How to Prepare for Life in Israel

By Boglárka Kormos, a student of MA program in Child Development, 2016-2017 Cohort.

If someone asked me what it is like living in Israel, and asks for advice on how to prepare for coming here, then I would say the following: be flexible because things can change rapidly, be optimistic moreover realist so you must believe in miracles as David Ben Gurion said.

I never though that one day I would say “I am evacuated” and this experience turned out an unthinkable story about the fire in Haifa, the process of evacuation from the dormitory, the Thanksgiving dinner at the Cultural Center where they laid down mattresses for us to sleep. I continued this story in Tel Aviv where I stayed at a Vietnamese family who took me to the port in the early morning to buy fresh fish, squid and crab, and all of a sudden I felt like in National Geographic.

If someone asked me how to prepare for living in Israel, I would say be friendly and don’t be shy, but strong-willed because you have to survive among this loud, willful Israeli people who are not known for their good manners but for their chutzpah.

They will help you in everything, will ask about everything – even personal things, and they always will be straight forward with you-that can be either good or shocking.

Do not stand in line if you are waiting for the bus, because nobody does.

Do not be scared when you hear them having a serious argument or fighting on the street, they are probably just talking about food or business.

Do not dare to say any bad words about the vivid or interesting behavior of their children that might disturb you, because their moms immediately change to Juda’s Lion.

If you are coming here to study an International MA at the University of Haifa do take it seriously because you will have a lot to do, so be determined.

From day to day I have to prepare, do assignments and read for the classes, so I feel I’m getting smarter each week. As the exams are coming the bonds between classmates become tighter while we are discussing the topics that we have learned at the courses.

Finally my last advice is to be open to change, because Israel is going to change you – most likely in a good way.

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