Een aantal studenten vertelt over hun ervaringen in het eerste semester van de Givat Haviva International School.


Uri Israel
My whole life I’ve been told I was unique. I was always more curious than my peers. I had a worldly sense about me, being an Israeli, religious Jew raised by an American father and a British mother. The Israeli public school system works for many students, but I never felt that it worked for me. Once I joined GHIS, I felt like I was finally in a place where I truly belonged. All of the students are from such vastly different backgrounds, yet regardless of that they connect. Here at GHIS, I have peers with whom I can truly, deeply, genuinely relate. It may sound pretentious, but we discuss philosophy, politics, religion and all other subjects at such a high and intimate level, a level I never imagined to encounter with a group of peers my age. The students here are passionate, ambitious and most importantly, hopeful for a better future. We see our differences in identity as simple banalities. I don’t care if my best friends are Israeli Arabs. I grew up learning to keep away from Arabs. I resented the “other side” for all the things they did to “my country”. But through this school, I learned to live and love the “other side”. I am six months into the school, but I cannot wait for our reunion in the future. I will be able to look at my peers and all the success and happiness they will inevitably accrue and be able to say that I am proud. I am proud of us because I already know we will make a change and that we are making a change.

Wajd – Israel
Hate is a big word. But it’s a much bigger feeling and a much bigger ideology. I grew up in a small all Arab Muslim village, where interacting with the “ other side “ was never an option. Six months ago I joined GHIS. I came here for the academics and the English, but soon came to learn I will earn much more. Initially I thought communicating with Jews would be a real challenge but slowly I found I can build friendships and learn to love the other side. I found a peaceful platform to express my ideas and my confusion.
Among all other subjects and activities – we are given the chance take art (which I never did before). Through this class (and also in our after school free time) we paint, film videos, and organize performances representing our identities. I never thought that such ideas were in us and I still can’t believe some of the art pieces that came out. I’m pursuing my passion alongside people I grew up thinking I should hate, in an environment I could have never have dreamed to enter two years ago.

Avi – US/Israel
My time at GHIS has really been a transformative experience. The people I have met and the conversations I have had will stay me for the rest of my life. At first I was a little worried I may not be accepted by everyone because I was the only religious Jew but those fears were dashed right away. I became friends with Palestinians, Israelis from almost all religious or non religious backgrounds, and people from all over the world. I feel as though the experience has and will continue to help me not only understand other perspectives and people but also understand my own perspective and the type of person that I am myself.

Diana – Kazakhstan
My first six months at GHIS for six months have been an unforgettable experience for me; a great adventure full of new discoveries. I am from a very simple family, so a year ago the idea that I would study abroad seemed very far away. Nevertheless, I taught myself English over one year, dreaming that I could study in a place where I would not only get a high education, but also learn how to solve conflicts and would be able to start changing the world. GHIS became the very place where I made many friends and started volunteering with various projects. And also GHIS has become a place where my dreams began to become true, and now I have the skills not just to dream, but act!

Chernor – Liberia
My name is Chernor A. Diallo from Liberia. Throughout my entire life I have lived in a society with unending conflicts and economic and social crisis. For the first time in my life I have had the will and courage to stand out and be deservingly recognized among people of all statuses in a shared society and all thanks to GHIS for this once in a lifetime opportunity. They have made almost everything that I couldn’t imagine in my life possible. Now I have had the experience of traveling, meeting and interacting with peers from a wide global community and having the feeling of being a worth to mankind. Simply put, they are LIFE-CHANGERS…..

Noga – Israel
It’s hard summing up the experience called GHIS. It can be transferred by a few moments: staying up until 2 AM talking about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict with my roommates, or sitting to the light of a Hanukkia and a Christmas tree while comparing Russian and Bulgarian. The amount of things I learned cannot be transferred by words, only by enabling you to experience it too.

Laila – Israel
My name is Laila Jabali I’m a student here in GHIS, in other words my home. This place is not only a school for studying, but a family. My family members are such an amazing people from all over the world I don’t have classmates in GHIS – I have brothers and sisters whom I really enjoy spending time with! At GHIS I have developed and improved my personality through opportunities such as volunteering in Jat village, teaching spoken English to kids. Noticing how much the students respected and liked me showed me that I want to take on more responsibility in life and make a difference.also liked me means the development of responsibility in myself as something I got to discover in my personality!

Anna – Armenia
GHIS represents for me new places, new habits, new challenges, new people. Friends, teachers, neighbors – my exposure to new people is endless. And with meeting new people comes enrichment and knowledge of other places, cultures, and backgrounds. Living at GHIS made me realize that ‘normal’ only means socially or culturally accepted. Discovering different cultures and societies, my notion of normality falls apart. I learned that there are other ways of doing things, and after a while, I too take on habits I never thought I’d embrace. I also got to know myself better – the things I really believe in and those just a cultural heritage of the society I grew up in.
I’m sure GHIS is altogether another world with its wonders which I recommend all of you to discover as I did.

Mayar – Palestinian Authority
I came to GHIS with the purpose of learning in English, getting the challenging IB diploma and meeting people from all around the world. Everyday in GHIS teaches me something new. Whether it’s unforgettable conversations with diverse people who I never imagined I will be able to talk to, the friendships I have made that I know will stick with me omg he future, the development of my English and political understanding, or the endless fun activities on campus. I am very glad to be part of this experience that strengthened my personality, opened my eyes to the world and taught me how to accept, learn and listen to others’ interesting backgrounds.

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Ervaringen van de Givat Haviva International School