Serving in the IDF can be rewarding and challenging. The army is a huge organization with endless complexities, nuances, and exceptions, so the best way to be prepared is to become as informed as possible.


Is there a college benefit for Olim?

There is! Within the first 3 years of making Aliyah, each Oleh receives 10,000 NIS per year from Misrad HaKlita for the first 3 years of their degree, which covers almost the full tuition of an Israeli degree. This benefit can also be used towards international degrees (degrees in English) as well, but will cover only a portion of the tuition since international schools are more expensive.


How does the application process work in Israel?

When applying to higher education in Israel, you are not applying to the college as a whole; rather, you are applying to a specific major in a college/ university. Each major will have its own qualifications and requirements to be accepted, but the majority base acceptance off of your high school transcripts and standardized test scores (most degrees will accept SAT and ACT scores).


Do I want to study in English or Hebrew?

When deciding on what to study it is important to weigh all of the options available to you. Whether or not you want to study in Hebrew is a big decision. It is not easy to study in your second language — however, there are many more degrees available in Hebrew. This is a decision that is different for each person based on the way that you learn best. The key is to set yourself up for the most success possible!


Should I do Mechina?

Mechina, which translates to “preparation,” is a year long program to help prepare you for university. The year is spent learning/reviewing some basic concepts for the main subjects that your degree might cover. This year includes Ulpan, basic maths and sciences, or basic humanities courses. This is an excellent way to ease your way into studying in hebrew, and can positively influence your chances of getting accepted to the degree of your choice.


Where should I live during university?

University campus life is very different in Israel. Many students are older due to the fact that they only start college after their army service (and sometimes even a year or two of break after that too). There is much less of an “on campus” presence because most Israeli’s live at home while they are studying for their degrees. For that reason it is important to think about what is around your campus in terms of community and support. Most Olim rent apartments around their university, somewhere with good public transportation. Some main communities of students include Givat Shmuel, IDC Herzliya, and Nachlaot or Baka in Jerusalem.

For more info on starting off life in Israel: