• Germany
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Language Level
Immersion Level
Intensive Standard
Specialized Courses
Business Medical Professional Specific Purposes Teaching
Class Size
Private Lessons Small Class (1-7)
Weekly Classroom Hours
Apartment Host Family Hostel


Price Details
550 Euro a Week
1000 Euro per Two Weeks
1300 Euro per Three Weeks
1600 Euro a Month

350 Euro a Week
650 Euro per Two Weeks
950 Euro per Three Weeks
1250 Euro a Month
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
SIM cards Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
Jan 07, 2022
Mar 21, 2022
5 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Study Arabic in Halle (Saale), Germany (1 – 12 Weeks): By choosing to study Arabic with the Excellence Center in Halle (Saale), Germany (EC), a student is not only deciding to learn a language, but rather engage with a culture and people of a wide Arabic Diaspora. Further, if a student has an interest in German, as well as Arabic culture, the Excellence Center in Halle (Saale), Germany is a unique place where these things converge. Because Halle is home to numerous refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, the city has an exclusive blend of Arabic and German culture, standing as a testament to the utility of the Arabic language outside of the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabic language courses last anywhere from (1 – 12) weeks and are offered year-round (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter). In addition, the EC’s Arabic language courses cover a wide range of Arabic dialects, including: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), Palestinian Colloquial Arabic, and Colloquial Levantine Arabic.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Germany and Halle Saale in particular has a lot of Arabic inhabitants and a vibrant community. It is easy to meet Arabic people and engage with them.
  • The mission of the Center is to teach languages through interaction and practice, so, learning the Arabic language in Germany will be enabled through immersion and engagement.
  • You can choose what you would like to learn (Spoken or Standard Arabic) and we can customize the course according to your needs.
  • The Arabic program is flexible, so you can come whenever it suits you (1-12 Weeks).
  • The Study Arabic program is also intensive, so you will learn Arabic everyday and practice it with Arabic native speakers and the staff of the Excellence Center.

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Program Reviews

9.88 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Instruction 9.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.3
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Three Weeks Flew By!

The purpose of my visit was to study Arabic, but also gain exposure to the local community in Halle. The Excellence Center offered the opportunity to fulfill both aspects.

I learned colloquial Levantine Arabic from Abeer. I have studied Arabic previously but what set our lessons apart was the unique take of the study materials. I learnt unusual and funny phrases, which really stick in your head – “the birds in my stomach are chirping”, anyone? It put an interesting spin on daily conversation topics, keeping us from going over the same mundane phrases that are usually parroted in language lessons. Even those who were not my teacher made effort to help where they could.The sheer amount of content we covered was surprising.

Unlike most other volunteers, I was not staying with a host family so spending time with Abeer and her family was very fulfilling. I was also able to build a relationship with the other volunteers. The atmosphere at the Center was always welcoming and lively. From (friendly?) debates during our breakfasts together to an afternoon football match (captain of the winning team right here) and cooking lunch for each other, we had many opportunities to get to know one another.

I also had my own student I was teaching English to. It’s crazy to think how, amongst other things, refugees are often depicted in media as highly dependent. I think everyone I met in Halle was highly proficient in at least two (more commonly, three or more) languages and working towards their respective goals. The Excellence Center too, run by the community and for the community, functions towards helping people reach their potential in German society.

As for Halle itself, it is generally pleasant and quiet. There's enough to keep busy on the weekend, including museums and places to eat. It is also easy to travel to and from Berlin, which I took advantage of. But it’s essential to plan your time carefully – everywhere closes early in this country. What threw me off slightly was the predominance of both Arabic and German language use. By the end of my trip, I have found myself mixing the handful I know of both languages (ليش windig???).

Special shoutout to EC's Radwan for helping me on the evening I arrived.

What was your funniest moment?
Oh boy... How do I even begin to answer this... hahahaha.
8 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Madiha,

Thank you for leaving us an excellent review. We're thrilled you loved your experience at the Excellence Center in Europe and we'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

We put Arabic students satisfaction as our priority and your review reaffirms the hard work we contribute daily. So thanks for your kind words and we look forward to seeing you again in Halle, Germany

With kind regards,
The Excellence Center in Europe Team

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience with the Excellence Centre studying Arabic and teaching English

My experience in Halle and with the Excellence Centre has been incredibly memorable. I participated in the Study Arabic and Teach English programs for two weeks and it truly was a wonderful opportunity. I was able to progress in my language learning, gain experience in teaching English as a foreign language, as well as collect so many amazing memories with my host family and colleagues at the center, all of whom have shared their stories with me and allowed me to understand more about their lives as refugees in Germany.
As part of the program, I received many hours of Levantine Arabic tuition with an excellent and very patient teacher. My writing skills especially in Arabic have improved significantly since I have arrived in Halle. I also taught conversational English to enthusiastic students who were all very motivated to improve their skills. It was an excellent chance to explore different ways of teaching English, use lots of resources to aid understanding of everyday conversation and explore useful vocabulary and concepts for the students. Each day, myself and the other volunteers would meet for Palestinian breakfast at the center before the day ahead. This was a lovely time to catch-up, share ideas about teaching, and discuss life in the city, particularly with reference to the refugee population and their integration into the community in Halle. We spent time doing presentations about life in our home-countries too which was a great way to enrich the cultural exchange.
My time with my host-family was a highlight of my trip. They were so kind and welcoming from day one and made my accommodation feel like a second home. The home-stay was a great way to practise my Arabic conversation skills, learn so much about Syrian culture and eat some incredible food too! I was very lucky to meet several other refugees through my host family, listen to their stories and learn about their experiences coming over to Germany. I have been both inspired and humbled by everyone I have met. I have learnt so much since I have been here and made several new friends for life.
I would recommend this program to anyone who is keen to gain experience in English language teaching, learn more about the lives of refugees in Germany, and those interested in understanding more about Arab culture too. Anyone with an enthusiasm for education and cultural exchange, a willingness to be open to new ideas and meet many amazing new people will really enjoy this program.

12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My week studying Arabic in Halle

My experience at the Excellence Centre in Halle was so positive. The whole team is so lovely and welcoming, we shared meals and conversations together. The language classes were fantastic with a really good teacher and helped me to practice my language skills. I studied mainly spoken Arabic, the dialect, but also some reading some written texts. Also my host family was wonderful and I created new friendships. I also spent much time with the Arabic community in Halle outside classes which made it a fantastic experience overall.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I had such a good time, I can only recommend for learners of Arabic language to stay for longer than just one week as I did.
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Complete ability to make the program your own

Overall, I had an incredible experience with the Excellence Center and their "Teach English, Study Arabic" program. Between my time spent at the Center, the cultural immersion with my host family, and traveling throughout Germany, I cannot recommend this program enough. It's kinda long so skip around, but here's my experience and some practical things to consider:

The Center - Incredibly welcoming and supportive. We have family breakfast every morning and spend the day teaching, learning, and meeting new people. The Arabic classes with my teacher, Muaz, were all customized to my language level. I've studied written Arabic (MSA) for a few years, but I have no experience with the spoken dialect (Ammiya). He found the right balance for my learning that focused on real life scenarios - by the end of my three weeks, I felt confident starting conversations in dialect. The teaching hours are also flexible to accommodate what you want from the program, whether that is to teach more or have extra time to explore Germany. You won't be short on resources for studying Arabic/German or learning new teaching methods. And if for some reason you are? Just ask Rafat and he'll give you more.

Knowing German - Halle is a great place to practice German at any language level! If you don't have experience with German yet, that's all good - a few weeks before you come though, I would recommend learning a little on Duolingo or a similar app just to get down a few basics. Most people in Halle speak a little English but aren't fluent, so they'll usually be patient as you try to speak broken German before switching to English. There's never a shortage of people to help you navigate though, I often went with people from the Excellence Center to try new food places or explore around.

Staying with a host family - Definitely one of the most rewarding parts of my time in Germany! I stayed in an apartment with my host family and three of their kids. I absolutely loved the family style meals (with incredible home-cooked Arabic food) and social events when their friends would come over. Also, you can converse in English but it's great to get extra language practice - I spoke mostly German and a little Arabic with my host family.

Living in Halle - Halle is a smaller city, connected by train to the a lot of different areas. I visited Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart during my three weeks. It's a great place to live and spend the week, then on the weekends there's lots of time to explore Germany.

Length of program - The Excellence Center lets you do 1-12 weeks, but I'd definitely say aim for longer if you have the time. I did three weeks, but wish I had more (1-2 months would have been ideal for me) because it flew by. This might also depend on your language abilities - more experienced learners may be content with a few weeks of travel, but if you're a newer learner, it might be more valuable to do a longer visit so you have time to learn and then practice your language skills.

Time of year to do the program - I visited during my college's winter break, from mid December to mid January. Because I volunteered during the holidays, there weren't as many people (both volunteers and students) at the Center which is something to consider. However, Germany's holiday season is truly beautiful, all of the Weihnachtsmärke were up (including one in Halle's city center) which made for a unique and fun experience!

Traveling during COVID - I was actually pretty surprised what I could do given the restrictions across the country. At this time, Germany was a red zone, but exploring the country was still very easy because everything is connected by train (Just need mask and vaccine card/negative test for most things). One consideration though, if you're thinking of volunteering for 1-2 weeks, I would try to see if you can do 3 weeks (or even just spend a week traveling around Germany, then go volunteer). That way, if you end up getting quarantined for COVID, it only affects part of your trip.

12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

1 week intensive Arabic course

I have spent 1 week studying in the intensive Arabic course at the Excellence Center. It has been a wonderful experience. The teaching was very effective, one on one, so I got to learn at the exact level that I needed. The teacher was very friendly, attentive and adaptive to my learning needs. Amongst other activities in Center was the common breakfast, that was a great way to start the day together and build a strong sense of community. The Center has also offered a possibility to meet with many Arabic speakers, including arranging my stay with a native Arabic speaker. All that contributed a lot to my learning, and in spite of the very short time I feel that I made a big advance. I truly recommend the Excellence Center for learning, networking and volunteering.

18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The Excellence Center in Europe - Arabic in Halle

My time in Halle and with the Excellence Center was a truly unique and enriching experience. I spent five weeks in Halle and those same five weeks studying Arabic at the Center. Prior to studying in Germany, I had five semesters of Arabic instruction as an undergraduate student and no experience whatsoever with German. I had completed a short study abroad program before in Amman, Jordan for a month in 2019, which was my only previous international academic experience with which to build my expectations for Halle. Armed with a little Arabic, no German, and a strong dose of curiosity, I came to the Center in the summer of 2021. My experience was divided across four major facets: academic, linguistic, cultural, and relational. I would like to address them all in turn.
Academically, my program at the Excellence Center was the most rigorous Arabic program I have ever partaken, and it was more than worth it. Fifteen hours per week of one-on-one instruction with a native Arabic speaker was incredibly beneficial for my ability and confidence listening to and understanding the language. Not sharing any language fully with my instructor made understanding some of the more intricate grammar topics difficult. However, having an instructor who could not use English as a crutch forced us both to use much more Arabic. I felt as though I knew just enough Arabic to benefit from having an instructor who spoke essentially in nothing but Arabic. It was particularly difficult for the first week as I got more comfortable and as my instructor learned what I did and did not know. Once we became more experienced communicating, our lessons became much smoother and more effective. In the end, I would not have wanted it any other way. Using English in the classroom would have made it a lesser experience. Also, at the center Rafat created an incredibly welcoming environment that placed an obvious emphasis on student well-being and comfort as the foundation for learning well. I always felt welcome, supported, and appreciated at the Center.
Linguistically, of course, I learned quite a bit of Arabic. Outside of the classroom and out in town, however, I found myself with another challenge. Halle’s history and economic profile have together made English far more rare to find than in other German cities. While I was able to enjoy the city fully while in Halle, I had to be very observant and willing to struggle against the language barrier as I became more comfortable. Though I had not anticipated such a language barrier with local Germans as English can be common in other areas, it all got better with time.
Culturally, I found myself at the crossroads of different worlds. At the Center I found myself surrounded by other American students, my Palestinian/Syrian refugee instructor, Rafat as a Palestinian, a Moroccan student who lives in Spain, and a British language teacher. Of course, all of these worlds were colliding in a surrounding German culture, adding another layer to the mix. It was eye-opening and fascinating to learn about each person’s story, their passions, their struggles, and their aspirations for the future. I have always believed in travel as a medium for personal growth, and my experiences in the Excellence Center only confirmed and strengthened my belief in the value of engaging with people from different parts of the world.
Relationally, I made several great new friends with backgrounds quite different from my own, as I discussed above. The relationships I made highlighted the reality that the only divisions between peoples are those we choose to create. Nationality, language, socioeconomics, religion, and all other reasons for resentment or prejudices are merely manifestations of ignorance and impatience. For example, one of the most remarkable examples of hospitality and kindness I experienced in Halle was from my host. He was of a similar age and had immigrated from Syria. We shared little culturally, including only just enough English to communicate, but he made me feel very welcome as I shared his apartment with him. That experience, just like the rest of my time in Halle, demonstrated that any divisions we create as people ignore our shared basic humanity.
Studying in Halle at the Excellence Center is not for those looking to remain within their comfort zone. The Excellence Center and the surrounding city are those looking to learn, to grow, and to experience the new.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have attempted to learn a small bit of German before arriving in Halle. I only knew English and Arabic when I arrived, and neither of the two are common in Halle. The vast majority of local residents only speak German, which was a unique and exciting challenge but could be quite a headache at times. Becoming familiar with basic German phrases before arriving will make a world of difference!
20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A great way to learn Arabic!

I took a 2-week intensive course in the Levantine dialect of Arabic, and have improved a lot in my time at the Excellence Center. There is a real sense of community in the center, which is a great opportunity to practice more. Everybody is very welcoming and very helpful, which helped me settle into the community very easily! My lessons were very well paced, and I was constantly challenged with new material, while reviewing material I had already learned. I lived with Abboud during my stay, he was incredibly hospitable and gave me an opportunity to practice my Arabic when I was not in the Center, and Rafat very helpfully organised this for me. I would highly recommend this course to anybody who wants to learn Arabic in a supportive environment.

24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Super Flexible Program for those with Limited Time

I work full-time and was not able to take a regular course so I opted for private instruction. This worked out best for me and I recommend this to those with inflexible schedules. Rafat, the center director and founder, is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I had some basic Arabic and he was able to construct lessons that suited my progress. Because I came during the New Year's holiday there weren't other students to interact with, but Halle is a very nice city with great cafes and a good arts movie theatre.
I lived with a refugee family so the accommodations were fine but if you are looking for a 5-star hotel this isn't it. I had my own room in a small apartment in which a mom and her 17 year old son were living. Shared bathroom. There were ample times to interact with them and over the holidays she had many refugee friends over and that was quite interesting. Rafat also organizes cultural programs in the afternoon where you can interact with other Arab speakers.

What would you improve about this program?
I think it would be interesting if Rafat offered a lecture or a talk with a local Imam or someone else who knows about the Islamic religion. Many refugees I met were fairly religious but most folks from non-Muslim countries - myself included - know very little about Islam. I would be interested in learning about the origins of wearing a hijab, burka or other clothing rituals. Why do Muslims follow certain traditions etc...? Maybe others would find this interesting too.
23 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers