Junior returns from school in Bahamas

Daniel Eyal explores marine biology


Junior Daniel Eval leans off the boat while working on a marine biology project at The Island School in the Bahamas.

Ethan Meisler

Where were you for the first few months of school?

I was in the Bahamas. I was in Eleuthera at a program called The Island School.

How would you describe what The Island School is?

It is a semester school in the Bahamas that requires an application to get in. The school does a lot of free diving, scuba diving, typical academic classes, 48 hour solo (camping experience), a nine day open ocean sailing expedition and working alongside real marine biologists.

What made you want to go to The Island School?

My brother actually went, and since then it has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. I really like the ocean and hanging out there, and I thought that I would learn a lot.

How did your family feel about you leaving to go to The Island School?

They supported it. They were pretty into it as they saw it was a good opportunity.

How long have you been thinking about going to The Island School?

Probably since the end of eighth grade (I’ve been) seriously considering it.

What were you most interested in doing at The Island School?

I was really excited to go to the Bahamas and learn a lot, and to really just explore new things.

What are some activities you participated in?

Besides academics, we did a lot of free diving, which is diving down on one breath as deep as you can (go). We were only allowed to go to 50 feet. I fished for sharks a lot because we were trying to categorize deep-sea sharks.

What were the academics like at the school?

(The classes were) pretty spread out. We only had seven actual academic weeks, but they were really intense.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in marine biology?

I don’t think so. I am interested in science of some kind, but not necessarily marine biology.

Was it hard to adjust to life in the Bahamas?

Yes and no. It is a very sustainable campus, so all the water we use is from rainfall. You have to get used to that, and there are many other things we do due to sustainability.

Has it been hard to adjust back to life at home?

That has been pretty crazy because you get so used to a small amount of people. I didn’t have my phone or anything so coming back has been crazy. I’m still getting used to it now.