Editor’s note: Rachel Shuster is a junior at Hills West. She is currently spending her second semester abroad in Israel, studying and living in her ancestor’s homeland. She will be returning to the U.S. on May 30th, 2013. This is one of a recurring series of “blog posts” that Shuster will be posting while she is there.
I can’t believe it has been about three weeks since I arrived to Kibbutz Tzuba in Israel, my home for the next four months. I have just embarked on an experience of a lifetime. It’s definitely an adventure spending four months of my junior year amidst the exciting culture, religion and people of Israel. Although I go to school 5 days a week, I am in a completely new setting that is beneficial to my education. The school days are 11 hours long but are often interrupted by field trips. These field trips usually correspond to what I am learning in my Jewish History class. So far I went on a myriad of hikes to archeological sites. It is incredible to be on top of a mountain with a notebook and pencil learning about the land of Israel. If I do not have a field trip a regular day goes like this……
7:15am- Wake up
8:15am- Hebrew Class
10:15am-Jewish History Class
1:05-7:15pm-General Studies (Spanish, Lunch, Physics, Pre-Calc, Sat Prep, US History, English)
8:30-11pm-Free Time (Homework and studying time)
By the end of the day I am beyond exhausted, but it is so worth it! All of my classes are under 15 people; my smallest class has 3 people. The classrooms are right near the dorm rooms (basically a hotel room that fits 4 people comfortably), so it is an easy walk to class. Walking to class outside in Israel is completely different than walking in the halls of Hills West. It is amazing to see the views of surrounding towns and cities from the windows of my classrooms and bedroom.
Of course this trip is not only about school and studying…I am with 85 other high school students from all over the U.S. and Canada with similar values and ideas as me. We are exploring, studying, learning and growing in a land filled with amazing opportunities.
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the semester. Feel free to email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.