How do I get to Hebron, Palestine?

Excellence Center helps interns and volunteers in getting to the city of Hebron by providing detailed travel instructions. If you get accepted as intern or volunteer, you will receive an invitation letter, contract and travel instructions. Excellence Center’s staff will organize a skype call to discuss each step of your journey to Palestine before you leave your country. In general, you can enter Palestine from three main destinations: Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Queen Alia Airport in Amman, or Cairo Airport. Finally, Excellence Center staff gives you advice on which destination will be the most suitable for you to enter Palestine.

Which countries do volunteers or interns come from?

Excellence Center hosts volunteers and interns from all over the world, but most of them come from the US, the United Kingdom, EU countries and China. All nationalities and majors are welcome to apply

Is access to the Internet going to be available on a regular basis at the Excellence Center and host family?

Excellence Center has a wireless internet connection and interns or volunteers can connect any time they want to the internet. Regarding the internet availability at the host family or accommodation, in general, most of the families in Hebron have internet access. Sometimes, you may find some families who do not have internet, but this is rarely the case. If interns or volunteers placed in an apartment, Excellence Center will try it best to provide internet access.

Will obtaining cash, e.g. from an ATM, be difficult in Palestine?

In Palestine, banks are accessible if visits are timed to coincide with opening hours. ATMs exist in all the major cities associated with our placement. However, different banks give you different currencies; the Bank of Palestine is the only one which will provide you with New Israeli Shekel (NIS), the common used currency in the West Bank. You may also withdraw US dollars and Jordanian dinar (JD) from other banks.

Can I as intern/volunteer travel around Palestine and Israel?

Yes, Interns and volunteers can easily travel around Palestine and Israel. Excellence Center can provide them with some contacts and travel advices when they decide to do so.

Do I need a visa to enter Palestine?

No prior visa is needed for Americans, Canadians, and most Europeans to enter Israel and Palestine. If you do not know if you need a visa or not, please contact us at: apply@excellencenter.org and we will inform you right away. In case you need a visa, Excellence Center will issue an invitation letter and help you apply for it.

Can I get a stay with a Palestinian host family or do I stay in an apartment?

Excellence Center will do its best to accommodate each intern/volunteer with a Palestinian host family; however, female interns will be given a stay with a family and  male interns/volunteers have a 50% chance to stay with a Palestinian host family, due to cultural reasons. In any case, Excellence Center will provide you with accommodation in the city of Hebron.

Can feedback/comments by previous internationals be seen?

Increasingly, as our volunteers complete feedback requests for us, their personal experiences are being put online for prospective interns/volunteers to read. You can view these by watching short films on YouTube. In addition, Excellence Center will introduce you to some volunteers or interns who worked with us before so that you can ask them about their experience in Palestine.

Will I be safe In Hebron, Palestine?

Hebron is divided into Hebron 1 which is under the Palestinian authority and Hebron 2 which is under the Israeli authority. Excellence Center and the interns and volunteers’ accommodations are located in the area which is under the Palestinian authority. In general, Hebron is a safe city. Excellence Center has hosted more than 40 international interns, participants, and volunteers every year. Finally, Excellence Center staff and interns/volunteers’ host families work together to ensure that internationals will be safe and comfortable.

Can I come with a friend, or as a group to participate in Excellence Center’s international programs?

Yes, Excellence Center welcomes individuals, couples, families, small groups, students and experts, as well as senior and young professionals to contribute and bring about changes in our community by getting involved in our different activities and programs.

Will I be working with other international volunteers and interns?

Yes, normally, you work with 3 international volunteers/interns in addition to 3 staff members of Excellence Center. Furthermore, sometimes we have internationals who come to study Arabic at the center from anything between a week and a month. As a participant in the Study Arabic in Palestine program,  intern or volunteer, you will not be the only one in the city of Hebron, you may find some internationals who work with different organizations in Hebron.

What skills or qualifications do I need in order to participate in Excellence Center’s international programs?

Excellence Center does not require a lot of qualifications or skills, you just have to be a nice person, confident, able to respect differences, be open minded, eager to learn and a rather flexible person. A decent knowledge of English is generally required. For the TESA program, we encourage applicants who hold a degree in any field or who study.

Why should I volunteer/intern with The Excellence Center?

Excellence Center offers volunteers and interns affordable, safe and exciting opportunities in Palestine. We provide school, university students and community members courses and trainings at low prices in addition to free courses and trainings. Interns and volunteers will become immersed in the Palestinian culture and have the opportunity to develop their Arabic skills. Finally, interns and volunteers will make a difference in their lives as well as others!

What are the minimum and maximum ages of international volunteers?

People who are between 18 – 70 years old are eligible to participate in the Volunteer in Palestine Program, Visit Palestine and Study Arabic in Palestine. All nationalities and majors are welcome to apply!

For how long can I participate in Excellence Center’s programs (Volunteer in Palestine/ TESA)?

We prefer volunteers who are able stay for one to three months. However, we welcome volunteers who would like to stay from one to four weeks as well. Regarding internships with the TESA program, interns are kindly asked to participate for three months, but the shortest duration is two months.  In exceptional circumstances, volunteers/interns can stay for longer than three months, but this requires a special arrangement between the Excellence Center and the respective interns/volunteers.

What will be expected from me as Arabic student, intern or volunteer culturally?

Arabic students, interns or volunteers are encouraged to respect local culture, and refrain from wearing shorts (for either sex).  Women are kindly asked to dress modestly, which includes not wearing shorts, short skirts, or shirts which are low-cut or short-sleeved. Winter can be rather cold, so make sure to pack warm clothes. Light long-sleeved shirts and blouses as well as pants are best suited for summer.

Does Excellence Center have teaching materials?

Excellence center has developed curriculums for most of its classes. Excellence Center uses “Open Mind books” for beginner and intermediate levels, but no book for advanced levels. We offer many exercises and techniques which are ready to be used for advanced level courses. Interns/volunteers have the responsibility to prepare an outline and some activities for each course they teach. Excellence Center has a printer, scanner, and photocopier as well as a projector which can be used by interns and volunteers to prepare lesson materials. Furthermore, Excellence Center has a teaching manual which helps and guides interns/volunteers in preparing their classes. Finally, Excellence Center organizes many meetings for the interns, volunteers and staff members to discuss teaching experiences, teaching methods, strategies and techniques.

What are the main courses that interns/volunteers teach?

At the Excellence Center, we offer three main courses:

–  Conversational English for all ages and levels. Courses at the Excellence Center mainly concentrate on conversational English rather than grammar or writing. Each student takes a placement test and will be classified into one of the three main levels according to their result in the placement test.

–  Business English: This course is designed for business people and students.

– TOEFL and IELTS preparation courses: These courses are taught by English teachers and supported by volunteers or teaching assistants (TA).

–  Leading workshops: Excellence Center organizes weekly workshops for community members.

What are the Palestinian students’ ages?

Excellence Center wishes to provide educational services to all members of the community. However, the students are mainly school and university students in addition to some community members. The most common age is between 15 to 35 years.

What is the size of the English classes?

Normally, Excellence Center organizes different classes at the same time. You may find 5 students in one class, but 15 in another. Sometimes, you are asked to do an independent study with a student. However, the maximum size of a class is 20 students.

Where and when do the English courses take place?

Most of the time, courses take place at the facilities of the Excellence Center. Regarding the time, most of our classes start between 10 to 5 pm. However, from time to time, we may have offer evening classes from 7 to 9 pm.

Are there more expenses once I arrive?

You’ll need money for travelling and shopping on your days off. Other costs include your flights and travel insurance. Once you’ve arrived you may need to pay for some of your meals.

What meals does Excellence Center offer me?

Excellence Center offers light Palestinian breakfast such as Humus, Falafel, Eggsm Zaatr  etc. Interns and volunteers have access to the kitchen and they are able to make coffee, tea and other drinks whenever they want. In case you are placed with a host family you will also be provided with one meal a day.

Do I need a visa to enter Palestine from Israel?

The visa that internationals receive upon arrival to Israel is all they need to travel to or around Palestine and Israel .

 

Any more questions? Please contact Mr. Rafat Shantir at: Rafat@excellencenter.org