If you’re lucky enough to be living in Tel Aviv, you’re lucky enough. But if you happen to spend your semester abroad in the Einstein dorms of Tel Aviv University, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Prior to arriving, you’re likely to receive an email suggesting that you peruse the donation bins rather than buying the essentials for your dorm. The thought of using other students’ old towels, sheets, kitchen supplies, and leftover crap may creep you out, but it's definitely worth checking out the donation room (located in a bomb shelter, of course) before you do your dorm room shopping. To get over the initial ick factor, race your finds over to the laundry room, and one trip through the washer/dryer should make the hand-me-downs usable.
Living in Israel, safety is never far from anyone’s mind. Staying in the Einstein dorms, you will feel extra safe. While located on the corner of two major streets in Ramat Aviv, the dorms are surrounded by walls of fencing. Despite multiple exits around the property, you can only enter the Einstein dorms through a guarded swipe card entrance.
It takes less than 15 minutes to get to central Tel Aviv, whether by bus or taxi. Don't be afraid to ride your bike into the city. Be sure to fit in a visit to the local Park Hayarkon. Pro-tip: exercise with a friend, then follow the path to the Port for a meal after!
Unfortunately, the dorms aren’t walking distance to the nearby train station, so you will likely only use the train if you are travelling to another city or to and from the airport. The buses, on the other hand, are close by! Early on in your semester or summer, buy a bus pass from the bus station. It’s way easier than searching your wallet for six and a half shekels each time you hop on the bus. Follow either the app Moovit or Google Maps (type in both destinations, choose bus, and viola- bus times!) for guidance. Pro-tip: If you’re looking to get to the beach Saturday morning, don’t wait curbside for the bus, it’s not coming. The bus system shuts down from around three pm Friday afternoon until late Saturday night for Shabbat.