Location
  • Germany
Length
1 to 13 weeks

Program Details

Language
German
Age Min.
18
Age Max
75
Timeframe
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Apartment Guesthouse Host Family
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
275
Price Details
Breakfast, the accommodation, Arabic or German classes, as well as some visits to different landmarks and sites. Some examples include the Arab neighborhood, refugee dorms, and public parks as well as historical sites in the city.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Accommodation Some Activities Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Airport Transfers Travel Insurance Visa
Sep 19, 2022
Jan 17, 2023
84 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

At the Excellence Center in Europe, we provide many opportunities for internationals to volunteer in Halle, Germany. If you have been scouring for volunteer opportunities aboard, then come check out what we have to offer at the Excellence Center. We have a variety of programs that you can participate in. Some of those programs include teaching English, working with refugees, and writing articles for the Excellence Center in Germany. Let’s talk about what it is like to volunteer at the Excellence Center in Germany.

Besides engaging in your selected volunteer project, volunteers will have many chances to see Germany, experience German culture, and even experience Arab culture. The Excellence Center is an educational and community center that serves German residents, immigrants, refugees, and internationals.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Meet new people including Germans, Arabs, Immigrants and internationals in Germany.
  • Engage in educational, cultural and community development activities.
  • Learn spoken German or Arabic.
  • Get to know the refugees situations in Germany.
  • Make a difference in your life as well as in others.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.90 Rating
based on 67 reviews
  • 5 rating 89.55%
  • 4 rating 10.45%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.95
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 4.95
Showing 1 - 8 of 67 reviews
Default avatar
Katrin
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Europe Excellence Center, an excellent experience!!

I am so glad and thankful for having had the opportunity of this wonderful experience at the Europe Excellence Center. Although I visited the Center in Halle for a short term, not only did I have very much fun and empathy with my language students in English and in German, the whole atmosphere at the academy was warm and welcoming, I felt the kindness and open-minded mentality of everyone there from the beginning on.

The staff was always absolutely helpful and nice, their disposition of sharing time and personal experiences with the volunteers was marvelous! For the reason of my international background (I was born in Colombia and my family of origin is german), this possibility of communicating and interacting with people from different cultures and mentalities was a very rewarding experience, not only because of the opportunity of learning from others, but also - for me the most important fact of all - it enriches you personally at a very deep. spiritual level, in which giving and receiving flows in a very spontaneous, natural way.

I fully recommend the programs offered at the Europe Excellence Center, as well as its staff and teachers, not only for younger people, but also for those of us who are more aged in time but always young by heart, because of all the fun and learning you will experience at the Centerl! I therefore express my deepest gratitude to each and everyone there whom I had the opportunity of knowing and interacting with!!

Pros
  • Cultural differences / communication flow / consciousness of the experience
Cons
  • Sometimes students are not on time.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Oskar
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Time in Halle and Beyond

First Days

When I first arrived in Halle in early October 2022, I had taken a bit of a leap of faith. While I had experience traveling abroad, this was my first time doing so alone; in a new place for three months. I knew what to expect to an extent. I had an address to reach, program dates and details, and a basic understanding of how to purchase train tickets. After more than 30 hours of international transit and trying to speak German with my sleep deprived, over caffeinated brain, I found myself in the apartment I would come to call home. Although the physical journey had ended, my real journey had only just begun.

Any and all anxieties I had before arriving in Halle were resolved incredibly quickly. My roommates, fellow Excellence Center folks, were incredibly welcoming and helped me settle in with little difficulty. I still remember my first evening after landing, chatting and having tea, and gradually feeling more and more at ease. I slept like a rock that night, and in the morning I had the first of many communal breakfasts at the Excellence Center. The entire environment at the Center was (and still is) incredibly warm and welcoming, and I knew I had made a good decision in choosing to come.

Branching Out

After my first few days, I began to settle in. I established a routine, met with my first students, and began to feel at ease with the major change. I took one of my first weekends to explore the cities of Leipzig and Berlin, just by booking train tickets and spending hours walking in the foreign cities. I saw famous tourist sights and tried authentic and classic German foods. It was amazing to just immerse myself in a culture and environment so different from my hometown in the United States.

I didn’t stop at neighboring cities, however. I’d always wanted to see Sweden, and within a couple of weeks I made plans to visit Stockholm. Before that, however, I experienced more of Halle. My new friends and I explored the Salle, ate döner and schnitzel, and went to a disco club in the dungeon of a castle from the middle ages. I started to get the hang of teaching, and felt like I was finding my place. By the time my plane took off towards Stockholm, I almost felt as though I’d lived in Halle for years.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm was another significant change. I found out upon arrival that although Sweden is in the European Union, they are not in the EuroZone, and thus the currency is the Swedish Krona. To make things even more difficult, I had not called my bank to tell them that I would be traveling, and I was worried my debit card would be frozen. Eventually, I managed to buy a train ticket from the airport to the city center, and arrived at my first ever youth hostel after midnight, long after the reception desk had closed. I still feel bad for the hostel owner, who I had to call three times to figure everything out. I was incredibly grateful that my phone had cell service, it wasn’t until a few weeks later that I really understood how much of a privilege reliable internet can be.

After the first night, I took the day to explore Stockholm, much like Leipzig and Berlin, but not before meeting and chatting with a friendly Slovenian man whose name I never got. During my long walk, I saw a sign for a boat tour with an included brunch, and I was sure to book a spot for the next outing. I walked along the water, in parks, past a few churches, and through downtown. I went to a bar near my hostel for dinner, and was served some of the best grilled salmon I’ve ever had. On the boat tour the following day, I enjoyed more amazing food and was helped by an incredible server who’s name I also never got. He was incredibly kind and paid me the same attention as everyone else, even though I had come alone. After the brunch, I was able to go on deck and take lots of photos of the beautiful archipelago. Though I had to rush to get to the airport right after, it was an incredible experience and I will save those photos forever.

Parties in Prague

Coming back to Halle, I spent some more time appreciating what was here. I took the next weekend to chill out and not travel, but soon I was hungry for more. I booked a train ticket to Prague, at the recommendation of my father, and soon I found myself in another hostel. This time, however, my debit card was frozen as soon as I entered the Czech Republic, and the SIM card for my cell phone ran out of credit. It definitely didn’t help that the Wi-Fi on the train did not work whatsoever. By the time I got to my Hostel, I was stressed, confused, and pretty overwhelmed. I needed cell service to call my bank to unfreeze my debit card and pay for my hostel, and I needed my debit card to recharge my SIM card and regain cell service. Not to mention the fact that my previous attempt to recharge my SIM card had burned €20 to no avail and I wasn’t sure why. To make matters worse, my bank’s servers took the opportunity to crash, and I wasn’t able to access any online banking information.

The amazing staff at my hostel were super understanding. They gave me a free drink and allowed me to go to my room under a handshake agreement that I would pay for the room in the morning. Two hours later, everything finally fell into place and I was able to breathe again after the stressful day. At this point I was ready to call it a night, but my roommates at the hostel struck up a conversation and the next thing I knew we were having a blast at the rooftop bar. Everyone was again super friendly, and I really wish I had thought to exchange social media information with them. Five of us, myself included, later decided to hit the town, and I spent the night having an amazing time in one of Prague’s famous nightclubs. We got back around 3 or 4 AM, and at this point I could have slept for years. I stuck with them for the rest of the trip, and we went out for breakfast the next morning. We did some sightseeing and of course I took a million pictures, and we spent our second night on the rooftop bar again. Unfortunately the next day was checkout, and we had to say goodbye. I spent some more time seeing Prague on my own, and my train pulled out that night.

Settling in, in Brussels?

After Prague, I spent a few weeks in Halle without traveling far. My friends from the Center and I hung out a lot, and good times were had by all. I gained a few students, and it felt more like I was living in Germany, not just visiting. The Halle Christmas market had also opened, and it was great to experience such a famous and classic event. Being from Colorado, I started to miss the sun a little (with only about 7 hours of daylight daily, including lots of snow and rain), but overall things were still great.

Most recently, however, I took another trip. I took a flight to Brussels, which was delayed so much that I spent more time on the tarmac in Berlin than in the air, but getting there was great. My hostel was amazing and the Christmas lights were beautiful. I spent my days exploring on foot as usual, all over Brussels, and nights were spent watching football (soccer, for my fellow Americans) in the hostel bar. I was able to practice my limited skills in French and Dutch, and had a few fun interactions with strangers. I mistimed my bus to the airport, and ended up spending 6 hours in the concourse, but I made it to Berlin in one piece.

Cold Station, Warm Hearts

It was at this point that I realized the DeutscheBahn had yet to reopen the ICE line from Berlin to Leipzig, even after 3 days, and I found myself stranded in Berlin South Station at midnight. There were no trains until 4:30, no buses until even later, and it was over 170 km by taxi, which would have cost me almost €400. I ended up taking the S-Bahn to Berlin Central, and then just waiting around for almost four hours. I never realized how cold train stations are, and I also found out that they get slightly warmer when you get to lower platforms. I found the one restaurant that was still open, and so was able to eat, but other than that there was a lot of time sitting and walking around. However, I was actually incredibly grateful for the experience by the end.

You see, because I was so cold, I was looking for any source of heat. I found one of those standing heaters, which had a few people gathered around. There was an older man telling stories in either Russian or Ukrainian, and people were laughing and joking. I tentatively joined the circle, and began to warm up, in terms of heat as well as socially. Eventually, I became part of the conversation (through English and German), and I ended up making two good friends. I chatted and joked with these people until the early morning, and I actually had the same train as one of them, so I was able to talk to her for even longer. We all traded WhatsApp numbers, and the good times have continued up to now. Had the DeutscheBahn not closed the ICE line, I would never have met these amazing people, which is a great example of how blessings can come in all forms. The next day was tough, having arrived home at 7 AM without sleep, but I am still incredibly grateful for the strange circumstances that brought us together.

Sad Goodbyes

And that brings us to today. I only have about 11 days left at the Center, a fact that makes me very sad. I don’t think I will do much traveling as I want to spend as much time as possible with the folks at the Center. This entire experience has been absolutely amazing and I could fill a book with the things I’ve learned (it was hard enough to fit all this into only these few pages). Everyone I’ve met has been incredible, and these are friends I will have for a very long time. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, and I’m so glad to have taken a small leap of faith and landed where I have. I hope to be able to return at some point in the future, either as a volunteer or just to visit. But at the same time, I of course also look forward to seeing colorful Colorado again.

Pros
  • Lots of new friends
  • Easy accommodation and support
  • Lots of opportunity to explore and see new things
Cons
  • Teaching is almost completely self organized (no common syllabus etc)
  • Have to get far out of your comfort zone (although this is worth it)
  • Culture shock can be difficult at times
6 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Oskar,

Thank you for your kind words, Oskar. We’re grateful for your feedback. It’s our pleasure to provide the best possible service to our volunteers in Germany, and we’re glad that this commitment was reflected in your visit to the Excellence Center in Europe. We look forward to the next time we’re able to have you again. Have a wonderful day!

With kind regards,

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

Study English-Learn German Program

I have wanted to participate in this program for a really long time, but just never had the time to take off. I am so happy that I did. I met so many amazing people here and this was an amazing opportunity for me. Rafat and Radwan were amazing and welcomed me like family.
The students here can learn to speak English, but also German which enables them to acclimate better here in Germany and gives them opportunities they never would have had. It is amazing to see such a program here helping people and seeing them smile and be so grateful for the service. My German teacher Moaz was amazing as well. I learned quite a bit in my short three weeks here due to his patience with me as I was learning and quizzing techniques. I would recommend Moaz to teach anyone due to his kind spirit.

Pros
  • You get to learn a new language from locals.
  • You help others improve in German and English and learn their stories.
  • You get to come to Germany and have an extended family while you're here.
Cons
  • Sometimes students don't show up for their lessons.
5 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Tezrah!

We’re so grateful that you took the time to share your feedback with us. It’s our pleasure to serve volunteers like you. Thank you so much for helping refugees learning English. We appreciate your help so much

We wish you all the best and hope to meet you soon in Germany

Have a wonderful day!

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

Teaching English and Learning German at the Excellence Center

I enrolled in a 4 week program the Excellence Center in Halle. I volunteered to teach English and learn German and I enjoyed my experience. I had the chance to meet so many people with different backgrounds, including refugees, German natives, and American volunteers, and listen to their stories and perspectives. The Excellence Center creates a very relaxed and friendly environment which is great for first-time tutors. If you want to improve your German language skills, this program is great for that since you have a lot of free-time to practice while exploring Halle and the rest of Germany.

Pros
  • Had the chance to practice German
  • Met some of the nicest and most understanding people
  • Gained personal growth by trying a new experience: tutoring
Cons
  • was not expecting how complicated transportation was
  • Didn't get to experience this program during its busy season, summer/spring; made it quiet and lonely at the center at times.
7 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Kelly,

Thank you so much for posting your review, we are very glad that you enjoyed your Teach English and Study German program at the Excellence Center in Europe

We wish you all the best and hope to meet you in Germany in the future.

With kind regards,

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

Reflection on Teaching English and Learning German

At the Excellence Center you take on the role of an English tutor where you get the opportunity to meet and help refugees achieve their goals for learning the English language. What makes this experience so unique is the human aspect of it all. You'll grow to learn more about your students and in many instances befriend them and become personally invested in their success in English studies and beyond. Many students are interested in improving their conversational English which in turn gives you an opportunity to learn about other cultures and what life is like for your students in Germany. The community of volunteers are sure to make you feel welcomed and are likely to also become your friends. The experience itself is invaluable and helps broaden your perspectives. If you're looking to push yourself out of your comfort zone and have a desire to learn then you've come to the right place.

Pros
  • The amount of freedom we're given when it comes to teaching
  • Welcoming Environment
  • Invaluable Experience
Cons
  • Freedom might be overwhelming for those who desire more structure
  • Communication can happen last minute at times
6 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Dear Xavier,

We’re so happy to hear you had a great experience at the Excellence Center in Europe. Your review made our day! Our whole team works very hard to keep our participants happy, but we can only do it thanks to amazing volunteers like you. Thanks again, and we hope to see you again in Germany soon.

with kind regards,

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

My Visit

I will really miss playing soccer (okay football). I will miss the daily breakfast. I will miss the camaraderie. However, the reason I came was to help people displaced from their homelands. That is what was important to me. I had the opportunity to work with people from Ukraine and Yemen. I really feel I got more out of it than they did. Listening to the hardships they experienced made me appreciate how fortunate I am. Nobody deserves to suffer the way they have. I am glad I was able to help a little. It is my hope that I will be able come back again.

Pros
  • Meeting interesting people
  • Chance to make a small difference
  • An opportunity to visit Germany
7 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

George, even though you weren't here in Halle for very long, you were very dedicated to getting to know everyone during your time here which was very much appreciated. Your wisdom and adventurous spirit was welcoming to us all and we will miss you very much!"

All the best :)

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

Verliebt in Halle!

My time at the Excellence Center was short but sweet. At first I was very nervous about teaching English and learning German but as the days went by and I got to know people at the Center, I felt more comfortable and confident.
It was fun and rewarding teaching my students English and helping them understand certain topics. They were of different ages and backgrounds so I wanted to tailor my classes in a way that would relate to them individually. It was nice getting to know them and I'm glad that they kept coming back!
My German classes were also great! I felt way more confident with German by the time I left. As others have said, Muaz is an excellent teacher (vielen dank Muaz!)
Overall I had a very memorable experience. Halle has many beautiful buildings and cool people, and I would recommend this city to anyone that wants to visit somewhere more laid back in Germany. Big thanks to Rafat, Elisa, Danny, Radwan, Muaz, Ali, Steve and my students for the experience!

Pros
  • Good amount of teaching experience
  • Breakfast!
  • Kindness/support of volunteers & staff
Cons
  • Saying goodbye
9 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Salam :)

Thank you so much for posting your review, we are very glad that you enjoyed your Teach English and Study German at the Excellence Center in Europe.

We wish you all the best and hope to meet you in Germany in the future.

With kind regards,

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

My time in Halle at the Excellence Centre

Over the last 3 weeks, I have not only gained a wealth of useful experience at the Excellence Centre but I have made several lifelong friends. All of the staff at the centre were incredibly welcoming, easy to talk to and made daily life at the centre more rewarding. Rafat and Radwan are both always around to help answer any questions or solve any problems. Both Ali and Muaz keep the centre extremely lively during the day and gave us cool ideas for what to do and where to go in the city.

The Excellence Centre has helped me to drastically improve my Arabic level, going from a beginner to having a solid understanding of the foundations of the language in roughly 2 weeks. My Arabic lessons with Abeer were extremely useful and productive and I am really grateful for her help during my time here.

The Excellence Centre provides you with the opportunity to truly improve your understanding of teaching methods. Learning how to engage with students, particularly from refugee backgrounds, is extremely fulfilling and provides you with a challenge to engage and better understand different cultures.

In regards to the social aspect of the Excellence Centre, it was easy to get to know the volunteers, and we all clicked very quickly.

I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who desires a challenge, but also would like the comfort of knowing that you are in excellent hands with the staff here in Halle.

Pros
  • Fulfilling experience
  • Great social aspect
  • Cultural exchange
Cons
  • No specific draw backs.
10 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Nick,

We are very happy to read your review. It is great that you enjoyed your Teaching English and Studying Arabic Program at the Excellence Center in Europe.

We wish you all the best and hope to meet you in the future in Germany.

With kind regards,

Questions & Answers