Fattoush Past Review

By (University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 01/29/2018 to 05/26/2018 with

American University of Beirut: Beirut - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Perspective, patience, confidence, and faith in other people.

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.

The classes are hard, but not challenging. Hard in the sense that (my classes at least) were mostly extensive memorization, and little conceptual challenges. This became frustrating.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

AUB's Office of International Programs is great!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The men's dorms were old, often malfunctioning, and right next to continuous loud construction.. You get used to it pretty quick, and after that it is almost

* Food:

Speaks for itself, best in the world!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Becoming so close with so many local students allowed me to feel like part of the daily works, but definitely not fully integrated.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

No issues

* Safety:

Totally safe. I never felt at risk, walking around the city at all hours of day and night.

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

I wouldn't change this decision for anything. This semester tangibly shaped me as an individual and defined my career and educational goals, pushing me in a direction I had no idea I wanted to go in.


* 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)

This totally depends on your preferences. If you like street foods and cheap meals (which are abundant, delicious, and super cheap, but not healthy) you can manage on almost no money. If you like to eat healthily, or go out to clubs, it definitely adds up a lot quicker.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 150 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cheap places are easy to find! Don't go to the chains like roadster or zaatar w zeit that much, there is much better and much cheaper.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Living freely in Beirut
  • Not being surrounded by other westerners/being in a western culture
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • AUB's men's dorms
  • Make Beirut less expensive
  • A real spring break!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much I'd never want to leave

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.