Volunteer and Learn Arabic In Palestine

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sunset in Hebron
sunset in Hebron

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

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/.

Reviews

9.31 Rating
based on 163 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8.9
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 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.

Default avatar
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!

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.