This advice was submitted by Rabbi Yehuda and Chagit Peles, OU-JLIC Mizrachi Educators at Bar-Ilan University.

I am considering attending college in Israel after I complete my gap year program. If I decide to stay in Israel for college, how can I ensure that I am in the most supportive framework?

Being far away from family can be hard for many college students. Campuses with OU-JLIC Mizrachi, like Bar-Ilan and IDC, give you a built in support system: You will have a social group, a framework of shiurim and activities and support and guidance on a personal level from the OU-JLIC Mizrachi couple. This support system is life changing and will assist you in overcoming the daily struggles of an oleh and develop you as a person. If you are not a student at IDC or Bar-Ilan, you may still find a supportive environment, friends or roommates, but there will be no OU-JLIC Mizrachi couple that is there for you 24/7.

If you do decide to attend college in Israel, we recommend that you share your life experiences with your family and friends that live outside of Israel. Sharing a highlight of your week, a nice experience or a funny conversation that you had with someone will cheer you up as well as the family and friends that read it. It will help everyone to focus on all of the good experiences you are having as an oleh.

Living your life in Israel is a dream. But, like every real dream, there are also challenges. Learning the language will take time and you will have to navigate Israeli bureaucracy. If you understand the significance of the land of Israel to the Jewish people and your role in building this land and in this land building you, it won’t make things easy, but it will sweeten all of the challenges you face.