WJ students globalize: a trip to the world

Junior Isaac Malka hikes Har Arbel (a mountain in Israel) alongside his study-abroad classmates.

Every day, high schoolers worldwide and at WJ engulf themselves in different cultures for an immersive international experience in numerous ways: joining clubs, trying different cuisines, and learning new languages. The greatest opportunity a high school student can have relating to a different culture is studying abroad.

Popular places for students to study abroad include France, Spain and Israel, which is exactly where junior Isaac Malka went for half of his sophomore year.

¨I’ve been to Israel before, but I wanted to be able to go for a long period of time and not just being there as a tourist and also experience the culture from a different perspective,” Malka said.

Malka, who is Jewish himself, stayed in the land’s holy city, Jerusalem, along with 45 other Americans and Canadians. The 45 were broken up into dorm groups, where Malka bonded with his fellow roommates, who went to the same school.

¨It wasn’t like an Israeli school, it was an American school with just people from our program, but it was a good school… The education was a lot more specific (only ten people in each class),” Malka said.

The transfer process was simple. All Malka had to do was request his course syllabuses and pass them onto the Israeli teachers, who would then teach the same content he would be missing at WJ.

In a drastically different type of school, senior AJ Moore took on a more authentic learning experience during his junior year — in Seville, Spain — where he got matched with a Spanish private school. He initially found it difficult to communicate with his teachers and host family, but he soon found his place.

¨It was really nerve-wracking coming into it… Communication [with my host family] at the beginning was very much Google Translate and hand gestures,” Moore said.

Spanish social life is vibrant; parties and outings are regular and school campuses themselves mimic an LA-style outdoor school.

¨I made friends from the beginning and they really helped me with my Spanish skills which helped me with my schoolwork and social life… When I started to pick up the language, [I began making] non-American friends at parties and outside of school,” Moore said.

Both study-abroad students thoroughly enjoyed their experiences.

Malka enjoyed it so much, he will be spending a part of his senior year in Morocco. Moore fell in love with Spanish culture and is returning soon for University.
”The experience was really the best experience of my life… It really opened my eyes to the world outside of the US and I’m excited to go back,” Moore said.