Choose to study in Israel, and you’ll find yourself at the heart of a diverse, dynamic and constantly developing culture.
During its 68 years of existence, Israel has fast developed into an economy one renowned for its high-tech development, innovation and entrepreneurship – gaining the nickname ‘the start-up nation’, with its own version of the US Silicon Valley, the Silicon Wadi.
Israel is especially known for innovation in the high-tech sector, and is reportedly home to more high-tech start-ups than any country other than the US – pretty impressive, considering its relatively small size and population. In recent years, Israel has also been touted as the world’s next major biotech hub.
As you’d expect with all this innovation and development going on, Israel has a strong selection of highly reputed universities – with strengths not just in science and technology subjects, but across the academic spectrum.
Applying to Israeli universities
There is no centralized application system for universities in Israel, so you’ll need to apply directly to your chosen university, providing the required documents and following the instructions stated on the institution’s official website. You may need to take a psychometric entrance test as part of the admissions process, which will test your quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and English language skills.
Israeli student visa regulations
To study in Israel for a period of more than three months, a student visa (A2 visa) is needed. Visa applications should be submitted to the nearest Israeli consulate at least three months ahead of intended arrival in Israel.
To apply for an Israeli student visa, you will need:
· A letter of acceptance from an Israeli university
· A passport valid at least six months beyond your intended visit duration
· Two passport-sized photos
· Proof of sufficient finances to cover the duration of your stay
International students also need to have health insurance for the length of their studies. This may be provided by the university, included within the tuition fees, or it may be necessary to purchase insurance privately. It’s also important to note that you’re unable to work in Israel with your student visa.
Tuition fees and living costs
Tuition fees in Israel vary depending on your level of study and university, but generally you will pay around US$9,000-15,000 per year at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Living costs are also relatively affordable, with about US$10,500 needed for each year of study. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be the most expensive cities in which to rent accommodation.
Languages in Israel
The official languages in Israel are Hebrew and Arabic. English is also widely spoken, and is a compulsory subject in Israeli schools up to high school. Russian is also widely spoken, and Israeli society in general is fairly multilingual, with significant groups speaking many different languages from across Europe and Asia.
Israeli universities teach primarily in Hebrew, but many also offer a growing selection of English-taught programs. These range from short-term study abroad and exchange programs, to full degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Israel has had its fair share of conflict over the years, but despite its reputation for being war-torn, the country attracted a record 3.54 million tourists in 2013. As of June 2016, there is currently a high threat from terrorism, and safety measures such as routine searches are in place to protect both citizens and visitors. It’s advisable to keep up to date with current events in the area, avoid large gatherings or demonstrations, and carry photo ID at all times.
Good Reasons to Study in Israel
World Class Education
As a student, your main concern with studying overseas is the quality of the institution you will be attending. Israel’s higher education institutions are known worldwide for their academic excellence. With several universities ranked amongst the highest in the world, excellent colleges and research institutes, Israel offers you a high quality academic experience! Many institutions offer programs in English, providing a unique international learning environment designed for you to learn and succeed.
Innovation & Technology
If you’re into innovation and technology, Israel is the place for you! Israel is the land of innovation, also known as the “Start-Up Nation”. It is a hotbed of hi-tech activity, with the world’s highest investment per capita in start-up companies. Israel was ranked the 3rd most innovative country in the world (World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index). Studying in Israel gives you the opportunity to experience and participate in Israel’s vibrant start-up culture and eco-system.
Whether you live on campus or off, in or out of the city, there’s more to studying in Israel than just hitting the books. Israel has a vibrant student social scene with many opportunities to get out and about and enjoy all that Israel has to offer. You will have the opportunity to make life-long friendships with Israelis and other students from all over the world.
Choose to study in Israel, and you’ll find yourself at the heart of a diverse, dynamic and constantly developing culture. Israel has over 4,000 years of history, which have incorporated many different cultural influences. Whether it’s food, history, art or music, you will have many opportunities to immerse yourself in Israel’s fascinating culture throughout your studies.
Travel & Landscape
Israel has plenty to offer as far as sightseeing. You can experience world-famous historical sites, float in the Dead Sea, go hiking in the beautiful Sea of Galilee region or the Negev Desert, marvel at the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa or enjoy a sunset on Tel Aviv beach. Israel is packed with a wealth of attractions that will keep you occupied until graduation and beyond.
Israel is host to a huge variety of accommodation options, from camping and hostels through to 5-star luxury hotels. Accommodation in Israel is similar to Western standards in general both in terms of price and what you can expect as service.
Cost of Living Living and travelling costs in Israel are almost on a par with Western Europe, North America and Australasia, making it by far the most ‘expensive’ country in the Middle East region outside the Gulf area.
The currency in Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). ATMs are available everywhere. Credit cards of all kinds are widely accepted.
There are no special medical issues in Israel, and no immunizations are necessary for travel here. Pharmacies and hospitals are available in all major cities and emergency and health care is to a very high Western standard. Pharmacists and all medical personnel speak adequate English.
In general, travel to Israel is safe, and most other crime rates are well below those found in most other Western Countries. There is a risk of violence between Israeli Forces and Palestinian Militants only in the West Bank and Gaza; additionally, there is a slight risk of further military action between Israel and other countries. Currently the situation makes travel safe. Use prudence if you plan to travel to the Palestinian territories.
Buses are the most common form of public transportation for Israelis and travelers alike. They are cheap, fast and reliable. Faster than normal buses are minivans, known as monit sherut or ‘service taxi’, that generally follow major bus routes but can be hailed from anywhere on the route (not just official bus stops). They are usually somewhat cheaper and somewhat quicker than buses, their operations hours may be longer – and maybe most importantly, in many cases the sherut runs 7 days a week, including on Shabbat. One of the best advances in transport in Israel in recent years has been the modernization of the train system, now set for major expansion as part of the country’s efforts to combat global warming, gridlock, and smog. Train fares are generally more expensive then equivalent bus fares (especially for the line from Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva, with a train fare almost double that of the bus fare). In exchange, you can generally expect a much higher level of comfort, speed, and safety.
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