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Stephen Muss (Miami)

Hello again, this week’s blog is about students’ guide to life in Israel.

Hello again, this week’s blog is about students’ guide to life in Israel. To be frank, there’s a lot of differences that make school here really different. My experiences as a student here have made me really re-think how I felt about certain aspects of American high school.

For one, I never thought that being a student in a public secular school would respect my right to a weekend more. To be more clear, because of our trip-oriented curriculum, we require a crazy amount of classes to be on schedule without home schools, which led to something that is draining all of us at Muss right now, our full school days on Sunday. In America, my friends are sleeping until 11, for me, I’m learning Spanish.

Another thing that’s related to that is our very long school days. Our average weekday’s class starts at 8 and depending on your classes ends at 6:15. So to keep up on your studies, you’ve got to be studying and doing homework consistently, lest you got lost in the pace of your classes. But it truly isn’t as bad as I make it sound, my friends and I have developed the proper studying habits to keep up on our classes and still have time to go to town, hang out, watch movies, be social, and everything else we want. To get used to this fast-paced schedule, I recommend living by the assumption that there is always a quiz next class. I say this for a few reasons, the first being that there usually is,  the next is that you always want to be reviewing that day’s content to understand the next day better, and lastly because, it prevents emergency cramming, leaving you in a better mood and better prepared.

One of our main luxuries is our 2 and half hours allowed out of the campus on pretty much any day, so to be sure that you could go out for dinner or buy body wash or anything, you got to make sure that you’re all caught up. If you’re one of those who gets stressed easily, you have nothing to worry about here. The madrichim and the other students all have your back and would help you study, relax, etc. I realized while here that I am way too lax of a student, in the first weeks I let my grades slip a bit in exchange for more sleep and the glories of Israeli Netflix. I also learned that it’s possible to absorb stress from those around me, which itself is an awful experience, I almost had a breakdown about something I was totally ready for. Anyways, these are just my observations from being a student here in Israel and on this program.