Cost of Studying and Living in Israel
Israel uses the New Shekel (ILS) as its currency.
If you choose to study at a public university, your tuition fees will be generously subsidised by the government, who pay 70% of fees. If you choose to study at a private university, your fees will be considerably higher. On average, you should expect to pay between ILS 33,000 and ILS 55,000 per year at a public university. Fees will vary from institution to institution, and you may be eligible for a scholarship.
Your living costs will depend on where you choose to live. Bigger cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be more expensive to live in than smaller cities. On average, you should budget for around ILS 41,000 per year. This accounts for your accommodation, travel, and groceries.
Another cost that international students need to consider is health insurance. It is required that you have a health insurance policy for the duration of your studies. Sometimes insurance cover will be provided by your institution as part of your tuition fees, and sometimes you will have to purchase a policy privately.
If you are a non-Israeli student, you will need a student visa to study in Israel. If your studies are longer than 3 months, which they are likely to be, you will need an A2 visa. Your application can be processed at the Israeli embassy or consulate in your home country. You should submit your application at least three months before your intended arrival. To apply for a visa, you will need certain documents. These are:
- A letter of acceptance from an Israeli institution
- Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your studies
- A passport valid at least six months beyond your stay duration
- Two passport sized photos
- A completed application form
The official language of Israel is Hebrew. The country also has a recognised language of Arabic.
English is widely spoken throughout Israel, and is a compulsory subject in schools up until high school. Israeli universities teach mainly in Hebrew, but do also offer degrees taught in English. If you study in a non-native language, you will need to provide evidence of your language proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, it is possible for you to take a preparatory language to help you improve.
Even if you study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much Hebrew or Arabic as possible. Communicating with the locals or other students is a perfect way to practice! Having extra language skills will look great on your CV/resume.
The largest city and seat of government in Israel is Jerusalem. There is contention about its status as the capital of Israel, as different parties make different claims. Throughout its long history, the city of Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The old city and its walls is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located in the city you will find the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which was established in 1918. It is Israel’s second oldest university, second only to Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (1912). The first board of governors included Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Martin Buber, among others.