Study abroad at Technion

Hi everyone.

My name is Enjay and I am currently studying as an exchange student in the master’s program at the Technion.

The university enjoys a great reputation throughout the country and beyond, among other things in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics, which I have been able to benefit from as a master’s student in mechanical engineering!

In the following, I would like to give you an overview of the Technion, share my experiences with the exchange program and hopefully give you some helpful tips.

This article will be updated and completed until the end of my stay in August.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the contact form!

Have fun reading!

Preparation of the stay, contacting the host institution, contacts with authorities, first purchases etc.

In general, communication is mainly by mail. Israelis are very direct and even the professors are generally on first name terms. Note that on Shabbat (effectively Friday and Saturday) and on holidays no emails are answered. Occasionally it can happen that emails go missing and you have to write a reminder email. Especially the Internationals Office is very busy before and at the beginning of the semester, try to clarify the important aspects early. There are several contact persons at the Technion for different topics (technical/administrative/dormitory). It is best to make a note of the addresses and names of the contact persons and, if in doubt, get in touch with the subject-related contact person.

At the Technion, the courses are unfortunately only loaded into the portal shortly before the start of the semester (see, but you can orientate yourself for the most part on the previous semesters if you want to conclude learning agreements with the professors of your home university in advance. This is highly recommended if you want the courses to count towards your degree. Take care of the course selection as early as possible. First contact the professors at the Technion and ask for permission to participate. Even if the courses are listed on the website as Hebrew courses, there is a chance that the course will be offered to you in English.

More specifically, the rule is that an undergraduate course should be offered in Hebrew as soon as at least one person requests it. For graduate courses, on the other hand, it is the other way around: here, courses should be offered in English as soon as at least one person requests it.

Another insider tip is the unofficial tool “Cheesefork”, here you can compile your schedule as well as view course evaluations:

On a side note, there is actually a short, third summer semester at the Technion. However, the two major semesters are the “Winter Semester” (October to March) and the “Spring Semester” (March to August). From August to October, isolated courses are offered on a fast-track basis. Generally, however, the third semester is taken by only a few students and is reportedly fee-based.

Visa, residence permit

You can apply for the student visa from the Israeli Consulate in Berlin or Munich. Information about this can be found online.

For the winter semester 2022/23, however, there was a prolonged strike by the Israeli authorities and therefore hardly any visa labels in embassies worldwide. I can therefore advise you: Inform yourself early and best in writing by mail at the consulate about the situation. Fortunately, I had a written confirmation that I would receive a visa if I applied four weeks before the start of my stay. In the end, the labels were again unpredictably short and only after I showed the written affirmation was I issued one of the last visa labels.

Something like this can happen, in this particular case, just before the beginning of the semester, there was an exceptional permission that foreign students can apply for the student visa in Israel until the end of the year. However, you can not rely on this, so be sure to clarify early.

Payments, insurance

At the Technion, students need an Israeli health insurance. The “Harel Yedidim” from Clalit is recommended. I would also recommend it, since Clalit has a branch with health services on campus and everything has gone smoothly so far.

You can pay almost everywhere with credit card (Visa or Mastercard work everywhere so far). I can’t withdraw cash from every ATM, but I had a good experience with Bank Hapoalim. Their red machines are also at the airport.

To pay the rent, my landlord gave me the option to make a cross-border transfer via the payment service “Wise” on the twentieth of the month. Thus, I have not had to open an Israeli account yet. Usually, however, rents are paid by check.

As a mobile phone provider I can highly recommend Golan Telecom. For 35 shekels per month you get 300 GB data volume. As far as I know, you can’t get the sim cards at the airport, but e.g. at the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv.

Room search and rent

Unfortunately, it is probably the case at the Technion that students who stay for a whole year do not get a place in a dormitory.
So far, all international students live in the Neve America dormitory. Everyone has their own room with a small bed and there is a large common room with sofas and a kitchen. The condition of the buildings is overall okay, but the equipment in the common rooms can vary. Basically, I can recommend going to the dormitory, because it is very easy to make connections here. If you have received a rejection for the dormitory, just ask again. There is a good chance that you will get an acceptance at the second attempt.

If you still decide for a room outside of the dormitory, here are a few hints:
Currently you can get a room for between 1200 and 1900 shekels (without additional costs like electricity, water, property tax). However, the price-performance ratios vary greatly: Some of the apartments are really in need of renovation. For 1400 shekels you should get a clean and intact room with enough light. For 1800 shekels you can get a freshly renovated and nice room. It is advisable to look at several apartments to get an impression. The general building style in Israel is rather practical and simple and the houses are usually much nicer from the inside than from the outside.

The apartment ads can be found almost exclusively via Facebook. Popular groups are for example:

  • דירות סטודנטים סובב טכניון (Student apartments at the Technion)
  • סטודנטים בטכניון דירות שותפים להש (Shared apartments for Technion students)
  • דירות לסטודנטים חיפה (Apartments for students in Haifa)
  • דירות להשכרה ומכירה לסטודנטים בחיפה   כרה (Apartments for students in Haifa)
  • השכרה / מכירה דירות חיפה נשר, סובב טכניון וקריות (Apartments near the Technion)
  • דירות להשכרה בחיפה (general apartments in Haifa)

If you have a local contact at the Technion, try to get assistance. Often listings are in Hebrew and it can be beneficial to communicate in Hebrew.

If you don’t want to be too far from campus: Very popular among students is the area of Neve Sha’anan or the Ziv Center west of campus. In Nesher it is quieter and easier to get a nice apartment.


At the beginning, I was a bit shocked about the high prices, also for food: There are several small food stalls on campus instead of a central cafeteria. A shawarma or hummus costs around 30 shekels, which is about 8 euros. You should budget for this per day if you don’t cook for yourself. However, there are also cheaper pasta dishes or pizza in the espresso bar in the Ullman Building. Off campus, you can easily spend 100 shekels or more in Israeli restaurants.
So it’s well worth cooking for yourself. Food is especially cheap at the market (e.g. the Talpiot market). In Nesher I can recommend the Keshet Taamim (Russian supermarket, very nice staff and good prices) and otherwise there is a Shufersal in the Ziv Center (medium-priced) or you can take the bus to Rami Levy (low-priced, discount store).

Contacts with fellow students, leisure activities

Israeli students are very curious and outgoing, especially at the beginning of the semester, and you will meet new people every day in classes, at lunch, or on campus. Be open for encounters and simply use the language barrier and disorientation at the beginning to personally ask for advice and thus get into conversation!

From personal experience, I can also recommend that you take advantage of the sports program or one of the creative courses offered by the “Humanities and Arts Department” (wind orchestra, symphony orchestra, choir, etc.) in addition to the technical courses. Contact the course instructor and ask for permission to participate. I had a great time in the wind orchestra and not only made many Israeli friends, but as a nice side effect I also learned the numbers in Hebrew. Instruments can be rented for a reasonable price e.g. at the music store “Sound of Music”.

In your free time, you can travel wonderfully by bus and train, go to the beach, enjoy a sunny day in Acre, or take advantage of the sports offered on campus (gym, tennis, volleyball, soccer, indoor swimming pool, sauna). The cinemas also show most movies in English. If you are invited to a Shabbat dinner or lunch, don’t miss the experience!

Enrollment and student card

As a master’s student, I had no problems here at all. The required documents for enrollment as well as all information about the process will be communicated to you in good time.
First you have to pay an administrative fee, then you have to prove that you have health insurance and finally you have to pay a campus fee for the ASAT membership. The latter was communicated to us too late, so that many students received the blue ID card and thus the access to the campus only about two weeks after the start of the semester (the Nesher and Canada Gate are closed on Shabbat and in the evening after 10 pm and without a student ID card you can only access the campus with a long detour via the Neve Sha’anan Gate).

Cash or card? – Mobility

It is recommended to have 100-200 shekels with you at all times. However, you cannot pay in cash on public transportation. Either buy a RavKav card (available at every major train station) or create an account in advance on the app Moovit. This app is indispensable to get from A to B in Israel. In addition, you can link your credit card here and thus buy the tickets through it,
by scanning the respective QR code in the means of transport.

Current situation in Israel

In Haifa it is very quiet and I feel safe at all times. Currently (beginning of 2023) the security situation is quite tense due to military operations in the West Bank with fatalities and the subsequent reactions in certain areas. Politically, numerous protests against the right-wing government are taking place and especially the secular population (and thus most people at the Technion) is concerned about the developments.

In addition, many professors are currently demanding more financial support from the state, and it is possible that pressure will be built up via the students, so that courses will be limited or postponed for the next semester. It remains to be seen to what extent possible measures will also affect international students in the near future.

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