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Practical Guide

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​​The information on this page should provide you with all the practical information you will need to consider before you arrive. Click on a link below for details.

Student to Student Support

All accepted international students will be matched with an OIP mentor before arrival on campus. OIP mentors are a group of  AUB  undergraduate and graduate students who serve as the international student support group on campus .  Mentors guide international students during orientation week and plan social and cultural events throughout the semester. 

You can expect to hear from your mentor via email about one week before orientation. You will meet him or her  in person at your orientation program at the beginning of the semester.

Please join
 our AUB Internationals group to stay connected to the OIP mentor team and other international students at AUB. We also encourage you to follow OIP on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive notifications regarding your arrival and to stay updated on all events and announcements. There will be activities and trips throughout the year so keep your notifications on to get quick updates!

Cost of​ living in Beirut

The cost of groceries, restaurants, study supplies and household goods in Beirut is roughly similar to moderately large North American or Western European cities such as Seattle or Marseilles.

The AUB Financial Aid Office estimated the annual cost of student expenses for 2014-2015 (other than tuition) as noted below:

  • AUB Fees (activity, internet, and health insurance fees) $659
  • Room $6,000
  • Food $8,000
  • Books, stationery, supplies $2,000
  • Personal expenses $2,000
  • Travel (local & international) $5,800
  • Student Residence Permit (required) $200
  • Miscellaneous $1,000 ( including a refundable deposit of $200)\

This information can also be found on the Financial Aid office website

For more  information, refer to the following Cost Estimate Guide and Tuition Calculator

What to pack

Fall:You will probably arrive in late August when rainfall is scarce and temperatures range from hot and sultry (September) to moderate and dry (October). In November there is more likelihood of rain, but this month is frequently also moderate in temperature--60s-70s Fahrenheit--and dry, with the occasional chance of Indian summer heat and winter chill. Summer clothes can usually be worn throughout this period, with a light jacket ready for the occasional crisp day.

Winter: Temperatures in Beirut and on the coast rarely fall below 44F in winter, but they seldom fall even that low. The average temperature in January, perhaps the coldest month, is 55F. Traditionally, the heavy rains usually begin a few days after Christmas. Rainfall during these months is frequently plentiful and severe, accompanied by spectacular thunder and lightning. But the term "rainy season" is deceptive: sunshine is abundant in winter and many people enjoy sunbathing and swimming year-around. Sweaters and light jackets are usual winter casual wear. Sturdy, waterproof walking shoes (or boots) are almost a necessity during the rainy period. A raincoat is useful, although most people make do with umbrellas. Winter coats are not needed, though a warm jacket or parka is recommended for the mountains. It can get cold in the apartments as most do not have central heating, so warm clothes to sleep in is recommended.

Spring: In the spring, the temperatures may be in the 60s and 70s, sometimes even higher. But occasionally a surprise shower and chill set in. It is difficult to specify the onset of spring in a land where the ski slopes are still open in mid-April. Light clothing with a sweater or jacket handy is sufficient for the spring months, which all too soon, and unpredictably, blends into the heat of summer.

Summer: Summer temperatures can rise to highs in the 80s and 90s, rarely falling below the mid 70s, even at night. The hottest months are usually July, August, and September. Consequently, much of the local population moves to the cool of the mountains as soon as schools break up. Light summer clothing is a must in the hot and humid summer months, with a sweater ready for mountain evenings.

For regular weather updates, keep checking weather.com.

Toiletries and medical supplies

Almost everything you will need is available in Beirut, although not necessarily in your own brands. People still recommend bringing a small first-aid kit with antibacterial cream and gauze bandages; multivitamins and aspirin.

The AUB Infirmary advises anyone using prescription drugs for long-term maintenance of any chronic ailment such as hypertension, diabetes, controlled epilepsy, allergies, etc., to bring at least a six-month supply of the required medicines along with the prescriptions including generic names of the drugs. Medicines should be in their original, labeled containers and accompanied by a doctor’s prescription to avoid arousing the suspicion of Customs officers. Although most prescription drugs are available in Beirut, pharmacies may run out of your brand or may have some drugs that are commonly used to treat your ailment but not the drug you use.

Getting from the airport to AUB

The airport is approximately 10 km from AUB. The simplest option is to arrange for a pick-up from your hotel or pre-arrange a taxi (see below); costs for this service vary by provider, but a reasonable rate to expect is USD $20-30. There are ATMs available at the airport, but it is not necessary to change money into unless you wish to do so, as all taxis and most businesses in Beirut accept payment in U.S. dollars.

Taxi services are available at the airport, where certified taxis are parked next to the terminal at the arrival gate and have an airport logo on the side. As these taxis are regulated by the airport authorities, they have a unified official rate. Regular taxis are also available but their charges are subject to bargaining. You should expect to pay around USD$20 to get to AUB; although if you are an experienced bargainer, you might succeed in getting down to $15. Before you enter the taxi, always make sure that you understand the agreed-upon price, and whether it was quoted to you in dollars or Lebanese lira.

Cell phones

Prepaid SIM cards are the most common and the simplest purchase for students. You can use a Lebanese SIM card in your cell phone from home if it is unlocked and takes a SIM card. Otherwise you can buy a phone in Lebanon for around $100.  The average student spends around $25 per month on recharging their SIM card. Pre-paid SIM cards are available to be purchased in cell phone shops, and LibanPost, and you can easily find recharge cards at supermarkets, cell phone shops, etc.

Health Insurance Plan (HIP)

All students are required to purchase medical insurance. The Health Insurance Plan (HIP) through AUB is required for all students registered as non-Lebanese (students are automatically enrolled and the HIP charge will appear on their AUB Statement of Fees. This can be waived if the student shows proof of other insurance that is equal to or better than what HIP provides.

Internet

Once you register and pay your fees you will have easy access to wireless internet on-campus. Off-Campus Internet cafes are plentiful and in close proximity to AUB. For a small fee you can be charged by the hour; not to mention that many restaurants and coffee shops offer wireless free connection for customers. Be warned, the internet in Lebanon is slow and you may find skype/downloading difficult at certain times of day.

AUB is now a member of eduroam, a secure, world-wide roaming network access service developed for international research and education. This service is available to eduroam community members visiting AUB and logging in with their home institution ID.

AUB email account (AUBnet)

AUB e-mail accounts are established through the University’s Computer and Networking Services. Once a student has enrolled, they can set up their AUB email using the instructions provided by email or they can wait to obtain an AUB ID card, the AUBnet account which can be activated by using the bar code on the back of the ID card and following the guidelines through the AUB homepage. This account should be checked regularly.

Transportation

There are two types of taxis in Beirut. One is called a “service” (pronounced ‘ser-veece’) and the other is called a “taxi”. A “service” is a fixed fare of 2,000LL and is often a shared ride with the driver picking up other passengers going in the same direction. A “taxi” is a fare of 10,000LL (or up to 15,000LL for outer suburbs of Beirut) and is a private ride. There are also buses with designated routes throughout the city and the one-way ride is 1,000LL.

Campus security

Security guards have 24 hour watch every day of the week at all gate entrances to campus. They follow strict regulations regarding who may or may not enter the campus. The Main Gate to campus is located on Bliss Street and closes at 11pm. If you arrive later, then you will need to enter through the Medical Gate. In case of entrance problems kindly ask the security guards to call Captain Shalak and he will assist you. You are required to carry your AUB ID (or Letter of Acceptance) with you at all times and show it when asked by any campus security guard.

Bank and money matters

There are several banks within the vicinity of AUB with 24 hour ATMs for withdrawal Lebanese pounds LL or US dollars USD. There is one HSBC ATM on campus conveniently located outside the main Library (Jafet). Using an ATM to withdraw from an account outside Lebanon may be easier than receiving a wire transfer. US dollars are accepted in supermarkets, shops and restaurants. Many banks require that you have a Residence Permit in order to open an account. One of the banks that do not require this is SGBL.

Food: university cafeterias and restaurants in Hamra

There are three cafeterias on campus. You can purchase a prepaid meal card, where you are able to purchase meals until your credits run out. All three cafeterias serve three meals a day. Students who use the cafeterias regularly may spend within the range of $3,000 per semester.

In addition to the campus cafeterias, you will find a variety of restaurants for eating in and take away facing AUB on Bliss Street. You will find everything from hamburgers and pizza to shish taouk and shawerma. Restaurants with western and eastern themes are plentiful in Hamra and in wider Beirut. There are also cafes for tea and Arabic coffee, as well as pubs.

Electricity

Lebanon has daily power outages of 3 hours a day or more, depending on the area you live. The electricity on campus, however, does not cut out, but If you are not living on campus you may find you have to pay extra for a generator if you opt for 24 hour electricity. The power cuts are regular and run to a (more or less) fixed schedule.

Water

It is not recommended that visiting students drink tap water in Beirut or Lebanon other than on campus fountains. Bottled water is recommended instead. Be aware that water is scarce during the summer months and some apartments run out of water completely for a few days at a time in October, before the winter rains start.

Laundry

All residence halls have washing machines for students use. For dry cleaning purposes, one can choose from various services located close to campus. Laundry services are available around campus and Hamra.


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