AUB offers culture, language, and intellectual growth Past Review

By (Davidson College) - abroad from 01/20/2017 to 12/19/2017 with

American University of Beirut: Beirut - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely worthwhile. I believe my other responses explain why.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I was convinced that having been a student at Davidson College, no institution could offer the same rigour or the same depth of material. I was, thankfully, mistaken. AUB's professors and curriculum not only challenged me academically, but allowed me to delve into literature and histories I otherwise would not have engaged with in the American South.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived off campus in my own apartment. While a bit nervous at first, living off campus was one of the best decisions I made in my abroad experience. The independence associated with living on your own allowed for much needed personal growth.

* Food:

Levantine food is among the best. A restaurant next to AUB by the name of Kaza Maza is run by Syrians and has delicious offerings. It is also a really good place to hang out and work.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Lebanese people are always curious about where people are from. Strike up a conversation with a taxi driver, a restaurant employee, or just someone you happen to meet. Chances are that they'll probably invite you their home for dinner.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My friend was unfortunately admitted to the hospital twice. Both times, AUB staff took great care of her and made sure she was given the care she deserved.

* Safety:

Beirut is misunderstood by the Western world. There were moments when I felt safer in Lebanon than I felt in the American south.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Direct enrolment at AUB offered all that I was looking for in an abroad experience--language learning, cultural immersion, and excellent political science and history course offerings.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I was fortunately awarded a scholarship for abroad which meant that finances were not a top concern for me. This was thanks to my home institution.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • AUB faculty
  • course offerings
  • life in Beirut
* What could be improved?
  • Office of International Programs
  • Campus bureaucracy
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how demanding AUB was as an institution

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'