Lubnan>>>>>>>>>>>>> Past Review

By (Northeastern University) - abroad from 01/19/2018 to 05/24/2018 with

American University of Beirut: Beirut - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much. I obviously can't describe it here. Going somewhere meaningfiully different from what you know is incredibly impactful.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Overall AUB is a great school. Particularly regarding the international students, they have a lot of resources. Both my engineering and arabic classes were very demanding, and I had more work than I would have preferred for a study abroad experience. I recommend taking as many electives as possible during your time at AUB - the city is much more interesting then the classroom. I loved my arabic professors. I found the engineering curriculum to be a heavy on theory as opposed to application, which is more standard in US programs (I think it's the French).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Great! OIP was very nice. They assign an AUB student mentor to each international student and I had an excellent, very involved mentor who had a very positive impact on my time there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

So, housing is nice - I come from a school in Boston where I'm paying nearly 5k a semester for like ...70 sq ft? Anyway, It's not cheap but certainly cheaper than an equivalent American city, and very spacious. I lived in Mayfair which I definitely recommend, the balconies are nice and you're very close to campus. (Although what I really recommend is finding your own apartment, especially with some locals).

* Food:

Lebanese food is the best. I've been in the states for 2 months now just fiending for some good mezze. Beer game weak, wine game weak, Araq (national liquor) is the WORST, but I discovered gin basils in Lebanon and I'll never forget that.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Now this wasn't necessarily easy, but making Lebanese friends will be well worth your while. Everyone's interacting with you regardless though - the Lebanese are an exceptionally friendly people. As are the Syrians, which you will see a lot of if you go anytime soon. You will likely know on a first name basis whoever makes your coffee in the morning, waiters at any restaurants you frequent, doormen/guards, your bartender.... I seriously love this country and its people, and I can't wait to go back.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

AUB has AUBMC right there, definitely accessible but it does not work the same way as the US (though it can be argued this is a good thing).

* Safety:

So listen - before you go to the Middle East your safety is going to be a huge discussion. Safety in that particular respect will not be an issue for you once during your time there (like I can't guarantee it but I kind of can). In Beirut you're going to have exactly the same type of problems you'll have in any other city in terms of a) being a woman and b) being a foreigner. There are definitely parts of the city you shouldn't go to without someone who knows the area (I'd avoid just wandering around south Beirut) but this exists in other cities all over the world. There are some political things that happen - a (Lebanese) friend of mine lived in a sunni neighborhood that bordered a shia neighborhood and during the time leading up to their 2018 elections (a big deal) there were gun fights that would happen between the sects. Anyway, confidence and friendliness will take you through your whole experience.

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

I'm going back you can take the girl out of Beirut but..


* 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)

Beirut is not expensive, especially if you know where to go (produce is dirt cheap) but I ate out a lot. Which honestly I don't regret so.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~120 USD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No. Spend your money that's the time


* 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? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Arabic 2
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? Just push through - you really have to use it to learn. So mess up

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

  • Americans
* 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?
  • People
  • Food
  • Places
* What could be improved?
  • Staring (@men)
  • Electricity (google that)
  • -
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How little an issue the kind of existential safety is over there

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.'