West Bank

A shepard in Beit Sahour, West Bank. Photo via Flickr by Clare Jim.

YES Students

All students from the West Bank are Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program scholarship winners. Click here to learn more about the YES Program.

Country Information

The West Bank is approximately the size of Delaware, and borders the Dead Sea and Jordan. This rugged, desert-like terrain is known mostly for its role in the Israel/Palestine conflict, but is also home to a group of generous, hospitable people who value freedom and education.

Lifestyle and Family

The family life in the West Bank is slowly changing. Originally families were large, due to cultural and religious traditions. Now with high living expenses families are seeing a decline in members. Whether large or small, the father is the leader of the family. The mother is responsible for taking care of the house and children. As the children get older they assume more roles like taking care of the family.

Teen Life and Sports

Usually teens go out to visit peopl with siblings, either at a café or at friend's houses, and drink tea, talk and maybe play some cards. Recently, camping has become very popular among teens. Once in awhile soccer, a very popular sport, is played among friends. For those who live in the urban areas, going to the cinema is a popular way to relax.


Traditional dishes of the West Bank usually include rice, beef, lamb, vegetables, and some kind of sauce. One of the dishes, mansef, has rice, lamb, yogurt, bread, and nuts. The meals all tend to be spicy. With a meal Palestinians drink tea or juice. After meals Turkish coffee is served. Because of religious beliefs, most people don't consume pork and alcohol.

Language and Religion

Arabic is the official language of the Palestine Arabs living in the West Bank. 75% of people are Muslim.

Apply Now