Volunteer and Learn Arabic In Palestine
91% Rating
(86 Reviews)

Volunteer and Learn Arabic In Palestine

Join Our Family in Palestine in Summer 2018

All nationalities and majors are welcome to apply for all of our programs. 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. You can come to Palestine from 1 week to 6 months.

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.

Weeks Min.
Weeks Max
Age Min.
Age Max
Small Group (1-15)
Medium Group (16-30)
Host Family
Price Details
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.

Questions & Answers

No. Not at all. Even West Bank Palestinians need a very good reason to go, and getting approval from the Israeli government can take months. The only way I know of for a foreigner non-NGO member to get to Gaza is by crossing the Rafah crossing from Egypt. I believe this is technically illegal though.
I have had a lot of free time. Sometimes less because you are planned in for courses as a teacher. But there is a lot of freedom in asking free time and enjoy yourself in an other city or with friends.
Hello Chrissy, No prior visa is needed for Americans, Canadians, and most Europeans to enter Israel and Palestine. You can can a visa for three months on arrival. If you would like to stay for more than three months, you have to leave the country (e.g. visit Jordan) and come back to get another visa for three months. Please write to us if you have any questions. Greetings from Palestine

Program Reviews

based on 86 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.4
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 76 - 86 of 86
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Excellent Program

My name is Sila, I am a Canadian Turkish student living in Montreal. I am 21 years old and finished my university baccalaureate in international development and Middle East studies at McGill University. I came to Hebron to teach English to young Palestinians and learn Arabic language and culture. I was a volunteer assistant teacher for a whole month. I taught teenagers boys and girls and young adults too. Their level ranged from beginner 1 to intermediate 2. During this time I stayed with two host families. Both of them were amazing and very welcoming. With these families and the friendly staff of the Excellenxe Center, I have never felt unsafe. Every person I met went out of their way to make me and the other volunteers at ease and safe in Hebron.
During my stay, I visited many places in Hebron. For example, I went to the Ibrahimi mosque many times, to Hebron's Old City and to its famous glass and kufiyah factories. I also went to Dura, which is a town in Hebron. Outside of Hebron, I went to Jericho, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Yaffa.
All in all, it was an amazing experience. A month felt like a week. The people at the center and the host families are so generous, so friendly and so warm that you will want to extend your trip!

Yes, I recommend
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My volunteering Experience in Hebron, Palestine

It was amazing experience in Hebron. Everyday we had an amazing time with local Palestinian people. I taught school students, university students and some community members conversational English. The students were amazing.

I also learnt some Arabic, I can say some sentences in Arabic which made my stay much nicer in Hebron.

Its really safe, I never had any problems in Palestine. I was always surrounded with Palestinian people. I also travelled around Palestine. I visited many places from Jenin to Bethlehem to Rammallah.

How can this program be improved?

I would say if they can organise weekly meeting with all interns and volunteers to discuss the plans for the next weeks or days. Thanks a lot

Yes, I recommend
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Summer 2014

I really enjoyed this programme. Even though I arrived just as the Gaza conflict was developing, I always felt safe in the Hebron due to the my host family and the support from the Excellence center. All the students in the classes were very eager to learn, which made teaching a pleasure. I learned so much about Palestinian culture, history, and daily life, and it was really harrowing to experience the reality of life under Israeli occupation first-hand.

Yes, I recommend
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Palestine 2014

I learnt a huge amount from my two months in Hebron. My trip coincided exactly with the recent conflict in Gaza but that served only to enhance the experience and the attachment that I now feel to the area. Living with a family was an incredible way to improve my Arabic.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked more than the allocated number of Arabic sessions.

Yes, I recommend
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An extremely rewarding experience

Being part of the Excellence Center team during the Summer of 2014 has already become one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, both professionally and personally. All four groups I taught (all different ages, from age 7 to 25) were so enthusiastic about learning they renewed my belief in the importance of education. The staff at Excellence Center were extremely welcoming and supportive and I hope I get to collaborate again with them. overall, one of the best teaching (I have taught at the college level for 18 years now) and personal experiences of my life and I highly recommend it to anyone.

Yes, I recommend
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A life time experience!

I visited Hebron last year and felt very welcomed and taken care of by the Excellence Center staff. The center is very frequented, which also shows its success among the Hebron community. As mentioned before, the center is a business, yet it manages to support the local population by offering courses for a lesser fee than other local centers. It also provides free courses and programs for groups in need such as refugees. Though Hebron is a conservative city people here are very friendly, open and welcoming - eager to practice their English. Like in every country or culture you travel to, things are different and take time to adapt to, so my advice is to travel with the intention to learn and experience something different, of course this at times includes leaving your comfort zone. The center organizes amazing trips to places like Susia, the old city of Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah offering insights into local organizations and local communities. You will definitely meet people you would have otherwise never encountered. The Excellence Center is a great point for cultural exchange. Make sure to discuss your needs ahead of time to give the staff time to arrange things for you and to clarify whatever remains unclear.

Students are eager to learn and the teaching experience is really rewarding. Volunteers are granted considerate space to engage in teaching methods and activities of their choice. Moreover, we were also encouraged to provide feedback on the program and to explain concretely which improvements could be made.

I really spent an amazing time here!

How can this program be improved?

I also discussed all possible improvements with the manager Rafat and hope they benefited the center!

Yes, I recommend
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Cultural Immersion- Definitely an Experience!

I volunteered at the Excellence centre for 2 months in the summer of 2013. My main task was to coordinate a series of workshops for fresh graduates in CV writing, interview skills, job applications, formal letters/ emails etc alongside teaching both beginner and intermediate english. The graduate workshops were great, a lot of people came and it really felt like the students learnt some valuable skills which they could use to apply for jobs. I did the whole workshop in English though and I think some students had problems understanding.

I think something which should be made clear is the excellence centre is a business which also does charitable work. So most of the lessons students pay for to maintain the running of the place, then workshops, lessons at refugee camps etc are given for free.

The stay with a host family was a great cultural experience, my family was amazing, but not everyone gets their own room (although I didn't mind sharing, some people might) so make sure you are really clear about where you are staying from the beginning and how far from the centre it is etc.... make sure your contract is clear with how much money you pay, how much money the family receive, how many meals you get included from the centre, and from the family so you don't have any technical issues when you arrive. Unlike the other reviews I received all the Arabic lessons without a problem, which were really useful (you won't learn arabic overnight though!) and some trips around Hebron which were very interesting.

Hebron is a crazy place.... the old town is amazing and the people are super friendly and welcoming. The social scene will probably be hanging around with your host family, other interns and the people from the excellence centre, but if you have as cool a crowd as I did, that will be enough. You won't though be able to find alcohol or anything more than a sheesha and coffee, so if you want to party, Hebron is not the place! I would recommend making the effort to travel Palestine and Israel whilst you are there - definitely an interesting experience. I never felt unsafe in Hebron (obviously following safety rules you would follow anywhere, i.e. don't walk around alone at night), but sometimes people staring and making comments can be exhausting, but welcome to the Middle East.

If you want to experience Palestinian culture and learn about the occupation whilst eating great food, meeting amazing people and learning some arabic or teaching english, I would recommend the excellence centre.

Ah and on arrival, ask the centre to organise you a taxi from Jerusalem else it can get very confusing!

How can this program be improved?

I talked to Rafat about everything that I thought could be improved, and I'm sure he's already implemented it - I will grill him about it when I see him!

Yes, I recommend
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Never too old to learn..... but to teach ??

In my review, written some seven months after my return to the UK, I would largely echo the comments made by Megan on 23/8 (to use the British way of recording dates).

I too found the people of Hebron, with very few exceptions, to be friendly and indeed the phrase "Welcome to Hebron" was probably the English phrase I heard most often.

Although I am not a very good teacher, I found the students, in most cases, keen to learn and very largely respectful. However, the teaching would have been easier for all concerned had the CDs, to which the text books frequently referred, been available.

After an initial 'hic-cup' I settled in well with what was my second host family, who treated me exceedingly well, despite the language difficulties. This was particularly so during the unprecedented snowfall in mid-December when, for several days, Hebron effectively came to a standstill. On my departure I presented the grand-daughter of the family with my ukulele, in which she had expressed an interest and I am still in touch with one of the sons and, indeed, with another former student. They, in turn, are seeing from my face-book page, how the Palestinian cause is being supported and pursued in the UK.

I have almost recovered from twice playing five-a-side football at the age of 69 and my family and friends are still much amused by the photograph of me in my borrowed breeches.

In the event I had to suddenly cut short what should have been a three month stay, by a couple of weeks for urgent medical reasons. Despite the problems this undoubtedly caused the centre, I found the management to be sympathetic, understanding and helpful.

Sadly I am beginning to forget what Arabic I learned. Like Megan, I don't think that I got all the lessons I was entitled to. although like her, I imagine that if I had complained, things would have improved.

Notwithstanding my age, which severely cuts down on the available opportunities, I certainly intend to return to Palestine (Israel permitting) in the near future, although I have yet to decide in what capacity.

I had an interesting, informative and inspiring time whilst working at the centre and met some very nice people. Whilst there are shortcomings, listed above and elsewhere, I have no hesitation in recommending it and its staff to other would-be volunteers.

How can this program be improved?

I would ensure that the CD's that came with the original text books were copied for the use of both the teachers and their students.

Yes, I recommend
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My Experience At the Excellence Center in Hebron

I spent three weeks working with the Excellence Center in Hebron, Palestine in July 2014. It was an amazing experience. I learnt a lot about Palestine and the conflict there. I had an amazing time visiting different places in Hebron. The Palestinian people are very nice and very hospitable.

How can this program be improved?

organise weekly meeting with volunteers

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Volunteering at the Excellence Center in 2014

I volunteered at the Excellence Center in Hebron, Palestine during the summer of 2014.

The people in Hebron are very friendly and so are the people at the Excellence Center. The host family I stayed with were very welcoming and made me feel as if I was a part of the family.

The experience of teaching English to Palestinians is also very nice. Most students are respectful and very eager to learn English. I enjoyed teaching them very much.

Besides teaching English I also travelled around Palestine. Sometimes I travelled on my own, but the Excellence Center will also take you on tours. These tours will take you to places in Palestine you would not visit otherwise and are a very enriching experience. One tour they took us on was to a small Bedouin village. We got to see how the people live and learned about the difficult situation they are in.

One thing I liked less is the amount of pictures the staff takes. During the lessons one of the staff members comes in with a camera and takes random pictures of you and the students. I got used to it after a while but I can imagine some people may be uncomfortable with this. The pictures are used to promote the organisation which is good, but sometimes I feel that the foreign volunteers are used as an accessory.

The Arabic lessons are good, but I did not get enough lessons. I could have if I had chased after them, but should not have to do that.

All in all I had an amazing experience in Palestine. If you are interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict I strongly recommend you to visit Palestine and witness the situation with your own eyes. The Excellence Center is an excellent place for volunteering and your schedule is flexible enough to travel around Palestine as well.

How can this program be improved?

More focus on Arabic lessons, an explanation about the pictures beforehand, more money for the host family.

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Thank you very much Megan! We really were lucky to have someone like you at the Excellence Center here in Hebron Palestine. We learnt many things from you and spent an amazing time at the center and in the tours that we organised in Hebron. Excellence Center staff appreciate very much what you did with the Palestinian students.

You are very welcome to come again to Palestine. We will Publish the short film about the volunteer in Palestine program on youtube very soon.

We wish you all the best in your future. Many thanks again for being nice

Excellence Center's team

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Big Scam

Please do not let this review reflect on Palestine or the people. The people in Palestine are great. It is this business that is not.

The manager is only after money. He charges everyone who does the program a different fee then tells you the money will go to your host family - which it doesn't. He will make you sign a contract saying that you cannot discuss any of the terms of your contract or how much you paid with anyone else, not even other volunteers. Unfortunately for him- we all talk. He wants you to do everything for free. He gives you a huge workload and continually tries to pile upon it. Him and his sister are very rude, they talk to volunteers like servants.

I talked to other internationals doing other teaching programs in Hebron and they did not have the same problems - the problem is only with the excellence center it seems.

I only stayed for the students. My students were great.

As for living in Hebron-- I loved it. The people are really nice and it is easy to get around.

Response from The Excellence Center in Palestine

Dear All,

I believe this is a fake review! We never hosted a Sarah M. from Hartford University and hence, I do not deem it appropriate to respond to the comment. For all those who are interested in volunteering with the Excellence Center please visit our website or social media networks.

We have had over 80 people from all over the world, who talked about their experiences at the Excellence Center, please find some information and opinions here:


Finally, the Excellence Center’s activities and programs which were organized in the last three years have been dedicated to our community and cultural exchange enriching both the lives of members of the Hebron community and the international volunteers. We would like to thank all those who have worked with us for their great work!

No, I don't recommend

About The Excellence Center in Palestine

The Excellence Center was established in June 2011 as a youth initiative to offer educational and community services to its diverse group of internationals and Palestinians. It is located in the main heart of Hebron on Ein Sarah street which is under...