Jack Artzy '19

Written by Harper '22
In looking at what a year at NJC can bring to a student, Jack Artzy is the perfect example
of the skills and benefits one develops in international education. Artzy is one of the newer
products of an NJC education. More affectionately known as Steve, by Ms. Kleeb, his social
sciences teacher, and fellow 2019 graduates, I sat down to speak with Jack via zoom this past
Sunday. It was clear to me that he has continued to embrace the spirit of adventure and courage
most of us find at Neuch.
One of the most heartwarming things I heard when speaking with Jack was how close he
has remained with his friends he made at NJC. When I asked Jack if he still kept in touch with
these friends, he told me, with a smile on his face, that he still has a WhatsApp group chat with 8
of them and he makes frequent trips to Queens to visit others. A testament to the unbreakable
bonds formed at NJC, he even spent the night at his old roommate, (also named) Jack’s, house
on a cross-country road trip last summer! He told me, with a smile, that he talks to him almost
every day, while reminiscing on fond memories of sitting on the shared patio with Jack and
playing spikeball by the lake every day with other classmates. Not only does this give me, a
current student, hope that I will continue to see and keep in touch with the amazing people I’ve
met here, but it also exhibits just how unique this experience is for students. Once you’ve gone
through so many once-in-a-lifetime-experiences, it’s impossible to forget the people you
experienced them with.

Jack is not one to shy away from any type of opportunity, embracing the, “Step Outside,”
mentality to its fullest extent. He told me his personal philosophy was to say yes to everything
when he attended NJC. Independent travel? Yep. Model UN? Sure. Cow tongue cooked by his
ex-chef pension? Definitely. Badminton? Why not? In taking the leap to try so many new things,
his independence and confidence grew. This growth was one of the goals he had set for himself
before moving to Switzerland. It was for this reason, he says, he greatly appreciated the ability to
travel independently during his time at Neuchatel. He recounted stories from Prague, Mallorca,
and St. Petersburg - a bucket-list destination he was finally able to visit (something many of us
likely will not be able to do for the foreseeable future).

The desire to “try everything” not only aided him in his time in Neuchatel, but it has
continued to inspire him to take leaps in his personal and professional life today. A 2019
graduate, Jack followed this by attending Concordia University to study media production. He did
tell me, however, that he decided to drop out of Concordia this past year. He plans to pursue his
career in media, but says he feels university may no longer be the best place for him to do so.
While some may have regarded this as a daunting decision, Jack says the confidence he grew
at NJC allowed him to take this leap into the unknown. He was fed up, as many of us were, after
the online learning in quarantine, was ready for a change, and knew that his degree was
ultimately wasting his time and money. He continues to work with Concordia creating media for
their sports programs, and outside of this passion, works in sales. While he is unsure of exactly
what he might do, or where he wants to go, he says that he feels comfort in the knowledge that
sometimes taking a great risk can lead to success if you put your full self into it. I, for one, felt
confident in interviewing Jack, that he will be successful in any endeavor he pursues. While my
time at NJC has allowed me the opportunity to learn about the world around me, it has also
taught me a great deal about myself.

After having come out of this experience, I believe any graduate of this program, who embraces
it to the fullest extent, has all the skills necessary to make the right decisions for themselves,
even if those decisions may differ from that of the status quo. After all, most grade 12 students
don’t tend to up and move to Switzerland for their last year of high school! But look where that
got us.
Neuchâtel Junior College offers the unique opportunity to study Canadian curriculum abroad. While living in Switzerland in a French community, students enjoy an international education through travel and experiential learning in Europe. Gap year and Grade 12  high school students gain international experience and develop independence and life skills that prepare them for university and the global workplace.

A Canadian high school in Switzerland | Grade 12 & Gap