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 our NBN Job Board.

Generally speaking, it is more beneficial for your career 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:

  1. Courses are more relevant and geared towards the Israeli market
  2. Studying in Hebrew will enable you to learn the local professional lingo
  3. Connections you make will help build your professional network.

Generally, North American degrees only hold more weight if they are from one of the more prestigious universities.

The cost of education is significantly lower in Israel (BA: ~$3,000/year, MA: ~$8,200/entire degree). 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 [email protected]

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.

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 many of them 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 is a comprehensive list of international BA and MA programs in Israel.

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 you will be  successfully acclimate and integrate into Israeli society.

Even if you are not completely fluent, you may be able to keep up with your studies in Hebrew. In many fields, study material and textbooks are available in English. Keep in mind that many university programs allow Olim to submit papers and take exams in English. Check with each individual department to see what their policy is.

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) and proficiency in both Hebrew and 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. Nearly all university programs accept SAT and ACT scores but it is important to consult directly with the particular department to check upon applying. The psychometric exam is offered twice a year (usually in March and July) in English. For more information, please see this.

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. Practice tests are available online.

This is a very personal decision and we suggest you talk it out. There are advantages and challenges to making Aliyah and studying in Israel, and those who do it often experience a very successful launch to their professional career in Israel. It is 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. You will enter the workforce with better Hebrew and connections than you would have otherwise.
  3. A BA is usually only 3 years and “tachlis”- geared towards training students to enter the workforce as soon as possible. Whereas in North America it is common to get a liberal arts degree with electives in a variety of subjects, in Israel you only take courses directly related to your major. Because Israelis generally do IDF or National Service or take time off beforehand, the BA’s in Israel generally lead directly towards a career. In Israel (as opposed to the US) you can become a licensed professional in many fields with just a BA, such as nursing, physical and occupational therapy, law, social work and more.

Potential Challenges:

  1. 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 that provide support and camaraderie; friends become like family.
  2. 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 obtain English 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.

Israel is a small country and most universities are commuter “suitcase” schools, meaning that most students go home for the weekend. 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  every university has an “Agudat Hastudentim”- student union- that organizes social activities, concerts and events. You can find more information on the university websites.

The fact that the Israeli academic calendar is based on the Jewish calendar and religious and national holidays are vacation is a huge advantage for religiously observant students. 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. Nearly every campus in Israel has synagogues, kosher cafeterias, kosher housing options, and a variety of Jews from all backgrounds.

There are a few interesting differences that you should be aware of if you are planning to study in Israel:

  • Higher Education- especially a BA- in Israel focuses on preparing students for the job market from the start. You choose a specific field to study from the beginning of your degree.
  • 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 exams or wish to improve their test scores.
  • Many academic issues 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 this site to find out about academic scholarships which are not specific to a particular institution. Many municipalities offer scholarships to their local students, for example Jerusalem has a wide range of scholarships.

Any IDF 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.

For additional scholarship information, see this, under the Higher Education Tab.

Vocational training courses are available throughout the country and are likely to be covered by the Voucher Program which is available to Olim within 10 years of Aliyah. Here’s a comprehensive list of courses. Keep in mind that you can only apply for government assistance to either a vocational training course or a higher education program at any given time.

If you are interested in breaking into hi-tech sales or other related fields, check out NBN’s Upgrade Program!

Market research and active networking are keys to finding a job in Israel. The NBN Employment Department offers individualized consultations, networking resources and job search tips. Please take advantage of our Nefesh B’Nefesh Job Board as well as our Nefesh B’Nefesh Linkedin Job Board.

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.

This is a popular question but very subjective. It depends on your skills, profession, and location. It’s best to check online salary surveys for up- to- date salary ranges. Check out Alljobs (Hebrew) as well. For a more specific assessment please consult our employment department @ [email protected]


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