Short Term Volunteer Projects in Germany

Video and Photos

group on volunteer program in Germany
group on volunteer program in Germany

About

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.

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

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

93%
based on 15 reviews
  • Impact 9.1
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 15
Default avatar
Agnes
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Cultural Exchange

I stayed in Halle for ten days during August. I met so many wonderful and interesting people from many countries and we were unified by the constant warmth, humour and food of the Syrian people who run or use the centre. Endless conversations in a glorious mix of English/German/Arabic were had. Everyone was friendly and respectful to each other and I felt very appreciated for my contribution to the work at the centre. The cultural exchange and learning was such a high point for me; whatever I taught I received in equal measure.
I had some great German lessons and overall my German has improved. Admittedly, I wasn't immersed in the German language as much as I had hoped as English was the common language between all volunteers. However, due to the welcome, kindness and friendship that I received during my stay in Halle, my experience was a very positive one.

I

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked a key to my host family's flat as I had to wait outside for someone to return a couple of times.
Default avatar
Jose
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent experience

I spent two weeks at the Excellence Center and the experience was very positive. I met many people of different nationalities and backgrounds, taught English to two groups, one of children and another of teenagers, and one-to-one lessons to several individials. I also had some individual German classes. And, last but not least, I got to know a lot about the everyday life and concerns of Syrian refugees in Germany. I strongly recommend it to anyone wishing to volunteer in order to do some meaningful work. As regards the city of Halle, it is small but with quite a lot of interesting things to visit. Accomodation was also very good: I stayed at the house of a very nice guy who made me feel at home from the first day and introduced my to his friends.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing, I found everything very interesting and well organized.
Default avatar
Giulia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Brilliant experience of teaching, learning and immersing yourself in another culture

I volunteered at the Excellence Center for one week in August 2019.
My host mom was a lovely Sudanese woman who went to great lengths to make me feel welcome. She even invited me along to the Mosque, where she normally worked and where the kids from the neighborhood had their classes, and afterwards to their barbeque later that evening.

As for my daily routine, every day I would walk to the center, the view of the Saale river on my right. When there, I would help preparing breakfast and then enjoy it with all the other volunteers, before our day started.
Normally, I would teach one class to early teenagers, or two at most. So, I had a lot of free time to prepare for my classes and I used to spend the day looking up materials and activities with my computer.
My students were generally from Syria or Egypt and had been living in Germany for a few years, so their command of German was much better than their English. Sometimes the challenge, especially with beginners, was that they were often tempted to switch to German or Arabic, but with gestures, pictures and a lot of drawing on the board we were always able to communicate and learn new vocabulary.

I also had a total of 3 hours of Arabic classes taught by native speakers. Afterwards, I was able to say common greetings, understand the numbers and the days of the week and to tell simple things about daily activities such as working, eating and sleeping. The nicest part about the Arabic class was that my teacher would go get any other native speakers who was hanging at the center, so I could practice more and make sure I would be understood.

At the center, there's always a team leader in charge of organising activities for the group and ensuring everyone is helping out with the daily chores. All volunteers are also asked to give a presentation about their country and everyone is welcome to attend. At the end of the working week, there's usually a special activity planned. During my stay, we went for a barbecue at Peißniz, a park closeby where volunteers, students and friends were all invited to have dinner together.
In conclusion, my stay in Halle was brilliant. I really enjoyed teaching English and I found friendly people from all over the world at the center. I really recommend everyone to come and spend some time here, but for at least two weeks if you can.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I took vacation days from my job in Italy to be there, andthat was the reason why I could only stay one week. If possible, get the most out of this experience and stay 3-4 weeks. It will be beneficial to build a relationship with your students and also for you, as you will be practicing German/Arabic.
Keiko
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time

From the middle of June to the middle of August I did teaching English/German volunteer for three weeks at the center. I had a great experience there.

-Teaching Experience
I taught English in one kids’ class and one individual class. Actually, I did almost nothing in my kids’ class because my partner did everything. Only what I did there is to help children individually. I also had a chance to teach German to a volunteer member who want to learn it, which was interesting for me. Sometimes we study outside or at a cafe, with seeing beautiful scenery in Halle.

-Learning Experience
I learned German and Arabic in the center. For a long time, I’ve been learning German, but it was the first time to learn Arabic. The teacher Rafat, a manager in the center was so supportive. We can practice what we have learned at any time because there are a lot of people who speak Arabic like Syrian. A few easy expressions can make our communication easily. I really liked these language courses here.

-Developing Community with Refugees
Refugees, the word is very unfamiliar for all of us in Japan. We rarely see or cannot recognize them though we heard about an unstable situation in Syria by newspapers. When I lived in Dresden in 2015, I feel something changing, however, I do not know how serious the reality is. Here I got to know some people from Syria, who are so clever and friendly despite their tough situation. They did great efforts to adapt themselves to German life. Now, I would like to do something related to refugees in Japan if I have a chance.

-Life (Homestay)
Living German itself is not new to me, but this was my first homestay. My host mother from Sudan was very nice. It was good that I met some Muslim culture.

Other volunteer staff is very supportive, kind, friendly. We understand each other though I had some difficulties in communication with them because of my English ability. I would like to visit the center someday!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
You should bring insect spray during summer!!!!!!!
Default avatar
Elle
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with Refugees Program

I volunteered with the Excellence Centre as a volunteer teacher for English in July for about a week! It was immensely fulfilling, especially due to the exchange of knowledge and culture between myself and my tutees, as well as the fun and supportive environment with all the other volunteers. I had three students to teach as a pair and individually, and whom I had about 2-3 lessons with each that week. They were of relatively higher level in English skill, but were still incredibly passionate and eager to learn English which made teaching them so much fun!
My host family was also a joy to get to know in my week there. I practiced the little Arabic I learnt with them, ate traditional Syrian food, and taught each other things about our countries.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
One week is way too short! At least 2 weeks is good :)
Default avatar
Rebecca
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience in Halle

I spent two weeks at the Excellence Center
in June/July 2019 and learned so much even in the short time I was there. I was able to take Arabic language lessons and even go out into the community and practice what I'd learned with Arabic speakers living in the city.
I also spent time teaching students English in one-on-one sessions. I had some really incredible conversations with students in these sessions, and their perspectives on the world widened my own in many ways.
Everyone at the center was great. The center has a real community atmosphere. Scheduling and plans are pretty flexible, so as long as you're also flexible you should feel right at home.
I stayed with a Sudanese host family, and they were really wonderful. They suggested places for me to visit and helped me practice my Arabic, and just generally made me feel very welcome.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay longer! The first week was mostly settling in and getting oriented, so I really only had one week of regular classes. 3 or 4 weeks would have given me more time to experience everything.
Default avatar
Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderfully Rewarding Opportunity

I have just spent two weeks here at the Excellence Centre in Europe and can say I have loved every minute of it! The centre staff are wonderful, I could not have asked for better hosts and teaching English to refugees has provided me with so much new experience.

I was nervous to travel as a solo female but everyone here made me feel so at home. Just go for it if you are considering volunteering here!

The interns at the centre introduced me and the other volunteers to the city upon arrival which was very insightful and prepared me for the weeks to come. Having breakfast most mornings at the centre together was a lot of fun as we were about to have a good time before getting into work for the day! I had no issues with anyone I worked with, the centre is incredibly relaxed.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing it is brilliant! The only thing I can think of is potentially offering the volunteer to choose which day of the week they would like off.
Default avatar
Kaoru
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

Shortly, I got great experience in this excellent center. I have always wanted to interact with refugee people and help them. I got two weeks off and I wanted to spend my time on valuable experience. Even though I had only four days in the excellent center I have gotten a lot of amazing experiences. Usually, in this center, I participated in some English lessons and helped students. I felt they are eager to learn English to be able to get a job in Germany and to have a better future. In another class, we talked about different cultures and countries.

To be honest, before I came here, I did not talk a lot with people from Syria. I have been in Germany for about two months and even though I know there are a lot of refugees in Germany I did not have any opportunities to talk or interact with them. In this excellent center, I talked with young people about a lot of topics in the classroom and it was quite interesting for me. We talked about cultural differences, countries, and people. People here are very welcoming, passionate which makes me motivated and I had a lot of things to learn from them. Staying with my host family was an amazing experience and it was my highlight. I was not so familiar with Arabic culture before I came here but I experienced their culture as being a part of their family. Meeting a lot of people from different backgrounds was such a great experience and in only four days I had a lot of things to learn. This time I had a short time here, but I wish I can do it more volunteer activities in the future. Overall, I got an amazing experience in this excellent center.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could have something better it would be language. I had some knowledge of German but if I studied Arabic language it could have been better.
Default avatar
Bojana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering as English Teacher

I was thrilled to see that the center and the experience were everything I was expecting, the family atmosphere, everyone so hospitable, but also a lot of dedication and hard work they put into developing this place. When it comes to teaching English experience, I was very happy to share a classroom with students from Syria, seeing them engage in conversations, introducing Syrian culture and sharing their German experience with me, all in perfect English, and with such will to improve. It was so rewarding to see how little of right support can go a long way, so to say. At the same time, we would all just hang out together, talking, sharing, cooking together, spending time, learning about each other, sharing our cultures, which was a very special experience! Classes are fun, creative, and as a teacher, you do have the freedom to adjust the classes to the needs of students, and their interests, which helps them so much with motivation; I was so happy to see how interested they were in speaking in English! The host family was wonderful, so hospitable, it was really special to share meals, drink tea, talk about everything, just spending time together, and see Germany in a different -through the eyes of foreigners, which was the best experience! So many cultures blending together, it was the most special experience ever!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Spend time here, hang out with people, learn about them, you will love it, for sure!
Default avatar
Leilane
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Germany: Short-term experience

The refugee crisis in European called my attention since it began to be show on Brazil’s television news. What we heard about the war in Syria sounded something totally out of reality (for brazilians, at least); the images of the boats full with thousands people, seemed like a fiction story. Still, it was true. Some years later, venezuelans seek for a better life in Brazil, creating some difficulties for the government to deal with it. Seems politics keep ignoring history in order learn with it.
How can you integrate people in a broken world? How can we integrate people and respect their differences at the same time? How can I help them to have decent life? These are my questions as a human being, as a christian, and as a civil engineering student. I started to look after volunteer programs to discover how to put theory into practice. When I got the opportunity to go to Europe as an Erasmus student, I used the chance to get to learn more about the refugees situation and try to help them. So, I found in The Excellence Center, a great opportunity to do it.
In the EC I had the chance to interact with kids and have really good talks young adults, both groups from Syria; helping them to learn english. Also, I could study a little bit of German during my short stay in the city of Halle. It was my first time living with a host family, they were so nice and kind… I will always remember them. I felt bad I could not stay more than a week and I imagine how much more intense it would be the experience and how much I could had helped if I stayed longer.
The help they receive from Germany can really lead them to a better life. It’s a both way gaining: the country prepare refugees to become citizens and the refugees turns into economically active population. However, it is still not easy, for example, for Syrian women to find a job; most of them were full time housewifes in their country. Also, in order to work in Germany, refugees need to achieve good results in the german language test, and not always the courses has a good didatic for them. Besides this, there’s also the prejudice and the growing anti-refugees movements.
I hope the amount of volunteers in the EC rise up, for them can have more stability and continuous course for everybody. The first results of this hard work are in the smile of each kid, is in each new word students are able to learn. But the long-term results are the establishment of good and well prepared citzens for this world.

Default avatar
Andrea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing impressions and changing perceptions.

It was a chilly December day when I came to Halle Germany. The center itself is located in a very convenient quite part of the city. It’s a small center but the atmosphere inside was very welcoming and comfortable. This was my first experience volunteering so I had very little expectations. But I had taught abroad before in Asia so I imagined it might be similar to that. I met Rafat and the other volunteer I would be working with as well as other local teachers and students. The first thing that we all did was have breakfast together. While eating and getting to know everyone I realized that this was a place very conducive to a community atmosphere that supported a multicultural environment.

I should tell you my reason for taking the trip and a little about myself. I’m from the US and I spent a decent amount of time studying abroad in Japan. Since then I’ve had a very different view of the world and all the people in it. When I felt like I had been in my home country for too long and needed a break I started looking for volunteer work. Some people like to travel the world and go sightseeing. While that is nice, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to enjoy myself as just a tourist. I really look for a sense of purpose in any kind of international traveling I do. I enjoy the opportunities to meet people in an international community and have meaningful experiences.

My time here at The Excellence Center has been short, sweet, and full of memorable experiences and people. I feel absolutely honored and humbled to have had the chance to get to know these people. What life has been like for them, their struggles and hopes for the future. From the volunteers to the refugees not a single one falls short of incredible. I definitely got what I was looking for and so much more. For instance, my views on a lot of things changed, like my perspective on Germany and the refugees in Germany. Rafat and his staff are superb, kind, and friendly. They are always so flexible and understanding you won’t meet many people like them that are so hard working and driven. I will definitely miss the center and all the people. I hope that in the future I will have a chance to work with them again and stay longer. I would recommend The Excellence Center to everyone.

Esteban
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Germany

The experience at The Excellence Centre was an unique one thanks to the people I met there. Even when teaching I was able to get to know interesting people, their stories and their view of the world. Besides, you get to know the lifestyle of people in Germany! That's something that just a trip for vacation can't achieve so easily.

Learning German at the Excellence Center was amazing. I had a native speaker teacher who guided me in the language by helping me with advice on trips, people in Germany and culture.

Students there were thankful of my work and, even though I went expecting to teach English, they found it interesting to learn my mother language: Spanish. It made me feel more relaxed and happy, and it showed me a challenge, for I had never taught Spanish. I even had to teach in German, which I don't speak so well, but helped me improve it, for students there speak it very well.

What would you improve about this program?
By offering specific tasks and designing a program for each student so that volunteers can start from a point of reference. Also, try to offer more activities to gather people together. Offering more hours of language teaching to volunteers would make it more attractive.
Default avatar
Nadia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review after my Volunteering Experience at the Excellence Center - October 2018

It's hard to do justice with a review by describing my experience as a volunteer at The Excellence Center as it was truly mesmerising.

My time spent at the Excellence Center, although very short, was amazing very much because of the people and staff I got to meet. Mahmoud, Rafat, Elisa and the students I worked with frequently over a span of a week were warm and they made me feel at home easily - I was glad to find out that the refugee students were enthusiastic about learning English and therefore, they participated actively during lessons. To add, I was most impressed by the tenacity of the students whom I met with - most of them are young (otherwise very young at heart!) and incredibly intelligent that it became such a pleasure to learn more about themselves, their families and aspirations.

From Day 1, the programme set out clear expectations for me and the level of involvement that I would be comfortable with as a volunteer. Aside from my main responsibilities (i.e teach English lessons), I was happy to learn that I would be participating in one of their social and cultural events - the evening turned out great with a lively crowd and that was my first time being able to mingle with many people of different native tongues; it was an eye-opener to see the local community coming together to converse in Arabic, German and English. Elisa, who taught me German had encouraged me to practice my language skills during the event and I was definitely motivated to continue on my learning journey after hearing from others about their own.

At the end of the week, I was able to join a friendly city tour organised by the staffs to explore the sights and history of Halle - that capped off my week on a very good note! Despite the short time I was around, I am grateful for the thoughtful consideration by Rafat and the rest of the center to plan the activities to ensure my time during the programme was well spent.

Not to forget, Rafat coordinated smoothly to match me with a local home. I can't forget how my host introduced me to her friends and graciously helped me practise German! She sat down on the couch and gave me a notebook to write some important words to learn :) As for food, I can't say enough how much I appreciated the breakfast meals as that saved time for me - I must say I miss the traditional Arabic breakfasts hugely now that I am back home.

Lastly, this was something I read about in another review for the programme and it actually proved true for me - the only thing I would change is to spend at least 2-3 weeks to be able to continue the rapport there.

I enjoyed the hospitality of the families, staff and people I met with and the efforts that I saw at the Excellence Center working with refugees who are settling their lives in Germany is truly inspiring.

I would definitely consider coming back in 2019.

Default avatar
Laila
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time as a Volunteer

As 2018 is coming to a close, I can look back, reflect, and confidently say that volunteering at the Center has been one of the best decisions I have made this entire year! First and foremost, the work I did was meaningful and impactful. I really felt that I got to know my English students on a personal level, and I learned a lot from them. In addition to this, my co-workers ended up being my good friends. We ate meals together, explored the city together, and I believe that the friendships I have made here are going to last a life time. Finally, my time here was made extra special by my host family. My host family welcomed me with open arms and I loved spending time with them and getting to know about their lives and their culture. It was all in all an amazing experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys exploring, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures!

Default avatar
Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at the Excellence Center in Halle

Hello, I am a second-year university student from the United States. At university, I study Arabic and I have always hoped of becoming involved in the refugee crisis. Therefore, when I found the Excellence Center program that offered me the opportunity to improve my language skills and tutor refugees, I could not resist coming to Halle.

From the moment I arrived in Halle, the workers and students at the Excellence Center have been more than welcoming. I was greeted at the train station by one of my students, who always has a smile on his face, and he took me to the center to meet Rafat. Rafat, the manager of the Excellence Center, has been incredible by organizing activities within Halle and making sure I feel as at home as possible while here.

Although I have had little experience in tutoring English, Rafat gave me a few guidelines on how to effectively tutor. The welcoming environment of the Excellence Center has made tutoring easier and not stressful. The most rewarding part of volunteering at the Excellence Center is the opportunity to meet so many people and hear each one of their stories. Each student that I have taught is resilient and has a passion to learn the English language. I have a lot of admiration for every individual I have met during my time at the Excellence Center.

As most would be, I was nervous about staying with a host family, but my host family welcomed me with open arms. Since I am a beginner at the Arabic language, and my host mom is a beginner in English, communication took a lot of effort, but communication was able to be accomplished. From making signals and noises, we were able to make our points, and being immersed in the Arabic language was a beneficial experience for me. Also, my host family introduced me to their other family members that live in Halle, as well as their friends. At night, we would even go walking around the center of Halle together.

Another incredible experience I was able to have while volunteering at the Excellence Center was meeting another family and going to their house for a home visit. There, the family graciously offered me sweets, bread, chicken, coffee, and anything else within their home that they could. As we sat together on their home sofa, they shared with me about how much they love Damascus, how they miss their real home, and showed me pictures of the city of Damascus too. Being able to hear their life stories and their dreams for the future was astonishing.

I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to work at the Excellence Center in Halle, met the incredible people who work and come to the center, that I have improved my Arabic skills, and been able to hear the stories of the people at the Excellence Center. In the future, I hope to come back to the Excellence Center and continue to tutor and visit with some of the students I had the opportunity to meet this year.

Location

Location:
Germany
Currency:
Euro
Weather:
Jan-Mar
52 F / 9 F
Apr-Jun
73 F / 14 F
Jul-Sep
79 F / 28 F
Oct-Dec
59 F / 10 F
Airports:
Frankfurt
( FRA )
Munich
( MUC )
Düsseldorf
( DUS )

Germany has attracted travelers for many years, with their abundance of festivals. Everywhere you go in Germany, you will see the confluence of nature and cityscapes; as well as, modern and traditional architecture. To get a true taste of Germany, you will need to experience all of these, from the bustling cities to the black forest, there is a lot to explore.

About The Excellence Center

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...