“My name is Rebecca and I am a university student from the United States. I am studying History and Women’s Studies, focusing specifically on the Middle East. This summer, I will be participating in the Teach English Study Arabic Program at the Excellence Center.
I will be working as an intern at the Excellence Center. This means I will be helping to teach conversational English to Palestinian students, assisting with administrative work, and taking lessons in conversational Arabic. I am excited to work as an intern at the Excellence Center because I will have the chance to help students further their education. I hope that my students will learn a lot from me, because I know that I will learn a lot from them.
My first year at college, I decided to learn Arabic, and I quickly fell in love with the Arabic language and the culture of the Middle East. The more classes I took on the Middle East, the more I wanted to travel and see it for myself. In the hopes of improving my Arabic speaking skills, I participated in a language exchange program that paired me with a Palestinian refugee living in Jordan who was studying to learn English. All of a sudden, a whole new world opened up to me. She taught me all about Palestinian culture, and I learned to see the world through her eyes. She inspired me to learn as much as I could about the history and people of Palestine.
This past winter, my father and I traveled to Palestine, Israel, and Jordan. I loved traveling, meeting locals, hearing their stories, and using Arabic. I quickly realized that my classical Arabic was not very useful on the streets, so I tried to learn as much colloquial Arabic as possible. I began to understand that language learning in a classroom setting was no comparison for dialogue and conversation with locals. During my travels in Palestine, I met wonderful people who welcomed me to share coffee, told me their stories, and gave me a taste of what it was like to live in this area. Contrary to what I had been told before visiting, I felt extremely safe and welcome in Palestine. I left Palestine feeling like I had grown so much as a person. I learned so much more about the world, and my place in it. I loved the people, food, music, traditions, and atmosphere of Palestine so much that I decided that I wanted to return for a longer stay to truly immerse myself in the language and culture.
When I heard about the Excellence Center, I was so excited because I knew that it offered me a chance to improve my Arabic, compliment my academic interests, and give me valuable work experience teaching English. I know that my time interning at the Excellence Center will be a life changing experience. Insha’Allah, I will leave Hebron with a greater perspective on the world and a deeper understanding of Arabic and the Middle East.”