Immersive, experimental, and enlightening Past Review

By (Reed College) - abroad from 01/13/2019 to 05/15/2019 with

American University of Beirut: Beirut - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to always keep an open mind because it will allow you to have amazing experiences. My parents were hesitant about me going to the Middle East but I knew it was going to be amazing (and I was right). I also didn't know that many people in Lebanon speak French, English, and Arabic which is so amazing. Finally, I learned that I could and acquired the skills to travel anywhere!

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 chose to take two graduate level courses because that is what my professors at Reed recommended and those were both fantastic, very challenging, and super informative. But the undergraduate class I took was underwhelming. I found that the kids did not seem engaged nor particularly interested in the course. My Arabic class was also very challenging and informative.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I thought the office of international programs was present and helpful. There was a decent amount of international students and we were all put into a large group chat that served to answer basically any and all questions we could have had. I also appreciated that there was not a super long orientation. They provided a lot of structure, opportunities, and actives if so desired but did not force you to do much once orientation was over.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food in Lebanon is fantastic, though the food on campus is not great and is more expensive than most places across the street on Bliss.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because this program is through an actual university, not a study abroad program through an American University, I was able to get to know the country and the people so much more. In fact, you are forced to make Lebanese (and other international) friends because they are in your classes and live next to you!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't really have any experiences with healthcare. The pharmacies are fully stocked with everything you might see in an American pharmacy.

* Safety:

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


* 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)

If you want you can spend minimal money, though you cannot get on any student food plan which makes it more difficult. Also it is worth spending a little extra in these four/five months to experience the food and other activities.


* 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
  • International 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?
  • Being matriculated into a university
  • Lebanon
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • The academics
  • The advising
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Save up a bunch before going abroad every time!

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.'