Volunteer and Learn Arabic In Palestine

Video and Photos

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.

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

Reviews

91%
based on 94 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.4
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 91 - 94 of 94
Default avatar
Ray
8/10

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
Default avatar
Maxime
7/10

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
Megan
8/10

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

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

Regards,
Excellence Center's team

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sarah
3/10

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

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsKf7gPkTUg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhAbCnaxhPg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4z70km6ksY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEkE6lxaJNQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdszW5I7UFc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q61CWwpJ6xE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb3SNHpnKp8

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

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About The Excellence Center

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...