Teach English to Refugee Youth

founded in 2016
Habibi Center
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Coordinator | Stephanie
Coordinator | Stephanie
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Develop your teaching skills, get trained on teaching from the lowest levels up to preparing students for Cambridge Exams and add invaluable international experience to your CV.
Indulge in a variety of cultures, languages and foods from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Mediterranean.
Experience Greek taverns with live Greek music and dancing, as well the daily life of locals as you walk around the central vegetable and fish market, spice shops and street bazaars.
Bathe in crystal clear waters. You can dive off the rocks at The Coves, go to the most popular sandy beaches only 45 minutes from the center or spend the day away from the crowds at a private beach.
Visit Acropolis, Parthenon, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Ancient Agora of Athens, Temple of Hephaestus and many more famous historical sites and museums during your free time.
At the Habibi Center, we teach around 50 eager teenagers each day. But don't worry! The average class size is 6 students, which is why we feel like a small community! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 22+

Habibi Center considers 3 main aspects when accepting volunteers:

ProfessionalismThe Habibi Center has a minimum age requirement of 22. Our students are between 13 and 19 years old so, for this reason, we feel the need for our volunteers to be mature enough and to present themselves in a professional way. Even with adult students, romantic relationships between volunteers and students are absolutely prohibited. 

The project takes volunteering very seriously since it deals with minors – many of them being unaccompanied, which might increase their vulnerability even more. Therefore, we expect open-minded volunteers able to respect and accept any cultural differences with the youth. Moreover, volunteers should be flexible and handle different sorts of attitudes – distraction in class, detached behavior towards both teacher and classmates, unpunctuality , which might be linked to students' traumatic development. Finally, due to the age and situation of vulnerability and instability of the youth, Habibi Center does not allow volunteers to freely take and/or publish photographs with the students.

The Habibi Center is a Smoking, Drug, and Alcohol-Free zone. It is also unacceptable for our volunteers to present themselves to classes with a hang-over nor to cancel classes due to a late night out. Furthermore, we ask volunteers to refrain from discussing their private life with the students (specifically: romantic and sexual life or subjects related to the consumption of alcohol, drugs or smoking). As mentioned above, many of our students are unaccompanied minors, therefore we play a big role in their personal development. Therefore, we have the responsibility to be good role models.

Minimum of 8-week commitment: Through our years of experience, we have realized that short stays do not favor any of the parts involved in the center. The first and most important aspect we need to consider is the care of the emotional health of the students. Many students do not usually process adequately the idea of meeting someone new, building a close relationship within a few days, and then losing that daily contact abruptly. The second aspect is that it's not easy for the permanent teachers to have to deal with the emotional sadness of the students after any, both short and long-term, volunteers' departure. We ask for volunteers to commit to a minimum of 8 weeks.

English teaching skills: The hunger of students for learning has increasingly become more and more demanding since the start of the center. This is excellent news but it also implies that the teachers must be ready to face the high expectation the students have. For that reason, we give priority to volunteers with teaching experience in the English language.

What will you be doing?

You will definitely be teaching different English levels! 
Don't worry though, we have all the materials and with a little preparation and guidance, soon enough you will be teaching on your own.

At the Habibi Center, we teach a variety of levels, ranging from Literacy (Phonics) up to Upper-Intermediate.

Level 0: Phonics / Literacy

  • This class is for illiterate students. In this class, we teach 1-4 students how to read and write. 
  • This class is very hands-on and involves a lot of repetition.
Level 1: This class is for beginners. 
  • In this class, the teacher follows the first book from our set of teaching books.
  • The students learn things like the verb 'to be', the verb 'to have, possessive pronouns and adjectives as well as other basic grammar and vocabulary. Flashcards, exercise worksheets and practice book copies are already prepared and readily available for the teacher to use.
Level 2: This class is for pre-intermediate students.  
  • In this class, the teacher follows the second book from our set of teaching books.
  • The students learn the Past - regular and irregular verbs -, Future, and Present Perfect Tenses as well as further vocabulary. 
  • Flashcards, exercise worksheets and practice book copies are already prepared and readily available for the teacher to use.
Level 3: This class is for intermediate students.  
  • This level focuses on higher grammar, reading and comprehension, and listening activities. 
  • Exercise worksheets, and practice book copies are already prepared and readily available for the teacher to use. 
  • There are also some reading/writing and listening activities available. 
Level 4: This class is for upper intermediate students or students who have passed the PET exam with B1.

Typical day

Your mornings are free!
You can sleep in or walk around the city and enjoy a coffee at a nice cafe.

Meals are not provided, but ...
There are many restaurants within a 5-minute walk from where you will be staying, including one of the best Souvlaki/Gyro joints where you can enjoy a delicious chicken/pork wrap for only 2.70 Euros. 

Cooking at home is the most economic option. The central market is just around the corner from the school where you can find fresh veggies, meat, fish, and other products at the cheapest prices.

Classes are in the afternoons. They begin at 3:30 pm. 
Volunteer teachers should arrive earlier (between 3:00 and 3:20 pm) in order to arrange the classroom (clean, tidy, sweep the floor) and set up any materials. On Mondays, all volunteers arrive at 1:00 pm for a weekly meeting and thorough cleaning of the school.
Volunteers are expected to prepare their lessons ahead of time, as well as make photocopies and grade assignments. 

There are 3 classes that run back to back
Each class lasts an hour and a half. 

The classes finish at 8:00 pm. As soon as the students leave, the teachers are free to go. Although, after classes, volunteers often sit and chat or go out for a meal/drink together. 

The school runs on weekdays, from Monday-Friday. 

Saturdays and Sundays: You are free again!
The Habibi Center is closed during the weekends, so teachers can plan to go away for the weekend or have a night out with friends. 

Some weekends, we plan activities with the youth such as going to the beach, going bowling, watching a film or preparing a meal together, but volunteers can choose whether to participate or not.

Free-time activities

Apart from the obvious historical sites and museums all around Athens, for which we will give you recommendations upon your arrival, there are also many sports and other activities that you could enjoy.

Some of the long-term volunteers play football once or twice a week at international pick-up games. 
Hiking & Trekking: Mountains of Parnitha and Imittos are within an hour distance from the city center. 
There are a few indoor rock climbing walls for bouldering about 45 minutes away from the center by bus.

You could take courses during the weekend: windsurfing, stand-up paddling, scuba diving, and sailing.
Gyms: with indoor swimming pool, yoga, Zumba, and other activities.
Dance lessons: Latin dances such as salsa, or greek traditional dances. 

Greece is the birthplace of the theater so there are many plays and performances, some of which are in English. 

No matter what kind of music you are into, there are also many concerts happening year-round, many DJ performances, as well as ballet or circus performances. 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 22 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at High School Diploma/GED level
Required Documents
Criminal background clearance
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Although we don't have requirements for teachers, we give priority to volunteers with one or more of the following certificates: CELTA, TEFL, TESOL, DELTA, or prior teaching experience.

We are also looking for volunteers who could help with IT workshops or GED training (Maths, Science, Social Studies, and Reasoning Language Arts).
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 15:00 - 20:00

What's Included

Services by Habibi Center

We will NOT charge you any fees. 

The amount mentioned above is for you to have in mind that you should have approximately 900 Euros for 2 months in order to cover your housing needs. We will not charge you this amount but would like to make sure that you have sufficient finances to live in Greece. 

You will be expected to pay the commission to VolunteerWorld which is the deposit of 15%, this will serve as a confirmation of your commitment to the program. 

We do not provide accommodation, however, we will assist you in finding housing that is suitable to your budget and needs. We will suggest safe areas and areas within walking distance, and we will also send you information with links to where you can search for housing opportunities, as well as tips and advice on how much you should expect to pay for accommodation. 

Airport Pickup at Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport

Airport Pickup:

We can arrange to have a driver pick you up at the airport. It will cost you between 35 and 45 euros depending on arrival time. 

Other options:

Metro-Airport (recommended): 
  • The airport is the starting point of the Blue Line of the metro. 
  • It takes 45 minutes to come to Monastiraki Station, then a 10-minute walk to the volunteer housing. 
  • We can arrange to meet you at the metro station.
  • Cost per ticket 9 Euros
  • If the flight arrives after midnight on a weekday, the metro will be closed but the airport also has buses that run throughout the night. 
  • The bus 95X goes from the airport to Syntagma. It also only takes about 45 minutes. 
  • From Syntagma, which is the last stop, it's a 15-minute walk to the volunteer housing. 
  • We can arrange to meet you at the bus stop.
  • Cost per ticket 7 Euros

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Please arrange your own accommodation. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH) in Athens. We assist you to find cheap flights to Greece.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Greece provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Greece you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Greece.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Upon your arrival:
Once you have settled in your accommodation, we will schedule to meet with you for an orientation. 

Orientation (split into 3 meetings):
-We will show you around the Habibi Center, the books and materials we use. 
-We will show you around the city (where you can get groceries, the bakery, the stationery shop, and the photocopy shop). 
-We will recommend cafes and restaurants, and places to visit while you are here. 
-At this time, we will also help you to get a SIM card for you to be able to communicate with us and have DATA on your phone. 
-We will discuss safeguarding policies.
-We will discuss the history and management of the Habibi Center. 

You will 'shadow' a teacher for a couple of days in order to become better acquainted with the students, the books and materials and with the way of teaching, and then we will schedule you to begin teaching. 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
8 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
8 weeks (min. stay)
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
13 weeks
15 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$140 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Habibi Center will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Habibi Center during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Habibi Center cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Habibi Center.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Teach English to Refugee Youth

At the Habibi Center, we teach around 50 eager teenagers each day. But don't worry! The average class size is 6 students, which is why we feel like a small community!


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