I just found out that for my last year of studies, to get my tuition paid for by Misrad Klita/Minhal Studentim, I need to volunteer 120 hours with little kids, the elderly or other olim chadashim. Apparently they only make you do it in the third year of receiving money from your aliyah rights. The program is called שח’ק: שרות חברתי קהילתי.
It makes perfect sense – for two years, they’ve paid my tuition and it’s only fair that we’d have to give something back. A lot of us haven’t served in the army anyway.
Another goal is to get you – oleh chadash yourself – to integrate into society by mixing in with them, if you haven’t had enough chances already.
If you opt out, then you pay a percentage of the cost for the year. I think I’d like to do the volunteering – for the two reasons listed above. At the same time, as an olah chadasha I’m supporting myself and my (little) family by working, and I need to decide if it’s worth keeping part-time pay or going up to full-time and just covering the difference for school.
Either way, I thought this was useful information to share.