• Palestine
1 to 13 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Age Max
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Apartment Host Family Hostel
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Price Details
750€ Euro a Month
250€ Euro a Week

The program fees include: pre-departure support, accommodations with a host family, some of the Meals, full coordination while volunteering in Palestine, 3 hours per week of Arabic lessons, and some visits to different sites in the city of Hebron.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Some Meals SIM cards Wifi
What's Not Included
Airport Transfers Some Meals Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 02, 2023
May 25, 2023
154 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The Excellence Center/Engage in Palestine offers short-term volunteer & internship programs in the city of Hebron, West Bank, Palestine. Volunteers in Palestine will have the opportunity to work with Palestinian children, refugees, women, youth, university students & families, helping them practice conversational English, organizing workshops & teaching within Hebron’s vibrant community. These volunteering opportunities in the West Bank, Palestine are designed to be immersive, authentic and comprehensive.

Moreover, the center offers volunteer programs which mainly focus on the topics of human rights, women rights, Palestinian refugees, Palestinian culture and politics, Palestinian laws and legal system, & the political history and present situation of Palestine and Israel. Our volunteer opportunities are ideal for students & people who are looking for volunteer and internship programs in the summer time located in the area of the West Bank, Palestine, Israel, or the Middle East.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Live in Hebron, including trips to the old city, holy sites, and local refugee camps.
  • Understand the political situation in Palestine.
  • Learn spoken Arabic from native speakers and embrace the opportunity to communicate with locals.
  • Contribute to the Palestinian local community
  • Travel to historical locations and nearby cities including Jerusalem, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem on your own.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.81 Rating
based on 206 reviews
  • 5 rating 82.04%
  • 4 rating 16.99%
  • 3 rating 0.49%
  • 2 rating 0.49%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.65
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.65
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 206 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Teach English and Study Arabic

My name is Veronica. I am from America and I did the Teaching English and Studying Arabic program at the Excellence Centre for three months. On top of teaching, I cooked in the Center’s kitchen, led an English Club, participated in a few excursions, and made so many friends.

The staff at the center are friendly and hospitable, and I immediately felt like I was part of the family. I started teaching on my first day, helping another volunteer with an intermediate English class which I ended up taking over for the remainder of its run time. I quickly got to enjoy speaking with my students and learning more about their lives.

The daily breakfasts and group activities make it really easy to get to know the other volunteers well, and people plan excursions to explore Palestine outside Al Khalil almost every weekend. My first week I joined a group going on a day trip to the Dead Sea, and in the last three months I was able to see Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Tel Aviv, and Eilat too. On top of weekend trips I got to experience multiple excursions through the center such as teaching kids in Arroub refugee camp and speaking with Human Rights Defenders in the old city. One day we went on a very memorable day trip to Mar Saba Yatta; another we had a barbecue in beautiful Loza with some of the Arabic teachers on our day off. During Ramadan we had Iftar at the center at least once a week.

I learned Arabic with my amazing teacher Maryam, who I am really going to miss. The other Arabic teachers are lovely too and would always answer questions or help me if I needed, especially Ma’mon who let me join in a few of his lessons too. I am very happy with the amount of Arabic I was able to learn while I was here and got plenty of practice every day.

I lived with a host family near the Old City who were so kind and friendly. I had my own room and felt very comfortable and like I was part of the family too—I was able to get more Arabic practice and chat with my host sisters who speak English too. I felt very safe and happy here, even walking in the old city. Honestly, my favorite thing about my experience here has been the people. Hospitable does not even cover it; they are so welcoming and kind. Everywhere I went everyone was so kind and offered me food or help with anything I needed.

One day, I was walking while on a break from the center and stumbled upon a lovely garden, where a woman was sitting. She waved me over, and even though I hadn’t learned much Arabic yet, she sat me down and proceeded to feed me lunch complete with fruit grown in the garden and coffee afterwards. Two hours later, after showing me her daughter’s wedding photos, giving me her grandchild to hold, and giving me a tour of her garden, I had to go back to teach a class. We managed to communicate through the immense generosity that I have found in countless families here in Al Khalil. This is the number one thing I will remember about my time here.

I cannot recommend coming to Al Khalil enough. The Excellence Center provides invaluable help in getting here, connecting foreigners to the local community, and providing an environment where you can meet many many new people. It is a truly unique experience. The overall feeling here is of family, for better or worse, complete with some of the chaos that comes with it.

  • Excellent teaching
  • Wonderful people (staff, people in Hebron, students from the center)
  • Join breakfast (to get to know everybody)
  • Sometimes a little chaotic and very spontaneous
  • Lack of communication of planned visitsand activities to everyone
  • If better organized, I think the volunteers can learn and gain a lot more with existing resources/teachers.
2 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hey Veronica,

Thank you so much for spending time with us at the Excellence Center in Palestine. We appreciate you so much for the good times you brought and the good work you did with us.
Your cooking was amazing and I'm so glad you could help. Your passion to learn Arabic and communicate with the people of Palestine is inspiring.

We are so happy you felt safe and you were willing to travel to wonderful places like Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Tel Aviv, and Eilat. You being there made everything special and I hope you made many unforgettable memories, and we wish to see you again in Palestine.

Best wishes from Palestine

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience in Palestine

The hospitality I received from the Center and also all the people I have interacted with in Palestine has been so amazing. The warmth that I have received from Palestinians is something I know I will never get anywhere else and I am so grateful for the opportunity that the Center have given me. The teachers here are very willing and helpful, which makes learning here very comfortable.

The safety of the people here in Hebron is nothing like shown in the media. Walking in the streets here are really safe and there wasn't a time it feels risky or dangerous. More likely due to the respect of the people and the warmth from the people everywhere.

  • Warm hospitality of the Palestinians
  • Opportunities by the Center to understand more about the occupation
  • Arabic lessons by committed teachers
  • Spontaneous trips that might conflict with Arabic classes
2 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hello Atikah,

I'm so pleased to hear that you had a great experience at the Excellence Center in Palestine.
We're glad to hear that you felt safe and able to explore the country. We strive to make everyone feel welcome and hope that you will always remember that great experience you had.

We really hope to see you again because your willingness to learn and explore the culture of Palestine is heartwarming. Please remember us well and make your next trip to see us soon!

Greetings from Palestine

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved Excellence Center Time

I have loved my time at the Excellence Center and would definitely recommend this experience to anybody wanting to visit, embrace, celebrate and understand Palestine on a deeper level. You have the opportunity to build so many relationships – with the teenagers at the center you work with during workshops or classes (depending on your programme), the other volunteers at the Center, the lovely staff here, and then the many people you meet during trips throughout your days when not working. You get to meet Palestinians living at the nearby Al Fawwar Refugee Camp nearby, near the surrounding settlements, in Hebron's Old City itself – and giving them all a chance to tell their story and their reality is so important to understand as a whole the situation here in Hebron and more widely – so we can understand what we are best placed to do to help moving forward. It is also easy to visit parts of Palestine further away such as Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jerusalem – which we took advantage of. The center helps direct you and guide you for such trips.
I finished a BA in English Literature and Theatre before completing a Masters in Acting at the Guildford School of Acting. Due to my background, when I volunteered at the Center it was part of the arts programme here. Over 2 weeks a friend and I led theatre workshops with students aged 15-18. Over the sessions the girls developed songs, dances, images they created with their bodies, and their own speeches, using their own words. We created a safe space where they were able to express themselves creatively, with and without words, and over time build confidence in their own forms of communication. In the last session they performed the work we had created together and everyone as moved by the precision of their performance and the articulation of their own voices – so beautiful, eloquent and honest. Over the sessions they understood the importance of "play" in their lives, and of art. They also began to see the importance of relaxation in the body and working on breath to calm oneself – as many of the girls carried tension in their shoulders from the strains of everyday life. The first session proved difficult as theatre was such a new world for the girls – but by the end those who continued with us said they will try to continue this work in their futures, they loved the classes, and they now understand the importance of what we did as a group here. It was a moving, rewarding and empowering experience and I would certainly encourage anyone to volunteer here, for a sustained period of time, with the students so you can build strong bonds. Maria and I certainly intend to stay in touch with our students and hope we can return again.
Between our classes and many interesting trips we had the chance to learn Arabic at the center. I came with the most basic phrases and no knowledge of the alphabet at all. No matter what your level – you are taught how to introduce yourself, answer basic questions, learn the first few numbers – and build from there. The center supports the level you are at and you learn accordingly. It was a brilliant experience to have the chance to start learning Arabic and I intend to continue lessons when back in London where I am based currently.
I think it's important to say that you feel very safe in Hebron. The center and volunteers are warm and accommodating at all times – you are supported. Some of what you see is heartbreaking, and the first time you are faced with Israeli soldiers holding large guns is jarring – but it is so important to see this reality in my opinion, to witness with your own eyes the situation here.
We stayed with a host family – the Murad family. They live about a 20 minute walk from the Center. They are a warm, sweet family who welcomed us with open arms. Maria and I had two single beds in our own room, and shared a bathroom, kitchen and living room with one other volunteer. A few evenings we spent time with our host parents and their children – drinking the classic Palestinian nana tea, or eating delicious grilled food together as a large group. We were so glad we chose to do this rather than staying at an Airbnb or hotel – it was an authentic, personal, Palestinian experience with warm-hearted locals who have welcomed us back.
There were so many things we loved about our trip and it was a whirlwind of sights, experiences, food, music, culture – and so many lovely people. Overall we loved our time at the Center, we intend to come back, and we were so glad to have seen Palestine with our own eyes – through the words of locals here. The situation is heartbreaking but it's so important for people to visit, to listen, to help, and to witness what is going on. There's also many happy moments, things to celebrate, embrace and enjoy – the beauty of Palestine and its people. It has been a humbling, empowering, thought-provoking and life-enriching experience.

  • Housing provided by the Center
  • Kind staff
  • Welcoming community
  • Make sure you bring warm clothes in winter
  • Lack of a defined structure in the volunteer programme
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Refugee Program

My experience at the Excellence Center has been amazing. The people at the center are patient and very accommodating to the things you are trying to accomplish. It is also a good way to immerse yourself in Palestinian culture and understand the occupation as well. Being able to have conversations about standing for justice with other like minded people is very encouraging. That is also another way in which this experience was very helpful.

Each day I’d walk to the center and it was a good way to connect with people around the community and practice the Arabic I was learning. It also helped me to understand where these people are coming from and the daily struggles they have as a result of the occupation and the effects it has in their lives. There were a couple boys I’d greet each morning on my way to the center, and by the time I’d leave the center in the mid afternoon, they were just finishing up their work. These are children and should have more educational opportunities but as a result of the regulated life here in Palestine, these opportunities can be hard to find.

In little moments such as my walk to the center, or as big moments as meeting lawyers and going to refugee camps, the center provided tangible ways to understand what life is like here. This is exactly what I was hoping to get out of the trip, as I know it will help better inform me for my future efforts in my career. It is so important as a future career woman to make these connections, so I can be the best I can be for the people I will encounter at work. I have learned to be a better advocate and speak for what is right.

  • Cultural Immersion
  • Interact with Micro and Macro Human Issues
  • Language Learning
  • some plans are made the day before or day of
3 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Unforgettable Experience in Hebron with the Excellence Center

Hello! My name is Anne, I am 19, and I am from the Netherlands.
During my gap year I decided to stay with The Excellence Center in Hebron, Palestine, for a
The programme I participated in was the Human Rights Programme and I helped out with
English Club.
I stayed here in April and the beginning of May. During my time in Hebron there were about
10 other volunteers and internationals, and I got to experience the second half of Ramadan
and Eid.
My hostfamily was super welcoming and warm. I arrived with 0 arabic, and the family barely
spoke English.
Nonetheless, my host mom put ‘we are one family now’ in google translate when I arrived,
which made me feel at home from the start.
I found it to be special to have Iftar with my family and to be brought along to family visits
during Eid.
Having community breakfast with other volunteers and staff at the center was always a nice
way to start the day.
After that I would have Arabic class, go on excursions to special sites or people, or have
English club.
Most days the schedule was quite chill, I’d often spend my late afternoons in one of the local
cafes with my friends to study Arabic together and have a nice hangout.
During the weekends, which were Fridays and Saturdays, I definitely recommend visiting
other cities in Palestine.
There are so many historical sites to see, like 8th century mosaic floors of a historical palace
in Jericho or the nativity church in Bethlehem.
Seeing other places has shown me the rich culture and different atmospheres across the
West bank.
While visiting Banksy or even just driving on the roads and seeing the settlements teaches
you the reality of occupation.
One thing that, from my experience, the different places in Palestine all have in common is
the warmth and kindness of the people.
Before coming here, most of my friends and family were worried about my safety and and
asked me why I had to go to Palestine, of all places.
However, from arrival onwards everyone has been so nice, and I have not had a moment
when I felt unsafe.
Everywhere you go people will greet you, say ‘welcome to Palestine!’ and help you when
I think I will experience a bit of a culture shock when I am back home, as Dutch people in
general are much more cold, and there won’t be coffee handed out in the supermarket.
My overall experience with the Excellence Center has been excellent. The staff and Arabic
teachers are kind and flexible. Hebron is a big city with lots of shops and stores and market
places. I got to try all kinds of new food, my personal favorite is knafeh.
I hope to be able to come back to Palestine soon in the future!

  • Studying Arabic with lovely teachers
  • Meeting other internationals from all kinds of nationalities and backgrounds
  • Experience the warm Palestinian culture
  • Sometimes a little chaotic and very spontaneous
  • Depending on your situation, border control and Ben Gurion can be a not so pleasant experience
  • Hearing and learning about occupation can be an intense experience, so be prepared
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent experience, at a fantastic place

Hello everyone, I’m Adam from the UK and I have had the absolute pleasure of volunteering at the excellence centre for the past three weeks. During this time I have been able to tick many boxes off my list. Not only have I been able to visit Palestine, I have been able to engage with the community and be truly immersed in the culture.
The daily struggle of the Palestinian people is one I hold dear to my heart having grown up watching the situation, so to have the opportunity to volunteer here has been amazing. During my three weeks I have visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, refugee camps and also the Bediun areas where we got to see and talk to people who had built caves underground to live because the IDF were destroying whatever structures they made above ground.
It was very important for me to not just come to Palestine as a tourist but to volunteer and help the community any way I could. At the excellence centre I was able to participate in English classes, which allowed me to interact with Palestinian youths, to laugh and organize games as well as other fun lesson activities. This was an extremely rewarding activity and as this was my first time teaching… anything.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or even do. The other volunteers here and the staff were so supportive and I managed to pick it up and roll with it. I also did the Arabic study option, as a beginner in Arabic the classes were very informative and gave me enough to have a conversation which is an added bonus.
The excellence centre is an extremely welcoming place, where everyone is more than happy to help. I guess this just reflects the overall Palestinian culture and the vibe I got in the west bank. From the moment I arrived by bus late at night I had already been driven to the centre by a lovely family and brought up stairs by another family to have coffee and cake whilst waiting for staff to come back.

This was my first glimpse into what I could expect in Palestine and over the last 3 weeks, moments like this where I have been shown extreme generosity are very common, actually. My experience here has been filled with special moments due to coming during Ramadan. The feeling of sitting around at a table with new friends whilst waiting for the aathan to start is a something I won’t forget.
Coming during this time period also meant we got the chance to be invited to local people’s houses and experience a true Palestinian iftar which, if I’m being honest with you guys. The food itself is enough to make me want to come back. The falafel and hummus will forever haunt my dreams and the rice and chicken dishes are second to none. But back to a more serious note, my time here living in the West bank has been an experience full of firsts and hopefully not the lasts. Until next time.

  • Friendly enviroment
  • Educational
  • Rewarding
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

During my week at the Excellence Center, I began learning Arabic, I worked with Palestinian kids in an English club, and got the chance to go to a refugee camp and talk with some students about their experiences. I honestly could not recommend this program enough. The community of volunteers and workers here are fantastic. When working with Rafat and Osama, the leaders of the program while I was there, I always felt as though my best interests were taken into account and they both went out of their way to make my week the best it could be. Also, the other volunteers are some of the nicest people I have met. I immediately felt comfortable around everyone and was able to make friends and build community. Two of the nights I was here, we were able to have iftar at the center and it is one of my many highlights to my week in Hebron. Being able to learn about Palestine more, and doing it by engaging with and talking to Palestianians was so incredible and I could not recommend doing something like this with any other organization. My week here was so memorable and I cannot wait to come back.

  • Community building
  • Working with kids
  • Learning from experiences
  • Transportation
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING Experience!!

My time at the Excellence Center has been an experience I will never forget. From beginning to end, the people of Palestine have been the most genuine and hospitable. My host family, students, volunteers, even the local merchants welcomed me with open arms into their culture and daily life. For the short time that I was here, I participated in English Club, took Arabic class, volunteered at refugee camp Fawwar, and got to explore the city of Hebron. English club was my favorite activity I participated in. Not only did I get to witness ten- to sixteen-year-old children become more confident in their English-speaking abilities, but I got to build authentic connections with the students. The Excellence Center expresses that it “brings people together,” and that is exactly what happened this week. I am leaving with a lifetime of friendships and memories. Thank you to everyone who made this week what it was. The Excellence Center is a magical place, and I will be back inshallah!!

  • Community
  • Connections
  • Volunteer
  • Transportation
6 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

The people you'll meet in Hebron have for the most part lived in the area for several generations (some for 100s of years). So no, people in Hebron are not fleeing their home country. Just the opposite in fact: They're committed to their home country, and they're enjoying life in the face of the difficult situation they've been put into.

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/.