Internship in Palestine

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About

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 – 50 years old to apply year round. Participants receive a diploma and recommendation letter at the end of their internship in Palestine.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 8.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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Chie
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
Paid system for host family(They do not receive any money if it is selective)
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Connor
9/10

Two Months with the Excellence Center

Marhaba! My name is Connor Israel and I am a twenty-year-old International Studies and Arabic student from Texas A&M University. I am currently wrapping up my two months of participating in the Internship in Palestine program with the Excellence Center. I came to Palestine in order to improve my Arabic language skills, learn about the situation under Israeli occupation and most importantly to make personal connections to this place that is so often the subject of diminutive headlines. All of those desires have been fulfilled through my time with the Excellence Center and I am so thankful for the opportunity I was able to have here in Hebron.
Through two weeks of intensive and personalized Arabic classes with my incredible teacher Isaac (!شكرا كتير) I was introduced to the local dialect and given valuable study materials that I have worked through during the rest of my time here. The most important improvement I have seen in my Arabic skills is definitely a vastly greater comfort in speaking the language. Upon arriving, I was apprehensive about using the language, but through meeting new friends both in the center and around the city, I was able to gain confidence as I learned more and more each day. As an international volunteer at the center, I would say that the Arabic classes and practical experience you gain by being here are the most valuable skills I have gained.
I also came to Hebron because I was fascinated with the political situation in Palestine. Seeing the checkpoints and settlements with my own eyes has given me a perspective on the occupation that is based on witnessing it not merely hearing about it through the media. I have had countless conversations with amazing Palestinians about the hardships they have faced their whole lives due to the Israeli military. I have been honored to drink coffee and talk with so many brave individuals who still fight for peace and freedom despite all of the obstacles they face. If you are at all interested in learning more about the Palestinian situation, spending time in Hebron will provide you with so much perspective and understanding which you could never gain from simply reading about the conflict.
Lastly, and most memorably, the relationships I have made here will stay with me for the rest of my life. The staff at the center are warm and welcoming and they have shown me the best parts of Palestinian society, their immense hospitality. I have had conversations with people on the street who are just interested in welcoming me to their homes. I have been offered coffee and tea more times than I can count. I was also able to meet many other international volunteers from all over the world who have become dear friends in my short time here.
The Excellence Center is a place where stimulating conversation is abundant and I will always be thankful for my two short months here in Hebron!

Yes, I recommend
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Gregoire
8/10

Great Time in Palestine

My experience at the excellence center was very fulfilling, it was my first time in an Arab country and it could not have been better, I met many locals, saw almost everything to see in Hebron, and I had a lot of very useful information on the situation of this country. I owe all that to the excellence center who planned visits and meetings with local figures. So I would definitely recommend the volunteer program in Hebron.

Yes, I recommend
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Joe
9/10

My experience at the Excellence Centre in Hebron.

Whether you are looking to learn some Arabic, improve your Arabic, or simply explore Palestine, this is the perfect programme for anyone with a modicum of interest in Palestinian life. Hebron has a reputation as being one of the tensest cities in the world. As soon as you enter the Old City however, walking past the abundance of fruits, olives and nuts in the markets, you will be welcomed into the city like a long-lost relative.
I have spent one month working at the centre on the Internship program. In this time, I have been schooled in Arabic, been taken on tours throughout Hebron and the West Bank, and made friends for life. Even for non-speakers, the programme will give you a good grasp of conversational Arabic, which will be extremely useful if you plan on being a regular visitor to the Middle East and the Arab world.

I would wholeheartedly recommend you to apply to become an intern at the Excellence Center.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps more information could be provided to applicants and interns on the best way to reach Hebron, and how to locate the centre itself whilst in the city. It would also be an added bonus if the centre was somehow able to put interns and volunteers in touch with the NGO's active in Hebron, and somehow found a way to provide for integrated experiences and shared activities.
Yes, I recommend
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Bryan
10/10

Great Experience in Palestine

I love the Excellence Center. It helps local Palestinians learn English and gives international volunteers a chance to experience Palestinian culture and hospitality. It is a good way to see the occupation first hand and support people living under apartheid. You will makes friends for a life time, while improving your Arabic and teaching skills. I highly recommend anyone joining the Palestine Excellence Center.

How can this program be improved?
I have no complaints
Yes, I recommend

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Meet the Staff

About The Excellence Center

The Excellence Center was established in June 2011 as a youth initiative to offer educational and community services to its diverse group of internationals and Palestinians. It is located in the main heart of Hebron on Ein Sarah street which is under...