“My name is Justin Brice and I am involved in the Arabic Studies Program in Palestine at the Excellence Center. I chose Palestine as a destination country because I had wanted to visit the West Bank since university. Since I wanted to both study Arabic and visit Palestine, I decided I should take a bit of time off from working my normal job teaching English to come to the Excellence Center. The Arabic Studies program in Palestine fit my schedule very well because it gave me a month to improve my language skills in a good learning environment This place is certainly not the same as previous Arabic-speaking countries I have visited because there are fewer foreigners. This, of course, makes it easier to speak Arabic with everyone.
So far, the staff and teachers have been helpful moving me into my apartment and showing me the city of Al-Khalil (Hebron). While at the Excellence Center, I expect to study a lot of Arabic and learn more about the culture here. My favorite cultural thing so far has been the food. There has rarely been a better kebab or shawarma that I have tried, and I will definitely eat more local dishes as the time passes.
I hope to show my gratitude for this experience by contributing to the program and the people of this city. Being an English teacher by trade, I will definitely volunteer for any school programs that would like a native English speaker for the students.
Learning Arabic in Palestine at the Excellence Center will benefit me wherever I may go. My goal is to feel more confident speaking Arabic to native Arabic speakers around the world. I also hope to be a good ambassador to the people of the United States who might be a bit afraid of foreign cultures or languages. This may ease their tensions or give them a more positive understanding of the people in the middle east”.