Volunteer and Learn Arabic In Palestine

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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.


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

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/ .


based on 121 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 106 - 120 of 121
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See ya habibi

My name is Emmy and I am a 20 year-old Science of Religion student. I am orginately from Amsterdam, Holland and this is my experience as a volunteer in Palestine.
The moment I decided to participate in The Excellence Center project of volunteering I didn’t realise where I was going. The only news we heard in Europe about Palestine was dramatic; a war zone that was difficult to access and habited by terrorists.
The reason for me to take part in this project was that I already had a certain opinion about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian population. My studies leadme to analyse the situation. Also I havealways been repulsed by what the Jewish people had to face during the Second World War. Not necessarily because I chose a side, but because it was a reality of disrespecting the human condition. The situation of the Palestinians is easily comparable to the past of the Jews in the way that they are treated in daily life.
The truth is far from what I was expecting it to be. I was expecting a country in continuous pain, where the habitants were locked up in their houses and where life has essentially stopped. Actually what I saw in Palestine was an incomparable sense of hospitality which I have never experienced before. The family who was hosting me, their family, friends and staff member welcomed me warmly.
I tasted the most flavorful dishes, fruits and vegetables. I was also mesmerised by the parties for graduations and birthdays where good food and laughter were shared. The Arabic music and dancequickly became one of my favourite parts of the culture.
But the reason of my stay in Palestine was mostly to teach English at the Excellence Center. I can assure that I learned much more from my students than the other way around. The struggle to succeed and to use their studies in real life inspired me. I realised how lucky I was with my freedom and to have the constant opportunity to choose. Not only as a young adult but also as a woman. Thanks to my students, this life experience hastaught me how to appreciate what I have and to enjoy the moment.
Before coming to the Excellence Center I had no experience whatsoever in teaching nor pedagogical activities. I honestly was nervous on my first day beacause I thought, “Wait a minute. This is not for me. I cannot do this”. But I also learned that making mistakes doesn’t mean to fail, but to put a step forward because you give yourself the opputunity to improve. Teaching at the Excellence Center was a great experience. What I liked the most was the interaction and contact with the students. Also, being a member of a mixed team composed of Palestinians and international English teachers and Arabic students created a comfortable environment.
It would be a lie to say that my whole stay was only filled with fun, happiness and laughter. The harsh reality of Palestinian discrimination and the Israeli occupation hit me multiple times in the face. The injustice procured me several times, if not all the time, with the feeling of frustration.
This was, and still is, the truth of Palestinian people for me. The occupation, the violence, the humiliation, and the suffering, which are all compensated with so much happiness to be alive, and with enjoying their families and everything that life has to offer.
Palestine was my first trip to the Middle East, and in fact also my first trip out of Europe. I feel that I have matured greatly and gained so much life experience. This journey defintely gave me the Middle Eastern fever and most of all the Palestinian fever. I hope to come back soon to Palestine where I’ve met incredible people and maybe “Insh’Allah” as they say here, the bordering countries.

Yes, I recommend this program
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In Sha Allah...I'll be Back

I was a little hesitant what I would be doing, and if I would like it or not before coming at the Excellence Center. To be honest, I was a little hesitant the first few days I arrived. I think the first time I truly felt at home was the first time (or I guess the second) I met with one of my classes. Most of them struggled with pronouncing, "Danielle" but that didn't stop them from the warm greetings I received. I think the same thing can be said for my host family. I only stayed with them for two weeks, but only a few days in we all realized two weeks would be far too short for all of us.

I studied Arabic for 3 years in college, but I think the few weeks that I stayed in Hebron drastically improved my language skills. I had never had the opportunity to speak with so many native Arabic speakers, especially in the Levantine dialect.

I think the best part of my experience was learning so much about Hebron, Palestine and the Occupation. It's very different to hear over the news about the events in the West Bank versus actually being here. You not only see but feel the Occupation and how it manifests itself in everyday life.

The Center took us to Fwaar Refugee Camp and we had the opportunity to see how the camp is run by the UN and all of the atrocities that have happened there. Again, it takes a while to truly comprehend what is happening here, but it's enough to want to tell every person who know.

There was so much learning for me the entire time, and it's been an experience that I wanted to be longer.

How can this program be improved?
Better/More concrete scheduling for class times.
More details on how to travel via taxi/bus/etc
Yes, I recommend this program
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Teaching English at the Excellence Center in Hebron

I just completed a short term as an English-teaching volunteer in Hebron, Palestine, and I am already making plans to return. The experience was eye-opening and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was able to encounter the political situation in a very personal way both through interactions with the Israeli army alongside my Palestinian hosts, and by living with the locals. I was also able to practice my Arabic speaking skills, learn a bit of the local dialect, and learn just how challenging it is to teach someone a new language (something I hadn’t sufficiently appreciated before).

A bit about me: I am a native of Houston, Texas; I graduated two years ago from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics; and I currently work as a consultant in the Dubai International Financial Centre. To be completely honest, I stumbled across the Excellence Center through a Google search while trying to find something to do for my two week vacation. I had studied Modern Standard Arabic in my university for two years, and I wanted an opportunity to practice a local Arabic dialect.

Upon arriving at the Excellence Center, Marwa, Osama, and the rest of their excellent staff ensured that I was well-accommodated with my host family. They checked that all the essential living amenities were available at the house, and ensured that I was comfortable with how to get to the center in the mornings – even taking me through a trial run from my house to the Center so I knew exactly how to navigate the taxi system (it’s a bit different) and exactly how much I should pay the drivers.

Because my term was only two weeks, I worked mostly as a teaching assistant to the formally employed English instructors, and as a substitute teacher when needed. People always say that the best way to learn about something is to teach it, and I learned this truly is the case. There is an accommodation one must make when teaching one’s native language to a non-native speaker, and I found it surprisingly challenging to explain why, for example, we say, “The four year old boy eats food,” while we also say, “The boy is four years old.” In short, I hadn’t expected to learn so much about English in Palestine.

The Center was also generous in supplying formal Palestinian Colloquial Arabic lessons. This will be essential for anyone who’s only studied Arabic in a Western university, since he or she will find that day-to-day Arabic is quite different from that taught in Al-Kitaab. Each day I would come in saying, “The cab driver today said X, but I learned that he should say Y.” This would kick off a 30 minute impromptu lesson on the local dialect with the other teachers, which would be continued in my formal Arabic class.

Life at home was also enjoyable. I lived with two other Excellence Center volunteers in an apartment just adjacent to our host family, with my own private room and bathroom. This allowed for privacy when needed, while also making it easy for us to go next door for late-night meals with the family. With an abundance of local delicacies always on order, 11 family members to talk with, and a genuine curiosity about one another’s lives, we spent many late nights discussing everything from local foods, traditions, language, and even politics with the family.

One fact should above all be acknowledged by anyone considering this program: West Bank Palestinians' freedom of movement is severely restricted by the Israeli authorities. For example, in order to travel outside Palestine or Israel, Palestinians must petition the Israeli government weeks ahead of time requesting permission to use the international airport in Tel Aviv. This burden, combined with the much lower wages Palestinians earn relative to their Arab and Israeli neighbors, means that a typical Palestinians' ability to travel internationally is severely constrained, meaning their opportunities to interact with different cultures are limited. For this reason you will be asked many questions about your home, your culture, and your religion. You will also be asked your opinions of Palestinian culture, as well as very candid questions about what you and people in your country think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

These genuine exchanges of ideas, combined with a first-hand exposure to life in Palestine and an opportunity to practice Colloquial Arabic, are exactly the things I was looking for when I applied for this program. I got all this and more, and I highly recommend anyone wanting the same to apply with the Excellence Center in Hebron, Palestine.

Yes, I recommend this program
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A visit I will never forget

-- 2015 --

This was my second visit to the Centre and was for only 10 days this time - I wish it was longer. As before, the staff were so friendly and helpful and the students were lovely. I particularly enjoyed running the employability skills workshops as they gave me the opportunity to feel that I was making a really valuable contribution. I also enjoyed helping out with the English classes and interacting with the younger students who were so keen and interested. The city of Hebron is a great place to spend time; colourful, noisy and full of life, and the food is great! The family who were my hosts last time are so kind and generous and this time are far more than just a 'host family', they are my dear friends. I look forward to my next visit!

-- 2014 --

The time I spent at the Excellence Center in Hebron was a fantastic opportunity to learn some Arabic and to find out more about Palestine. I was so warmly welcomed and supported by all the staff and by my host family. I made some wonderful friends and would love to go back some time soon

Yes, I recommend this program
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Excellence Center

My experience at the Excellence Center was good, I encountered no problems regarding my safety and the staff was helpful in any situation where I required help. I had very few difficulties and any difficulties I faced were independant of the program. I would recommend volunteering at the Excellence Center to anybody who is interested in learning about the culture, education, and daily life in Palestine.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing, I would reccomend adding a few resources to the center. On a few occasions it was necessary to use a video projector for lessons and there is one that is shared between up to three classes at a time.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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

Excellence Center's team

Yes, I recommend this program


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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...