PAVING THE WAY
FOR TOMORROW’S ENGINEERS
BY RACHEL ESTHER GROSS
MAY 19, 2015 11:01
Israel is produces some of the world’s best engineers. A leader in the global hi-tech industry, Israel has developed a global reputation for excellence in research and development
Microsoft and Intel are just two of the major corporations with operations in Israel. And yet, the country is not producing enough engineers to meet the demand. The Anières Elite Academy, a specialized academic program, is aiming to change this.
Yuliana Mosheeva dreamed of doing something meaningful with her life and push herself to experience new things. Now the Russian born 15-year-old, who grew up in Wuppertal, Germany, is one of 60 international and Israeli students in an exciting new program.
Many teenagers find the idea of studying for such an advanced degree daunting, not to mention studying in Israel. The Naale Elite Academy, an organization which enables young Jews from the Diaspora to compete high school in Israel, and World ORT, who further Jewish academic achievement worldwide, have partnered to create a unique program. The Anières Elite Academy provides teenagers with a carefully crafted path that puts a lifelong career in engineering within their grasp.
The Anières program provides a long-term approach towards helping teenagers complete an advanced degree. Studying on a full scholarship, students complete high school at the Anières Elite Academy before progressing directly to a degree in engineering at the Technion. With all their daily needs provided for, including tuition, food, accommodation, students are able to concentrate on their studies without distraction.
Mosheeva started 9th grade at Anières at the end of August. “Everything is so new. I didn’t know anyone here when I arrived, but I have made so many friends already. I wanted to change my life, to become self-sufficient, and that’s exactly what has happened. It’s a great opportunity to do things differently,” she says.
It is important for students to get to grips with taking classes in Hebrew as quickly as possible. The staff from Naale specialize in acclimating teens to their new environment. Students are given extra tutoring sessions to help them reach the required level.
Ira Lotman, Anières Elite Academy project manager, explains, “In the beginning, it is important for the 9th graders to acclimatize to their new lives, learn as much Hebrew as possible and get to grips with their studies because, when they get to 10th grade, all of their subjects, except English, of course, will be in Hebrew.”
Students in the Anières Elite Academy study at the highest level from day one. Even before they graduate from high school, they are already taking classes at the prestigious Technion. The 9th grade students are able to familiarize themselves with the campus through a series of workshops covering Physics, Biotechnology, Robotics and Chemistry. The second year students attend the Technion for regular enrichment programs, choosing between specialities depending on their personal interests.
Living on campus at the spacious Nahalal Youth Village, students are both fully supported and exposed to new experiences. The student body is made of up youth from around the world. Mosheeva is enthusiastic about the diversity. “The best part of the program is that our class is an international class. In Nahalal, the students come from many countries and our class is very mixed. I think it’s really great that we’re meeting other people from so many different places and having experiences together.”
High Calibre of Students
The selection process for the Anières program is extremely stringent and the academic and intellectual level of the students is very high. Naale Elite Academy handled the first stage of recruiting the students, interviewing and screening them.
“Naale Elite Academy has a comprehensive testing process to ensure that only students who will be able to cope with all aspects of being away from their parents are accepted. The tests determine academic ability, maturity, independence levels and psychological aptitude, to name a few,” says Yeshayahu Yechieli, director and co-founder of Naale Elite Academy.
“Students who plan to attend the Anières program go through even more rigorous testing once they’ve been approved by Naale. This testing is conducted by the Technion’s Pre-University Education Center and ensures that these students will be the best of the best,” he says.
Yuliana Mosheeva has trouble believing that she’s really part of the Anières program. Although she was attracted by the unique opportunity, she doubted she would pass the entance exam. “At first, I didn’t want to come here because I believed the other students were all so smart and I wasn’t that smart. I thought they would all be studying 25 hours a day, but it’s not like that and now I really like it.”
Going from strength to strength
The Anières Elite Academy is attracting students from around the world. “This is the second year of the Anières program,” says Ira Lotman. “We launched it in September 2013 with the first group of 20 students from the FSU. They have now joined the Israeli students in 10th grade, bringing the number up to 55 this year. In 9th grade, we have 33 students from the FSU and the West, who have taken their first steps to becoming engineers.”
Mosheeva is loving every moment of her experience. “This is a great program because everyone here really cares about us, they really want us to succeed in life and they’re doing everything they can to make sure we do.”