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 163 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 163
Default avatar
Joana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at the Excellence Center in Hebron

Staying at the Excellence Center truly felt like being part of a family. I had the chance to stay in a host family which gave me the great opportunity of getting to know their everyday life and practice my arabic! The arabic lessons were very helpful, the classes are individual and focus on the most important things to learn. During my volunteering, I got the chance to teach in various contexts, at the Center, in schools, and in refugee camps, which was very interesting to see. I felt that the students were very eager to learn and very motivating. It was very interesting to get to know more about the Palestinian culture and people were very nice and open to internationals. I felt safe at all times and hope to come back to Hebron and the Excellence Center in the future!

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

My experience with the Excellence Center in Hebron

Overall a great atmosphere for a productive learning/teaching environment for students and teachers alike. Winter is not so cold but tends to be less people I personally enjoyed the attention afforded to me as I was one of the few to live here in the winter time. I and many other were able to travel not only around the awesome historic city of Hebron but to many other cities throughout the region. The safety of the city is good, there are some stories and many exaggerated events but you can see for yourself how things actually are when you come.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising things I saw was to hospitality given to me and the apparent melancholy in society here.
Default avatar
Hadi
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

I had the opportunity to deliver leadership workshops with the Excellence Centre in Hebron and it has been one of the best experiences I have had. My workshops were based on leadership, mastering self-awareness, and using influence and communication to empower one’s environment. I delivered 2 different workshops in English to university and high school students who engaged in the various activities and learning material over 7 days.

The Excellence Centre family have been a great host, where I have enjoyed our daily breakfasts together, assisting in any issues I had. Hebron is a lovely city with so much history to experience, complemented by lovely people. Hebron is unique in that you can truly see the effects of the conflict given the separation of the city into 2 parts. Therefore, I have learnt a lot about the conflict’s history and its effect on people’s daily life.

During the weekends, I had a chance to travel to Ramallah, Nablus and Jericho. It was so interesting to find out that every city in the West Bank is very culturally different. It felt like I was visiting different countries, all providing beautiful scenery and amazing experiences. Felt safe during my stay here.

I can say with ease that, throughout my 2 week travel in the region, my experience in Hebron has been the most impactful due to the lovely people I have met in this city. I leave hopeful and inspired by their strength and love and I hope to come back soon to see all their smiling faces . Love and peace.

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Hannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Learning Arabic in Hebron

I spent two weeks in December in Hebron studying Arabic at the Excellence Center. The program with my teacher was very well structured. She has a degree in education and the Arabic language. We worked on grammar as well as on the spoken Palestinian dialect. I learned a lot in this two weeks.

I stayed with a Palestinian family during this time and experienced life as the locals do. It was wonderful to spend time with the family and get to know more about the culture. For anyone considering to visit in the winter I would highly recommend preparing for the cold. Don't let the weather forecast fool you, the temperature doesn't seem low but it is VERY cold here! There is no central heating in most of the buildings so come prepared with you warmest clothes.

The Excellence Center is a great place to learn Arabic and experience Hebron!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would bring warmer clothes! Heavy winter coat, hat, thick socks.
Default avatar
Hannah
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

My name is Hannah and I am from Essex, England. I was volunteering at the Excellence Centre on the Teach for Palestine programme.

During my three months in Hebron, I had a wide range of teaching experiences. I delivered several workshops on CV writing and interview skills to university students and graduates, I had several private students; some were preparing to take the IELTS test and some wanted to improve their English language skills for work. I taught an Intermediate English Conversation course, and assisted as a native speaker in some beginners courses. I ran an English club for school students to practice their speaking and listening. I also ran four workshops for English teachers, and another for English graduates, focusing on how to promote creativity in the English language classroom. This range of experiences has been really useful for me, because up until my arrival in Hebron, I had only worked in a primary school.

I had several different Arabic teachers during my time at the Excellence Centre, they were all good in different ways, but it might have been better to have had one teacher. I definitely feel that my Arabic has improved a lot, by being in an Arabic speaking environment, particularly my receptive language. I am still not too confident about joining in conversations but I definitely understand a lot more and it has definitely given me the motivation to study further.

The environment at the centre has been a positive one for me, I have enjoyed the fact that the management trust the teachers and volunteers to deliver lessons or activities in whatever way suits them, and the students, best. As an experienced teacher, I have really enjoyed that freedom, but I understand that might be challenging for volunteers who don’t come from a teaching background. I have really loved working with the students- funny, clever, talented people of all ages and abilities. The staff have been friendly and helpful, and I feel really lucky to have met a really interesting group of international volunteers while I have been here.

I went on several visits organised by the Excellence Centre. I went to the Ibrahimi Mosque and to the Old City, to the Glass Factory and to Al Fawwar camp. I also went to a grape festival and a Food Exhibition.

I have visited Bethlehem several times, I went last night, in fact, to see the Christmas lights! I like to be in the countryside, so on my days off, I have gone on various hiking trips with different groups. That has really been a highlight of my stay. I went to Wadi Qelt a couple of times, it is really very beautiful, and I went on several valley walks near to Ramallah and Jericho. I had one particularly lovely walk in Wadi al-Qaf, which is very close to Hebron. It was olive picking time, so lots of families were out together working on their trees. One family invited us to sit and eat with them, and we had a lovely meal of stuffed vine leaves under the trees. A little bit further along the way another family invited us to have coffee with them. It was a really lovely day.

I have had a really good experience with my host family, they have been very friendly and hospitable and it has been lovely to get to know them. They have really helped me with my Arabic. I was really glad that there was a lovely garden to sit in and it was nice to have my own space too.

I felt as safe in Hebron as I would in any city, so I felt okay to walk around on my own, with the same kind of caution I would take in London, or anywhere else. I did feel self-conscious sometimes, as a woman, in what felt like very male-dominated public spaces, but had no real problems.

I have really enjoyed my time in Palestine, the countryside is beautiful, the food is great and the people have been really funny, friendly and kind. The Excellence Centre was a really good choice for me because it has given me really good teaching experiences, and the chance to meet and work with really interesting students and colleagues. I would recommend the Teach for Palestine programme at The Excellence Centre to any teachers who enjoy working flexibly, and would like to gain some different experiences while staying in this fascinating country.

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Katharina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My amazing experience at the Excellence Center in Hebron

From September to November 2019, I was a participant in the Teach English in Palestine Program of the Excellence Center in Hebron. Teaching and learning for three months, Maqluba and falafel with the host family, breakfast and football with international volunteers, hiking in Wadi Qaf and strolling in the old town.
I came to Palestine for an internship in the context of studying Arabic in Germany. The program offered convinced me with its combination of Arabic language practice and teaching the English language as a contribution to cultural exchange.
At the Excellence Center, I met a very friendly, relaxed atmosphere. I very much appreciated the interesting encounters with interns from all over the world and the diverse tasks. The teaching of different language levels, on my own or as an assistant, alone or in a team, workshops and guided tours to the attractions in Hebrew designed the weeks varied. What impressed me most was the great confidence in my work. I got the chance to independently plan, prepare and carry out lessons, always relying on motivational support. With much patience, humor and inexhaustible energy, my Arabic teacher helped me through the complex structures of the Arabic language.
During my stay I lived in a host family and was able to participate in family life. I was warmly received. The family always made me feel welcome and at the same time respected my private space. I was impressed by the close cohesion of the family. The Friday Makluba - gathering with the extended family I will keep in special memory.
This experience was particularly important to me because my prior knowledge of Palestine was limited to the news of the European media, where violence dominates the headlines. Here in Hebron I got a completely different picture of life in Palestine. In the family, I experienced a natural normality, in the city relaxed bustle. I felt absolutely safe throughout my entire stay in Hebron. However, the limitations of isolation were very noticeable as soon as I left the city.
We few "foreigners" stand out in Hebron and that is sometimes exhausting. However, it also makes clear how important the work of the Excellence Center is.

Auf Wiedersehen in Hebron!

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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
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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.