The Excellence Center in Palestine
92% Rating
(157 Reviews)

The Excellence Center in Palestine

Join The Excellence Center In Palestine In 2018
The Excellence Center in Palestine welcomes applications for the next year 2018. Furthermore, the Center will publish 9 new community development programs for internationals who would like to come to Palestine to volunteer, visit, intern or study Arabic next month.

Greetings from Palestine. We would be happy to have you at the Excellence Center in 2018 :)

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 the supervision of the Palestinian Authority.

The Excellence Center invites internationals year round to come to Palestine to volunteer, intern, visit or study Arabic. The Center organizes educational, cultural and community activities to introduce international interns, volunteers and students to Palestinian culture and daily life. Participants in the international programs have the opportunity to meet the local Palestinians who will share their lives and culture. Since the beginning, the Excellence Center has hosted over 250 international volunteers, interns and students from every corner of the world.

The Excellence Center is fully licensed as a cultural and educational center by the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Default avatar
Erica
Female
24 years old
Sweden
Other

Studying arabic in Excellence center

10/10

My name is Erica and I’m a teacher student from Sweden. I took a two month arabic intensive course at the Excellence center. I am very happy with the course and my teacher. She really did a great job to variate my lessons and to make it fun and interesting. I am very satisfied because of how my arabic has improved.
I spent a lot of my time in the center. We had breakfast together everyday, and usually I stayed after class to make my homework. I liked the center because of its nice staff, teachers, volunteers and students.
The center also arranged trips to Jerusalem, Betlehem, local factories, the dead sea, a village and a refugee camp. And since I made some Palestinian friends, I also got the chance to go on trips with them to Nablus and Ramallah.
During my stay in Hebron I lived with a palestinian family. They were all very friendly, and I felt very welcomed. The city is very pleasant with nice coffee shops, cafés and restaurant. But what I didn’t know before I came here was how conservative the city is.
The palestinians I’ve met has been very friendly, and the only times I didn’t feel safe was while walking alone in the evening. The hardest thing for me to cope with during my stay was the traditions. It was never a big issue for me, but I got comments like ”Don’t smoke in the street” and ”Cover your body”. But it’s a good experience to see what life’s like for women in Hebron. It’s also good practice for you to put your own beliefs aside for a while due to respect for the culture and religion here.
The things I will miss the most about Hebron is the delicious food, the warm weather and the hospitality. The warm welcoming every time you enter a shop or restaurant is rare to find in Scandinavia.
If you want to improve your arabic, I really recommend you to take classes at the Excellence center.

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Hi Erica,

Thank you for leaving a review. It was very nice having you for two months in Palestine. We enjoyed your stay as well.

We wish you all the best in learning Arabic and we hope to meet you in the future in Palestine

Warm regards from the entire EC's team

Default avatar
Aleksandra
Female
30 years old
Latvia
Other

Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times

10/10

First of all I would like to say that I was the first Latvian visiting the Excellence Center and usually any Palestinian heard nothing about my country and sometimes it started to be very funny to explain where I am from. Nonetheless, I felt some kind of responsibility and honour to bring the part of my culture to the new place and I really hope that I left a good memories and brought a value for these wonderful people in Excellence Center and Palestine.
I would like to start to write my review with a proverb which says: “Better to see something once, than to hear it thousand times.” I consider that these words absolutely applicable for my trip to Palestine.
Now I understand that I did not have any clue about life in Palestine and people living there. Before my arrival to Palestine I had some vague information about the situation in region. The Mass Media usually provides us with uncertain information about Palestine and creates an impression of a dangerous place. Upon my arrival I realized how far away from reality it is.
During my stay in Palestine and Excellence Center I participated in volunteer program “Teach English - Study Arabic”. Part of my job was to assist teachers in English classes, doing the teaching for students of Intermediate level and private lessons.
I got a lot of pleasure working as an English teacher and volunteer. It was a new experience for me and I would like to thank Excellence Center for providing such an opportunity to enrich my experience. As a reward I had Arabic lessons. My Arabic teacher Maryam made the study process especially jouful and fruitful.
The atmosphere in the Center was very joyful and relaxing. The staff is super supportive and welcoming, always ready to help you with everything. Speaking about the Center I can’t not to mention Marwa who is responsible for organization and who cares about every student and volunteer very deeply.
I suppose that every student and volunteer before coming to Palestine asks him or herself about the safety in this country. I can retell only my experience and it was very positive. I did not experience any dangerous situation. I was walking alone by myself along the street of Hebron and I was traveling alone around Palestine and Israel and did not face any problems. Of course, as a foreigner, you have to be ready for an extra attention to your personality from the local Palestinians and sometimes it can seem annoying, but you have to realize that people are just curious or really welcoming.
In conclusion I can add that Palestine is just as any other normal country where people live and just try to be happy and Palestine is a place where you can experience the highest level of hospitality.

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Hi Aleksandra,

Greetings from Palestine. We are very happy to hear that you had a good experience at the Excellence center and in Palestine in general. Thank you so much for your great effort during the month you spent here. We learned a lot from you.

We wish you all the best and we hope to meet you in the near future in Palestine

With kind

Default avatar
Annabel
Female
22 years old
London
University of Edinburgh

My Experience in Palestine

8/10

After finishing my undergraduate degree in History and Politics, I decided to complete an internship in writing articles for the Excellence Center in Hebron. I thought it would be a good opportunity to gain some experience writing articles, and I was excited to explore more of the West Bank, and to be able to learn some Arabic.

My daily life at the Excellence Center involved writing two articles a day for their website, on topics such as the safety of Palestine, the history of Palestine, and place of interest to visit. I also had two Arabic lessons every week, and I helped to teach two lessons of English a week. Although it wasn’t the focus of my internship, and I hadn’t expected to like it, I especially enjoyed teaching English, so I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to try something new and step out of my comfort zone. I also enjoyed my Arabic lessons. As I knew no Arabic before I arrived, I started from scratch, but I quickly got to grips with the basics, thanks to my teacher, Marwa.

In general, I found the staff, teachers, students and volunteers at the Excellence Center extremely friendly and welcoming. The students were very respectful, and I had a lot of fun hanging out with the other interns and volunteers. We often organised fun things for the evenings, including dinners, smoking shisha and sometimes trips. With the Excellence Center I visited some local factories, and also Farwa refugee camp, which was very eye opening.

The other interns were definitely my support system during my time in Hebron. I did enjoy living in Hebron, but I did experience some culture shock when I first arrived. Unfortunately, I did also experience some harassment as a woman, but in general I felt safe as long as I stuck to common sense rules, such as not walking alone after dark, and dressing conservatively.

I also really liked my host family, and felt extremely safe with them. They were incredibly generous, and always offering me food. They even gave me a ring as a gift before I left, and I’d definitely like to stay in touch with them. The amenities at their house were a bit basic, but the family was so warm and welcoming, I really felt at home there.

While I was staying in Hebron, I visited the sites of Hebron, including the Ibrahimi Mosque, and the local glass and ceramics factory. I also managed to go to Bethlehem, the Dead Sea and Jericho for a couple of days. Jericho was definitely a highlight for me, and I really enjoyed visiting the desert and St. George’s Monastery. I also plan on visiting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Masada before I get my flight home. One of my favourite parts of living in Hebron was living so close to so many interesting historical sites.

How can this program be improved?

I think perhaps it could be better organised, but Palestinian culture is very laid back which is also good in ways.

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Hi Annabel,

Thank you for leaving a review. We appreciate your efforts at the Excellence Center very much. We wish you all the best and hope to meet you in Palestine in the near future

Greetings from the entire team

Default avatar
Daniel
Male
57 years old
Washington DC
University of Maryland

Palestine Culture & Trip

10/10

My name is Dan Frank, and I am from Washington D.C. United States of America. I hold two Degrees, a Bachelor of Science in International Business with a minor in Japanese Studies. Also hold an advance degree in Information Technology Management.

I arrived at Hebron, West Bank, Palestine on August 10th and was here approximately three weeks. When I arrived at The Excellent Center, I was immediately welcomed with friendly greetings. Everyone at the center introduced themselves and was interested in speaking to me.

The Excellent Center had an eight day travel plan to Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jericho, The Dead Sea, and many places throughout Hebron including the Old City. We also had the opportunity to meet with three families that shared with me life in Palestine. They were very generous serving us drinks and food. The hospitality is amazing here in Palestine. I have made many long lasting friendships during my time here in Palestine.

In addition to traveling, I volunteered to help teach English to children in the Village of Beit Ummar. There we were once again invited to a family's house for delicious lunch and refreshments. Myself and the other volunteer received gifts.

Living in Hebron is an amazing experience, the people are so kind and friendly. As an international person I was welcomed by everyone, even on the streets, many people wanted to speak with me as well as take pictures. It was such a wonderful feeling. One word most people in Hebron know is "Welcome."

Having been here for almost three weeks, I have walked the streets of Hebron many times day and night and felt completely safe, not once ever feeling the sense of danger.

All volunteers, both local and international were wonderful, once again I have made so long lasting friendships here, both Palestinians and internationals.

During my time here, I also took Arabic lessons. My teacher was very kind and patient with me during our seasons. I now have an interest in learning more Arabic.

The things I like most about Palestine is the warm kind hospitality I received from everyone. I was always welcomed everywhere I traveled all through the West Bank as well as my base town of Hebron.

The Excellent Center here in Hebron and a life changing experience. I loved every moment and will cherish these memories for the rest of the life. I highly recommend The Excellent Center to anyone who wants to visit Palestine. They will take care of you throughout your journey here in Palestine. I will most certainly return to Palestine in the future.

In closing I want to say thank you Excellence Center!

Sincerely,

Dan Frank

How can this program be improved?

Perhaps do it during a cooler time of year

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Hi Daniel,

Thank you so much for leaving a review. We enjoyed your stay a lot and we are very happy to hear that you had a good experience in Palestine.

Daniel, we wish you all the best and we hope to meet you at the Excellence Center in the near future (You promised to come back)

All the best :)

Miroslav
Male

Palestine experience

9/10

My name is Miroslav, I'm 32 years old and I'm from the Czech Republic. I graduated in Architecture and Urbanism at the Czech Technical University in Prague. At the Excellence Centre I was studying Arabic for one month which meant 4 lessons per day 5 times a week.
As I'm working in Prague I have one month of holiday only so I decided to focus on Arabic rather then being volunteer at the Centre. My teacher was دعاء and I'm appreciating her approach and skills. She tried to do her best to help me with Arabic as well as with learning vocabulary. I have learned a lot however I would need at least another month to be able to communicate on a level that I would like to have.
As for the Centre itself, I was attending lessons in the new Centre which is quite big and comfortable. The staff, teachers, international volunteers and students were very nice and I really enjoyed time at the Centre. Sometimes we had common dinner and every day before the lesson there was a common breakfast. The Centre organised some trips within the city as well as out of the city. We went together to Jerusalem and a village called Susya, there was also possibility to visit a glass factory in Hebron. All trips were very nice and I'm happy I could visit a place such as Susya.
During my stay in Hebron I tried to travel a lot and so I visited Jenin, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Dahrija. All the cities are accessible by local service and except to Jenin it is possible to visit them in a one day trip. I didn't go to Nablus and Jericho because I already visited these cities last year. I would recommend everyone to travel within the West Bank because each city has different atmosphere.
Hebron itself is a city that has a Jewish settlement in the very centre which creates some difficulties for its citizens as well as for visitors. However I can't say I would feel unsafe in Hebron. Sometimes it happens that Israely soldiers are coming to the centre and in this situations it is better to stay at home.
If I focus on living, me and other guys either volunteers or students only, we were staying in a old house in the very centre of Hebron. I like architecture of the house however I would recommend some improvment, for example in the shower where water pressure was to small to unable us to wash ourself comfortably.
When I decided to come to Hebron to the Excellence Centre I had already known something about Palestine because I had travelled a lot in the region. However I have to say that to stay there for one month was a different experience in a positive way and I realy enjoyed people's hospitality, food and (...) water pipes. In Hebron you can realize what the occupation is, how it is influencing people's lives etc. I would recommend everyone who is interested in Palestinian culture and the region to came to Hebron.
I wish I could come back again.

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Hi Miroslav,

Greetings from the Excellence Center team. We enjoyed your stay in Palestine as well. Thank you for sharing your experience

We wish you all the success in learning Arabic and we hope to meet you in Palestine in the near future

With kind regards,

Program Listings

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The Excellence Center in Palestine
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The Excellence Center in Palestine
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