Location
  • Palestine
Length
4 to 13 weeks
General grants/scholarships

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
1250
Price Details
Excellence Center charges a fee of 1250$ per month. The program fees include pre-departure support, accommodation, some meals, full coordination while interning in Palestine, some visits to different sites in the city of Hebron.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Jan 04, 2024
May 13, 2024
40 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Internship in Palestine Program provides internationals with the opportunity to experience the Palestinian culture, daily life, human rights, Palestinian refugee situations, Palestinian laws, legal situation in the West Bank, and politics in Hebron, West Bank, while participating in a highly regarded community program with the Excellence Center.

The Center fosters this cultural experience by organizing visits for interns to different institutions (including both Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and governmental organizations), factories, and refugee camps in Hebron, West Bank, Palestine receiving a firsthand experience of daily life. This exciting experience is delivered through a number of internships at the Center. Furthermore, participants in the internship may study either Modern Standard Arabic or Ammiya (spoken Arabic dialects), gain transferable skills, meet Palestinian people, stay with a Palestinian host family, and learn more about the rich Palestinian culture.

Video and Photos

Impact

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

  • Studying Arabic in Palestine (Modern Standard Arabic, MSA) or Colloquial Palestinian Arabic
  • Learning more and engaging in Palestinian culture and politics
  • Assisting the cause of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank
  • Leading community activities in the city of Hebron
  • Providing educational support for Palestinian children

Popular Programs

Internship

Palestine and Israel Internship: Whether you’re an undergraduate, graduate, professional, retiree or just someone interested in the political history, human rights, Palestinian refugees or current situation, the Palestine and Israel in Context Internship program is for you! With the ability to hear the opinions of everyday people and understand, grasp and witness the effects of the conflict first hand, this is a fantastic opportunity to gain insider knowledge beyond the headlines.

Law

The Palestinian Laws & Legal Practices Internship is an ideal program for students of law, social sciences, or human rights, as well as those interested in the Palestinian legal system in the West Bank. Interns can enroll for a period of 1 to 13 weeks year-round. This legal internship program in Palestine aims to provide a full understanding of the legislation applicable to the West Bank and Gaza.

Internship

Internship In The West Bank Program offers international participants the chance to immerse themselves in Palestinian culture and daily life, as well as learn about human rights, refugee situations, and politics in Hebron, West Bank. The program involves participating in a highly respected community development initiative run by Volunteer In Palestine.

Human Rights

The Human Rights Volunteer Internship Program in the city of Hebron, Palestine is designed to introduce the subject of Palestinian human rights in an environment that will help you grow both personally and professionally. This human rights volunteer opportunity in the West Bank, Palestine is a great opportunity for those interested in gaining experience in fields such as humanitarian aid, Palestinian refugees, diplomacy, political science, and international law

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Program Reviews

4.76 Rating
based on 119 reviews
  • 5 rating 75.63%
  • 4 rating 24.37%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.65
  • Support 4.75
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 4.55
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 119 reviews
Default avatar
Albert
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The Beautiful Heart of the Palestinian People

My name is Albert Kim. I’m 39 years old. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and have lived in the New York City area since moving there at age two. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Technological Entrepreneurship & Management from Arizona State University. I’ve worked in tech, pastry arts, tutoring, and as a traveling monastic. I participated in the Volunteering with Refugees program in May of 2024.

Palestine was a life-changing experience for me in many ways. Number one, I was able to experience first-hand some semblance of what it’s like to live as a Palestinian. The plight of the Palestinian people has been dear to my heart for many years. To actually be here on the ground with the people, be immersed in the culture and in everyday life, to listen to people’s stories and struggles and to participate in these struggles myself at times was an honor and a blessing. My perspective on the Palestinian-Israeli situation has been imbued with much richness and depth.

I lived in a nicely-appointment apartment in Hebron, roughly thirty minutes walking from the Excellence Center. I regularly encountered friendly and curious locals who inquired into my origins, the reason for my stay in Hebron and so forth. The Palestinian people, in Hebron in particular, are the most welcoming and loving I’ve come across in the twenty countries I’ve traveled to. I lost count long ago of the number of complimentary coffees, teas, sweets, dinners and other gifts I received simply for my presence.

I was typically told by others to be careful when mentioning my trip to Palestine. Very sensical response especially in the current climate. However, I found myself feeling safe and secure in Palestine overall, whether in the touristy parts of Bethlehem or in the back alleys of late-night Hebron. Highlights of my travels outside of Hebron include the Wall in Bethlehem and Martyr’s Square in Nablus.

The Excellence Center is well-run by Osama and Marwa, offering numerous programs to suit the different needs and desires of prospective volunteers and students. I appreciated their flexibility in tailoring their programs for each volunteer. I found the tours and visits I participated in to be valuable. My visits to Al-Fawwar Refugee Camp stood out as particularly noteworthy. I had the most delicious Palestinian food during a visit with a refugee family there, then was guided on a tour of the camp and its history. I was also able to teach English to women and children at the girls’ school on a few occasions which I enjoyed.

Coming to the center everyday at 10am for group breakfast was a wonderful part of the daily routine. Everyone had the chance to mingle, bond, and plan their day together before going off on their individual schedules. I enjoyed swapping stories and perspectives and working and playing together with my cohort of fellow volunteers and students.
My Arabic tutor Duha was very competent and professional. I was able to hit the ground running, speaking with locals in Arabic on the day of our very first lesson together. When she asked whether I wanted the lessons to focus on the alphabet or conversation for our twelve hours, I replied “both”, and she accommodated well, providing me a foundation on which I feel confident learning on my own. I’m now able to read and write Arabic and have basic conversations.

Osama and Marwa are friendly and loving and helped make my stint with the Center a fruitful one. There’s a real family feel to the place, with friends and relatives regularly stopping in, saying hello, sharing meals. Frequently while speaking with locals around town I mentioned the Center and people were familiar.

The students I taught English to were so great. They were such enthusiastic learners, especially from someone like me! It was cool to be greeted by a student speaking Korean to me. My interactions with my students were likely my favorite part of my journey here. There’s so much life, love, joy, hope, and wonder in them. They are the future of Palestine and I believe this future will be bright. I’d like to stay in contact with them — helping them with English, maybe improving my Arabic, hearing about their lives, supporting them where I can.

I was asked if I’d return to Palestine one day. I do my best not to make promises I’m unable to keep. However, after my experience here — and especially with the children of Palestine — I can say that if I had to return to one country I’ve visited, Palestine would be near the top of my list. The hearts of the Palestinian people are open and my heart is open to them.

Default avatar
Alexa
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Palestine Stole My Heart

I'll never be the same after this experience in Palestine. The people have stolen a big piece of my heart forever. From the moment I entered the Excellence Center to my last tear-filled day, I was loved and supported from all members of the center as well my host family and local community. It is definitely a different experience being here during a 'war', things are a bit slower, not as many celebrations, but simply being here gives you so much insight into the daily life of Palestinians and the resilience they display while living under an unjust and horrific occupation.

I was able to learn more about the conflict between the occupiers (Israel) and the occupied (Palestine) and dip my toes into the human rights world with the human rights program here. I absolutely wish I was able to meet with more local organizations that focused on the human rights abuses of the occupation forces but I know this is a very unique time in Palestine. So I recommend for those that come and do the human rights program, do your research on organizations here and let the center know that you'd like to set up meetings with them. The center will do everything in their power to connect you with the right people. It might be more challenging during the current situation, but all efforts will be made to give you the best experience.

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that I'm leaving Palestine in less than 24 hours, but I know I will be back, and inshallah (God willing) it will be for even longer than this 2-month visit. I'm leaving a big piece of my heart here in Palestine with the people that have truly become my family. There is no place like Palestine. It will inspire you, break your heart, and remind you of what true humanity looks like all in the same moment. Don't pass up an opportunity to come here, you'll be forever changed.

8 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Mayu
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

my experience in palestina

I’m Mayu from Tokyo, Japan and I joined the refugees in Palestine program.
I had incredible opportunities during my time here to visit refugee camps and learn Palestinian history. I also had many opportunities to learn about the Palestinian culture and Arabic language. I wish I could stay longer to learn more.
The most surprising part of this program for me was how safe it is here. Most of the public information I got in Japan from the media discouraged me from coming here. Despite this, I felt as safe and welcomed here as I do when I’m in Japa

What was your funniest moment?
visiting people at the refugee camp
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jaden
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience in Palestine

Having been here for about a month, The Excellence Center has not only helped me learn more about the Palestinian community as a whole, but it has also helped me understand the culture, the customs, and the ways in which the Palestinians
continue to create good among a world of oppression and occupation. I participated in the Human Rights Internship for the month of April, 2024. Throughout my time, I
have not only learned so much in such a short amount of time, but I have found a community in which I feel a great connection to, despite our diverse backgrounds. Asa young American woman, it can be difficult to find community in a country where the customs, cultures, and ways of life are quite unique. However, the staff and faculty at The Excellence Center, as well as other volunteers, have made me feel very safe, comfortable, and eager to learn as much as I could in the short amount of time I was there.

During my time, I had around nine hours of Arabic lessons in which I learned basic phrases to help me get around, order at a restaurant, ask for directions, etc. My Arabic teacher was very welcoming and patient. In addition to the Arabic lessons, I
was able to go on many site visits to places such as local clinics, specialized schools,
refugee camps, as well as other religious and non-religious sites around Hebron, and beyond.

Because my housing accommodation was a short 10 minute walk from the Center, I
felt very safe walking around at night, knowing how close home was. The other
volunteers and I wasted no time in traveling to neighboring cities, such as Nablus,
Ramallah, Bethlehem, and more in order to get as much learning as possible. Among many other things, I love the food, music, and zest of Palestinian culture. Overall,
this experience was rewarding in ways I hadn’t even expected and I would highly recommend this program for anyone who is remotely interested.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Seeing how Palestinians come together after October 7, and experiencing the comradery, culture, and community that Palestinians have for each other and their land has been an amazing experience.
Pros
  • The community (both the Center and Hebron, in general)
  • The food
  • The sites
Cons
  • Language barrier (learning a whole language takes time)
17 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Maria
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent time at The Excellence Program

The entire organisation is incredibly welcoming and kind. They made me feel right at home. I was a little worried coming here whilst a genocide is going on just 70 km from here. I was scared anything might happen here in the West Bank, but I also felt there would be no time like now to come and show my support to the people of Palestine and learn more about the ongoing occupation. I am very happy I ended up going. I learned a lot and got to network and exchange ideas with locals and local organisations who do impressive things. I met incredible people and felt right at home. I felt safe the entire time I was here.

My program was tailored to my specific interests, questions and specialties, that was great. They were very open for feedback and ideas.

I would recommend the experience to any and all! Age and nationality doesn't matter, you will fit right in.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay much, much longer!
Pros
  • Long term expertise
  • Kindest people
  • Large network
Cons
  • Slighly more chaotic during Ramdan
  • None I can think of
  • None I can think of
25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Noa
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Human Rights Internship

I came to Palestine for my internship and every day i have learned so many new things. I learned about the Palestinian culture but also how the people live here and how certain things work in Palestine. I don't think i have loved a place so much as Palestine, I had an amazing host family (who I will miss very much), i met amazing people at the centre and i also learned so much about myself. I grew inmensly as a human-being. I loved learning Arabic with my teachers and I for sure became better at it.

Pros
  • Excellent teaching
  • Wonderful people (staff, people in Hebron, students from the center)
  • You can start at the center quickly after applying
Cons
  • Security and border control at the airport
  • due to the situation there are few green spaces to relax
  • Prepare for the emotional impact of witnessing the experiences of the Palestinians
40 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Salam Noa,

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience during your internship in Palestine. It's heartwarming to hear about the positive impact it had on both your personal growth and your understanding of the local culture.

We're thrilled that you found our host family welcoming, and it's clear that the connections you made at the center left a lasting impression. It's a testament to the warmth and openness of the people you encountered during your time here.

Noa. we wish you continued success in your future endeavors, and remember that you'll always have a place here in Palestine whenever you decide to return.

Best regards from Palestine!

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

Human Rights Internship

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the Excellence Centre in Hebron, and I only wish I could stay longer.
People over here are incredibly hospitable, kind and welcoming. I learnt basic Arabic, my teacher was wonderful, and I now am able to engage in a simple conversation with the locals.
I manged to visit some beautiful places in Palestine, refugee camps, and tourist attractions where I was able to engage with local people and learn even more about the country. I felt safe throught my stay here, and with the help from the organisers I found it very easy to travel around on my own.
I highly reccomend the Excellence Centre in Palestine. Come visit, you will not regret it.
I will ceratinly be back next year.
Thank you for everything.

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

Salam Karolina,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at the Excellence Centre in Hebron, Palestine. We are thrilled to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your time with us.

It warms our hearts to know that you found the people in Palestine to be incredibly hospitable, kind, and welcoming. Building connections with the locals and learning basic Arabic sounds like a fantastic experience. We're glad to hear that your teacher was wonderful and that you now feel confident engaging in conversations with the locals.

Your recommendation means a lot to us, and we hope more people will have the opportunity to discover the Excellence Centre in Palestine as you did. We look forward to welcoming you back next year!

Karolina, once again, thank you for choosing us and for your kind words. If you have any questions or need assistance in the future, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Warm regards,

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

Human Rights Internship

My name is Linda, I’m 19 and I’m from Italy. I study political science and I therefore decided to apply for the Human Rights Internship here at the Excellence Center.
I chose to come to Palestine for many different reasons, but mainly because I was attending a class about this geographical region and I wanted to learn about it directly from the field, rather than just from the books.
I spent 6 weeks at the center and I had an amazing experience: the staff at the center is super friendly and welcoming and everyone is always ready to help you out whenever you need. I had the chance to live with a local family which taught me so much about the culture and the traditions and made me immediately feel like I was one of them. With the center I had the opportunity to take Arabic classes with an amazing teacher and to go on several visits: local families that told me about their life under occupation, refugee camps (where I also had the opportunity to teach English to the kids), Israeli settlements, villages around Hebron, local NGO’s and human rights activists, lawyers…
The center also provided us with some classes in order to give us an historical background of the occupation and prepare us before the visits.
During my time here I also had the opportunity to go on several trips around the West Bank and Israel with some fellow volunteers: I visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus, Jericho and the Dead Sea, Jaffa, Haifa and Akka.
Regarding safety and security in Palestine, there was never a time that I felt unsafe in Hebron or while traveling: Palestinians are the nicest and most welcoming people I have ever met.
After spending 6 weeks in Hebron, I can say beyond doubt that I’m going back to my country as a more educated and experienced person. I definitely recommend the center to anyone interested in learning more about Palestine and helping its people: I am already planning on going back next year!

Pros
  • Experience living with a host family
  • Opportunity to meet different people in different professions to understand life in Palestine
  • Welcoming community
Cons
  • Security and border control at the airport
55 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Linda,

Thank you for sharing your incredible experience at the Excellence Center's Human Rights Internship in Palestine. It's clear that your journey was both enriching and transformative.

Living with a local family must have provided a unique and authentic insight into Palestinian culture and traditions. The opportunity to take Arabic classes and participate in various visits, such as meeting local families, teaching English in refugee camps, and exploring different aspects of life in the region, undoubtedly contributed to your deep understanding of the situation on the ground.

Your remarks about feeling safe and welcomed by Palestinians resonate with many who have visited this region and found its people to be incredibly warm and hospitable.

Your plan to return to Palestine next year speaks volumes about the impact this experience had on you. It's clear that you've gained valuable knowledge and a profound connection to the people and the place.

Your recommendation of the Excellence Center is a testament to the program's effectiveness in providing a meaningful and educational experience.

Thank you for sharing your story, Linda, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors, both in your studies and your continued exploration of Palestine.

Warm regards,

Questions & Answers