a week before I leave.

If I am not busy preparing to go, then I am spending my time messaging other future EMIS students from countries all over the world, such as; the United States, New Zealand, Brazil, and so many more.

I am looking forward to meet all the other students, start a challenging adventure of an international boarding school! So far the biggest challenge that I have been warned about, is that there are not enough hours in the day.


Nevertheless I am sure that we will spend two great years in Israel, though it might not be easy all the time, we will look back at in the future.
 




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THE GOING HOME SOUNDTRACK


“Here am I waiting
I’ll have to leave soon
Why am I holding on?
We knew this day would come
We knew it all along
How did it come so fast?” (Maroon 5: Daylight)
“Have me a good time, before my time is up” (Pitbull: Time Of Our Lives)



“Closing time,

time for you to go out,

To the places you will be from” (Semisonic: Closing Time)

“I was here…
I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here…” (Beyoncé: I Was Here)
“I can’t believe I’m leaving, ooh” (Simple Plan: Summer Paradise)

” I’m coming home
I’m coming home
Tell the world I’m coming home” (Diddy: Coming home)
“.. I’m leaving on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again” (John Denver: Leaving On a Jetplane)

“I been travelling too long” (Lana Del Rey: Ride)
“Here I come, but I ain’t the same” (Ozzy Osbourne: Mamma, I’m coming home)

“But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feels like
Nothing changed at all
And if you close your eyes
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before? (Bastille:Pompeii)

“Give me a second I
I need to get my story straight” (Fun.: We Are Young)

“I remember everyday” (Soja: Rest of My Life)
“I had the time of my life
And I never felt this way before
And I swear this is true” (Black Eyed Peas: The Time)

“Those days are gone,
Now the memory’s on the wall.” (Swedish House Mafia: Don’t You Worry Child)

“I’m gonna find my way back” (Simple Plan: Summer Paradise)
“You can always come back…” (Jason Mraz: 93 Million Miles)

“Take me home.” (Semisonic: Closing Time)
“I will find my way
I can go the distance
I will be there someday” (Hercules: I Can Go The Distance)

* Edited by Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe
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EVERYDAY LIFE, WHAT IS THAT NOW? – SPIEGEL

This article is about Anna from Austria’s journey at EMIS.
Anna wrote a German article posted in the renowned Spiegel newspaper, which can be found by clicking on this link: http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/ausland/austausch-nach-israel-wiener-schuelerin-im-mega-internat-a-1016310.html
Posted on Spiegel February 10, 2015.
Everyday Life, What is that now? – Spiegel(English Translation)
Anna article photo
Everything is different: After 111 days in Israel, student Anna, 17, gets closer to coming home. The Austrian embassy stole her vision, and the family visit in Vienna felt different than usual. 
I now have two homes: the boarding school in Israel, and my parents’ home in Vienna. I am always yearning to be in the place that I am not. If I eat hummus or falafel in Israel I am always thinking back to my mom’s different dishes. But, if I go for a visit in quiet Austria I miss being together with my three roommates and 80 classmates.
After 111 days in Israel, I had the first opportunity to return to Austria to visit my family. Originally, a student from Tanzania who couldn’t fly home was planning to accompany me. In order to get the visa, we drove to the Austrian embassy in Tel Aviv. The workers at the embassy spoke to us in three different languages: German to me, English to my classmate, and Hebrew to our houseparent. I actually felt a little at home at the embassy, so much that I felt like I was back in Austria. Yet, the refusal of my friend’s visa was a vast disappointment. In the past few months, I have learned to get along with students from 35 nationalities. Everyone here has the same rights and rules to follow. But outside the campus, the country you come from has a big influence and, unfortunately, not everyone is treated equally.
And Suddenly Silence
Therefore, I flew without my Tanzanian friend, and it was only me and my other Austrian classmate. The airplane was a pathway between our current everyday lives, back to our old everyday lives; a change between worlds. Everyday life, what is that now? The one that I have lived since September? Or the one that I used to live the fifteen years prior?
The pleasure was grand, the family was affectionate, and my friends in Vienna were the same as before. My room looked exactly the same, but bigger than I remembered. My habits changed, and my own bed, which I missed at the beginning, was a pleasure to be in again. Meanwhile, I consider my bed in Hakfar Hayarok comfortable as well. I was able to adapt fast, and I thought it would be more challenging to live with three other girls; Asia, Europe and the Middle East all represented together in a room.
Then there was the tranquility of Vienna. On campus, there is rarely tranquility, and the only time it is found is on Friday or Saturday morning; the Israeli weekend. It makes a difference if you are constantly surrounded by 80 people, or just your own family.
After two weeks home, I embarked on the plane to return to Israel. My thoughts were scrambled in my head; they were in Austria, in Israel, and everywhere in between. The idea of staying in Vienna passed my mind. But, then the longing for my life at EMIS increased tremendously. Before my trip home to Austria, the anticipation was grand. When I arrived in Vienna, I was looking forward to my home at the Eastern Mediterranean International School.

*Edited by Hannah Cook,Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe
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EMISERS PERSONAL BLOGS


Personalblog header 2 finished

EMISers love to talk about what happens on campus and their experiences abroad. Over 20 students are reporting here on blogemis.com  but additionally, a few also keep their loved ones updated on their personal blogs, such as Anna, Emily, Melissa, Michiel and Puk.
AnnaMy name is Anna and I am a seventeen year old girl from Austria. I previously lived abroad in Canada, and always really enjoyed all the other students’ blogs. Therefore, I decided to create my own one for this adventure. I write about our experience in Israel, my life, the school, the surroundings, simply everything that is going on in the upcoming years!
SAMSUNG CSCMy name is Emily and I am from California, USA. Documenting life in a memorable way is always difficult and many times forgotten as the time rolls by by many people. I want to try and share as many small snippets of my experiences as possible. I think that by sharing smaller, more personal details I will want to update more. The blog is mainly to assure my friends and family that  everything is going well. But, as it is in English it is free for all to come and take a look. I hope that by blogging I will remember more of my adventures in Israel, as well as where ever I might go next. Aloha!
Melissa
My name is Melissa and I’m from Germany. I wanted to create a blog for the 2 years I would spend in Israel, because I think it is a great possibility to share parts of my life with friends and family in Germany, although they are far away. This is why the blog is in German. The main part of the blog consists of photos, I just love to take them, so it may be interesting even if you don’t understand German. It is a personal blog focusing on moments I experience here. I want to keep those moments as a memory and remember them.
Michiel, the Netherlands, http://michieldew.wordpress.comMichiel 2Hey, I am Michiel, 17 years old, and I am from the Netherlands. The blog was created because of my friends and family that wanted me to start one, to let them know about my happenings here in Israel. This is why my blog is in Dutch. I don’t post new things that often, but when I do, it is a lot. It is not a stupid thing to do, since I really try to write down what I feel, and so the posts are kind of personal diary entries that I share with everybody back home. Also there are quite a few photos on there as well, for example when the whole school went for a trip in the desert. I hope these things can give you an insight on how it is to be in an international boarding school!
Puk, the Netherlands, pukputih.wordpress.com
PukGoeieeedag people, my name is Puk de Roij and I am from the Netherlands. I have a blog to write experiences I have here in Israël, the Netherlands and other places, even my dreams. Kidding. I love the humus and my roommates and neighbors, also the chocolate in the dining hall  I live in an International boarding school in Israël and I am enjoying it a lot. Here you can find my stories xx Puk ;))
Personalblog header 2 finished
Collage by Naomi Theinert
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I WISH THE DAY HAD MORE THAN 24 HOURS – SPIEGEL


This article is about Anna from Austria’s journey at EMIS.
Anna wrote a German article posted in the renowned Spiegel newspaper, which can be found by clicking on this link:
http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/ausland/schueleraustausch-vor-dem-abi-nach-israel-a-1004920.html
Posted on Spiegel November 28, 2014.
I Wish The Day Had More Than 24 Hours – Spiegel
(English Translation)
Negev6
Anna Kraeftner, 17, has been in Israel for three months, and has hardly left her school’s campus. Now, the student from Vienna leaves her school’s campus for her first trip: to the desert.
The first time in the desert; I think to myself: “How will it be? Hot? Beautiful? Which proper equipment should we bring?”. From the beginning these questions were going through my head as I was notified that we were going on a trip to the Negev desert. And finally the trip commences.
I sit on the bus for three hours with students from China, Canada and Tanzania. Similarly to me, they have never seen the desert before. We get off the bus, the view leaving us speechless: endless skies, with shiny hills, and as far as the eye can see there is nothing other than sand and rocks. For me, hiking usually meant woods and green trees, but during this trip, my perception changed hiking in the dry sand, spending hours walking into the limitless distance. It is quiet; very quiet. We continued to hike through a nature preserve, in which we were the visitors, and the plants and animals were the inhabitants. Therefore, we were conscious about our noise, trying to be quiet and leaving minimal trace.
Cold, in Israel this means 18 ° C
I am happy that I chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt even though it is the end of October. Now we realize why our house-parents would not let us go without three liters of water and a hat on our head to the desert. However, when the broad sky turns red from the setting sun, the air suddenly feels much colder.
Well, cold. After three months in Israel that means 18 ° C.
With jackets, sweaters, and long pants we sit around the sizzling campfire, listening to our tour guide who tells us more information about the Negev desert. Many of us are astonished and amazed to learn that 2/3 of Israel is desert. Almost no one knew that there are still Bedouins, the desert-dwellers, living in Israel. The Bedouins are among the poorest in Israel. We also found it interesting that even strawberries and tomatoes grow in the desert by advanced irrigation systems.
There are not only the 85 students from my school on this trip, but also many Israelis from the other school that is on our campus. Usually we only see those students in the dining hall, but this trip gives us the chance to get to talk with them intimately. A trip like this strengthens bonds between people, and think about the future when we will make an effort to greet each other when we meet on campus.
Completely different than Austria
Up to this point I had a routine. It was not even half a year ago that the school principal showed my mother and me the school facilities, and since then I have had the chance to be a tour guide for the many guests who visited for the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was an event that was attended by excited students, proud parents, the whole teaching faculty, prominent figures, and supporters of the school. During the festivities, the glee club sang “Imagine”, the school band played “Here Comes the Sun” and some students prepared a dance consisting of dances from their home countries. The whole event was a huge success.
The classes are different than the ones at home in Austria. It was new for me that we often work in groups to do homework or presentations.
It never gets boring here. There is still so much to know about our classmates who come from 35 different countries. In addition, there is hardly a week that goes by without a workshop from a company or organization, or presentation from a journalist. The only thing that I would wish for is for a day to have more than 24 hours!



*Edited by Hannah Cook
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ANNA’S ADVENTURES IN EMIS (GERMAN)

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:


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.



*Edited by Hannah Cook
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DAILY ROUTINE



A typical day in the life of an EMIS student;
6:45 am, “Boker tov! Good morning!” we are abruptly woken up by a house-parent knocking on our door to ensure that everyone is awake.
7:00 am, Time for breakfast! We take a 3-5 minute walk to the dining hall, and observe the beautiful palm trees and Tel Aviv buildings in the distance.
7:15 am, Latest time to check-in with our house-parent in the dining hall. Don’t be late!
7:45 am, Classes start! One period is 45 minutes long and we have eight of them a day. On Wednesday afternoon we also have a 45 minute assembly, and on Thursdays most of us only have 6 classes.
9:15 am, After we mastered two periods of the same class, we have a break for twenty minutes, in which students usually take care of their laundry, eat snacks or just talk with classmates in or around the school building.
11:00 am, Two periods later, after four in total, we have another break and we are halfway through our day!
11:55 am, Lunch time! Everyone finds their way to the dining hall, where we eat every meal. The dining hall follows Kosher guidelines. If pink trays are distributed to us we know it is a dairy meal, and if there are brown trays we know it is a meat meal.
12:45 pm, Back to school!
2:10 pm, Last break of the day, it is time to gain some last energy!
2:55 pm Last class of the day ends, time for a five minute break before Homeroom starts at…
3:00 pm, 15 Minutes of announcements and information
3:20 pm Time for CAS – Creativity Action Service. Students choose from a variety of different clubs such as Student Council, Model United Nations, P.U.T. (Picking up trash), Environmental society, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Theatre, Debate, Journalism, Soccer/Football, Just Dance, Badminton, and many more!
4:20 pm, Official CAS hours (meaning the time allotted on our schedule) come to an end, and most student relax a little bit and then work on homework or study until it is…
6:30 pm, which means dinner time in the dining hall.
7:30 pm, House-parents meeting in our common room, called the moadon in Hebrew, which means “club.”
10:30 pm, Every student has to be in their dorm, in order to have an empty hallway for the dorms on duty to clean the hallways. They mop the floors, clean the club, water the plants, and take out the garbage.
11:00 pm, It is time to turn the light off and find our way to bed. “Laila tov! Good night!”

*Edited by Hannah Cook
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MOVING FROM HOME TO OUR NEW HOME

Just days from now we will leave; we will catch our flight to Israel, no matter where we come from. Chosen students from over 30 different countries will be heading to EMIS, Eastern Mediterranean International School, near Tel Aviv at the end of August 2014
-so am I, Anna from Austria.
Every morning when I wake up my eyes go straight to my calendar, which hangs up on the wall in my room. Here I count down the days, crossing another one off each night before bed, time is passing so fast; it will not be long before we will leave our families and loved ones behind. One last hug at the airport, and then it is Goodbye.
The departure day is not only seen negatively though, on the one hand; it’s obviously our last hug for a decent amount of time but, on the other hand; it is the beginning of a new adventure – EMIS. As the number of days between now and leaving decreases my excitement increases tremendously!
I am ready for the new adventure to start; however I am still working on preparations. I wrote a TO-DO list, which used to seem endless at the beginning of summer but almost everyday another task can be ticked off: VISA, booking a flight, buying traditional clothing and many more are already checked. Figuring out what I will bring, laptop, flag and other important tasks are still to be done. I try to do little bits at a time, but still always keeping my main goal in my head; having everything ready by latest my birthday, which is a week before I leave.
If I am not busy preparing to go, then I am spending my time messaging other future EMIS students from countries all over the world, such as; the United States, New Zealand, Brazil, and so many more.
I am looking forward to meet all the other students, start a challenging adventure of an international boarding school! So far the biggest challenge that I have been warned about, is that there are not enough hours in the day.
Nevertheless I am sure that we will spend two great years in Israel, though it might not be easy all the time, we will look back at in the future.
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