Is it Scary to Be In Palestine? At the excellence Center we are often asked if it is possible to come and volunteer without and prior knowledge of Arabic Language and it it scary to be in the West Bank? Often people are apprehensive to embark on such a long trip to such a different culture without knowing the langue. Prospective volunteers also express concern due to the known difficulty of the Arabic language. To this we say it is absolutely ok to come and work with us if you do not have any experience with the language! You will receive Arabic instruction while volunteering with us and the Palestinian people are extremely helpful and understanding of those who are not knowledgeable in Arabic. Additionally the immersion factor of your time spent here will undoubtedly contribute to faster learning than just taking a class in your home country.
We have spoken with several of our volunteers who arrived in Palestine not knowing any Arabic and they have had very positive experiences. One volunteer assures anyone who is considering coming to volunteer with us in Palestine but is weary due to their lack of Arabic knowledge, “don’t worry! It is not as scary as it may sound!” Engi from Australia who is participating in our Volunteer to Teach English and Learn Arabic Program explains how, “it definitely was daunting but at the same time I was quite hopeful before arriving in Palestine.” He continues, “getting the experience of immersion is not the same as trying to learn the language at home, here you are exposed to the language on a daily basis.” When asked if he recommends other volunteers to come when they do not know Arabic he says, “it is not an easy road but yes I would recommend it, forced immersion is really the best way to learn.”
Victor, from Belgium is an experienced teacher traveled to work with us at the Excellence Center without knowledge of Arabic and is part in our Volunteer to Teach English and Learn Arabic Program. He says, “it was and is a challenge but not like most other countries, most people here a vague understanding of English. You definitely have a leg up if you do know Arabic before coming here but it is not necessary if you are coming to volunteer with the Excellence Center. You have the help of your Arabic teacher and also you are able to teach the intermediate classes where the students know enough English that you can be an effective teacher without your newness to Arabic hindering you.”
Arabic is not an easy language, but coupled with immersion and Arabic lessons it is more than possible to have a successful time volunteering with us at the Excellence Center without prior knowledge of the language. There are always other international volunteers to help guide you and of course we are always more than happy to help you in any way we can. We can also grantee that it is not scary to be in Palestine