Before coming to the Middle East, and Palestine in Particular, you may be worried about communticating with locals. If you don’t speak any Arabic, it would be very useful to learn at least some basic phrases before your departure. However, if you are very busy and don’t find the time to learn Arabic, don’t worry – you will catch up quickly. You will start learning almost as soon as you arrive in Palestine. The locals don’t speak very much English, but with their hospitality, and by using some simple body language, you will come to understand, and find that you are very welcome here. If you already know some Arabic your speaking will improve within a short period of time.
As a part of the volunteer program offered at the Excellence Center, volunteers are provided with 3 hours of Arabic lessons every week. These lessons are given by local Palestinians, and are suited to the needs of students at all levels. The lessons are scheduled around your other time commitments. And you are given enough time between each session to allow you to study and revise the information. These lessons are very efficient due to the individual instruction. Each volunteer has their own teacher, and the lessons are adapted to a student’s specific needs and requests. The Arabic lessons in Palestine at the Excellence Center are at a professional level, so it is a great opportunity to develop your language skills quickly.
As you learn and grow more confident in the Arabic language, you will discover that you have many opportunities to use your skills on a daily basis. The Palestinians are kind and patient when you when you try to speak in Arabic with them. It often happens that some will give you tips for the language! You will also gain friendships with many of the locals, who are always happy to help you practice your new language skills.
Being placed with a host family is also a great advantage. This provides exposure to the language constantly, and a fantastic opportunity to practice your Arabic. The host family will often introduce you to their extended family and invite you to family events. This will give you the chance to talk with them as well. Don’t be shy to speak Arabic as often as you can, even if you are not sure about correct pronunciation of the words. Palestinians are very welcoming and helpful, so they will try to help you whenever they can. This includes your efforts to speak the language. Don’t worry about disturbing them, they really enjoy helping foreigners and it is a pleasure for them.
If you have the opportunity to learn Arabic while in Palestine, you should make the most of it. The Palestinian people are always thrilled when someone speaks in Arabic, and your constant exposure to the language will be an advantage to learning it. So get excited about learning at the Excellence Center! You will not regret it, and when you leave Palestine you will find you’ve had an unforgettable experience, and you are better in Arabic than you expected.