Study Arabic in Palestine with The Excellence Center

Video and Photos

Dinner at my teacher Ibrahim's house
Dinner at my teacher Ibrahim's house
Road trip
Road trip
Dinner with Excellence staff
Dinner with Excellence staff
Center
Center
Excellence Center certificate
Excellence Center certificate
Excellence Center certificate
Excellence Center certificate
Excellence Center certificate
Excellence Center certificate
April feast
April feast

About

The Excellence Center would like to invite you to participate in the Study Arabic Intensive Program in Hebron. The Arabic Program combines studying Arabic with an immersion into the Palestinian culture and history.

International participants study the Arabic language with Palestinian teachers in interactive ways. Language studies include learning the Palestinian dialect and Modern Standard Arabic. We offer Arabic courses for all levels from starters to advanced learners. The Excellence Center provides international students with all necessary books needed in the course.

The Study Arabic Program is a singular opportunity for students searching to make a unique difference in their lives. While studying Arabic in Hebron, they are also involved in community development activities that are organized by the Excellence Centre.

The program is an optimal opportunity that gives an intimate, first-hand experience of Palestinian life and the political realities of that life in Hebron

Highlights
  • Stay with a Palestinian family in Hebron
  • Engagement with Palestinian youth in cultural and educational activities
  • Visit unique tourist attractions with a non-touristic perspective
  • Live and engage in the Palestinian daily life
  • Meet new people and make new Palestinian and international friends

Join Our Family in Palestine and Germany

Welcome to the Excellence Center: People who are between 18 – 75 years old are eligible to participate in all of our programs in Palestine and Germany. All nationalities and majors are welcome! You do not have to have any degree to join us. The Excellence Center hosts internationals year-round. Participants decide when they would like to start and end their programs. We are very flexible when it comes to starting and ending dates.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 107 reviews
  • Academics 9.1
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 76 - 90 of 107
Default avatar
Damir
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach English Speak Arabic

I spent two months volunteering at the Excellence Center teaching English. In addition to teaching English I took six hours of Arabic per week. My teacher was Du’a Qasim. Overall I was satisfied with her teaching methods and what I got out of the lessons. She’s very knowledgeable, communicative, and attentive to concerns. She has a lesson plan set up but she’s open to exploring personal interests her students may have. Moreover, she’s an exceptionally caring individual who is genuine in her goals and committed to her job. The staff at the center also encourage Arabic usage. This is helpful in applying what you learn in the classroom and translating it to everyday experiences. The fact that you’ll be living in a city of over 200,000 people who speak Arabic is just another incentive to learn and improve your language skills.

The center offers three hours of Arabic per week for every volunteer who works at the Excellence Center. However, one can certainly add more hours at a reasonable price. For those coming from the United States, it’s certainly more affordable than anything a university would charge per credit hour. And in my opinion, this is just as effective if not more. I’d encourage volunteers to take additional hours.

The Excellence Center is sanctioned by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and at the end of your volunteer period you will receive a certificate from the Center acknowledging your participation in the teaching aspect and completing the Arabic lessons. Moreover, one can certainly just enroll at the Excellence Center to take Arabic lessons. A few of the individuals I met in summer of 2016 at the Excellence Center attended the Center exclucivly for the Arabic lessons. Again, this a combination of reasonable cost, social environment, and a cadre of capable local teachers who take their profession seriously.

As I mentioned, my teacher was Du’a Qasim, who has been just wonderful in every sense of that word. Extremely helpful and effective as a teacher. I would strongly recommend her as my personal experience dictates as such. The Excellence Center’s staff are capable of working with people from beginner, to novice, to intermediate, to advanced levels. So if you want to learn basic Arabic to more advanced literary and comprehensive understanding of the language, the Center can provide teachers who are capable.

Lastly, the Arabic lessons are a good complementary experience that will certainly help you get around Palestine.

Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Damir,

Thank you so much for leaving a review. You are very eager and passionate to learn the Arabic language. We wish you all the best

We hope to see you soon in Palestine

Greetings from the entire team
Excellence Center's Staff

Default avatar
Scott
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellence

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the center. I feel that it has been highly beneficial to my Arabic studies. One would be hard pressed to find a better program to learn Arabic in the land. The teachers are knowledgeable and more that helpful, and the staff is always looking for ways to improve the center to help both current and future learners. If you are wanting to learn Arabic, do yourself a favor and give this center a try.

Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Scott,

Thank you so much for leaving a review. We are very happy to hear that you are enjoyed learning Arabic at the Excellence Center. We wish you all the best in learning the Arabic language in the future and we hope to have you again at the Center or in Palestine

Greetings from all of us
Excellence Center's Team

Default avatar
Marybel
5/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hebron

I enjoyed learning Arabic. My Instructors were great at teaching. On my off time I found travel buddies to site see. I traveled to various cities and Bethlehem is only 45 minutes away via shared taxi. I suggest share taxis for just about everywhere you want to travel in Palestine or Israel. I visited Bethlehem many times and there are so many things to see in the Christian quarter alone. One thing I will miss is the amazing fresh food you can find everywhere. The falafel sandwich and lamb shawarma are my favorite.

What would you improve about this program?
Must disclose everything for males and females. Yes, the rules in the City of Hebron are very different for men and women.
Example: In the contract it says that there will be a person with you at all times, not true I never had someone with me from the beginning.
Men and women should be allowed to choose their living accommodations from living with host family or in a shared apartment.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Marybel,

Thank you so much for leaving a review and we are happy to hear that you enjoyed learning Arabic at the Excellence Center and Places and food in Palestine.

Concerning your suggestion, we will take it in our consideration so we can continually improve the experience of our international visitors to the Center. Thank you again for it and we would be very happy to have you in Palestine again

With kind regards from all of us
Excellence Center's Team

Default avatar
Celine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good school and good stay

Program completed in 2015:

I enjoy the program in The Excellence Center. My teacher was really a good one, very pedagogue. And I was really well welcoming by the Center as the family who was hosting me. Both way to learn the language and the culture as well. I booked 2 weeks, who were going too fast. I wish I could stay more. But I will be back to going on my arabic. For those who wondering, there's no safety problem in Hebron. The place is really safe, and people really nice.

Program completed in 2016:

It's my second time in the Excellence Center, and for sure not the last one. It's a very good center with good teachers, and the best way to learn arabic in an efficient and fast way (of course if you study). Everybody here are very welcoming and helpful. Some people can be concern about the security, and it's understandable. But in reality, and I talk as a woman who use to travel alone, Hebron's streets are very safe, and there are some cool places where you can have chicha or some soft drinks. One regret ? Yes: I wish I can stay longer.

What would you improve about this program?
Actually the program is really good. The only thing I can think about it, is a map of Hebron could be useful. It could be better if the "school" book would be completely in arabic and not in english or both arabic and english. I think it would be more helpful and less confusing (especially for the pronunciation). But as far as I know, it's already a work in progress ;-)
Default avatar
Anne
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My stay at the Excellence Center in Hebron

I studied Arabic at the Excellence Center for three weeks. Overall it was a really good experience.

I was very happy with the classes and my teacher Shayma. She is a really good teacher and she always prepared her classes very well. I learned a lot from her and the classes were useful and fun.

The Excellence Center organised some trips and dinners, which gave me the opportunity to meet some new people, and all of the peope from the center were very nice.
All the Palestinians I met were super friendly and hospitable and I made some great friends.

I was living with a host family, this gave me the opportunity to experience the Palestinian culture and enabled me to practice my Arabic on a daily base. My host family became like a second family to me. I did not feel bored at any moment because there was always something fun to do.

I recommend this program because I learned a lot, not only Arabic but also about the Palestinian culture and what it is like to live in Palestine.

What would you improve about this program?
The center is a bit disorganised. Sometimes the classes were interrupted by other teachers or people from the center which was distracting for me.
Response from The Excellence Center

Thank you Anne for the review. We are very glad that you had a good experience in Palestine and at the Excellence Center.

Thank you so much for your suggestion for improvement, of course we will take in our consideration.

We wish you all the best and hope to see you soon in Palestine.

With kind regards,
Excellence Center's team

Default avatar
Tracey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Program

I only had a short time but really enjoyed my stay. My teacher was lovely and helped me improve my Arabic even though my time was limited. The staff were great, always checking in to be sure there were no problems. They were also very flexible with the tour times to be sure whoever wanted to could come along. Host family were amazing. I really enjoyed my time with them........................................

Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Tracey,

Thank you so much for the review, we are very glad to hear that you enjoyed studying Arabic at the Excellence Center.

We wish you all the best and hope to see you soon in Palestine

With kind regards,
Excellence Center's team

Default avatar
Kristina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning Arabic in Palestine

Hi, my name is Kristie. I am from the United States and in medical school. I came to the Excellence Center to study Arabic and to learn more about Palestinian life and culture. While I am only at the center for a short period of time, I hope to continue my studies and use what I learn in my future as a doctor.

I arrived in Palestine just days before the celebration of Eid Al-Adha, one of the two major holidays in Islam. I spent the holiday with my host family, learning about their traditions and eating amazing food. The children had a great time bringing me random objects from around the house and teaching me their names in Arabic. While “tray” and “table leg” might not be the most useful words at this point in my Arabic studies, we had a great time! Over the next two days, I met around 30 members of the family. For my second day in a new country, with a new language, it should have been an overwhelming experience. However, to my delight, they were some of the most enjoyable days I have spent in a long time. The whole family was incredibly warm and welcoming, going out of their way to make me, the foreigner crashing their party, feel comfortable and included.

Once the holiday ended, I began my Arabic lessons in earnest. 3-4 hours a day I had private lessons with my teacher Alaa. While the beginning of learning a language is always difficult and somewhat frustrating, Alaa made it manageable and fun. While teaching me the basics, she helped me focus on medical vocabulary so that I could immediately learn the Arabic most useful to me. Overall, the experience was fantastic and exactly what I hoped for by going to Palestine. I will hopefully be back in the future!

What would you improve about this program?
An orientation for students staying with a host family to talk about some of the cultural differences that are likely to be encountered and how to handle them so as to not appear rude. For example, Palestinians take feeding their guests very seriously which was amazing, but a polite way of saying "thanks, but I'm full" would have been very helpful. The good news is that this type of orientation was being developed as I left so should be available for future participants.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Kristina,

Thank you so much for your suggestions and leaving a review.

Recently, we created orientation booklet and a presentation to inform internationals about life in Palestine and Hebron in particular.

We hope to see you in the future and we wish you all the best

With kind regards,
EC Team

Default avatar
Amalie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My stay at the Excellence Center, Hebron, Palestine

My name is Amalie, a 21 years old student from Denmark. I study Arabic and Islam Studies in Denmark. As a part of my education I travelled to Palestine to learn the shaami dialect and to improve my fusHa language.
I stayed at the Excellence Center for a month, and had classes 5 days a week, 3,5 hours per day. I had a great stay and the breakfast with all the staff and people staying at the center, was a good opportunity to meet people and personalities from all over the world.
I was taught by Shayma, a 23 years old girl from Hebron. She had graduated from her studies in fusHa from Hebron University, so she was an expert. She was an amazing teacher, always happy and she actually became more a friend than a teacher to me. She took me with her everywhere and showed me the Palestinian culture. This hospitality is also a characteristic of Palestine and the Palestinian people. They will treat you as their guest and will do anything for you to feel safe and happy. Therefore the security will never be a problem, though it is a country with problems and chaos. You will be treated as a part of their family or friends, and the Palestinians will not allow anything to happen to their guests.
During my stay I lived in the ground floor and had my own apartment at a Palestinian family. This was an amazing experience and the family made sure that I never missed anything, and I felt as a part of the family, but still I had the possibility to have my privacy, when needed, in my apartment. Furthermore they cooked and took care of me, and became my second family only after one month. I am sure I will see them again in the future.

Default avatar
Kiki
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellence is excellent

The most unique thing about excellence centre is the atmosphere of the place. It reflects the Palestinian customs and culture and gives the students a good idea on the friendliness, generosity and good heartedness of the people. The program is well tailored for the individual student and this makes the actual learning experience even more fun. My teacher always thinks of new ways to get me engaged and I love the energy he brings to the class room.

Default avatar
Morten
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

studying in Hebron

Being at Excellence Center has been at enjoyable experience. You are not just a student here, but you are so part of a broader relationship between all people here. The friendly atmosphere between staff volunteers and students makes is a good environment for not only studying but so living. The course we have had was perfect for us, Because We got the opportunity to make it Exactly how we want it accordion to the curriculum provided from university. The center is located a few kilometers away from the city center. We have been living in Bethlehem and the services made ​​it easy for us, by stopping just in front of the door to the center. Hebron is a very interesting place to live if you want to understand the life of the Palestinians and the impact of the Conflict On Their daily life's. Nonetheless Excellence Center is located in a peaceful part of the city and we have never experience any trouble. We highly recommend Excellence Center Whether you just want to learn a few phrases or to continue to ongoing study.

Sallaam min ID Denemark! Morten og Marie

What would you improve about this program?
Being at Excellence Center has been at enjoyable experience. You are not just a student here, but you are so part of a broader relationship between all people here. The friendly atmosphere between staff volunteers and students makes is a good environment for not only studying but so living. The course we have had was perfect for us, Because We got the opportunity to make it Exactly how we want it accordion to the curriculum provided from university. The center is located a few kilometers away from the city center. We have been living in Bethlehem and the services made ​​it easy for us, by stopping just in front of the door to the center. Hebron is a very interesting place to live if you want to understand the life of the Palestinians and the impact of the Conflict On Their daily life's. Nonetheless Excellence Center is located in a peaceful part of the city and we have never experience any trouble. We highly recommend Excellence Center Whether you just want to learn a few phrases or to continue to ongoing study.

Sallaam min ID Denemark! Morten og Marie
Default avatar
Frank
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Intensive Arabic qolloquial course

I wanted an opportunity for an intensive improvement of my qolloquial Arabic language, and this was the perfect fit. With daily classes and endless possibilities of practising conversation at the center, social gatherings and with my host, this was what I was looking for. The centre has a lively and fun atmosphere, with foreigners studying or volunteering, and the staff is friendly and fun. The classes are one to one, so the teaching and topics are tailored to your wishes and interests. I, for example had less interest in writing and more in speaking and expanding vocabulary.
With intensive classes, accomodation and social arrangements as well as good people, the centre did provide the full package one needed for a stay without other connections.
The centre arranges optional tours which are great for learning about the situation of daily, though normalised, occupation, even if your stay is short.
No city in the West Bank is alike, and with Hebron in the more conservative end, one should take time to visit other cities as well.

What would you improve about this program?
It is not a critique, but it is good for people with a more independent lifestyle to know that staying with a host family entails a social responsibility, depending on the accomodation.
Default avatar
Stine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying arabic at the excellence center

I've been studying Arabic at the Excellence Center for three weeks this summer, and I've loved every second of it. I had private lessons, and my teacher has been so, so kind and proficient. I knew some arbic before i came to Palestine, and my teacher has been very good at adapting the lessons and corriculum to my level and needs. During my stay, I've been living with a wonderfull host family. They have been so kind, and they are almost like my second family. The Excellence Center has not only provided arabic lessons, but also many trips in and around Hebron. We've learned lot about how people in Palestine live their lives, about their traditions and of course also about the Palestinan-Israeli conflict. I would really recomend studying Arabic at the Excellence Center, not only will you learn a new language, but also gain a lot of experiences which you will never forget.

Default avatar
Cat
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Arabic in Hebron

I have just completed one month studying Arabic at the Excellence center in Hebron. The whole experience has been great. My teacher was incredibly patient and encouraging. And i am really happy with the amount and speed at which i have learnt in both conversational as well as reading and writing.I had lessons in the morning leaving me time to explore the city and the west bank in evenings and weekends. The staff are really flexible and accommodating. During my stay here i was able to immerse my self in the local culture and learn a lot about life in Palestine which was as important to me as the academic side. The people of Hebron are overwhelmingly generous and friendly making my stay here a wonderful experience.

Default avatar
Karl
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good times in Palestine

Studying Arabic in Palestine was an amazing experience. I came here not knowing any Arabic as a complete beginner. As i'm leaving I can read, write and speak a fair amount of Arabic in a confident manner. The staff at the Excellence Center were more like a supportive family and this environment helped a great deal with the progression of my learning. As for the city Hebron, it is one of the friendliest and safest places I have ever stayed in. To anybody wanting to learn Arabic in Palestine, I have to recommend the Excellence Center

What would you improve about this program?
I would have stayed longer
Default avatar
narjes
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

3 wks in 2014

The program was great, teachers are very friendly and you feel like at home. It is very complete. I had courses in the morning and activities in the afternoon. You can also get free time to have your own activities.
A very complete program to get to know local life. Everything is kindly supervised from arrival until the departure.