You can spend months preparing to study or move abroad, but inevitably there will be things you don’t learn until you get there. Here are a few things you should know as you prepare to settle into your new home in Tel Aviv.
1. Netflix—Although your Netflix consumption abroad should be limited to before bedtime and bad weather days, it’s still important to know that the TV show and movie selections on Netflix varies between countries, and are very limited in Israel. As of now, you won’t find Friends or Grey’s Anatomy on the Israeli Netflix. Enter Hola. By going onto Hola.org and clicking on the website you want to unblock, you can remove the restrictions on Netflix and enjoy your favorite shows.
2. Weather—Contrary to popular belief, Israel does experience some winter weather conditions. It gets cold, and it rains. A lot. Pack accordingly, and do not forget a raincoat and umbrella. You will need both.
3. Cigarettes—It’s legal to smoke indoors in Israel, so smoking in clubs is incredibly popular. Whether or not you smoke, you will likely go home smelling like a cigarette. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable.
4. Taxis/Cabs—You will probably spend a lot of money on cabs before facing the decision of whether or not you want to figure out the bus system. Download Gett, the Israeli version of Uber. Israel does have Uber, and while it is often the cheaper choice, it is less popular than the readily available Gett. Pro-tip: it’s not a thing in Israel to tip cab drivers, so make sure to get correct change!
5. Hot water heaters- Many showers in Israeli dorms and apartments require that hot water heaters be turned on before water is turned on. Make sure to do so if your apartment requires it or else you will be stuck with freezing cold water.