Reflections on a coming year abroad

By Rachel Schneider, Nativ
While most of my peers are entering college this fall, I am deferring for the year, to participate on Nativ, the Conservative Movement’s year long, post-high school leadership program in Israel for USY alumni.  
Many of the people with whom I speak about my plans are amazed by my “daring” and “brave” decision to live in a foreign country for an entire school year.  The truth is, Israel is not “foreign” to me; Israel has always seemed like a place I could comfortably call home.  This feeling of familiarity has been the basis for my decision to come to Israel. 
Some people might think that I am overly confident about my decision, but the truth is I am nervous.  I am nervous about being away from my family and childhood home for nine months straight.  I am nervous about adjusting to a new environment.  And I am especially nervous about the unknown.  There is no doubt in my mind that this experience will help me mature and grow, yet knowing that I will most certainly change is overwhelming.
At this point the two month countdown until Nativ 27 has already begun.  My excitement is building, but so are my questions and expectations.  Overall, though, I can’t wait until the start of my program.
Rachel lives in Cincinnati, OH. She plans on studying advertisement design at either Ohio State University or Pratt Institute after Nativ.

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