Location
  • Palestine
Length
8 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
Arabic
Weekly Hours
30
Age Min.
18
Age Max
75

Pricing

Starting Price
650
Price Details
The program fees include: pre-departure support, accommodation with a host family, some meals, full coordination while interning in Palestine, some visits to different sites in the city of Hebron.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airport Transfers Transportation Visa
Jan 07, 2022
Jun 19, 2022
32 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Teach English and Study Arabic in Palestine Program (TESA): is for students, English native and non-native speakers, graduates, undergraduate, professionals, and retired people who are looking for teaching English opportunities in Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East or wider Arabic World in general.

This teaching English program provides you with the opportunity to live in Hebron, Palestine, meet a lot of people, help Palestinian refugees and children, volunteer to teach English to Palestinians, and study Levantine Arabic during the internship program in Hebron.

This teaching internship in Palestine is designed for people and students looking for short-term teaching positions in the Israel & Palestine area. We believe this program provides a unique personal learning opportunity for those who are eager to gain valuable English teaching experience, whilst also wishing to learn Arabic and become immersed in Palestinian culture, politics, and daily life.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Homestays with Palestinian host families or at the Excellence Center’s dorm
  • Experience the Palestinian daily life; make new friends and engage in some community and educational activities
  • The teaching English program in our Palestinian school is an amazing internship opportunity for those who have NO experience in teaching English and want to explore teaching, as well as for those with English teaching experience
  • Participants will have the opportunity to learn in depth about the ongoing Israeli occupation.
  • The intern as an English teacher in Palestine project allows participants the opportunity to grow personally and professional

Program Reviews

9.17 Rating
based on 24 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 75%
  • 7-8 rating 25%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 8.9
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.1
  • Benefits 7.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 8.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 24 reviews
Default avatar
Ahmad
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

As an English teacher you will have either one or two lessons per day. This can be one-on-one lessons or classes. The Center places a lot of trust in its teachers and you are really given an opportunity to bring your own benefits and styles.
Arabic lessons would be 90 minutes every day in the morning. There is a range of levels to suit you, and it they are either two or one-to-one and so very productive.

The Center is very accommodating to people of different backgrounds and skillsets. The fulltime staff here are welcoming, and the longer term volunteers become good friends with them and also amongst each other.

Regardless of your exact role, you will have the opportunity to go on visits organised by the Center to engage with local activists and learn more about the situation in Palestine.

The situation in Palestine and Hebron is extremely safe for foreign volunteers. Locals are hospitable and go out of their way to welcome you. This is helped by the good reputation the Center enjoys in the city. Do not let negative and false stereotypes stop you from coming here.

I had the time to visit Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah and other places - which I would recommend any volunteer to do.

1 person found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Ahmad,

Thank you so much for leaving us an excellent review. We're thrilled you loved your Teach English and Study Arabic Program at the Excellence Center. We'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

Thanks for your support and great efforts during the three weeks. We wish you all the best and hope to meet you in the future

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center team

Default avatar
Tom
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Amazing time in Palestine

For the past three months, I have been participating in the teaching English and studying Arabic programme. I have learnt a lot of Arabic while here, as I arrived without knowledge of the language. My Arabic teacher was very good at working through the basics, from the alphabet and introducing myself. As well as learning in the classroom, living in Hebron and hanging out at the centre with the Palestinian teachers meant that I had more than just 3 hours of learning Arabic a week. It is the teachers and other volunteers that make the centre so special and why I had such a good three months, with everyone being so understanding and accommodating. Therefore, it is incredibly easy to make friends quickly, with Palestinians you’ll meet in the street and everyone at the centre.
During my time with the centre, I was able to visit most of Palestine, either on trips with the centre or with the other volunteers as we attempted to see as much of the beautiful country as we could. As well as being able to explore the city of Hebron with the Palestinian friends I had made or on tours with the centre. The fact that most of the major cities are fairly close means that it is very easy to explore the West Bank, either on your own or with the other volunteers. On my first weekend in Palestine, I was able to visit Ramallah to visit the museums there. Since then I have been able to see the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the old city of Jerusalem, as well as the Dead Sea and ate Knafeh in Nablus.
Living in Hebron has been an amazing and interesting experience, particularly at the start. I began living in a shared apartment close to the centre and the main street in the city with three other volunteers. The apartment was fairly basic but quickly became home. When I arrived in March it was very cold, which was something that very few of the other volunteers had prepared for, so it was very welcome during our visit to the Dead Sea and when the temperature start to increase. In the last month of my trip, I moved to a shared dorm that I originally thought I’d be staying in and while it had a few issues, they were all quickly fixed. The shared dorm being closer to the downtown area of Hebron means that there is a lot more to do in the evening and most of my time not in the centre has been spent at a variety of coffee shops all over Hebron.
Despite some of the concerns that I may have had about safety before I arrived, they quickly subsided as I realised that the city is quite safe and the friendly and hospitable nature of everyone I have met has meant that I have quickly felt at home and safe walking through the streets at any time. There have been many times that I have felt much safer here in Hebron than I have late at night in London.
The best part of my time here in Palestine has been the people that I have met here, the Palestinians have been so incredibly nice and I was often invited to dinner and the volunteers that I have met here quickly became very good friends that I will remain in contact with. Overall my experience in Palestine has been outstanding and I highly recommend to everyone to come and experience it for themselves, the people, land and culture.

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

Hi Tom,

Thank you so much for leaving us an excellent review. We're thrilled you loved your Internship Teaching English in Hebron, Palestine. We'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

Thanks for your support and great efforts during the last three months, you made a difference and great impact on the Palestinian community and we are looking forward to seeing you again in Palestine

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center team

Default avatar
Tom
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience in Palestine

I spent 3 months at the Excellence Centre in Hebron and had a great time, the local staff and volunteers that I met made the trip. While the accommodation is fairly basic, but any issues we had where fixed, and the city itself is very great place to stay and the centre provide a lot of support and are always flexible if you need to change anything about your program or time here. Teaching English was incredibly fulfilling and I learnt a lot of Arabic, both in the classes and when out meeting people.

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

Hi Tom,

Thank you for leaving us an excellent review. We're thrilled you loved your Teaching English and Studying Arabic experience in Hebron, Palestine. We'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

Thanks for your support and great efforts in the last three months and we look forward to seeing you again in Palestine

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center team

Default avatar
Magon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable

My time at the Excellence Center was some of the best time in my life, I had so much fun and I laughed a lot. All the Palestinian teachers and staff are some of the best people I have ever met, they were extremely welcoming, respectful, friendly and kind. I felt more welcomed at the Excellence Center than I have anywhere else in my life. The Palestinian students were also very eager to learn and very excited to meet foreigners and speak English with them.

My Arabic teacher was wonderful, she was very supportive and made our lessons together both fun and educational. The Palestinian teachers were always willing to help me with anything I needed for English classes and also gave me really great advice. Sometimes I joined classes with Palestinian teachers, sometimes I taught classes by myself and sometimes I taught with other international volunteers. I became more confident, comfortable and better at teaching English during my time here, thanks to all the people at the Excellence Center.

The Palestinian people in Hebron were also wonderful and very kind. I felt very safe, as a woman, walking down the street in Hebron alone at night. I felt more safe here than I did anywhere else in the world. Sometimes people on the street would say hello, how are you, welcome, but it was always in a friendly way and I never felt hassled. It's very different to places like Egypt or Jordan. I found Palestinian men to be very respectful towards me, much more so than men in Western countries.

I cannot recommend the Excellence Center enough, whether you want to just study Arabic, Teach English or do another program. The first few days were overwhelming because I was somewhere new and meeting lots of new people, but after that I started to enjoy it so much that I didn't want to leave. I had some of the best times of my life and met some of my favourite people ever. I would do it all again if I could!

Pros
  • Palestinian people are the best
  • Private Arabic lessons
  • Lots of flexibility
5 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Magon,

Thank you for leaving us an excellent review. We're thrilled you loved your experience teaching English in Hebron, Palestine and we'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

Thanks for your kind words and we look forward to seeing you again in Palestine

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center team

Default avatar
Hasoon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My First Week in Palestine

The feelings of nerves, curiosity and excitement were all present the way they had been during my first week of school, at my first job and the first time I moved away from home. Everything was brand new. The streets, the food, the people, I didn't know what to expect and had no idea what my time is going to be like in Khalil. I had done plenty of research on the Excellence Centre website, read a lot of reviews, watched a lot of their videos, and the message of safety was always conveyed, but hearing from someone else and experiencing it yourself are two very different things.

I arrived to Khalil in the late evening. Having asked around a bit and got some help from the locals, I found the Excellence Centre and waited for Osama and Marwa to arrive as it the Centre was already closed and having had no internet I couldn't inform them until I got there. They welcomed me, gave me tea, showed me around the centre and took me to my host family.

I was greeted with the famous Arab hospitality. I was fed well and shown where I was going to stay. It was the middle of February and bitterly cold, especially indoors. I was fortunate to be given my own room and my own bathroom however the cleanliness was definitely not up to standard.

As I had arrived on a Thursday evening I had the next day off as Friday is part of the weekend. Having completed Friday prayers my host family invited me to a barbeque in their garden. It was delicious and we spoke at great length, with all of them having a lot of questions about my background, my reasons for coming to Palestine, what I thought of it so far, and it was great to watch them all together being a family I have grown real affection for.

Saturday was my first day at the centre and it was very active. Students of all ages were going in and out of different classes and I was invited to one of the English classes with students ageing 10 to 15. Soon enough I was asked to take over and I introduced myself, answered a lot of questions and in turn asked a few myself about their daily routines and interests. I was then introduced to my Arabic teacher Doha and we had our first Arabic lesson which was followed by joining another teacher in the centre, Annas, in helping him teach his English class.

I arrived on time for breakfast the second day and enjoyed a spread of hummus, baba gunush, falafel, salad, bread, tea and coffee. I was introduced to the rest of the members of staff of the centre and the visitors who joined us for breakfast on that day. Every day different friends of the centre would join us for breakfast or drop by to say hello and all would make the effort to converse and welcome me.

The second day I sat in on an English class and then got taken to Fawar Camp. The refugee camp I came to work and teach in. The journey took half an hour and Osama took drove myself, Alicia, a Swiss volunteer, and Doha. The camp was drastically different to Hebron city. A dirt bumpy road spit a deteriorating encampment. Shops selling the basics had hoards of men sitting outside of them, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.

We arrived to where the lesson would be taught and were greeted by 30 Fawar camp students. Happy and excited to see us, and eager to learn but struggling with being disciplined and paying attention. Though they were receiving an education, it was clear to see the difference between them and the students of similar ages who would come to the Excellence Centre in the city. Good kids, but severely lacking attention and opportunity. After the class I was shown the rest of the camp and saw the environment thousands were forced to call home.

All the people I interacted with, whether young students or adults, within the Excellence Centre or out on the street, everyone welcomed me to Palestine and Hebron with open arms. People were genuinely happy to see an 'ajnabee' (foreigner) in their city. Shopkeepers and restaurants refused to accept money when realising I wasn't a local. I asked one why he, like others before him, insisted on not taking payment and he told me that it was important to the people of Hebron, and Palestine, that when a foreigner leaves they leave with the best possible impression of their country. So they tell their own people about the positivity and spread the message on their rich, hospitable culture.

Over the next few following days I found myself teaching a number of classes, answering a lot of questions about who I was, why I came to Palestine and what I my experience was like so far. My first week was a blend of teaching English classes, receiving Arabic classes, going to Fawar Camp and receiving tours of the city. Being taken to the old city of Hebron, a beautiful historic place, with thousands of years worth of stories and culture embedded in its stone walls.

Everyone in the Excellence Centre ensured I was taken care of and welcomed. Marwa and Osama checked up on me everyday to make sure I did not need anything, as did my host family. When I did ask for something, they made sure I got it straight away. Where I lived lacked cooking equipment and when I told Marwa about it she made a bag full of utensils, plates, pans etc and gave it to me so that I could cook for myself.

My first week was a blur. It was intense, I saw a lot of faces, shook a lot of hands, ate a lot of food and was thrown into the Palestinian culture with support behind me.

Pros
  • Culture
  • Hospitality
  • History
Cons
  • Public Transport
  • Length of Visa
  • Foreigners
6 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Hasoon,

Thank you for leaving us an excellent review. We're thrilled you loved your experience in Hebron, Palestine and we'll be sure to pass along your kind words. Thanks for your kind words and we look forward to seeing you again in Palestine

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center team

Default avatar
Conor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time in Palestine

My time at the Excellence Center was truly outstanding in every single way. I can't illustrate enough how much I'm going to miss the Center, the people in it, and the city of Hebron - but more importantly, I'm so incredibly grateful for my time here. I'll begin with talking about the people of the center. The administrators and Palestinian teachers at the Center are some of the kindest, most compassionate, and helpful people I've had the pleasure of meeting in my entire life. They go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable, happy, and able to fully enjoy Hebron and Palestine. The teachers are incredibly kind, and eager to help would-be teachers in adjusting to teaching in Hebron. The students themselves are smart, almost too smart for their own good, and made every day of teaching challenging - but in a fun way that maximizes the experience and helps the teacher to get the most out of their classes.

The city of Hebron itself is outstanding. The sense of community and how welcoming the people are made me feel right at home. From bodega owners to clothing store clerks, every single person I interacted with in Hebron was incredibly kind and helpful, even if we couldn't communicate fully.

It really does feel like a family at the Excellence Center. Everyone looks out for each other, and you are provided with an outstanding amount of structural support that makes the transition from whatever your home country is to Palestine incredibly easy and painless. The memories of the people I have in Palestine are memories that I will hold dear to my heart, and I can't wait to come back to the Center later on, where I know I'll be welcomed back as an old friend. I highly, highly recommend the Excellence Center in Palestine and I urge anyone who has an interest in Palestine, Arabic, or TESA to seriously consider the Teach English and Study Arabic Program in Palestine.

Pros
  • Language Instruction
  • Outstanding Support Network
  • Opportunities to Travel
Cons
  • Shower Pressure in my housing was poor
  • If you aren't Muslim, travelling during Ramadan can be difficult for non-fasters
8 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Conor,

Thank you so much for your great work at the Excellence Center in Palestine. We apprecite it very much and we hope to meet you in the future

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center team

Default avatar
Chantal
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Discovering the unknown

Hello,
My name is Joëlle Morard and I come from Switzerland. I have a Masters in English and French and I teach teenagers and young adults. I took part in the Program “Teach English and Study Arabic in Palestine” at the Excellence Center in Hebron.
During my three weeks there, I mainly taught English in some villages and in Hebron. The children and teenagers were very welcoming and eager to learn. I enjoyed teaching basic English to children in Siraa (Dura) and in Soureef. In addition, the exchanges with the students with a more advanced level (in Hebron) was a great opportunity for me to discover many elements about Palestinian culture and lifestyle.
I also had great Arabic lessons with Nadine; she is very sweet, motivating, patient, and she explains the concepts clearly! I have learnt some basic Arabic and I hope to keep on studying this beautiful language. The Center’s environment is good: the staff is always available and helpful, the teachers are kind and talkative. Regarding the volunteers, they are friendly and funny.
Moreover, I participated in various activities with the Center. I visited the Old City of Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque, as well as the Russian Orthodox Church. The Center also organized a visit of a Bedouin village: it was tough to realize how the life of its inhabitants is affected by the presence of settlers. I enjoyed the evening where we played soccer, went to the swimming pool, and had a barbecue with some people of the neighborhood. Perhaps the most memorable experience was the trip to Akka: it was nice to spend time on the beach and to visit this beautiful city with the staff, volunteers, and Palestinian families.
Beyond my visits with the Center, I went to Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth – cities that I really appreciate. I also (re)discovered Jenin and Nablus. I love travelling in Palestine, admiring nature, visiting cities and meeting people.
I lived in Halhul with a lovely family: they welcomed me well, spent time with me, wanted to improve their English and taught me a bit of Arabic. However, living in this part of Palestine was challenging for me because it was really different of my previous experiences in other Palestinian cities. Here, the majority of people is not used to see foreigners and feeling awkward while walking into the streets is not a good impression.
Concerning safety and security in Palestine, I did not have any problems: all went well to arrive in Hebron and to travel to the different cities. Nevertheless, it is impressive and depressing to see occupation all over the place, with the soldiers, towers, wall and checkpoints.
What I like the most about Palestine is its importance for religion, its history and its landscapes. It goes without saying that I love the friends that I have here. I have had many good experiences in Palestine but if I had to remember only one, it would be having spent time in the Old City of Jerusalem with a local friend: indeed, it is very different to discover how people live there instead of visiting as a tourist.
To be honest, I do not have a clear lasting impression about Palestine, I suppose that it will me take time to grasp the meaning of this experience and to realize how much I have learnt. My overall experience at the Excellence Center and in Palestine is challenging but worthwhile.
Last but not least, I would recommend the following: it would be great to improve the organization. For example, the visits are very nice but not always “officially” announced; thus, it would be good to receive more information about them.
It would also be welcomed to have a better connection between the old center (where I had my Arabic lessons) and the new one (where I taught and from which I left for the villages). Indeed, I almost never had the opportunity to have breakfast with the volunteers because I had to move from one center to the other.
Additionally, fifty children in one class (like in Siraa) is often overwhelming. I hope that it will be possible to split the class into two groups in order to adapt the teaching to the level of children. Effectively, with so many of them, the noise is inevitable, and the gaps between the levels is huge.
Finally, benefiting more from the presence of volunteers would be a good idea: we are often in a hurry only to end up waiting for a long time; the schedules are not clear and change frequently. With an improvement of organization – namely regarding the transports to the villages –, teaching could be more effective.
I want to thank all the people involved with the Center: the job done here is crucial, the programs are various and interesting.

17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Natalia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable experience!

Hello, my name is Natalia Macias and I’m 23 years old. I am Mexican American and I’m currently living in Asheville, NC.
Choosing Go Palestine was probably one of
the best decisions I could have made. Not only is everyone friendly and welcoming, but everything you do in the center is purposeful and makes you feel as if you’re truly reaching your highest potential. In Hebron, it’s not very common to see foreigners around, so when the Palestinian people see you they try their hardest to speak English to make sure you’re welcomed here! It was truly an amazing experience.
During my stay here, I volunteered in the
Teaching English as a Volunteer program. My day to day schedule varied quite a bit but it was fun because it kept me on my toes. I was able to assist in the old center with three of the English teachers who are amazing at everything they do. I also was able to teach English in the villages nearby such as Beit Ommar, Sureef, and Sair. Apart from teaching I was also able to see the beautiful Old City of Hebron along with Akka and a few other cities. Learning Arabic 3 hours a week was also something I was able to do. I had an amazing teacher who truly helped me understand the language.
All the volunteers and those who work at the center make sure you have an unforgettable time here.
Being able to see the Palestinian culture first
hand was honestly something so indescribable and extremely pleasant to see. In the Palestinian community I was able to see how no one is homeless here. If you don’t have food, your neighbors will supply. If you don’t have something, your neighbor is sure to help you with the biggest smile. Everyone is kind to each other. I think the most surprising thing I saw while being here was how the Palestinian people are able to rise up even under an occupation. They don’t sit around waiting for change to happen, they make the change happen. There are amazing activists we were able to meet that were leading these changes. The Palestinians keep rising even when they are restricted from so many things.
I can say I have felt safe or even safer here in
Hebron than I ever have in America. It’s very important to not be discouraged by western media saying that Hebron is conflicted. Once you’re here, you’ll see that this place is probably one of the safest places you’ll be. Everyone is kind and protective of one another even if you’re a foreigner. There’s nothing to be afraid of when coming to Palestine. It’s safe and if you get lost, there’s surely someone who is willing to help you.
I would recommend 10 out of 10 to come
volunteer at the center through Go Palestine. For me it was a life change and eye opening experience that I will talk about positively for the rest of my life. Hebron has even shaped the way I think now. You’ll get the chance to help around the community while making new friendships that will last a lifetime.

19 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi, thanks for asking! Yes, the safety of all participants is ensured with this program. For additional information we recommend contacting the program provider directly, which you can do here: http://excellencenter.org/contact-us/.

Hi, thanks for asking! We recommend contacting the program provider directly to learn more about scholarship opportunities (here's a link to their contact info: http://excellencenter.org/contact-us/). Also make sure to check out our blog! We have tons of great articles and resources on finding and applying for scholarships :)

Great question! The monthly fee for this program is $560. More info on pricing and trip details can be found here: http://excellencenter.org/teach-english-in-palestine-2/.

You can volunteer for a few week or months. I volunteered for 2.5 months one volunteer was there for 4 months I think.