If you are currently a student in North America, be sure to choose a field that is transferable to Israel. Generally speaking, try to pursue a field you find interesting that is also practical and relevant to the Israeli market. Another important consideration is the typical salary range in your field of interest and whether it will meet the standard of living that you envision for yourself.
If you’re not sure what professional direction to take, See Recommended Professions: A Guide for Students.
You can always contact the NBN Employment Department at: email@example.com with questions or to arrange for a personal consultation.
Hi-tech, biotech, engineering, medical and para-medical fields, marketing and sales are all great fields in Israel. However, keep in mind that the job market in Israel is dynamic. Strong Hebrew skills are more important in some fields than in others.
To get a sense of the current job market, check out a variety of online job search resources.
Generally speaking it is beneficial to study in Israel, unless you are interested in a specialty that is in demand in Israel but is not offered in an Israeli academic program. This will help you better acclimate to your professional life in Israel for a number of reasons:
- Courses are more relevant and geared towards the Israeli market
- Studying in Hebrew will enable you to learn the local professional lingo
- Connections you make will help build your professional network.
Generally, American degrees only hold more weight if they are from one of the more prestigious programs.
The cost of education is significantly lower in Israel (BA: ~$4,000/year, MA: ~$5,000/year). As an Oleh, you may be eligible for subsidized or free education. By studying in Israel, you can avoid taking out significant student loans, which can be an obstacle to Aliyah later on.
Keep in mind, of course, that there are additional, personal factors involved in the decision of where to study such as family and finances. Ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The key elements to increase your marketability in the Israeli job market include developing a good command of conversational Hebrew, establishing a personal network of pertinent professional contacts and acquiring relevant, transferable professional knowledge and experience. Our best advice is to study the current market trends, companies, and professionals so you can remain in the loop. LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking resource and is used extensively in Israel. It can help you find relevant professionals as well as information about job postings.
Every university has a department dedicated to overseas students. Often foreign students connect and find each other through Ulpan, mutual friends, Facebook groups dedicated to Anglos, and events for Anglos. Those who are eligible for the Student Authority tuition benefit also gain a broader social support, beyond the financial assistance offered.
Though it is important to gain a command of Hebrew, if you do not feel comfortable or ready to take courses in Hebrew, there are degrees offered in English in a limited range of fields.
Please be aware that they are more expensive than regular Israeli university degrees and are only partially covered by the Aliyah benefits package. Your fellow classmates will be students from all around the world. Here’s a comprehensive list of international BA & MA programs in Israel.
It really depends on what you are looking for. Hebrew is very important to integrate culturally and professionally. Though it may take time to adjust to the many facets of being an immigrant, we have found that the more you embrace the Hebrew language, the better able will you be to successfully acclimate and integrate into Israeli society.
Many Olim are comfortable in English – keep up to date on their TV shows from home – we have found that effort put into learning the Hebrew language is correlated with a successful Aliyah.
Among the benefits offered by the Israeli government to new Olim is a subsidized 5 month Ulpan (Hebrew language and immersion program) and it is highly recommended to take advantage of it! We also encourage you to start improving your Hebrew skills before making Aliyah, by using online resources, taking a local Ulpan, etc.
If you feel your Hebrew could use improvement beyond the 5 month ulpan, there are two options to consider:
University Mechina: a one year program which helps student attain levels required for regular study in university (equivalent to Israeli bagruyot) & proficiency in both Hebrew & English. It is offered in some universities and may be funded by the Student Authority for those who are eligible.
Ulpan TAKA: TAKA is a program funded by the Student Authority for students who plan on beginning or continuing their academic studies in Israel. It is meant for students who are exempt from Mechina (university preparatory program) and wish to prepare for Israeli higher education. Eligibility is based on previous education and intended studies.
The Psychometric exam is like the SAT for Israeli students. Many programs accept SAT scores but it is important to consult directly with the particular department. The psychometric exam is offered twice a year (April and July) in English. For more information, please see https://www.nite.org.il/index.php/en/tests/psychometric.html
As an Oleh, you will be required to take the YAEL exam which will test your Hebrew proficiency. It is similar to level Dalet (D) in ulpan. This is to assure that your Hebrew is on a sufficient level for academic study. Based on your score, you may have to take an Ulpan that will be integrated into your program. You are expected to graduate with level Vav(6) Hebrew. Many Olim start out with scratchy Hebrew and finish fluently – finding it easier to transition to their first job. Practice tests are available online.
Depending on your field and particular position, knowing English can be a strong advantage.
Israel is a skill-based society and, thus, you need to leverage experience, education, and skills to a particular position or company.
Some fields (e.g., international marketing) your knowledge of English might push you to the top; in others (e.g., social work or psychology) being an immigrant might be more of a challenge. To explore your individual options and discuss further, please contact our Employment Department: email@example.com.
This is a very personal decision and we suggest you talk it out. There are advantages and challenges to making Aliyah and studying here and those who do it have had a very successful launch to their professional career in Israel. It’s common for students to complete a BA in North America first, but we advise you to carefully study the factors that will allow you to leverage your degree in the Israeli job market.
Advantages to Studying in Israel:
- Imagine graduating college without student loans! The government subsidizes the cost of tuition which can provide the opportunity to start your career without the financial burden of college loans!
- Cultural acclimation and professional network building! Start your adult life, creating friendships and gaining experiences, in the country where you plan to build your future.
- A BA is usually only 3 years
- Distance from your family and friends abroad can be a challenge. Keep in mind that there are large student Olim communities in Givat Shmuel and Jerusalem and provide support and camaraderie; friends become like family.
- Studying in Hebrew is uncomfortable for some people. Some students decide to study in English, although those who do choose to study in Hebrew may be able to write papers in English as well as textbooks. In addition studying in Hebrew helps one acclimate and learn the language. A mechina preparatory program will help you get your Hebrew up to speed. If you do decide to study abroad with the intention to make Aliyah it is super important to align courses that you take with potential licensing or professional trends in Israel. If you intend to come to Israel for an MA (which could be free) it is worthwhile to research admission requirements for MA programs to qualify for all the prerequisites.
- The Israeli BA is a very specific degree, modeled after the UK/European system. Whereas in North America it is common to get a liberal arts degree with electives in a variety of subjects (e.g., history, science, math), in Israel you only take courses directly related to your major. Because Israelis generally do the army or take time off beforehand, they come into college with a clear decision of what to study.
Will I need to do a preparatory year? How much will it cost?
Preparatory studies in Israel are called mechina. Joining a mechina depends on several factors including: whether a high school diploma was earned in North America or in the UK, whether you are applying for an undergraduate or graduate degree, and whether or not your Hebrew proficiency is sufficient for academic study. The mechina year is covered by tuition benefits provided to Olim by the Student Authority who are under the age of 23 and are within three years of their Aliyah date. Housing is not included. Note that coverage of the mechina year counts as 1 out of the 3 years total covered by the Student Authority.
Ulpan TAKA is a specialized Ulpan run by the Student Authority for those who are interested in completing their BA degree or beginning a graduate degree.
Israel is a small country and most universities are commuter “suitcase” schools, meaning that most students go home for the weekend and. Because most students have already completed their army service +/- a year for travelling and entrance exams, the average age of an Israeli BA student is 22. However, campus life is very active, there are Hillel houses and involved student union that plans concerts and events. There are numerous formal and informal activities, events and volunteer opportunities offered on campus. Interestingly, universities located in the periphery, such as Ben Gurion University, offer a more vibrant campus life for students that live in their dorms (Kfar Hastudentim).
Being a Jewish country, campus life is awesome. The fact that the Israeli academic calendar is based on the Jewish calendar and religious and national holidays are vacation is a huge advantage to religiously observant students. There are nuances that need to be appreciated on each campus in proportion to the religious population on campus. A popular destination for observant Olim is Bar Ilan University, known for their accommodation for religious students in their activities and availability of prayer services on campus. Know that each campus has synagogues, kosher cafeterias, kosher housing options, and a variety of Jews from all backgrounds.
Israeli universities offer a specialized education rather than a broad liberal arts track. Students apply and are accepted to specific faculties. Certain faculties are considered to be more prestigious than others within the same institution. It is nearly impossible to generalize about the overall differences, so we suggest further targeted research. In fields, such as education, it can be preferable to study in a teacher’s college that offers more hands-on teaching experience. Some universities, such as the Technion, only offer scientific tracks while others, such as the Hebrew University offer a broader range of majors. There are 8 universities in Israel and over 100 colleges. Here’s a list of Israeli universities and colleges.
There are a few interesting differences that you should be aware of if you are planning to study in Israel.
- College in Israel is more focused on profession-you choose a specific area to study from the beginning.
- The first semester begins the week after Sukkot, which means that the start of the school year changes every year.
- There is no beginning university in the second semester of a year, with few exceptions.
- Some universities offer electives included in the tuition cost.
- Second semesters typically end in June, with exams continuing throughout the summer.
- A second testing season, called Moed Bet, is available to students who miss or wish to improve their test scores.
- Many areas are negotiable. This is true regarding prerequisites, transferring credits, deadlines for exams, registration, and other university policies.
In addition to the subsidy that Olim receive from Minhal Hastudentim (The Student Authority), students can apply for a scholarship from various foundations and organizations. Each scholarship program has different eligibility criteria. Students can also apply for student loans with low interest rates and deferred payment plans through most Israeli banks as well as through the universities. The best way to start your search for a scholarship is to visit the website of your chosen college or university. Look under the heading “Milgot.” In addition, you can use the sites below to find out about scholarships which are not specific to a particular institution.
Any soldier/Bar Sherut who served for at least 12 months is eligible for a ma’anak, a sum of money upon release, as well as a pikadon, a discharge grant. The pikadon money may be used within five years of service completion for education, marriage, housing costs or starting a business.
After five years have passed, there is an additional two year period in which the money may be spent freely on anything one likes.
Please note, these monies can no longer be accessed after the seven year period is complete. The amount of both grants is determined by both role and length of service. For more information, please click here.
Probably not. You’ll definitely save money by not buying a car as a student. Universities are very accessible by public transportation and student discounts are available. Buses, trains, mini-vans (sherut) and cabs, transportation options are easily accessible in all major cities. For the occasional trip or getaway it is common to rent a car.
Official degree recognition is generally not necessary for jobs in the private sector. For public sector jobs, you may be required to obtain official approval of your degrees by the Israeli Ministry of Education. In general, most online degrees are not recognized in Israel.
There are many professions that require local licensing, e.g., medical related fields (doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, dentists, etc.), lawyers, civil engineers, architects, etc., check our professions index for detailed information about a wide variety of fields and the local requirements.
Only diplomas and degrees that are not in English need to be translated.