Location
  • Palestine
Length
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Language
Arabic
Age Min.
18
Age Max
75
Housing
Apartment Host Family Hostel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)

Pricing

Price Details
695€ Euro a Month
230€ 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
Jan 07, 2022
Apr 05, 2022
123 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

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

The Excellence Center offers accessible and affordable volunteering and internship programs for native and non-native English speakers interested in helping the Palestinian community and in learning Arabic. We offer a wide range of volunteer programs including teaching English as a foreign language, and studying & sharing information about human rights, legal and political situations in the West Bank.

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

9.31 Rating
based on 167 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 83.83%
  • 7-8 rating 15.57%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0.6%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 167 reviews
Default avatar
Uli
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An outstanding week

For my five-week holiday in Israel & Palestine, it was really important to me to see the Palestinian side as well. Therefore, apart from some other short forays into the West Bank yet to come, I decided to spend one week as a volunteer at Excellence Center in Hebron.
The most surprising thing for me was how friendly everyone was - not just people at the Center, but children, teenagers and adults in the street as well who had never seen me before! Very often they would call out "hi", "hello", "what's your name", "where are you from" or "welcome to Palestine" - which I thought was really nice even though on most occasions I only answered briefly, but that was totally fine - unlike thirty years ago in Italy when men were looking for a date for the evening. :-)
My host family were amazing and lovely too. I was so lucky with them - not only were they among the few people who don't smoke inside the house, but I was also invited for their "iftar" (breaking the fast after sunset) meals at the beginning of Ramadan, which were sooooo delicious.
I had Arabic lessons with two very nice teachers who couldn't have been more patient and we even ended up doing overtime. The second teacher gave me - on my request - an informative brief lecture on the human rights situation in Palestine - in English of course, there's no way I could have coped with this topic in Arabic!
As for my actual volunteering bit with English language teaching, it would have been better if I'd stayed longer. Ideally I would have met each class at least twice and from the second time on liaised with their regular teacher well before the lesson in order to discuss what activities I could lead or what supplementary materials I could design to tie in with the lesson's topic and aimed at increasing student talking time in the target language. But for this to happen, one week was really too short.
As mentioned in other reviews, bring layers of clothing! I was glad of my hot water bottle for the first few nights...
I had a great time at the Excellence Center in Hebron, and who knows, maybe at some stage I'll try out their branch in Germany too!

7 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Hi Uli,

Thank you so much for the review. We enjoyed your stay very much. We wish you all the best and we would be very happy to welcome you at the Excellence Center in Germany

Greetings

Default avatar
Marena
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Writing Articles at the Excellence Center

I chose this program because I wanted an economical way to travel to Palestine alone as a first-time traveler to this region, and I had the editorial experience for this role. I was only here a month and would suggest future participants plan on two months since it takes about a week to become settled and find your rhythm. Arabic lessons focused on the colloquial Palestinian dialect since my main study in the U.S. had been MSA, though you have the option to study MSA or colloquial dialects as you please. This was useful for me since depending on where you go in Hebron, people may only understand colloquial Arabic, especially in the main market near the Old City. I travelled to Hebron by myself as a woman a month after the borders reopened and can say that the city and Palestine in general is very safe; I often walked alone late at night and never had any problems.

Pros
  • Exploring Palestine
  • Cost
  • Logistical support
Cons
  • Workload
  • Cold weather/living situation
7 people found this review helpful.
Response from The Excellence Center

Thanks for the awesome review, Marena! We work hard to meet expectations like yours, and we’re happy to hear we hit the mark for you. Come back and see us soon in Palestine. Cheers!

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

The time of my life

I am Alicia, I am 29 years old and I am from Switzerland.

I came to Hebron to volunteer with Refugees in the camp for one week. My first Impression of Hebron was very positive, the people go out of their ways to help you. For one week I was staying with a host family in the city center in Hebron, they welcomed me with a warm heart and many questions. Every morning I went to the excellence center to have a traditional Palestinian breakfast. In the center I had Arabic classes with a teacher, she thought me daily conversations in Arabic, that were very useful. In the camp I was giving english lessons to the children, what amazed me was the high motivation from the children.
My experience with the excellence center was very nice, everything was organized, the people were very welcoming and always happy to answer any open questions. I made new friends and also gained more knowledge about the situation in Palestine. My experience in Hebron was very educational and beautiful. I encourage everyone to come and see, feel the beauty of Palestine.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay longer.Because there is so much more to see and to visit There are so much more food to taste , peoples to talk to and other cities to visit
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alessandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome Experience at the Excellence Center (Hebron)

My experience at the Excellence Center in Hebron (Palestine) was awesome.
Teaching young students and laughing with them was worthwhile and energising. Although my stay was short, it was full of unexpected surprises, such as hiking and having the best picnic ever with young teachers amid ancient olive groves, barbecuing with a super friendly staff in a vineyard surrounded by spectacular views, staying with a generous and happy local family where I tasted delicious dishes, exploring the old city and its market, and learning conversational Arabic that would help me get by!! The whole experience was amazing.
The only thing I regret is not staying longer. Hopefully next time.
Shukran guys!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would definitely stay longer to be able to spend more time with the locals and explore the ancient city more.
15 people found this review helpful.
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!

26 people found this review helpful.
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.
26 people found this review helpful.
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.

25 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
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.
23 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/.