living-expenses-in-palestine

Internationals living with a host family are usually provided meals during the time they are at home, including after work and at weekends. For internationals living in the EC dormitories, there are cooking facilities, and groceries are inexpensive. Internationals with host families are often keen to invite friends from the Centre home, and all internationals can expect to receive a few invitations to dinner with locals during the week.

So once you’ve arranged your placement at the Excellence Center and found your way here, your essential costs are likely to be:

Food – around 30-80 shekels per week, largely depending on whether or not you stay with a host family. This might be comprised of:

  • 3-5 shekels per day lunch (3 shekels buys you a delicious falafel, chips & salad sandwich)
  • If you are in hostel accommodation, you will probably spend around 5-10 shekels per day evening meal, depending on your taste/frugality
  • If you are staying with a host family, you will likely receive a free evening meal/lunch on Friday

It’s best to bring things like soap, toiletries and razors with you. Of course you can buy them in a supermarket in Hebron, but reasonable quality products will be no cheaper than at home, and your favorite brand may be more expensive.

Transport – zero, if your accommodation is walking distance from the centre, otherwise between 14-28 shekels per week, assuming you use a shared taxi.

So, living reasonably frugally, you can expect your essential costs to be no more than around 500 shekels around 130$ a month and less if you are staying with a host family and are within walking distance of the Center.

In terms of non-essential costs, coffee and cake in a café is around 8 shekels, and you may make some extra taxi journeys if you choose to go places in your free time. A meal in a nice restaurant is around 30-40 shekels. You should pay 20 shekels for a man’s haircut. The gym/swimming pool at Hebron University is great to get some exercise in, and costs 50 shekels for one session as a guest.

Palestine has no train or bus service, so the only method of travel within Palestine is by private or shared taxi. Inter-city shared taxis are relatively convenient however. They leave from central bus stations, and depart relatively frequently.

Prices for shared taxis (service) from Hebron are as follows: 

Ramallah – 27 shekels 1 person

Nablus (via Ramallah) – 50

Bethlehem (shared) – 10 shekels

Jerusalem – 25 shekels

Jericho – 50 shekels

An cheap and efficient alternative mode of travel within Israel is by coach. Prices, and the estimated duration of longer trips are as follows:

Tel Aviv airport to Hebron 20,8 USD (80 ILS)

Tel-Aviv – Haifa (bus 26) 7,8 USD (30 ILS)

Haifa Nazareth (bus 331) 4,5 USD (17.20 ILS)

Haifa Yardenit (bus 431) 4,9 USD (19 ILS) duration: 1 hour

Tiberias – Jerusalem 961 bus, 10,4 USD (40. ILS) duration: 2.5 hours

Jerusalem – Ein Gedi nature reserve 9,4 USD (36 ILS) duration: 1.5 hours

Ein Gedi (dead sea) – Eilat 11,7 USD (45 ILS) duration: 3 hours

Ein Gedi – Masada 5,2 USD (20 ILS)

Other things you may wish to spend money on are entry fees to sites, and gifts. Depending on the tastes of your friends/family, there are many things you can buy cheaply in Hebron that would make nice gifts, for example dates, ornaments, scarves and prayer mats.

NB: at the time of writing, there were just under 5 shekels to the UK pound, 4 Shekels for Euro and 3.8 shekels to the US dollar.