Volunteer and Learn Arabic In Palestine

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About

Are you interested in coming to Palestine? Would you like to live with a Palestinian host family? Would you like to volunteer with school and university students as well as community members? Do you want to learn about the Palestinian culture, situation and the Arabic language? If the answer is 'yes' to one of the above questions then Excellence Center, would like to invite you to volunteer in Hebron-Palestine.

During the last four years, the Excellence Center has hosted more than 250 international interns, students, and volunteers from every corner of the world.

Time: Excellence Center welcomes the application year-round, we are flexible, we can host you whenever you have time (from 1 week to 3 months).

The Volunteer in Palestine program is designed for students and people who do not possess experience in teaching English as EFL (English as a Foreign Language). All majors and nationalities are welcome to apply for the program.

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

I don't know for certain what the age limits are, but when I was there I met people from their early twenties to seventies. You don't need to have teaching experience as far as I know. They seem very willing to work with whatever level of experience you have. It is helpful to know some Arabic before you go. I didn't know any and it was difficult at times, especially with my host family, but not...
Hi, thanks for reaching out! We don't have the details on our site for classes. To learn more we recommend contacting the program provider directly to learn more! This helpful link will take you right to their contact info: http://excellencenter.org/contact-us/ .
Hi, great question! The monthly fee to participate in the program is $695 (U.S.$). Anything extra you save can go to personal spending and exploring the area! For an estimate of how much you should bring for personal spending we recommend contacting the program provider more details, which you can do here: http://excellencenter.org/volunteer-in-palestine-2/ .

Reviews

93%
based on 170 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
  • Instruction 9.3
  • Support 9
  • Value 8.8
  • Academic Rigor 8.3
  • Job Assistance 8
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8
  • Value 9
  • Benefits 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Facilities 9
  • Safety 10
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 157
Default avatar
Niall
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A month in Hebron

My name’s Niall from London, England and I participated in the Human Rights Program over the month of October 2019 at the Excellence Centre.

I came to the Centre with a very open mind and a desire to learn about the conflict and overall situation in Palestine. The Program allowed me to learn first-hand by meeting and interviewing a large variety of people working in fascinating fields of Human Rights in Hebron. Those that I met were very open and frank with me, as were they very happy to speak of the situation and answer any questions that I might have. There were many trips to local sights and cultural activities within the city of Hebron, as well as slightly further afield as well. These ranged from refugee camps to the famous Ibrahimi Mosque.

During my time at the Centre I had three hours of Arabic lessons per week. These were really helpful in my day-to-day conduct around the city. I did not know any Arabic whatsoever upon arrival, but thanks to the classes, I was able to freely navigate around, ask directions, introduce myself, haggle in the markets. The classes have peaked my interest in furthering my studies of the language when I return to England.

The Excellence Centre has wonderful, very friendly and accommodating staff who make you feel at home from day one. The city of Hebron is also truly a remarkable place. The people are particularly kind and incredibly helpful should you require any assistance. The proximity of other wonderful nearby cities like Bethlehem and Jerusalem, put Hebron in a great location. It is very reasonably priced to get a shared taxi to visit these tourist destinations as a day trip or an overnight excursion. There are also really beautiful hiking spots not far by, with natural spring waters.

“Is it safe?” is a common question one hears when they tell people they are coming to Palestine. I am delighted to be able to go back to London able to say, it is absolutely safe. Hebron is a city that I feel more comfortable wandering around at night than many areas of London.

During my time in Hebron, I resided in the male dorm (which is actually an apartment) with a handful of other foreign volunteers. The dorm is centrally located and has everything one needs for a comfortable stay in the city, including a washing machine, which was particularly handy.

The food is a wonderful draw of Palestine. Schwarma and Falafel are very plentiful and very reasonably priced, picked up from most take-away outlets. Local restaurants are available for more sit-down meals, the best food though is at the events (weddings/birthdays) and at Palestinian family homes, which hopefully you’ll be fortunate enough to be invited to and sample.

I highly recommend anyone thinking of coming to Palestine to do so through the Excellence Centre. It was a thoroughly rewarding experience and provided me with a whole host of invaluable contacts. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Just quite how “normal” day to day life in Palestine is, despite the impression you get in the media!
Default avatar
Niall
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A month in Hebron

My name’s Niall, I’m thirty-one years and from London, England and I participated in the Human Rights Program over the month of October 2019 at the Excellence Centre.

I came to the Centre with a very open mind and a desire to learn about the conflict and overall situation in Palestine. The Program allowed me to learn first-hand by meeting and interviewing a large variety of people working in fascinating fields of Human Rights in Hebron. Those that I met were very open and frank with me, as were they very happy to speak of the situation and answer any questions that I might have. There were many trips to local sights and cultural activities within the city of Hebron, as well as slightly further afield as well. These ranged from refugee camps to the famous Ibrahimi Mosque.

During my time at the Centre I had three hours of Arabic lessons per week. These were really helpful in my day-to-day conduct around the city. I did not know any Arabic whatsoever upon arrival, but thanks to the classes, I was able to freely navigate around, ask directions, introduce myself, haggle in the markets. The classes have peaked my interest in furthering my studies of the language when I return to England.

The Excellence Centre has wonderful, very friendly and accommodating staff who make you feel at home from day one. The city of Hebron is also truly a remarkable place. The people are particularly kind and incredibly helpful should you require any assistance. The proximity of other wonderful nearby cities like Bethlehem and Jerusalem, put Hebron in a great location. It is very reasonably priced to get a shared taxi to visit these tourist destinations as a day trip or an overnight excursion. There are also really beautiful hiking spots not far by, with natural spring waters.

“Is it safe?” is a common question one hears when they tell people they are coming to Palestine. I am delighted to be able to go back to London able to say, it is absolutely safe. Hebron is a city that I feel more comfortable wandering around at night than many areas of London.

During my time in Hebron, I resided in the male dorm (which is actually an apartment) with a handful of other foreign volunteers. The dorm is centrally located and has everything one needs for a comfortable stay in the city, including a washing machine, which was particularly handy.

The food is a wonderful draw of Palestine. Schwarma and Falafel are very plentiful and very reasonably priced, picked up from most take-away outlets. Local restaurants are available for more sit-down meals, the best food though is at the events (weddings/birthdays) and at Palestinian family homes, which hopefully you’ll be fortunate enough to be invited to and sample.

I highly recommend anyone thinking of coming to Palestine to do so through the Excellence Centre. It was a thoroughly rewarding experience and provided me with a whole host of invaluable contacts. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

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

Best trip ever !

Hey,

I am 26 years old. I am French and work as an engineer in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. I participated in Excellence Center’s program to teach French and learn Palestinian accent for 2 weeks.
During my stay in Hebron with Excellence Center, I got the chance to know people who made my happiness everyday, to discover a culture rich in love, share and being simple in life. I got the opportunity to visit many historical places in Hebron like El Ibrahimi mosque and also other cities I visited with other volunteers like Beithlehm, Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The best memories I have of my program are all the breakfasts at 10 a.m with volunteers and organizers to discuss, laugh and share a moment of happiness around hummus and tea, also all my hours of French with passionate and smart people who wanted to learn while having fun, who became great friends, as well as my Arabic lessons to perfect my Palestinian accent.

During my stay in Hebron or any other city, I have always been welcomed by great people and organisers of the center who worked very hard to let me feel safe everyday. Palestine is a very rich country with a lot of history that should be known by all. The first step is sometimes hard but once you visit it, you will fall in love with it like me ;-)

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

My experience with the Excellence Center in Hebron

My name is Ratmir Agliullin. I'm 28 years old, I am from Russia. I live in Innopolis, I'm a software developer.
At the Excellence Center, I studied the Arabic language, and I was an assistant for English teachers.
I found the Center on the Internet(excellencecenter.com). I have improved my vocabulary in Palestine.
In my opinion, the Center's atmosphere is very friendly. All the people in the Center and in Palestine are polite. Here I met new friends.
Moreover, I visited Bethlehem and Jerusalem. I felt safe in Palestine.
I was really impressed by the history of people, who live in “H2”. I have understood that all people around the world should know about the situation with human rights in Palestine and Hebron.
I really like the people in Palestine. Also, the food(falafel) and Arabic coffee are delicious.
I can recommend studying at the Center for people, who want to improve Arabic and know more about the culture in Palestine.
This trip is the most impressive experience for me. I am really motivated to carry on learning Arabic.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Falafel, coffee, tea, bread, fruits, shisha, chicken.
Default avatar
Sharan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach English Study Arabic Internship

Hey everyone! My name is Sharan and I'm from Singapore, where I’m also currently in my third year of my Anthropology major. I was in the centre for the Teach English, Study Arabic Internship for 2 months.

I came to the centre with the intention of getting a foundation in Levantine Arabic while doing some meaningful work. In addition, I hoped to learn more about the socio-political situation in the immediate region by interacting with a whole range of people living here. And I did! I really really loved my time here, and am even coming back to Hebron for a while next year.

General advice:

Before arriving, I was scouring this site for any advice I could find! So I wanted to give a short write-up about the expectations you should have before arriving, so as to make your adjustment period a little easier.

If you come from an efficiency-centred culture as I do, you might need a while to adjust to the pace of living here. It’s a lot more relaxed, and there’s a lot less emphasis placed on planning (for example, I knew nothing about my homestay family before I arrived!) and scheduling. However, this gave the whole program a sort of flexibility that could really work to your benefit - during my time here, if I had a problem or needed anything, I always felt comfortable going to Marwa for assistance.

The homestay was a mixed situation for me - while I appreciated the generosity of my family, at times, I felt rather uncomfortable. That being said, as soon as Marwa found out about this, she even offered to take me into her own home! All in all, I highly recommend stating your living preferences before you come and that if you feel even slightly uncomfortable in your homestay situation when you arrive, to tell Marwa as soon as possible.

In general, travelling alone as a woman in the city does not typically put you in any immediate danger but can be rather unpleasant. Given that Hebron is the most conservative city in Palestine, men do not often approach you but will stare and maybe rather persistent in trying to speak to you. Moreover, I came without any Arabic, which made me feel more vulnerable as I was not able to communicate with taxi-drivers and did feel like I could express myself.

Once again, this is where the flexibility of the program can really benefit you! I front-loaded my Arabic classes, so I had 6 hours a week rather than the usual 3 and didn’t have classes for the second month here. By the end of that month, I felt a lot more comfortable communicating my needs and had fewer unpleasant experiences in cabs.

Moreover, I was unsure about how my experience as a brown woman would differ from the experiences written by other women in past reviews. I would say that I definitely got a lot less harassment on the street in comparison to some of my other foreign friends but sometimes gave me a bit of trouble when walking through the settlements (although this was mostly quickly resolved after showing my passport).

Final notes:

Hebron is an ideal place to be in if you’re interested in travelling across the region (which I highly recommend you do!) Palestine is ridiculously gorgeous and an entirely different landscape is typically no more than a 3-hour drive away.

I also really enjoyed getting to teach! My favourite class was one that I taught in Dura (a village in Hebron) full of intermediate students. I’ve never met a group of people, let alone students, who were so immediately loving and thoroughly excited to learn - by the end of this class, I was genuinely devastated to leave them. I learned a great deal from them.

Finally, the beauty of a program like this one is that it attracts a whole assortment of fascinating people. I am so grateful and so lucky to have met the people that I did, many of whom I would consider life-long friends. I am beyond grateful to leave this program with my own Palestinian family.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Payment was a conversation that came up quite a lot during my time in the centre. While this programme is significantly more affordable than a lot of the other programmes out there, if you're operating on a student's budget like I am, it can still be a little tricky to sort that out!

I would advise being upfront about your financial situation with the co-ordinators and working out a payment programme out with them. As far as I've seen, they've been understanding of complicated financial situations and receptive to staggering payments so long as you sort this out before you arrive and come to an agreement well in advance.
Default avatar
Ciprian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun & Adventure

Every single day was a new adventure and I was impress by the hospitality of the people from Palestine and the friendliness of the other volunteer. I felt always connected to the people there while also exploring Palestine and learning about the life, culture, habits, food in Hebron. It is a must do program for everyone who wants to expand their knowledge.
The lectures I gave to the students at the universities were very rewarding. In 2 weeks I also got the chance to learn basic words and expressions in the arabic language which I found it very useful. It is definitely a different world that I wasn't accustomed with and made me leave my confort zone in every single way. The Center of Excellence helped me with everything I needed during my stay there as well.

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

Three weeks volunteering in Palestine

My name is Ines, I’m 21 years old and I’m from the north of Spain, but I live in Madrid now. I study International Relations and Sociology there, and this year I’m starting a degree in Law too. I decided to come to the Excellence Center in a volunteer program, teaching English and attending Arabic lessons too. I ended up staying in Palestine for three weeks during the summer.
Once in the Excellence Center, Fridays were my free days, and I usually had another free day apart from it, so I was able to travel around. Also, staff, teachers and students are very flexible, so it was super easy to get to know such a wonderful country!. I usually had three hours of Arabic lessons each week, divided in two days. My teacher and the Excellence Center staff were very flexible with this too, so I was able to change my lessons if they didn’t fit right in my schedule. Apart from that, I usually had English lessons every work day. I worked with two wonderful Palestinian teachers, and some days we did oral exams too. Sometimes, I was with other volunteers in the lessons, so it was super nice to see how other people work with students and learn from them.
I really enjoyed my Arabic lessons. As they were private lessons (just me and my teacher), I always felt listened, and I was learning at my pace. I got to learn a lot of things: in just three weeks, I can introduce myself, ask for the price of things, talk with the taxist, say numbers and days of the weeks, and even read some words. It is a very good start if you want to keep learning Arabic in your country, as you have the opportunity to talk with native people here!
Anyway, my favorite part of the experience was the environment of the Excellence Center. I got to know such amazing people from all over the world, and I made super good friends. I really enjoyed staying at the center until its closing time, just studying (tables, books and computers are always available for us), or chatting with people. I have great memories of having coffee with the staff and some Palestinians students, and I can’t wait to come back here. Also, I got to visit the old city of Hebron with them, and it was a super nice experience, as they explained interesting things about the situation there.
As I wanted to visit the country, I asked for some free days and I went to visit Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerico, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. They are all amazing cities, and I especially liked Bethlehem, which is nice, because it takes less than an hour to get there from Hebron, and it’s super cheap too! It was very nice to swim in the Dead See too, and the landscape is just amazing.
About Hebron, I think it was the best place to stay. It has one huge street, and the center is right next to it, so it’s super easy to get there (most of the taxis go there). Also, there are two nice coffee shops just one minute away from the center. As it is not very touristic, Hebron is a very cheap place, and I loved the old city: it isn’t very big, but it’s probably the most interesting one, and people there is nice too. I always got free coffee and good conversation. As a woman, I was staying with a host family, and that was super great too, as I got to get involved in culture, and I met quite a lot of new people related to them. I also enjoy playing with children, and I got to be with two little girls at home.
Also, there was another volunteer staying with the same host family, so we spent a lot of time together, went to the center or to visit other cities together, and we became good friends. It was a very good way of getting to know Palestinian people, Palestinian culture, and, in my case, Japanese culture too.
When I decided to come to Palestine, I was a bit scared about safety, but here I was feeling as safe as in Europe. At first, it was weird and quite scary to see Israeli soldiers or to pass through checkpoints, but I didn’t see any conflict, and the only contact I had with them was they asking for my passport in the old city. In fact, they are only in some points of the old city and in the roads, so you might don’t see them at all if you don’t go specifically to those places. Routine and day to day life is very similar to European or American life, just normal people going to school, to work, having coffee of going shopping. Also, the main street is quite crowded, so it’s super safe to walk on it (I liked to go back home walking everyday, and it was about half an hour). The other reason why I was feeling safe during my stance here were the Palestinian. People here is super welcoming, always ready to help you (I got lost on my first day and I ended up with five or six people walking me to the center, and about another four or five sharing with me their phones or internet).
So, in general, I felt as safe as in Europe, during the daytime even more (people is definitely kinder and more welcoming here) and at night I just took the normal precautions (avoiding walking alone, but nothing that I wouldn’t do at home). Actually, most of my volunteers friends were also girls travelling alone, and none of us had any important problem. Catcalling wasn’t remarkable at all, better than in other countries I’ve been alone.
To conclude, what I liked more about Palestine was the hospitality of its people, I made a bunch of new friends, and I felt at home in every place I went. I got tons of free coffee, free tea, interesting conversations about the situation here, presents and discounts…every new person I met seemed like a distant cousin who really wanted to get in touch. I feel like I have a second huge family here!. This sensation is stronger in the Center, as every person I met there, staff, volunteers, students or just friends, was extremely friendly and made me feel completely at home.
I absolutely recommend coming to Palestine, and especially to the Excellence Center! You will get to visit a lot of wonderful cities (probably super different than the ones you have visited before), and I also recommend talking with every new person you meet. At the Center, you will get to meet amazing people, learn good Arabic and improve your teaching skills (or, as in my case, discover that you have them!).

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I really enjoyed the experience, but I regret not planning it with more time. I hardly recommend to read about the situation of Palestine, the important cities, how to get to them...I learnt a lot and I got to travel to four or five different places, but I would have traveled more if I had known how to get to them before!
Default avatar
Kenza
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

1 month in Hebron, Palestine

This summer I spend one month in Hebron at the Excellence Center. I was there teaching English and learning Arabic. During my stay I stayed with a host family for a month.
Teaching English at the center was an amazing experience. I taught every workday in two villages outside of Hebron. It was really nice to go here and see the daily life in Palestine and to meet Palestinian kids who would tell me about their lives here in Palestine and when I asked they would gladly tell me about how the occupation affected their lives. I loved teaching in Palestine.
I had 3 hours of Arabic one-on-one classes each week and they were really good. I got to practice my Arabic grammar and vocabulary in these classes and they really helped me to move forward with my Arabic knowledge.
My host family was absolutely lovely and I learned so much Arabic from them. We spend our evenings drinking tea in their garden and practicing our Arabic.
Hebron is a really good place to learn Arabic as there are not many foreigners. People will gladly have conversations with you in Arabic, even if your Arabic is not good.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time in the Excellence Center and I definitely plan to come back next year.

What would you improve about this program?
I think it would be wise to give some more information on Palestinian culture, especially the culture in Hebron, as it is very conservative here and as it is so different from most other countries
Default avatar
Mohammed
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer at the Excellence Center

We volunteered at the center for two weeks, we found the center to be a really nice experience. The staff were very helpful on all aspects of thing. They were very welcoming. all the volunteers were very nice and polite. The center is a very family oriented place and we always felt welcome. Overall it was a beautiful experience and we highly recommend the center to all. They showed us a very true representation of life in Palestine. The Arabic lessons were very helpful and give us a good start on learning Arabic and had we had more time we would have learnt a lot more. The Arabic teachers had a very good grasp of the language and also English which helped a lot. The center advised us on all aspects of safety, but throughout our experience we had no cause for concern.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing needs to be changed the program is highly recommended.
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Roger
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My wonderful experience in the Excellence Center in Palestine

In my view the time I have been here, taking part in the English program and learning Arabic language in the Excellence Center in Palestine have been one of the most wonderful and interesting experiences that I have had in my entire live. I reckon I was useful helping the students in the English lessons and in these situations I have learned a lot about the Palestine culture and the way of life. I am very grateful with the Excellence Center staff, they help me a lot during the time I have been in Hebron and even before arriving here. In fact, I had a problem with the airline company regarding to my luggage and they help me a lot to solve it. Regarding to my Arabic teacher, Ahlam, She was very clear in his explanations and I could learn a lot in just 3 lessons. Besides, She is very kind and helpful. I would love to maintain the contact with us because actually I think I have a new friend. On the other hand, I would only change one thing and it is the time I was in Hebron, only two weeks, but I made the choice of coming back the next summer and probably to keep here more time than in this time. I would recommend this volunteering to everybody that want to know Palestine, its culture and situation and help the wonderful students of the Center.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for the future volunteers of the Excellence Center is they should keep calm and enjoy the experience. When you arrived you feel a little bit lost because you could not know any word in Arabic language but, at the end of the day, Marwa and the rest of the staff are always available to help you. For this reason, keep calm and enjoy the experience!
Default avatar
Jack
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time In Hebron

I spent 6 weeks in Hebron teaching English and studying Arabic and had the most amazing time. The Excellence Center provides a well-rounded experience with plenty of support throughout your teaching of eager-to-learn Palestinian students as well as fantastic Arabic teachers who develop a learning curriculum catered to your knowledge and ability. This center provides a comfortable base to explore an incredible city and country as you are encouraged to engage with the local and surrounding communities. At no point during my time here did I feel in danger because in reality there is no threat to your safety and the local people make major efforts to make you feel comfortable. Palestinians are incredible hosts and the Excellence Center is a fantastic representative of that.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I was lucky enough to be staying here during Eid al-Adha in which animal sacrifices and feasts occur. I was invited to a feast of Camel meat which was an incredible insight into the Palestinian culture of food and celebration, and the meat was delicious!
Default avatar
Karin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with the Excellence Center in Hebron

For me, this program was a great way to learn more about the plight of the Palestinian people and feel like I have done something to assist them in their struggle. I think by teaching English, volunteers give Palestinian children and adults a chance to communicate with the rest of the world. I also got the opportunity to learn about many of the obstacles Palestinians face by meetings that the Excellence Center organized for those of us who worked in the Human Rights arena. We got to meet with the governate of Hebron, who outlined Hebronites daily struggles, a community leader in Beit Omar who gave us a tour of her town and explained how the settlements there were impacting the Palestinian residents, and a therapist who worked at the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture and who told us about her work, just to name a few. These meetings were informative and allowed me to really understand all that the Palestinians face in their struggles for equality and freedom.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I found a little frustrating is that it was a little chaotic about what I would do each day for the first week, and then the last week was kind of wasted because of Eid. I wish I had known about Eid before I made my plans to come so I could adjust my dates accordingly. I also wish I had known about the Human Rights program before I came, and I would have done that exclusively, rather than teach English. However, aside from these two things, I had a wonderful experience overall.
Default avatar
Jorge
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching Human Rights in Hebron - Palestine

Hebron, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. As can be imagined, history is to be found at almost every nook and crannie of Hebron.

Of particular interest to me is the architecture of the homes and old buildings. Homes were built to with stand the harsh summer temperatures, as well as providing protection from the snowy cold winters. All homes are flat roofed which reminds me of the Andalucia and Algarve provinces of Spain and Portugal.

Hebronites are extremely hospitable people and if you don't have a taste for Arabian coffee you certainly will develop one in next to no time. My main purpose in Hebron was to teach teenagers Human Rights. I taught many classes but found teaching in the Al Fawwar Refugee Camp the most rewarding. Rewarding in the sense that the teenagers wanted to know more about Nelson Mandela, his life in prison and his re-conciliatory approach to his captors during the creation of the South Africa Constitution and his eventual becoming the first black South African President.

I also met many interesting NGO's and individuals that have left a mark with me. The Excellence Centre was an incredible platform to be able to deliver these lessons as well as the organising of trips to surrounding villages. As mentioned before, Palestinian people are amazing people and this notion certainly applies to the staff of the Centre.

During my stay in Hebron, I never felt in danger of my life. The citizens of Hebron however have a different experience.

I also used my time well to visit the most amazing cities in the region such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Acre, Jericho and the Dead Sea. The Holy Land is an incredible place and should be visited at least once.

What would you improve about this program?
I feel that the program is complete and addresses the needs of the Centre and it's volunteers. Therefore I would not change a thing.
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Maddy
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Experience in Palestine

My name is Maddy and I’m a 19 year old student from the USA. At university I study political science, Middle Eastern affairs, and Arabic. I participated in the Human Rights volunteer program here in Hebron, Palestine for 2 weeks, while additionally receiving Arabic lessons to help me continue improving my Arabic. I had a fantastic Arabic teacher who worked with me one-on-one several times a week, and I also was able to pick up many colloquial phrases from speaking to local Palestinians during my time here.

With the Excellence Center I was able to visit refugee camps, speak with Palestinian families living next to Israeli settlements, interview human rights activists, and learn about aspects of media and journalism in Palestine. We visited Al-Shuhada Street and the Al Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City, which was a fascinating and eye-opening experience. Additionally I taught several workshops about the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a group of 25 students ages 14-17. The students were respectful, attentive, and eager participants. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the Human Rights program and consistently found myself being challenged to hear from different perspectives. I would definitely recommend this program in particular for anyone who wants to learn more about the realities of life under occupation from Palestinians themselves.

5 days of the week I was at the Excellence Center where every morning we’d prepare a delicious traditional Palestinian breakfast. The community at the Center is extremely friendly and welcoming. There I had the opportunity to interact with international volunteers from all around the world as well as Palestinian students from local universities who came to the Center to teach Arabic or English. On my days off I was able to travel around Palestine and I went to Jerusalem as well as Bethlehem to see Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel and the artwork on the Separation Wall. Hostels and transportation here are very affordable and it is quite easy to get around between cities.

Living in Hebron definitely has been an incredible experience and has given me the chance to learn an immense amount about Palestinian culture and traditions. I absolutely loved the host family I lived with and I was always invited to join for large family meals and tea or coffee. One of my favorite things about Hebron is its hospitality and how welcoming people are, even if you just passed someone in the street. The food here is also delicious! There are many different spots to explore in Hebron and I would often go places with the Palestinians who worked at the Center. I always felt safe here and would walk some places alone during the daytime, though I did prefer to be with at least another person or a group. Generally, however, I felt no concerns during my time here over my personal safety.

Overall, I am so grateful for my experience at the Excellence Center. I have learned so much about life in Palestine and always felt welcomed by the people here in Hebron. Not only has my Arabic and knowledge of Palestinian culture improved, but the conversations I’ve had and places I’ve visited in and outside of Hebron have been extremely eye-opening. I can’t thank the Center enough for allowing me to step outside my comfort zone and be welcomed into a new community!

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

My experience with the Excellence Center in Hebron

I’ve absolutely loved every minute of my time here at the center, from teaching at the center or in the neighboring village of Dura, to my extremely helpful lessons with my amazing teacher, Marwa. Throughout my time here, I’ve experienced tremendous growth in my conversational Arabic skills. The atmosphere at the center is great for learning and contains all of the necessary tools to improve in Arabic. While it can oftentimes be busy at the center, there is always a quiet coffee shop with WiFi just a short walk away.
In addition to the program I participated in, I was also fortunate enough to go around and visit many places around Palestine. I was fortunate enough to visit just about every big spot there is in the West Bank, from Ramallah to Jericho I saw them all. The center is very flexible with your schedule and would love for you to go around and tour the country, I was even able to take a couple days to go and visit my family in Amman, Jordan.
From the amazing family I was blessed to live next to, to the food I’ve been able to eat here in Palestine, there hasn’t been one unpleasurable experience during my stay here. Being able to see beautiful nature spots, such as the natural beauty outside of Jericho that is Wadi Qelt, to indulging myself with Kanafe in Nablus (the best in the world, may I add), my time here has been absolutely incredible. To anybody that is looking to advance there Arabic through immersion, and be able to experience a beautiful place at the same time, I highly recommend them to come to the Excellence Center in Hebron, Palestine.

Location

Location:
Palestine
Currency:
Israeli New Shekel
Weather:
Jan-Mar
68 F / 50 F
Apr-Jun
81 F / 57 F
Jul-Sep
86 F / 72 F
Oct-Dec
81 F / 54 F
Airports:
Eilat-Ramon
( ETM )
Haifa-U. Michaeli
( HFA )
Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
( TLV )

While traveling in the Palestine region, you will be confronted with their tumultuous history. The main pull for traveling in this region comes down to learning about the culture and breaking down unsubstantiated ideas. There is a lot to learn form the people, history, and political climate.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

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...