Israel is a fascinating place to travel, particularly for students. The country has an exceptional education system as well as interesting landmarks. However, it is important to educate yourself if you plan to reside there as a student. Campus life in Israel can be somewhat different than it is in America.
First of all, even on campus, Shabbat (Sabbath) is observed weekly. This religious observance begins at sundown Friday and continues into Saturday. Anyone residing within the country, including students, is expected to show at least some level of respect on this sacred day. No activity is supposed to take place during this time. Therefore, studies, shopping and socializing should not take place until the observance period is over.
The country takes education very seriously. As long as you follow the general laws of Israel, as well as any campus / house rules, you will always stay ahead of the game. Despite all the social activity in Israel, however, a student is always expected to place studies above any socializing. The campus rules and regulations emphasize the importance of completing your daily studies over any party time or socialization. Socializing does take place but only at certain times. Social events will never take place during Shabbat.
According to David Lesch, it is important to note that drinking is permitted and students do take advantage of the opportunity. Campus life in Israel is generally more structured than it is in America. Students are expected to adhere to the law as well as any rules and regulations set forth by the school, and, unlike many American schools, they typically do just that.
As you may imagine, visitors – especially students studying abroad – do not want to tangle with the law, especially in a foreign country. Israel has a justice system much different than the one in the United States. In addition, as commented by Robbie Rothenberg, Israelis may be much tougher on Americans that break their laws. Campus life, specifically, can be quite pleasant as long as rules are obeyed and respected. The country is certainly more strict concerning campus parties as well as a curfew.