Beirut is a city of extremes – it takes but people’s reaction to the claim “I’m going to study in Beirut” to know that. You either get a “MAN THAT’S AWESOME” high-five or an eyebrow lifting facial expression to insinuate they think you’re an idiot and risking your life.

Studying in this city might indeed have its downsides, but there is also a lot to gain from it. We did a completely unscientific survey and asked a bunch of LAU and AUB students that moved here what they thought about studying abroad in Lebanon. Here's a look at the top responses.

1. The Chaos

(Photo via Al-Akhbar English)

While some students might recoil at the thought of chaos, others find absolute delight in the hustle and bustle of the city. One student claimed that the chaos in Beirut helped him find himself. There is always an element of surprise when you’re a student in Beirut – you never know what to expect next from this city (side note: this is not always a good thing).

2. The Diversity

(Photo via Women News Network)

There is insane diversity in Lebanon. Conservative, intellectual, broke, rich, superficial, hipster, extremist, communist – you will find them all in Beirut. You can be anything and still manage to find someone like you.

3. The Activism

(Photo via

Among Beiruti students, activism is a common feat. Volunteering opportunities, projects and peaceful protests take place. Of course, the fact that Lebanon is in a transitory stage (it has been in one for a long time, we might add) helps.

4. The Food

(Photo via Bristol Bites Directory)

Oh God, the food. Everyone will attest to the deliciousness and quality of food in Lebanon. The list is endless – walk through the streets of Mar Mikhael and indulge in the delicious desserts in the quaint little cafés; munch on a hot, fresh cheese and zaatar man’ouche from the bustling streets of Hamra; have organic kibbeh and kousa in the mountains; order mezze in a Lebanese restaurant in Broumana. The list is truly endless – and so is the love we have for the food here.

5. The Social Life

(Photo via Premium Seven)

This is one city that just knows how to have fun. This one is probably the best thing about studying in Beirut: the social life. There are always a lot of activities going on, from musical and cultural shows to interesting workshops and crazy parties. There is a pulsating spirit here – a desire for people to live and let live. Better yet, locals here are friendly. They love tourists, actually – it gives them a weird sense of self importance.
One thing is for sure – Lebanese people have a knack for enjoyment, and once you land your feet here you can’t help but become just like them.

6. The Relative Freedom

(Photo via

Although this was an answer that only students from neighboring Arab countries voiced, it’s quite true. To some extent, there is freedom of thought and speech in Beirut – at least in comparison to many other cities in the Middle East.

7. The Culture

(Photo via Premium Seven)

For students coming from abroad, the culture of Beirut is thrilling. It is a city that has been through war, a city that fluctuates on a daily basis from the “Paris of the Middle East” to political chaos to an intellectual and cultural hub. All this makes it a riveting place to be.

8. The Natural Beauty

(Photo via Lebanon Hotels)

The fact that Lebanon is such a tiny country makes it really easy to get a look at the entire landscape – there is always going to be a beautiful mountain to hike, an old souk to stroll in and a new village to discover.

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