• Germany
4 to 13 weeks
Financial Support
General grants/scholarships

Program Details

Academic Year Fall J-Term Maymester Spring Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Apartment Host Family
Weekly Hours
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
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
Feb 01, 2023
Aug 24, 2023
38 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


Ethical Impact

With all our Arabic courses and volunteer programs, we aim to make a long term difference for the Palestinian local community through the exchange of ideas and “walking in each other’s shoes”. Our programs and courses foster shared learning, for both our community and you. During your Arabic course, you will get to learn so much more than just the language. You will also get to learn a lot about Palestinian culture and customs and the political situation in Palestine. Additionally, you will have many opportunities while outside the classroom to practice your Arabic in a natural and authentic way while navigating your new life in Hebron. Your time with us in Hebron will also provide you with many opportunities of cultural exchange and mutual learning, both with local Palestinians as well as with our other international participants.

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

4.81 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.25%
  • 4 rating 18.75%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.75
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.9
  • Housing 4.45
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 16 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Internship in Germany

The excellence center was a great way to spend the last month of summer, and I’m very thankful for all the people I’ve been able to meet and experiences I’ve been able to have during my stay in Halle. My time with the excellence center has been a good one, but of course like any study abroad experience there were pros and cons.
I participated in the internship in Germany program, in order to learn German, teach English, and learn about the refugee community in Halle. A few days before arrival, I was put into a group chat with my roommate and given information about my accommodation. The accommodation itself was fine, but the details regarding it were somewhat skewed. Firstly, the apartment was pretty dirty (mold, food stains, etc). Secondly, I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor as my roommate and I shared what was meant to be a 1-person, 1-bedroom apartment (she had a bed next to my mattress). Thirdly, because of point 2, I do think the centers accommodation is overpriced. I would recommend trying to find your own accommodation, as rent is (incredibly) cheap in Halle. I do think we had one of the better arrangements in comparison to some other students with host families, however.
If you come during one of the busier periods, chances are you won’t be spending much time in your room anyways. The highlight of my time at the center is without a doubt the people I have had the opportunity of meeting here. Halle is a university town, so it’s a good environment for students. It is also well located, and during my month here I was able to spend weekends in Frankfurt, Berlin, and take day trips to Leipzig and Thale. During the day, if I had breaks between lessons I would head to the botanical garden (free for students), Ziegelwiese park, or local cafe/library/etc, so there are plenty of places to visit nearby if you get tired of the center at any point (it can get a bit busy sometimes so these spots are nice to take advantage of).

My German lessons were another highlight of my time here. I’d been to Germany before to visit relatives, and therefore had a very basic (emphasis on very) understanding of the language, but hadn’t studied German in a classroom setting before, so I was unfamiliar with writing/grammar/etc. I was lucky enough to have 1-1 help from Muaz, meaning the classes were attuned to my specific level. I do feel like I've made a lot of progress because of this and have covered enough ground to continue self studying German at home. The lessons themselves are engaging and flexible to your own needs/schedule (and take place not only in the center, but during tours across Halle, to Leipzig, etc). One thing to note, however, is that online it states that you get x hours of lessons per week, but technically each “hour” is equal to one 45 minute lesson. I paid for 6 hours of German lessons a week rather than the typical 3, assuming that meant 24 hours total for my 4 weeks here. However, since each hour is 45 minutes, it actually comes out to 18 full hours total. I just wanted to mention this as I think it’s helpful to know when planning your lessons!
A major benefit that might not be applicable to quite as many people is that, if you are studying both German and Arabic (like me), this is the perfect place for you. You have to take initiative in practicing the languages (which I admit I wasn’t too good at), but when you do, there’s plenty of opportunity to practice your skills at both languages. Since most of the people at the center are students are from the UK or US, it can be easy to fall into the habit of only using English (like I did) so I’d recommend that, if you come to the center, try to be more purposeful in regularly practicing your language(s)!
As for the internship aspect, I met with Rafat once as a sort of introductory lesson. Muaz also held a lesson, and helped translate for me during the two interviews I conducted. You can do more interviews if you choose, but the main thing is if you do this program you have to show initiative in making sure all aspects are completed in the way that you’d prefer. Overall, I learned a lot and am thankful for the people I met during my time in Halle!

  • Community
  • Learning
  • Unorganized
21 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Nadia,

Thank you for sharing your detailed review of your experience at the Excellence Center in Halle, Germany. It's great to hear that you had a positive overall experience with some highlights and valuable insights to share.

We're delighted to hear that you had a memorable last month of summer at the Excellence Center in Halle, Germany and that you're thankful for the people you met and experiences you had during your stay.

We apologize for any inconvenience you experienced with the cleanliness and arrangement of the apartment. We'll certainly take your feedback into account to ensure future participants have a more comfortable living environment.

We're thrilled to hear that your German lessons were a highlight of your stay. It's essential for us to provide tailored and engaging language instruction, and it's great that you made significant progress in such a short time.

Once again, thank you, Nadia, for taking the time to share your comprehensive review of your time at the Excellence Center in Halle. Your feedback is invaluable in helping us improve our programs and ensure that future participants have even more enriching experiences.

We wish you all the best in your continued language learning journey and future endeavors!

Greetings from Germany :)

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Positive, growing experience

I spent a month interning at the Excellence Center in Halle during July 2023. During this time I studied Arabic, taught English, and had the chance to get to know several people/families who came to Germany as refugees.

My time at the Excellence Center was a positive experience, in which I had the chance to both learn from my peers and help others as an English teacher. The workload was extremely manageable, as it is a flexible environment where you can plan lessons on your own both in terms of time and location. For example, I don’t work well with many classes in a row and prefer to have my lessons spread out, therefore I planned in 1-2 classes a day in the afternoons including during the weekends in a café near my house, which is what suited me best. In contrast, another of the volunteers prefers to have intense days: he scheduled all of his classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays, meaning that the other days he can either study, plan lessons, or go on trips around the area.

As well as this, the Excellence Center is a welcoming atmosphere, and works to create activities to make the volunteers and interns get to know each other. We have breakfast together four days a week, and Rafat regularly makes brunches and lunches with traditional Palestinian dishes for special occasions, most often when we have goodbyes for volunteers. The Center also organizes city tours and trips outside of Halle, and supports any new trip ideas they might have. This was especially interesting as the group of volunteers was quite international, meaning that through these activities we got to know each other and our different cultures and experiences better.

My only comment for the Center would be the nature of the communication. Several times it felt like information was communicated last-minute, and only when asked. I was only told about my accommodation a few weeks before starting, and was only told where I was supposed to go upon arrival two hours before getting to Halle, after I asked. Though I was told to bring basic necessities such as bedsheets, I wasn’t told that there wouldn't be Wi-Fi in my accommodation, which led me to spending extra money to get data roaming, using café Wi-Fi, or having to ask to use my housemates’ Wi-Fi hotspots when they were home. This hassle would’ve been prevented by making sure every accommodation had Wi-Fi, or by communicating in advance that I needed to buy a German SIM. During the internship itself it also felt like events were communicated last-minute, either the day before or the day of the activity, and the dates and times of events do change quite a bit. To be fair, the flexibility of the work means that I could simply reschedule things, but organization and communication still is an area where the Center can improve.

However in general, I did feel very supported throughout the whole internship, because there were many people I could go to for any issues. There are student coordinators who help a lot, for example checking you into your accommodation, organizing tours around the city, and acting as points of reference for any issues you may have. For instance the second week I was here, my housemate had locked herself in her bedroom and couldn’t get out as the key wasn’t working. I called Ali (the volunteer team leader) and Lord (the coordinator) for help: Ali gave me information regarding locksmiths in Germany but couldn’t help as he had a meeting, and Lord helped me by calling the 24-hour locksmith who only spoke German, and checked in throughout the afternoon to know how things were going. It all worked out in the end, and we couldn’t have done it without their knowledge and help. Similarly Rafat, the director, is a caring and generous person, who makes an effort to get to know everyone and makes sure they feel comfortable and safe. For example I got ill the first week of my internship, and he showed me where the pharmacy was, loaned me cash as my card stopped working, told me to go home and get rest, and texted me a few times to ask how I was feeling. He also reassured me that if I wasn’t getting better, he could help me get checked-out by a doctor. Rafat consistently checked in with me throughout the month, asking how I was settling in and if there were any issues that he could help with. When my boyfriend came to visit me, Rafat was extremely welcoming and supportive, and invited him to both breakfast at the Center and a home-cooked meal.

All in all, interning at the Center was a growing and fulfilling experience, where I had the chance to know caring and interesting people, while learning about different cultures and experiences. I highly recommend it!

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

Hi Lucia,

Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback about your internship experience at the Excellence Center in Halle, Germany. We are thrilled to hear that overall, it was a positive and fulfilling journey for you.

We appreciate your positive comments about the flexibility of the environment, which allowed you to tailor your workload to your preferred teaching schedule. It's wonderful to know that you had the opportunity to both learn from your peers and contribute as an English teacher, making the most out of your time with us at the Excellence Center.

Moreover, we are delighted that you found the Excellence Center to be a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Our aim is to create a supportive community for all our volunteers and interns, and it's heartening to hear that you had the chance to bond with others from diverse cultural backgrounds through various activities and events.

We would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused due to last-minute communication and lack of information about certain arrangements, such as Wi-Fi availability in your accommodation. Your feedback is valuable to us, and we will take it into consideration to improve our organization and communication processes. Ensuring that all necessary information is provided in a timely manner is a priority for us, and we will work to address this concern.

We are glad to hear that you felt supported throughout your internship. Our team is committed to assisting and guiding all participants, and we are happy that you had a positive experience with the student coordinators, Ali, Lord, and Rafat. Their dedication to helping you with any issues that arose during your stay is commendable, and we will convey your appreciation to them.

Thank you once again for recommending the Excellence Center to others. Your endorsement means a lot to us, and we hope that your time with us has left you with fond memories and a deeper understanding of different cultures and experiences.

If you ever plan to return or if you have any further suggestions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Warm regards,

The Excellence Center in Halle

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Review 3 Month Internship Excellence Centre Europe

My name is Antoine, I was a volunteer at the Excellence Center in Halle for 3 months from mid April to mid July of 2023. I completed the 3 month internship program in teaching English and learning German. During this time I completed around 60 hours of German lessons and taught 5 different students at the centre.

The German lessons were altogether very intensive and helped me greatly as a beginner in German to improve greatly over a short period of time with my brilliant German teacher Muaz. The time taken to teach students at the centre in English was greatly enriching and rewarding seeing students of all ages and backgrounds gradually progressing across my time at the centre and developing friendships with them.

Additionally the Centre organises many activities outside of the learning space such as weekly football games and brunches for leaving volunteers. All of these activities add to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the centre created by the staff: Rafat, Radwan, Ali and Muaz.

The city of Halle is an interesting look into the long lasting effects of both the impact of the Soviet Occupation and East German government. The city offers a surprising amount of cultural diversity with the large immigrant population coming largely from Syria and Turkey, and although the city is not a hub of activity or entertainment its position near Leipzig and large parks make it a great summer destination.

The city is particularly attractive to younger volunteers, with over 20 000 students calling Halle home with the large Martin Luther University having its roots in Halle. Consequently I have met and made many lovely friends from all different corners of the world.

The accommodation provided by the centre was clean and perfectly usable, although I would be aware that having at least 1-2 roommates is common and thus is something to note if you are staying for an extended period of time. My only comment to the centre would be to include more interactions and activities interacting with the refugee community and refugee integration in the city, such as more tours of the NeuStadt (refugee dominated section of the city) and more interviews, discussions or presentations on the topic.

Ultimately my time in Halle was extremely impactful and life changing for myself due to the people I met and interacted with, an experience I would recommend to any young person attempting to experience an exciting and vibrant atmosphere.

  • Friendly atmosphere and staff
  • Small easily navigable city
  • Young student community
  • Limited amount of activities in a small city
33 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Greetings Antoine,

Thank you, Antoine, for sharing your incredible 3-month volunteering experience at the Excellence Center in Halle. It's inspiring to hear how the intensive German lessons and teaching English to students at the center enriched your time there. The dedication of your German teacher, Muaz, and the progress you witnessed in your students must have been truly rewarding. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere created by staff members Rafat, Radwan, Ali, and Muaz contributed to a sense of community and made your stay even more enjoyable.

Halle's unique history and cultural diversity, influenced by the Soviet Occupation and a large immigrant population from Syria and Turkey, provided an interesting backdrop for your experience. While the city may not be a bustling hub of activity, its proximity to Leipzig and the presence of numerous students from Martin Luther University added vibrancy. Your suggestion to include more interactions and activities related to the refugee community and integration in Halle is valuable feedback for the center. Overall, your time in Halle was impactful, and we appreciate your recommendation for young individuals seeking an exciting and transformative experience. Thank you for your time here and we hope to have you again!

Much love from Halle,

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time interning at the Excellence Center in Europe. I really appreciate the kindness and openness from the other interns at the center. Teaching English was a new experience for me but one I genuinely grew from. I was able to be flexible in planning lessons and in understanding the individual level and learning styles of every student I engaged with. Additionally, learning German was also very fun. I learned in a very different way than what I am used to but it was efficient and I was able to learn a great deal in a short period of time.
My favorite part of the internship was getting to stay and get to know my host family in the afternoons and on weekends. They were absolutely amazing. I had the unique opportunity of getting to spend quality time with them such as being a guest speaker for one of the girls’ English classes, getting invited to a family dinner, and learning more about the country. Although the host home was far, it was a beautiful and peaceful city to be in.
As a part of the internship, the ability to meet and speak with refugees in Germany was also very important to me. It was a great experience overall that I am thankful for. I appreciate getting to learn about migration patterns and the reintegration process. Adding on, getting to visit and chat with refugees from Syria in Halle was also interesting.
Looking into the future of the internship program, I do however have a few suggestions. For one, I think the internship program needs a bit more structure. For example, all interns should use a running Google document where they are writing down the activities and lesson plans of every student. As interns complete the internship, they can then share this document with whoever takes over. This would allow for students to stay on track and for interns to not be confused once they start the internship program.

  • Host family
  • Interacting with other interns
  • Flexible
  • Unstructured
33 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Greetings Danni!

I'm thrilled to hear that you had a fantastic internship experience at the Excellence Center in Europe. It's wonderful that you appreciated the kindness and openness of the other interns and enjoyed teaching English, adapting to different learning styles. Learning German in a different way and making significant progress in a short time must have been rewarding.
Your favorite part of the internship, getting to know your host family and engaging in various activities with them, sounds like a truly enriching experience. Despite the distance, you found their city beautiful and peaceful.

Additionally, your suggestion for a more structured program, like using a shared document for activities and lesson plans, would enhance the internship experience for both students and interns. Thank you for sharing your positive experience and valuable suggestions for improvement.

Best wishes from Halle,

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My time at excellence

My name is Aram and I'm an American volunteer doing the Internship program while studying German.
The most memorable part of the Center was the chance to meet people and make friends from around the world, even people who aren't directly connected to the Center, such as the myriad of university students. I especially loved the chance to interview refugees, and hear their extremely varied experiences. The staff are very friendly and supportive, and relate to you as friends. My German teacher Muaz is excellent. He knows exactly how to challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone, while keeping lessons relaxed and engaging. In general, the quality of teaching I have seen here is quite high.
Note that it is sometimes difficult to obtain housing near the center. Many of the volunteers end up having host families as much as 50 minutes away from the Center. This can make it difficult for many to participate in social events, and can be frustrating for these volunteers.
Many may lament the lack of structure or active assistance in teaching. Personally, I find the ability to design our own curriculums freeing and exciting. One thing that would have been nice, however, is to have advance knowledge of what age our students are and what their basic level in the language is. This would help with planning our first lessons. I found this got better as more volunteers arrived and we had the chance to shadow many of our new students' classes before taking them on.
More generally, there is a certain lack of structure at the Center. Again, personally, I don't mind this, although more advance notice with regard to activities would be nice, given our largely self designed schedules.
I urge any considering coming, to make the most of your time here. Whether here for a few weeks, or two months as I was, the time will fly by. I profusely thank the Center for all the experiences and opportunities I have had, and I hope to be back.

  • The friends you make from around the world
  • The chance to learn about the refugee situation first hand
  • The hearty welcome and support from the staff
33 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Greetings Aram,

Thank you for sharing your experience at the Center. It's wonderful to hear how you've had the opportunity to meet people from around the world, including university students, and build meaningful friendships. The interviews with refugees must have been incredibly insightful, hearing their diverse experiences. The friendly and supportive staff, along with Muaz as your excellent German teacher, have made your learning journey engaging and challenging.

I understand that finding housing near the Center can be a challenge, which can affect participation in social events for some volunteers. However, the freedom to design your own curriculum has been liberating. I appreciate your advice to make the most of your time at the Center and your gratitude for the experiences and opportunities. Your positive outlook and desire to return are truly inspiring. Keep cherishing the moments and enjoy your journey, Aram!

We would Like to see you back in Halle!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellence Center in Europe Review

My time at the Excellence Center in Europe was amazing and I am very grateful for it. I am so thankful for the opportunities I had to connect with the local refugee community in Halle and individuals throughout the city. I loved the community at the Excellence Center and the friendships I developed there. While at times it was difficult adjusting to a new environment, all the people I met made me feel very welcomed and cared for. I really enjoyed getting to teach English to so many students, being able to hear their stories, and build lasting connections with them. I will never forget my time there, especially the project I did interviewing local Syrian refugees about their current lives in Germany. My experiences at the Excellence Center solidified my desire to work with the refugee community in Germany as that is the next step I am taking in my life. I know I will see everyone at the Excellence Center again soon and I am so grateful to all of them for all they did for me and making my time in Halle so special.

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

Hello Emily,

It's wonderful to hear that your time at the Excellence Center in Europe was amazing and left a lasting impact on you. It's great that you had the opportunity to connect with the local refugee community in Halle and build meaningful relationships with individuals throughout the city. Teaching English and hearing the stories of the students must have been a rewarding experience for you.

The project you did, interviewing local Syrian refugees, sounds particularly impactful. It's inspiring to know that your experiences at the Excellence Center have solidified your desire to work with the refugee community in Germany. It's clear that the community at the Excellence Center made your time in Halle special, and it's lovely that you look forward to seeing them again in the future. Thank you for sharing your gratitude and reflections on your time at the Excellence Center.

Best wishes from Halle,

Default avatar
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.

57 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
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.

  • Lots of Free time
  • You get to meet a ton of people from different background
  • The city is pretty safe
60 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,

Questions & Answers