Spotlight on Students
Student of the Week – Essence Slomianski
Hey everyone, my name is Essence Slomianski and I am from Miami, Florida. I’m currently spending my Fall semester in the phenomenal city of Tel Aviv and will continue to Jerusalem for the second semester! Next year I will be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City to study marketing and advertising communications.
It was during my senior year of high school that Aardvark came to my school to tell us about their program. At the time, I remember my uncertainty as to whether I would spend a year in Israel or head straight to college. However, after hearing about Aardvark, I knew right away that it was the program for me.
For starters, I loved the international add ones they offered; the idea of being able to learn and live in Israel while simultaneously traveling the world piqued my interest immediately. I’ve already been so fortunate to have visited Barcelona last month, but I’m soooo excited for the rest of my international trips to continue learning about the Jewish history in different countries and different continents around the world – from China to Rome to Ethiopia.
I also really loved the fact that you can live in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (if you do choose to spend the year here) because you truly get to know Israel from two wildly different perspectives and immerse yourself in the cultures of both places. I am already looking forward to moving to Jerusalem – I’m excited to see how life is lived there compared to Tel Aviv and to keep growing and learning about myself, and how that links to my Judaism as well.
My favorite part of Aardvark so far has been my internship: Wazimo. I genuinely love the company I work for and everything it has taught me. The people around me are always so kind and approachable with any questions I have, no matter their simplicity or complexity. I love how much responsibility and trust they give me – It’s amazing to have the opportunity to work in a setting so business-like and professional with a seemingly endless supply of educated people from whom I am constantly learning. It has also taught me a lot about how to act and talk with my co-workers, clients, and boss; to conduct myself in a workplace setting; and the importance of backing up my co-workers when they are relying on me.
My advice for potential students coming to the program would be to be open-minded. You’re going to be living a different life than you’re used to – get accustomed to the idea of spending time with a different group of people, going places you didn’t know existed or eating foods you have never even heard of. Meet these new experiences with open arms, and you’re guaranteed to have the time of your life here in Israel.
I’m so thankful that I chose to come on Aardvark: so far I have made unforgettable memories and connected with friends that will last a lifetime. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester and year has in store for me!!!