Location
  • Germany
Length
4 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Compensation
Unpaid
Timeframe
Academic Year Fall J-Term Maymester Spring Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Apartment Host Family
Language
English
Weekly Hours
30
Age Min.
18
Age Max
75

Pricing

Starting Price
1600
Price Details
Fees include breakfast, the accommodation, Arabic or German classes, as well as some visits to different institutions in the city of Halle.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Activities Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers SIM cards Visa
Jan 07, 2022
Oct 13, 2022
30 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

For those looking for an internship in Germany to gain leadership experience and make a difference, all while immersing themselves in Arabic and German culture, the Excellence Center in Halle (Saale), Germany (EC) is the place for you! The Center operates as a community center for refugees and migrants, predominantly those from Syria and Palestine, as well as those from other Arabic and African countries.

This internship in Germany would be perfect for international students, English speakers and college students enrolled in a gap year/semester that are looking to gain leadership/teaching experience; those with political interests regarding refugees, Germany, and the Middle East; or those looking to provide a valuable service and make a difference in other peoples’ lives.

The internship in Germany is open to all people between 18 and 75 years old. You don’t need any experience to apply for this internship. All majors are welcome to apply.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Meet new people including Germans, internationals, refugees, and Arabs.
  • Learn colloquial German and experience the daily life in Halle.
  • Get to know refugees’ situations in Germany from people who work with them.
  • Boost your resume and gain new international experience in Germany.
  • Engage and participate in educational, cultural, social and community development activities and make a difference in your life as well as others.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.9
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.8
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 10 reviews
Default avatar
Daniel
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Place for Everybody

Some people, particularly Westerners like myself, may be quick to think of the Excellence Center as a little disorganized. But with time and observation, you realize that’s because the Excellence Center is not a profit minded, efficiency machine like the businesses we are used to seeing in the West. At the Excellence Center, it’s not about money. It’s not about doing everything as quickly or as cheaply as possible. The Excellence Center is a community center before anything else. And in this community center we connect through sharing our stories, culture, and languages with one another in a truly unique, personal experience.
Things are quite personal, and intimate. Every morning starts with breakfast for the whole team, so no matter how busy you think you are, you can sit down with your new family and connect, talk, make plans, and start the day off right. Some people may consider the daily routine at the EC to be without much structure, but that’s because there is a considerable amount of freedom with every day here. You can make your own schedule, you can prioritize what you find most important, you have room to grow, try new things, and forge new friendships. And the friendships are what stuck with me the most. From the first day, I was greeted warmly into what I thought was a little chaotic, but I realized later was actually the energy of dynamic, genuine people. You will be dumbfounded by how quickly you become attached not only to the staff, but the other volunteers, your students, and even the city itself. I’m leaving Germany with new friends from all around the world, and I have every intention to see them through the next years of life, because we are forever connected through a really unique experience.
The people at the Excellence Center, the community, is what makes everything worth it. Everybody has a place in the Excellence Center, no matter who you are, where you are from, or what you do. It’s a place for positivity, new experiences, intercultural connections, and love. If you’re looking for a new scene, new friends, experiences that make you see the world a little differently, if you want to make a change in the lives of others, if you want to do something good for the world, even on a small scale, then the Excellence Center is for you- because the Excellence Center is for everybody.

7 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Habibi Daniel,

Thank you so much for posting your review, we are very glad that you enjoyed your Internship in Germany Program at the Excellence Center in Europe.

We wish you all the best and hope to meet you in Germany in the future.

With kind regards,

Default avatar
Abhijit Reddy
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time At The Excellence Center

My experience at the Excellence Center has been amazing and I've had so much fun in the weeks that I was here. I spent most of my time at the center itself but I have visited other places around Halle and other cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Darmstadt, and Thale. Everyone at the center is super friendly and were great people to hang around. The Center organized a couple events like tours, gatherings, and trips like Berlin and Thalle for example. There are also weekly soccer matches that are held at a park nearby and the winning team usually gets a prize. The atmosphere at the center is amazing and the people here are fun to hang out with in general. I found myself rarely alone here and had a ton of fun hanging out with people at parks and the river nearby. I took the german classes here and it was pretty good even though I had very little background knowledge about german. I helped another volunteer with her one on one classes as I was only able to teach by myself in online classes since I was a minor. Even though I was one of the youngest at the center I didn’t feel left out or anything like that but instead found myself pretty comfortable and making friends with people in Halle. Halle is pretty safe overall, I haven’t experienced any feeling of fear while walking around the city late at night. I also learned a lot about the refugee situation in Halle and the process of integration for incoming refugees like language, housing, and job programs while also learning about how it could be improved. We also visited a couple of Syrian restaurants with amazing food for such cheap prices. The volunteers at the Center were amazing people and this experience will stick with me for the rest of my life. On a side note bring a lot of physical cash if you plan on eating out at a lot of these restaurants.

Pros
  • Lots of Free time
  • You get to meet a ton of people from different background
  • The city is pretty safe
14 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Abbi,

On behalf us all of us at the Excellence Center in Europe, I would like to thank you for sharing this great review about our community center! We are thrilled that you enjoyed your experience interning at our organisation in Halle, Germany

We count ourselves lucky for interns like you. We look forward to working with you again in the future!

With kind regards,

Default avatar
salma
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Halle(Saale)

It is absolutely daunting to find the precise words to describe my gratitude to the excellence centre, personally speaking my internship at the Excellence centre has impacted me so deeply, ether from what concerns my academic or personal level, When I came during my first time on July 2021:

I didn’t expect that my experience will influence my entire life, I come to teach English and learn German, it sounds as a very basic and normal task that a normal volunteer will do towards refugees, but the actual fact is that I didn’t plan that I will be surprised by the stuff at the Excellence centre,they were sublime, helpful and joyful, sincerely this centre has an insurmountable feeling of magnitude, everyone who comes here for the very first time wants to repeat this marvellous experience again,and yet this is what happened to me,in addition to the stuff of the Excellence centre,you meet people from different culture and indeed you expand your horizons more and more, as an international and global studies master’s student I was looking for my area of interest of perhaps I was looking for myself the genuine Salma where I could shine and give the best I can, hence I’m over the moon my last experience on July 2021 drove me to think deeply and wisely about my final thesis project, thus I tried to shed light on the issue of integration of the female women in Halle(Saale), since then my knowledge’s journey has started, I come again to centre on March 2022,where I have started my internship for roughly two months, these months were absolutely magical, each day prevails lots and lots of feelings, feeling of gratitude, hope and aspiration:

The centre has helped me to do a great deal of interviews with Syrian female refugees women in Halle, and this has broaden my knowledge to know more about their struggle and yet this will indeed help me to write a proficient master thesis, last but not least, the only thing that I can add is that I have genuinely no words to describe my gratitude and thanks to this centre, a great acquaintance from the part of the centre is Jihan,she is as well a great lady who has helped me through the centre to know and do more interviews with women:

Rafat,Radwan are the best administration members that any volunteer like myself aim to be supervised by, thank you to all the volunteers who were absolutely amazing ,helpful and terribly down to earth ,finally if there is someone who is intrigued about shaping the community coherence, this is your place..

Pros
  • Shaping the community services
  • Improving the culture of sharing
  • The people qt the center
Cons
  • Nothing; it was perfect
22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Holly
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A great experience

I have spent the last month at the Excellence Centre in Halle, completing the Refugee Resettlement internship and I can safely say that the time has flown by! The programme is incredibly eye-opening and rewarding, whilst the community atmosphere of the Excellence Centre makes each day enjoyable.

What is really unique about this programme is the vast array of opportunities you will receive as an intern. I spent the first week receiving German classes and began to teach both English and German to students from Syria and Turkey. I had never taught English or German as a foreign language before but found it an incredibly rewarding experience. I was touched by the levels of motivation and enthusiasm shown by each student, and I really enjoyed getting to know them better. The next few weeks were focused on gaining a better understanding of the situation of refugees. There were sessions and tours of the city which focused on Germany’s response to the refugee crisis as well as opportunities to meet and speak with refugees living in the area. I also had the opportunity to conduct an interview with a Syrian refugee, which provided the basis for a presentation I delivered about the integration of refugees in Germany. I feel as if I have a much deeper understanding of the situation of refugees after completing this internship.

The centre itself was always a very positive environment. There were a lot of opportunities to get to know each other better thanks to all the activities organised by the centre, from football matches to tours of the city. I made so many friends in such a short amount of time.
Outside of the centre, I enjoyed staying with a host family in Halle. My host mum was brilliant and made myself and the other volunteer she hosted feel right at home. We met her family, went to Halle’s chocolate museum, and had film nights together. It was also an excellent opportunity to speak German.

Overall, I would recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in learning more about the situation of refugees in Europe and who wants to do something positive for the refugee community. I am really grateful for the experiences I have had at the Excellence Centre.

26 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Thanks for the awesome review, Holly! We work hard to meet expectations like yours, and we’re happy to hear we hit the mark for you. Come back and see us soon in Halle, Germany. Cheers!

With kind regards,

Default avatar
Abraham
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience in Germany

My name is Abraham Ochoa. I am a college student from America participating in the Refugee Resettlement internship. I have spent an immersive and insightful four weeks here in Halle, Germany. The program is eye opening and well structured. It offered a wide range of engaging activities that included a mix of learning, teaching, researching, presenting, and more. My first week was fully dedicated to intensive Arabic classes. I had the opportunity to do 4 hours of class everyday, one on one with an Arabic instructor. This definitely pushed me to develop my Arabic skills further and to immerse myself in the language. The following week, I jumped straight into teaching English to refugees at the center. I was able to work both with refugees here in Halle as well as with refugees abroad in Turkey. It was a great way to give back and learn more about the challenges of being a refugee. Simultaneously, I was receiving presentations about the asylum procedure that all refugees go through. This was paired with a tour of the city, specifically focusing on how the city has adapted and been influenced by the refugee population. It was truly inspiring to see the many businesses opened by the refugees who have found a new home here in Germany. In addition, I also was able to interview refugees about their journey from Syria to Germany and the challenges that they faced once they arrived here. Listening to their stories about their journeys from war torn Syria all the way to Germany was inspiring and truly eye-opening. Like many people, I have read about the war in Syria, but it is another experience entirely to speak with someone who lived through it. It truly leaves you full of awe and compassion.

On top of all this, the community at the center is amazing and very welcoming. From the moment I landed, I was well received by my host family. My accommodation was extremely comfortable and accessible. Having breakfast every morning at the center was a great way to get to know my fellow volunteers and the workers here at the center. The friendships I made here have made my experience here truly unique. I was also able to travel to other European countries during my weekends which is something I highly recommend to all future volunteers. This is an amazing program that I recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about the refugee experience, learn Arabic, or teach English. It is also a great way to learn about other cultures, meet new lifelong friends, and explore a new area of the world. I loved the diversity of activities here and the flexibility to choose your own focus within the program. I hope to be a volunteer again with the program and visit their center in Palestine.

25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Kyuwon
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Making a second home, meeting sisters and brothers from all over the world

To all the people who are considering to apply to the excellence center, here are a few things you need to know.

1. You will never find a more family-like workplace anywhere in the world.
The interns, the managers and interns works together in the office 24/7, during which they explore the city, cook and share meals, engross in discussions and work. The welcoming and open atmosphere of the workplace makes you bond with it beyond a mere professional relationship. The people you meet there will become your dearest friends, spread all over the world.

2. You will get to hear stories and experiences you had never been able to access. You will be working with refugees who had directly been through the issues you had read in the news. They shore a different, more in-depth side of the issue that widens your perspective about the world, and changes your perception of global issues. Moreover, you will be housed with a refugee family, with whom you will share meals and form a familia relationship. Just simply talking and mingling with the people in the center will inspire and mold you into a better global leader who understands the context of the refugee issue more insightfully.

3. Communication is very, very efficient. Both managers, Rafat and Mutaz are open to all opinions and criticisms and are quick to tailor the program to match it to you. They want not only the center to improve but for the volunteers and interns to advance, so they will be extremely attentive to your progress.

4. There is amazing travel opportunities. Not only does the center provide a trip to Halle, if you apply to become an intern, they take you to Leipzig, a near by city to show you how the refugees had integrated in the German culture. You will be given wonderful authentic food and an opportunity to interview the refugees who are working and living inside Germany. Not only that the center allows you to take a total of 8 days break to travel all around Germany. For me, I used my travel days to adventure into Prague, which became my favorite city.

5. The education you will receive is pristine. You will be taken to nearby universities to talk with the faculty member, and will be given lectures in the center about the status quo of refugee migration. You will also have the chance to do your own research and present it infront of the whole staff and volunteers.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment was when I was assigned to teach a group of 10 teenagers. The prospect of spending two hours with students with whom I had no personal, cultural or language connections freaked me out, but thanks to the support Rafat and the other volunteers gave me, it became one of the best moments I had in the center! The time I spent with the students made me realize how energetic and hopeful the students were and how eager they were to absorb in a new environment. In the end, I was the one who got inspired from their vitality and faith.
51 people found this review helpful.
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Brandon
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Stay in Halle

I participated in a four-week program at the Excellence Center in Europe. My first week consisted exclusively of Foreign language classes, participants are given the option to chose between Arabic and German. The classes lasted four to five hours and were dense with language instruction. I chose to study German for the first week, because I already knew some basic level Arabic and wished to communicate with people in Halle (Saale). My teacher's name was Muhammad and he proved to be a very adept instructor. I learned much more German, especially grammar, than I would have originally anticipated.

The other three weeks consisted of presentations about the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Syrian society, and the History of modern Syria. These presentations proved to be exceedingly interesting and very educational. I was under the assumption that I had a good grasp of the Syrian civil war beforehand but I ended up learning so much more than I thought I would.

After the most week is when we began teaching English classes to refugees. The classes were the most memorable part of the experience because of how eager the students were to learn. Some of the classes consisted mostly of teenagers, and some were exclusively adults, so you met a wide range of people, all of whom were very pleasant to teach and to work with.

The other participants and I made several presentations about ourselves and our home countries, and about the Halle as well; and had the opportunity to present them to the entire staff at the Excellence Center and for some of the students.

The staff at the Excellence Center were some of the most genuinely friendly and splendid people I have ever met. They were great to work with and very personable as well. This experience was certainly life changing for me and I made such amazing friendships and connections in Halle that I hope will last a lifetime.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps allow for more opportunities to provide service to the refugee community in Halle. I found that I had much more free time than I thought I would have. Though there were times when this was quite relaxing, and allowed for weekend trips and plenty of time to explore the city, it would have been great to have been able to do something in addition to teaching the English Classes at the Center.
43 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sophia Nissler
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Personal and professional growth

The past month at the Excellence Center in Europe has flown by. I feel as if I just arrived in Halle, a city I have grown to love, and just began interning at the Excellence Center, a place that feels like home. While I expected that the experiences of living in Germany and working at an organization like the Excellence Center would allow me to grow, challenge me, and give me a new perspective, I had no idea just how valuable these experiences would prove to be. The first week, in which I had intensive Ammiya classes and got to know everyone at the Center, allowed me to better serve my students, peers, and friends at the Center and communicate with them and with others in the city. Learning Arabic is even more rewarding for me when I can apply it in real life and allows me to be vulnerable, understand how terrifying it was for refugees to come to a country with a completely new language, and to learn from others about their language and culture. Though I struggled a bit in the intensive course as I am not a gifted language-learner, I’m really glad that I had that opportunity to get to know the people that the center serves, and I used what I learned over the next three weeks.
The second and third weeks of the internship combined teaching English classes with sessions and presentations on culture, integration, politics, history, educational psychology, teaching strategies, scheduled personal conversations with refugee peers, and community building activities within the Center. I had many opportunities to learn about Syrian politics and culture, the situation of refugees in Germany and Halle, teaching English as a foreign language, and how the Center operates and provides services to the community. Through presentations, classes, and intensive conversations, I was able to apply the information that I learned about integration and peoples’ realities to the English classes I taught, which proved very valuable to how I approached the internship. What is unique about the Excellence Center is the community that it creates between the staff and the people who come to the Center. After a series of presentations on the varied layers, issues, and components of integration into German society and on how the political history, social structures, and international relations of Syria contributed to the refugee crisis, the ability to have a deep discussion on these topics and on our everyday lives with two Syrian youth was truly invaluable. Something that drew me to interning at the Center was the possibility to have such an experience, as in my opinion, it’s not possible to serve a group of people without an involved knowledge of their situation, history, day-to-day lives, and their needs. Being able to apply this knowledge to teaching English classes has allowed me to become more understanding and hopefully more effective as an intern, volunteer, and global citizen.
The presentations and sessions on educational psychology, I had one of the most rewarding opportunities of my life—the chance to work with an underserved community to fulfill an education and social need has allowed me to develop myself personally and professionally while also learning about the situation and lives of immigrants and refugees in Germany. I have been able to develop personal connections with my students and gain an insight into their experiences, everyday lives and culture. Learning about the educational psychology that goes into teaching a foreign language has enabled me to further extend myself in these areas while opening my eyes to a new passion and interest. I also feel more confident and prepared in my teaching and methods, and I now have a deeper understanding of how to effectively motivate and meet students’ needs.
Beyond the practical skills that I learned from analyzing and presenting on the official Excellence Center teaching manual, which gave me a deep toolbox of classroom strategies and advice, the week’s focus on teaching and educational psychology highlighted to me the importance of providing these educational opportunities for refugees, especially opportunities that also encourage mutual, intercultural understanding. Though the trainings and presentations on educational psychology contained multitudes of information, strategies, rules, etc., the main focus on motivation made this clear to me. All of the refugees that I’ve worked with both at the Excellence Center and at home in North Carolina have demonstrated such a strong motivation to improve their lives, become a part of a new community, and create their own futures. English classes and learning the English language are a vein through which refugees can do all three of these things. However, even though refugees may have a deep, intrinsic motivation to improve their lives by learning this language, it is crucial that teachers, volunteers, and peers encourage and foster this motivation inside and outside of the classroom.
In the final week, the lessons that I learned over the time of my internship culminated. I am sad to leave Halle because of how much I learned, the incredible connections that I made with my students, and the community that I have become a part of at the Center. I had the opportunity to learn so much about the intersections of German culture and the refugee situation and Arab culture, the lives of my students, and about the ways in which I can serve the refugee community. I am so genuinely excited to keep in touch with my students and colleagues, who are now like friends and family. This experience gave me so many valuable skills, opportunities, experiences, and unforgettable moments. I look forward to returning to the Excellence Center in Europe as soon as possible!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would seek out more opportunities to work with refugees in different capacities beyond English teaching and intercultural communication; I guess that I’ll need to come back to Halle to do this! ;)
45 people found this review helpful.

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