okay this is definitely the nicest thing anyone has ever written me. Thank you so much for such a kind message, how thoughtful! I hope you continue to enjoy my blog :) <3
Unfortunately not— I’ll be heading home to the states this winter. Havn’t been in Beirut for NYE since 2010! Any reason?
Thank you so much, I’m so glad you like my pictures, really encouraging!! And I know how you feel- back in the UK after being in Lebanon for a few months is hard!
Hello! Wow thanks for the questions. Yes, the program is very expensive so I understand why would want to know all of this. There were actually quite a few students who were fluent in the cooloquial but were placed in very low foosha classes because they didn’t know any. Honestly I know a few of the people put in this situation ended up being quite frustrated because they grasped arabic at a different pace. But I would say it depends on two things (1)how fluent are you in arabic? and (2)do you know any foosha?
What I achieved in the Intermediate Level Course/Vocab
I had taken a year of Arabic in Uni and was using the Al-Kiitaab text book, we started at about chapter 12 and finished the book. I would say 80% of the vocab we learned was the vocab of each chapter the other 20% was any vocab we used in class. By the end I was able to write a 630 word essay and I could have a conversation with the teacher and maybe understand 50% and the main idea of a hard article (if the vocab was mostly something I know).
What I liked
When they say intensive, they meant intensive. So we covered a lot in the seven weeks and I felt that I did learn a lot. The teachers are accommodating, kind, supportive and you can really tell they are invested in your learning. I have a background in arabic so I needed a push in the language and this push is what I needed to be able to have a conversation, to understand what is going around me, etc. The people in the coruse were also amazing, you meet diplomats, students, teachers, all with amazing stories and backgrounds!
What I didn’t like
When I went to Beirut I was hoping to see friends, family, enjoy the city— but much of the time, I couldn’t. Instead of enjoying Beirut, and utilizing the language out on the streets, I was in my room until late finishing homework and assignments. When you are doing the program, you are there to do it. Another big aspect is that in the program, you are treated a bit like you are in middle school, the teachers and administrators attempt to micro manage your time and that 3-5 hours of homework usually does not include simple revision of vocabulary, so at the end of the day I found myself having to decide, 1-will I do all of my homework 2-will I study vocabulary or 3-will I do a little bit of one and spend time with my friends.
Do I recommend it
As you can see I did have a lot of problems with the course, but this is mainly because I did not know the amount of work I signed up for. I also expected to be fluent or close after I left, but soon after arriving I realized how silly that thought was. For many people in the course they loved it and wanted to come back next year. Especially people who loved to study.
No matter what you will learn a lot, but because of your previous knowledge (I am presuming fluent in coloquial), I could imagine at some points it could get frustrating because even if you don’t know foosha you could probably easily talk and you’ll be conversing with people who are most definitely struggling in the language. Can you read or write any arabic? Because if no then you would most probably be put in a really beginner class and be learning the most basic vocabulary. Message me with your exact level if you want and that might help!
Concerning the price many people were funded by their school and/or got a scholarship so I would definitely check that out.
Hopefully this helped a bit!
Hi everyone! This summer has been so active. Not only have I posted quite a bit but the response has been amazing. I’m hoping to post more, maybe even post some from Edinburgh (where I study…I might just make a separate page for that)
Anyways, welcome welcome welcome new followers! Please enjoy my page and all feedback/questions are welcomed. All the support in the past few months has been so nice and encouraging!
Thank you so much!
Well when I lived in Beirut in 2011, I first stayed in a hotel called 35 Rooms off Hamra and after we stayed in an apartment that we found through a friend. This year I lived in the AUB. It honestly depends on how long you are staying, where you want to stay in Beirut, and how much you want to pay. For some basics:
I suggest airbnb:
There is this facebook group called “Beirut apartments” that could also be helpful.
And honestly when you are walking around Beirut there are a ton of sign for flats for rent, and quite a few hostels that when you google they come up!
Hello, I always welcome questions! At the moment I am studying in the UK and going into my third year. But this summer I was taking courses at the American University of Beirut for their summer intensive arabic course- which it is open to all ages (there were high school students, university students, diplomats, professors, etc).