Bliss (and stray cats and shawarma and smoke breaks) on Bliss St. Past Review

By (Bard College) - abroad from 01/09/2017 to 05/18/2018 with

American University of Beirut: Beirut - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes! I learned how to care for myself in a difficult environment, how to make the most out of living abroad, how to conduct research in a foreign language...

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had difficulty getting a counselor at AUB to connect with me, and despite many attempts I was never able to receive counseling through the university.

* Safety:

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

Yes because of the institution and the connections I made, however I would be tempted to study in Cairo instead because I would be forced to use Arabic more.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook, even if you're in the dorms. Know how much you should pay for a cab/service and don't overpay! Make use of the buses.


* 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

It was a requirement in Arabic class and I used Arabic in some other classes, but it's difficult to speak Arabic in Beirut sometimes because in many cases English/French is preferred.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Arabic
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Do research in Arabic, speak Arabic with people even if they speak to you in English/French, travel outside of Hamra, talk to your cab drivers.

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

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • professors/courses
  • travel
  • oip community
* What could be improved?
  • ease of using resources on campus
  • communication
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Make room in your suitcase to bring back arak and sweets!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!