House Hunting Resources
Many students find apartment search websites helpful. Here are some websites that have apartment listings (as well as furniture and other second hand items):

Facebook groups:

Arriving first years: Please read First year housing Searching for housing will be challenging, stressful, and it will take time, but it will work out.

See also: Paying bills
Internet service

Things to consider:
1. Stay calm and be flexible. Spend some time deciding what your priorities are in housing circumstances. Know what you want in terms of price range, cleanliness, distance to school, roommates/single; all these specifications can help the student liaison narrow down where you would like to live. You may not find something that fits *all* of your specifications, but if you know your priorities you will probably be happy with what you find.
2. Roommates: Try to decide early on if you want to live with roommates or to live alone. A one bedroom apartment here will be cheaper than in most US cities, but living with roommates will easily be half the cost. If you want you can decide to live with Israeli or MSIH students. Consider the following:
MSIH Roommates:
Advantages - you will be supported by people who know what you are going through. If you find Hebrew a challenge, it's nice to live with people who speak English. And your classmates are generally awesome people.
Disadvantage – you are always around medical students, and the same ones every day.
Israeli Roommates:
Advantage – you can learn Israeli culture and integrate into Beer Sheva if you hang out with your roommates. You will learn some Hebrew but depends on your effort. They can help with landlord/apartment issues.
Disadvantage – cultural differences may cause stress. Medical school is rigorous and may have conflicts with differences in schedule. Also, Israeli students are on a different academic schedule from MSIH.
3. Make use of the student liaison apartment tours. They will be announcing tour times via email. The tours generally last 1-2 hours.
4. Be flexible. The quality of the apartments may or may not be what you are used to in the States. Go on the tour to see what fits your comfort level. Here are some unique Israel/Beer Sheva apartment qualities:

  • Bathroom: many don’t have a bathtub. Some don’t have a shower stall and the floor gets wet (a squeegee will be necessary for the floor).
  • No clothes dryers: Most people in Beer Sheva use stand-alone clotheslines to dry their clothes; these are cheap and can be bought at any big store. To avoid your clothes drying like stiff cardboard, use fabric softener. If your apartment does not have a washing machine, refer to services for laundromats.
  • AC/heater: most apartments have AC but make sure to check. Cost is ~ 1 shekel per hour to run a single-room machine, more for central A/C. For best cost efficiency, don’t run the A/C below 25°C.
  • Bugs: Cockroach spray and ant traps may be handy, especially in the summer
  • Hot water heaters: All apartments have electric water heaters for colder days. Find out where the switch is. It may take up to 20 minutes in winter to heat the water. Remember to turn it off when you’re done (otherwise your electricity bill will go up). In summer, the water will be warm enough without the heater if your building has a “sun boiler” (Heb “dud shemesh”). Some buildings don’t have a dud shemesh and you’ll need to use the boiler even in the summer, which can be expensive.
  • Landlords: They will make or break your experience. Bad landlords have been known to avoid fixing problems in the apartment, sending shady repairmen, etc. Great landlords fix problems quickly and efficiently and will make sure you are happy living in the apartment. Most landlords fall somewhere in between. If you don’t speak Hebrew, try to find a landlord who does speak English. There are a few landlords who own many MSIH-occupied apartments. If this is the case, ask around about his/her reputation.
  • Signing the contract: Make sure an Israeli student liaison is present. They will help ensure you understand everything written in the contract (which is entirely written in Hebrew). It is standard that practice for the tenant to write the landlord a large check called a “security check” that he cannot cash without a court order (if you refuse to pay rent), and/or you may be asked to provide all of the post-dated rent checks in advance. Though this is all very common here, be sure to run all such requests by the student liaisons to make sure that they are reasonable.

Don’t rush into signing a contract. Make sure you are happy with the place. If you can, speak with previous tenants about landlords and apartment quirks. You may not feel you have enough time, but you will - be sure you are really committed to the place before jumping into a contract. Be aware that Israeli law is much more biased towards landlords than renters (as opposed to most US laws). This means that if you are not confident of your relationship with the landlord, really nail down the specifics of responsibilities in the contract.

See Also
Places to stay in B7