Internship in Palestine

Video and Photos


The "Internship in Palestine" program was designed for internationals, who would like to learn Palestinian Arabic, live the Palestinian daily life, and engage in the culture, politics and social life in Palestine.

Participants will have the opportunity to stay with a Palestinian host family and truly live the Palestinian daily life as well as learn some Arabic, meet Palestinian people and learn how to cook Palestinian food.

International interns will also participate in some educational and community development activities at local universities, schools and community centers in the city of Hebron. Visits to local industries, governmental institutions, and historical sites will be organized during the internship period in Palestine.

The Excellence Center welcomes participants who are between 18 – 75 years old to apply year round. Participants receive a diploma and recommendation letter at the end of their internship in Palestine.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers


9.42 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 83.33%
  • 7-8 rating 16.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 9.2
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 12
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Internship in Hebron

The experience in Palestine is unique and cannot be found anywhere else. The Excellence Center provides as an amazing host in Hebron. From the moment I arrived in Palestine they constantly made sure I was happy and feeling safe. With Arabic lessons, visiting cultural sites, teaching English courses; there is endless information and experience to gain. The host families are warm and welcoming, there is never a moment that you do not feel safe in Hebron. Today there is a lot of negative media about Hebron but once you are here it is not even noticeable.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would focus on my Arabic courses and take more classes
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer at the Excellence Center

The Excellence Center is not only a great educational program, it is a great community leader and facilitator of civic relationships. It provides a thorough introduction to the culture and people of Hebron and the West Bank. The people of Hebron themselves are warm and welcoming, and there is no shortage of community activity and sharing. The introduction to historic sites and landmarks is compelling and the EC team is committed to providing all visitors with a thorough understanding, of Hebron and its history.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have brought warmer clothing to be better prepared for the colder winter evenings, and I would have brought better hiking shoes and clothing for the epic natural adventures.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

2 months stay in Palestine with the Excellence Center

I came to Palestine after studying abroad in England for one year in the field of peace Studies program. Here at the Excellence Center, I joined two-month internship programs that consist of some short trips, two-week intensive Arabic lessons, and teaching English program.

As for the Arabic course, I really enjoyed every class for two weeks and I can now make simple sentences in Arabic, although I had not studied the language before. Apart from the classes, my Palestinian friends at the center, such as the teachers, stuff, and volunteers, were willing to teach me Arabic when they had time. Thanks to everyone here, I came to love this language. I would like to continue studying Arabic after I go back home.

In addition to that, teaching English to the local students was great, although it was hard at the same time. Students here listened to me very attentively, which helped me a lot. Due to the language barrier, certainly there were times when I struggled over how to communicate with them, but they were full of curiosity about different cultures and tried speaking eagerly to me in English. They always motivated me to do my best for them. I will miss my students I got to work with this summer in Palestine!

Most importantly, what made my stay in Palestine wonderful and unforgettable were the people themselves. Hebron is often said to be the most conservative city in Palestine, but it doesn’t necessarily mean exclusive. People in this city are very friendly and I received a warm welcome from them. The warm and welcoming atmosphere especially at the Excellence Center made me feel like part of the family. I hope I can come back to this place! You don’t need to worry about coming to Palestine alone. I am sure you will have lots of fond memories here.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Internship in Palestine

I spent two months in Hebron, Palestine with the Excellence Center, and honestly, it was probably one of the best life choices I’ve ever made. I don’t think I can describe how much this internship helped me to develop as a person and as an Arabic speaker. Through the host family experience and the Arabic courses, I went from someone who could speak some Arabic, but was extremely timid and never did so, to someone who is comfortable having conversations in Arabic, even if I’m not 100% positive on how to say certain things. The Arabic I learned in the classes here is called Khalili- which is the local dialect in Hebron (Khalil in Arabic). Learning this dialect has helped to connect me to the local population, my host family, and helped me to be able to ask questions on the street in a dialect that is familiar to everyone here. However, one can also study Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) if that is what they want to do.

When I first arrived at the Center I was a nervous wreck, I’ve recently arrived in a foreign country, didn’t know what to expect, and didn’t know anyone here beyond exchanging emails. However, I was welcomed here with open arms, by both the staff and the amazing manager and the other volunteers. I was instantly relieved and was greeted by my host family shortly after. After my intensive Arabic courses were over I had different political tours of Hebron filled with information and many different people’s perspectives of the occupation and life in Palestine. From visiting the governorate to seeing the near ghost town of H2, every visit was educational, interesting, and important for my time in Hebron.

For the last section of my time in Hebron, I was teaching English. I mainly had my own classes but did assist other teachers when needed. This section changed my life. I came into this internship wanting to work for my government and left wanting to continue teaching English as a second language in an Arab country (hopefully Palestine). The kids in my classes were mainly interested, at least half the class wanted to be there and paid attention when I was teaching, as a student of foreign languages this is truly a rarity. These students have made me laugh, challenged me, and turned me into a more patient and kinder person. They have shown me that students can be interested in foreign languages and that with the right students teaching is less of a job than a past time. I highly recommend anyone who is thinking about coming to Hebron to teach, learn Arabic, volunteer, intern, etc. to do it. This is a life-changing experience that is not available elsewhere, as in nowhere else is there the welcoming, loving, family environment that the Excellence Center in Palestine provides.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I recommend that you spend as much time as you can here. This was single-handedly the best experience I've had and my only regret is that I wasn't here longer.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with the Excellence Center in Hebron

I came to The Excellence Center to get a better understanding of the conflict with Israel and explore the West Bank. The experiences I got here more than lived up to my expectations.
I was at the center for one month, where I took Arabic lessons, took tours the Center gave. The tours at the Center gave an immersive experience on what it is like to live in Hebron. We took trips to the Building of Commerce, and the Municipality building in Hebron. There we learned about how the city operated to get the basic needs of their people met, and the difficulties they face trying to accomplish that.
We also visited the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque. During the tour we got to see the inside of the beautiful mosque and learn about its history. The mosque is home to the tomb of Abraham and the site of the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, that forever changed Hebron.
Going on the tours and talking to people here you get an unparallel experience on how the Israel occupation affects the Palestinian people. The occupation has affected many facets of their everyday life such as, the wall in Bethlehem completely segregating the West Bank off, to the travel restrictions, and the loss of personal freedoms.
The Arabic lessons were pact full of information that you could immediately use right after the lesson. Living in an area where Arabic is primarily spoken gives you plenty of time to practice and learn more Arabic. I learned how to read and write the numbers, letters, and many words and phrases that are useful in everyday life. My teacher for my Arabic lessons was great. He spoke very good English and was able to communicate how to properly pronounce Arabic words and give there meaning. I could ask him anything on how to say certain words or phrases or just ask him about how to get around Hebron.
My time at the excellence center was well spent. The people you meet here are amazing and each has their own story to tell. Being here was a great place to travel and to better my Arabic.

What would you improve about this program?
Some of the scheduling is not planed out and you do not know what you are doing until that day.
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time at the Excellence Center in Palestine

This internship included a number of tasks and experiences that gave me extraordinary educational and professional development. As an intern I would be dually focused on teaching English to clients of the Excellence Center but that I would also be taking Arabic classes. For the first week and a half I was only doing trips and tours, walking around with a teacher named Isaac, who guided us through a lot of the more famous parts of Hebron. I began intensive Arabic classes, starting at 8:30 am in the morning until around noon, then I help out with any of the English classes going on at the moment. The internship brought me into a world that cultivated lifelong friendships, provided professional skills, and provoked a desire to return to that region and work there.

What would you improve about this program?
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with the Excellence Center in Hebron

My name is Lizi. I am from England and am currently studying a Master Degree in Sustainable Development and Disaster Management in Newcastle. I have been at The Excellence Centre for 1 month and have completed the internship program.

During my time at the center, I have been living with a host family in a village called Bait Ommar. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the family and will be keeping in contact with them after I leave Palestine. Staying with a host family really allowed me to get a deeper insight into the Palestinian culture, as well as helping me gain some life long friends. The family showed me things I would never have seen without them, such as local weddings, less travelled locations and family traditions. They were warm, welcoming, generous, hospitable and lovely people. The village itself was beautiful too and have a pleasant contrast to the busier city life of Hebron.

My first week at the center consisted of 5 one to one Arabic classes with my teacher Abraham, which each lasted around 3 hours. These classes were enjoyable and informative. I found Abraham was a good teacher and very easy to get along with. He also gave me the opportunity to steer the lessons into whichever areas were of main interest to me which was great. For example, I wanted to focus on conversational/spoken Arabic more so than writing and reading, so most of the lessons were arranged and personalised around this.

The second week during the internship was my favourite week. During this week, Abrahim (a different Abrahim!) guided and arranged several tours around hebron. We visited Hebron Old City, Rumeida and Shuhada Street, Al-ibrahimi Mosque, Alfawar refugee camp and The Chamber of Commerce. As I was the only one on the internship, the tours were just for him and myself, however we invited the other volunteers and each trip we had a relatively large group accompanying us. Abrahim was a great guide during the trips. He made them very educational and answered any questions we had for him as well as telling us some of his own personal experiences and opinions. It was both sad and shocking to hear the things he has seen, and to hear a monologue from someone who has lived through the stages of this conflict has been invaluable.

I did visit several places independently from the centre also. For example, my host family took me to Bethlehem, Jericho, The Dead Sea, Ramallah and Neblus. Also, alone, I visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I had always thought of England as a small country and so it was amazing for me to see just how small Palestine is. The short distances made it easy to travel and I am grateful to the centre and my host family, as in a short time I have been able to see a majority of the beautiful major cities, each with its own unique qualities (for example, nablus is the leader for Knaffa!)

The third week of my internship began with a presentation given by Abraham in teaching techniques with the purpose of preparing me for my final week of teaching. This was very useful and educational. The following day, I was asked to make a presentation of my own stating some ideas I had for future lesson plans. This was challenging as I am not a natural public speaker however the staff were very supportive and warmly welcomed my ideas.

For my final week, I assisted Abraham in teaching his class. The class were at beginner level, so Abrahim would explain the content to them, and I would then write and speak the answers in English. The class were very eager to learn and very grateful and receptive to both their native and international teachers. I found that their attitudes to learning were much more positive than the average UK student and it was a pleasure to work with them in my final week. One of the highlights with this class was the food day! Each student would bring in a delicious dish, give a presentation in English of how they made it, and then everybody would be welcomed to join and share the food together. It was a lovely atmosphere.

Finally, I will end on a point I feel is very important. Did I feel safe in Palestine? I will admit that before leaving, I was nervous to enter the Palestinian territories. I had never met any Palestinians, and most of my knowledge of the place at present was coming from the media. This is the same for most people in Europe, and so I also had friends and family warning me to be careful and even begging me not to go! I can now say in all honestly that I have never felt safer in a country as I have in Palestine. Palestinians are good people. They take pride in their culture, community and generosity. They are always looking to help internationals or if you do not need help, they will want to invite you in for tea and food regardless! I love this country and its people, and I think it's so important that people know the real Palestine, and not the one portrayed in the eyes of the western media.

On leaving Palestine, I wish to go home and complete my studies to hopefully go on to work as an NGO specializing in refugee crisises. I would recommend the excellence center to anyone. I have learnt so much here, and met so many amazing people. I will always keep the Palestinians in my heart after I have left, and will make sure to spread the word of their good nature in my home country. All I can hope is that I will be able to return to this amazing country again some day.

What would you improve about this program?
No areas for improvement, it was perfect :)
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Imagined Palestine

My motivation to come to Palestine was mostly political and in part from cultural curiosity which I have had as I study anthropology. It was my dream to live with Muslim people and see how they spend their daily lives, while Palestine has been the most attractive destination among other Arab countries because of my political interest. I have read good amounts of books on Palestinian-Israeli conflict and my image of staying in Palestine was, not that I was thinking here is dangerous, which is totally incorrect, but that it can be hard and I would probably face harsh realities. In short, I imagined Palestine as a place with its specificity.

My assumption was partly true. I got to hear bunch of sad stories and those examples showed me that people living here are suffering daily from things I already knew from the books. When we have conversations, they suddenly jump into the topic of the occupation, sometimes even do not intend to, and they show me subtle, but clear anger for what they are talking about. Then they switch to brighter topics or daily conversations and the shadow I felt inside their voice disappears. Whenever you hear each of the story, I assure you will feel so depressed that you need to stay away from it for a little moment.

At the same time, contrary to what most of the people in the world who never visited Palestine think, which was kind of same for me before, these people are having daily lives as normal as people do in other parts of the world. It is stupid enough to inform you, “Hey, there is a life in Palestine. People are living there just like us”. Honestly, though, I have never watched media, which introduce the aspect of Palestinian culture and life. Everything is about the conflict, the violence and the number of deaths. It makes the image of Palestine ugly and prevents people from coming here. Because of that, I needed some time to tell my parents that I was going to apply for this program. How political it is. How we are not aware of it! I assume this situation on media or whatever information available for people are more or less same in other countries.

I cannot even summarize what I have got from this experience because it was not just knowledge on its culture and the politic, but it was something alive which I can see and feel from people and Hebron itself. Culturally, it was an amazing opportunity to live with my host family, through which I got to know their way of thinking as Muslims and as Palestinians. I cannot think of anything better than spending time with them throughout this whole month. If there was much space here, I would write about their hospitality, willingness to teach me Arabic and supports on everything. Politically, I found it much more difficult to solve the problem since I had a closer look on the situation, while at the same time, it motivated me to think of any possibility to work for it in the future. The situation must be changed.

What would you improve about this program?
Paid system for host family(They do not receive any money if it is selective)