24 August 2016

Abigail Nurser - Expat in Israel

Abigail Nurser - Expat in Israel

We’ve had the chance to talk to Abigail Nurser, 28, a British expat who has moved to Israel with her partner. Ms.  Nurser who has been living there for three and a half years now works as technical communications.

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you originally from?



Q: What made you move out of UK?

A: My partner is Israeli and we didn’t want to live in the UK.


Q: Where are you living now?

A: Kfar Saba, Israel


Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: My partner is Israeli and we didn’t want to live in the UK.


Q: How long have you been living in Israel?

A: Three and a half years


Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Israel?

A: Missing family and friends, and making new friends. It can feel quite isolating at times, especially if you don’t speak the local language. Working Christmas Day was quite a difficult experience for me.


Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance were particularly difficult in Israel? What was your experience with these?

A: You have to be extremely organized with your paperwork and make sure you tick all the boxes. We didn’t experience any particular difficulties but I do know people who did. There is a lack of consistency in Israel – it’s really down to the luck of who you speak to in the Ministry of Interior.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: With my partner.


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Israel? How did you manage to find a social circle in Israel?

A: This was one of the most difficult things for me, and the language barrier doesn’t help. I still don’t really have a social circle - I mainly socialize with my partner’s friends who are native Israelis. I did meet people through attending Hebrew classes, but most of these people ended up moving back to their home countries.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: Kfar Saba is a quiet city so there aren’t so many things to do. I like it because it is easy to commute to work and it has a good fitness center. It does have some of the best schools in the country and plenty of green spaces, so it’s ideal for families.


Q: How does the cost of living in Israel compared to your home?

A: Israel is expensive when you look at the salaries. The UK is significantly cheaper unless you live in London.

  • How much is a cup of coffee?

A: Approx. $2.5

  • How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?

A: Approx. $10

  • How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?

A: Approx. $30

  • How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?

A: Approx. $10 for decent wine, $7-8 for cigarettes


Q: What do you think about the locals?

A: Most are friendly and helpful, although people can be more aggressive in Tel Aviv. People like to ask personal questions in Israel so you have to develop quite a thick skin.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Israel?

A: Positives – good quality of life, excellent food, convenient, good hi-tech opportunities, nice beaches.

Negatives – poor salary, expensive, poor public transport, can be claustrophobic as it’s such a small place, political issues all the time.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes?

A: Yes


Q: How do you cope with homesickness?

A: Skype! And I try to visit when I can.


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: No, I don’t think so.


Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: Missing my family and friends and making new friends.


Q: What tips can you give other expats living in that country?

A: Try to be as open as you can to the culture, and try to learn as much Hebrew as possible before you move here. Also, connections are very useful for getting a job.


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Israel?

A: Getoninisrael blog