"Expect the unexpected, and enjoy the ride - the process will work out in the end! Your cohort is your family, during the YII and for always afterwards. As such, make a huge, huge effort to show up for, and look after, one another. (Eliza McCarroll, Rab student)
"Get out and EXPLORE!!! Though Israelis can be tough, they are also really friendly. It might take a few months to really adjust to living in Israel, but through the discomfort and tough times it will eventually feel like home and your classmates will truly feel like family." (Stefanie Greene, Cantorial student)
“ -If there is anything you have to have, then consider bringing enough of it to last the year, or planning to have friends or family bring it.-For example, the cold in Jerusalem is more humid, which makes it more potent. Furthermore, the buildings tend not to insulate effectively, if at all. Thus it could be good to think about: long underwear and lightweight but warm sweaters and clothes. Also warm pajamas and slippers. Again, can be purchased here, but VERY pricey-Similar story, there is almost no carpet, which means floors get very cold. Think about rugs and/or lots of warm socks.-The rainy season is short, but still voluminous. A pair of waterproof boots or shoes are a must and a strong umbrella. Also a waterproof coat.
-Favorite fold-able lunch or snack bag and Coffee thermoses and water bottles, also very expensive here-Mucinex and headache remedies were in high demand and either expensive or hard to obtain.-Anything you buy from a classmate or secondhand will be much less expensive. The only items consistently cheaper than home are the second hand clothes stores and bread :). For example, IKEA has everything, but it’s twice as expensive compared to home, and still the cheapest option for whatever you need.
-Many of us used Car2Go for car rentals.
-Getting the visa at home is easier than trying to extend it here. IIRC the student visa can last up to a year from when the embassy/consulate issues it. So, there is some trade-off between getting them to issue it closer to when you leave vs. getting it issued earlier. The embassy in Houston accommodated our preference.
-Seeing the hygienist for a dental cleaning set us back about $60
-British Airways allowed booking a ticket for which there was no change fee to move the return (eg if you just wanted to purchase a single ticket to/from Israel for the beginning and end of the year).
-Campus and many places in Jerusalem are mosquito dens. Think about bug repellent, especially if you are sensitive to mosquitoes” (Tim Gaylord, Rabbinic Student)