Teach English to Refugee Youth

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 30-45 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

  • 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 ...
Your accommodation is conveniently located around the corner from the central markets and has a fully equipped kitchen and everything you might need to prepare your own meals before or after classes. There are also 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.

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 2:00 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 during 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.

Weekend courses: 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
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.
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

What do the fees cover?

  • rent, including : water, electricity, gas, and air conditioning/heating and all benefits provided at your accommodation. 

Your accommodation is shared with only one other volunteer, and you will have your own bedroom. 

If you have other options for accommodation, please let us know and we can discuss it further. 

We provide an apartment that is shared with one other volunteer. 

It is furnished with:
- 2 bedrooms and queen size beds in each bedroom as well as a wardrobe with two drawers where you can put your things. 
- 1 bathroom with a shower with an automatic hot water heater. The bathroom will have a supply of toilet paper which will be restocked when needed. 
- 1 living room with a couch and an amazing view of Acropolis.
- 1 kitchen with a stove and oven as well as cooking utensils. There is also a coffee machine and a kettle, as well as general cooking ingredients such as salt, pepper, sugar, tea, coffee, oil, which will be ready for you upon your arrival. 

Extra Services:
- Towels and bed linens and pillowcases will also be provided and taken to a laundry mat for you once a week.
- The apartment and the whole building have a strong WIFI signal.

The area:

The apartment is in the center of Athens, in an area which is very accessible since it is between two metro stations (Monastiraki and Omonia) and several bus lines have stops nearby. Just around the corner, there are the central vegetable and fish markets as well as two small bakeries and several supermarkets and local spice shops. 

Places to visit within a 10-minute walk:

Psiri Square is one of Athen's most known nightlife districts, with many creative stores, picturesque cafes, a variety of restaurants from Italian to Indian, popular Greek tavernas with live music and Greek-jazz. Thissio is one of the coolest areas of Athens for young people, it's a walking street full of cafes and bars and very near to the Acropolis, Plaka and Monastiraki Square which are old areas with interesting artisan bazaars, the best place to get souvenirs. 
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. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. 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 arrived at your accommodation, we will give you information about the volunteer housing, schedule to meet with you for an orientation and then we will allow you to have a rest.

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 get a SIM card for you to be able to communicate with us and have DATA on your phone. 

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
15 weeks
23 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$175 /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

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Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Habibi Center cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Habibi Center.

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Teach English to Refugee Youth

At the Habibi Center, we teach 30-45 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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