The Lebanese American University is an official member of several prestigious higher education international networks — among them the Institute of International Education (IIE), the European Association for International Education (EAIE), and the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) — which link LAU to over a thousand universities worldwide. The Office of International Services (OIS), which operates under the auspices of Student Development and Enrollment Management (SDEM), aims at facilitating and supporting international programs with prestigious accredited universities in different regions of the world. To this end, the OIS:
- initiates communication with international universities and directs their proposals to the concerned school/department,
- works closely with faculty on developing and running student exchange programs,
- promotes international opportunities to LAU students, including exchanges, study abroad, faculty led programs, summer programs, Erasmus grants, and LAU NY offerings,
- advises students on study abroad opportunities available at LAU that match their qualifications, and
- supports incoming and outgoing students through their study abroad experience by administering orientation programs and providing professional advising on related matters, i.e. visa procedures, housing, registration and transfer of credits processes.
Through the university’s agreements with more than 50 institutions worldwide in the United States, Europe, Russia, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Asia, LAU students get the chance to study at very prestigious universities like Sciences Po in France, the University of California - Berkeley in the USA, the University of Ottawa in Canada, and many more, while completing their studies at LAU. Every year, more than 100 LAU students go abroad on such lifetime opportunities.
In addition to that, OIS oversees and manages several international initiatives at LAU including:
LAU MEPI-TL Program
The Tomorrow’s Leaders Program is an initiative between the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), AMIDEAST, and the Lebanese American University (LAU) for capable and highly motivated young scholars in the Middle East and North Africa who are from underserved backgrounds.
OIS oversees the overall grant’s methodology, academic projections, scholar’s work plans, volunteering, internships, outreach, and general welfare upon arrival to LAU and during their studies including: coordinating all travel related services such as Lebanese Residency requirements, travel notifications, plans for university breaks (winter/summer), dormitories, health and insurance coverage, and the US semester abroad, and Alumni networking.
Erasmus+, the new EU program for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for the period 2014-2020 brings together seven existing EU programs in the fields of education, training and youth and introduces sport for the first time.
As an integrated program, Erasmus+ will support transnational partnerships and will offer more opportunities for cooperation across these areas between Europe and the world.
LAU is an active partner in several Erasmus+ projects, specifically International Credit mobility funds that facilitate the exchange of students, faculty and staff between LAU and many EU partners. Through our different partnerships, students, faculty and staff receive scholarships for an international experience abroad.
LAU’s SINARC Arabic Language and Culture Program
SINARC welcomes students from across the world who wish to study all levels of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and the Lebanese dialect.
Students benefit from language immersion that combines pedagogy with practice. The curriculum also includes off-site trips and lectures that allow students to understand the cultural and political contexts within the Arab world.
The program has quickly become a top choice for Arabic language learners looking to not only improve their language skills but also to gain a true understanding of the region.
International Education Week
Every year, LAU hosts an International Education week on both Beirut and Byblos campuses through which embassies, consulates, international educational institutions, and universities take part to represent their country/university and the opportunities they offer to students, staff, faculty, and professionals interested in an international experience. OIS also promotes the available international programs available to LAU students during this major event.
OIS manages the International student Buddy program through which international students receive the support they need from an LAU student who was trained to guide and mentor them.
LAU BUDDY members provide a welcome point of contact for international students, answering any questions they have before their arrival and during their stay, so that they make the most of their experience at LAU.
International Internships and Volunteering
OIS encourages international internships and volunteering by promoting and expanding the reach of students to the many opportunities available internationally.
More specifically, the AIESEC-LAU initiative run and led by LAU students operates under the supervision of OIS.
AIESEC is a global platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. It is a non-political, independent, not-for-profit organization run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management. Through a network in 126 countries, AIESEC provides young people around the world from hundreds of academic institutions with unique volunteer and internship opportunities.
ISEP is a non-profit educational community dedicated to helping students overcome financial and academic barriers to study abroad. Through LAU’s membership in ISEP, LAU students will have the opportunity to go on an exchange semester to any partner university in the ISEP network and pay LAU’s tuition in addition to full board package (housing and meals) that they will benefit from at the host university.
ISEP has more than 300 member institutions in more than 50 countries.
LAU is a member of AAICU and an active partner in its DEEP initiative.
The goal of the AAICU Direct Educational Exchange Program is to promote collaboration across the AAICU network via the exchange of students to promote inter-cultural and international understanding that supports the Mission of the AAICU.
Students who are pursuing their undergraduate degree at one of the AAICU members may participate in the AAICU-DEEP Program for study abroad. This program allows degree-seeking undergraduate students at any one of the AAICU member institutions to study at one of the other institutions for an academic semester. Student pay tuition at their home university and are responsible for all costs related to housing, transportation, and fees at the host institution. Spaces in the program may be limited.
All AAICU institutions have academic programs based on the American liberal arts model and accept each other’s academic coursework for transfer credit, which facilitates your study abroad.