|Participating cities (LC's)|| Beirut (American University of Beirut)
Beirut (Universite Saint Joseph)
|Languages||Arabic, French, English|
|Currency (how much is a Bigmac?)||4,000 Lebanese Pounds (2€)|
|Number of Doctors and beds per 1000 people||2.45|
|Member of IFMSA since...||1966|
|Number of SCOPE incomings per year||80|
|Number of SCORE incomings per year||15|
|Who is our NEO||Reem Aoun|
|Who is our NORE||Bassel Nazha|
|Our official website||http://www.lemsic.org/|
|Our online ISP booklet||http://www.aub.edu.lb/sao/iss/Highlights/Documents/ISP_2009.pdf|
Lebanon is a small coastal country that has historically been a melting pot of civilizations. An ancient land, Lebanon features in the writings of Homer and in the Old Testament. Its cities were major outposts and seaports in Phoenician and Roman times, just two of the great civilizations that touched this important Middle Eastern crossroads. The cosmopolitan flair of modern-day Beirut, the gastronomic renown of the country's food and wine, and an educated and outward-looking population complement a country that is both traditional and progressive in outlook.
For all the flavors of its storied past and rugged natural beauty, Lebanon is a well-kept tourist secret that begs exploration, we all await your arrival!!
Extended information can be found on our website in the Incoming Students' PDF (IS-PDF)'s Historical Overview section.
LeMSIC was founded in the 1960s by active medical students from the American University of Beirut. SCOPE-LeMSIC was first created within AUB since 1966. It followed the course of IFMSA as both grew together. During the civil war, the exchange program to Lebanon suffered as much as the country and it was not until 1997 with the re-instauration of LeMSIC that SCOPE became active again. Since this second birth, SCOPE-LeMSIC has sent over 700 students on exchange programs abroad and was welcomed as many. It has also expanded to other universities, among which USJ and Balamand, in it mission to offer all Lebanese medical students this unique exchange program. This year, SCOPE-LeMSIC has reached the record contract signing of more than 80 contracts.
We provide you the option to work in the three leader hospitals in the region both having a role in the creations of the next generation of physicians in the region. Both are submitted to their own universities' rules and regulations.
AUB Medical Center
Today, the AUB Medical Center is proud of its fast diagnostic and treatment facilities, which are the product of consistent and thorough research work with the Medical School. Its recent history continues to be a story of steady growth, periodic expansion and renovation, as it strives to meet the healthcare needs and services required by the patients and the community. Today the AUB Faculty of Medicine and Medical Center are among the most prominent and respected medical institutions in the Middle East. They are considered a major healthcare center in Lebanon and a healthcare “safety net” for Lebanon and the region.
Hotel Dieu de France
Hotel Dieu de France is a growing hospital that is participating in the continuous development of the medical services in Lebanon. Its mission is to provide its patients with the quality treatment services, as recommended by the most advanced research and medicine based on proven facts. It is developing strong partnerships with local and international institutions. Hotel Dieu de France has a strong association with French Universities. I It is known as one of the best hospitals in the country.
University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital
Dr. Rizk Clinic, recently known as UMC-RH, was first established by Dr. Toufic Ibrahim Rizk (1892-1983) in 1925 as a private family-owned clinic. Rizk Hospital opened its doors to the general public on February 11, 1957, through the inauguration of its 1st building (Building A). It was constructed according to European standards becoming one of the first modern hospitals in Beirut and all of Lebanon. On June 30, 2009, The Rizk Family sold the hospital to Medical Care Holding, in which the Lebanese American University (LAU) possesses controlling interests. The hospital was renamed University Medical Center – Rizk Hospital and it now serves as the primary teaching hospital for LAU's schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, while maintaining its position as one of the main hospitals of the country through its modern facilities, but also, and mostly, through its faculty members and renowned treating physicians.
Saint Georges Hospital
Saint George Hospital University Medical Center is a nonprofit academic medical center, owned by the Orthodox Archdiocese of Beirut and has an academic affiliation with the University of Balamand. The hospital is one of the most renowned hospitals in the country competing with AUBMC and HDF above.
The faculty of Medicine at AUB is among the oldest faculties in the university. It was developed in 1867. When the hospital, currently the American University Hospital, opened in 1905, a school of nursing was also established at that time. In 1910, the university opened a school of dentistry, which continued for the next 30 years. The school of public health, now the Faculty of Health and Sciences, was launched in 1954.
Other schools of medicine where English is the language of instruction are Lebanese American University and University of Balamand.
The rest are based on a French system, represented by Université Saint Joseph (Hotel Dieu de France) and Lebanese University.
Lebanon is a country of many religion and different cultures, so be sure to respect them all. As everywhere in the world, make sure to be dressed conservatively when going to a religious establishment.
Islam 60% (Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite/Nusayri)
Christian 39% (Maronite, Melkite, Syrian, Armenian, and Roman Catholic; Greek, Armenian, and Syrian Orthodox; Chaldean; Assyrian; Copt; Protestant)
Our AUBMC incoming students are placed in a Student Hostel located in Hamra, 2 minutes walking distance from the hospital. We offer 3 meals a day at the cafeteria of the American University of Beirut Medical Center. With your card, it's all you can eat at the cafeteria!
Our HDF incoming students are placed in the University Student Dorm located in Achrafieh, 2 minutes walking distance from the hospital. We offer 3 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.
Our UMC-RH incoming students are placed at the LAU dorms in Hamra and are guaranteed daily private bus transportation to the hospital (10-15 minutes away from the dorms). We offer 2 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.
Our SGH incoming students are placed in a hostel located in Achrafieh. We offer 2 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.
SCOPE-LeMSIC is one of the rare if not the only National Member Organization within IFMSA that offers a 100% free Social Program during the summer months of July and August and that for all Incoming Students. In any month of the year, the contact persons and the students will be happy to show you around. Each incoming is assigned a main contact person who contacts the student prior to arrival, meets the student at the airport, and helps the student in making his/her registration. Each student is emailed a few weeks prior to arrival,the Incoming Student PDF which was prepared by the SCOPE team between the years 2012-2013 and is to be yearly updated. It contains all the student helpful informations and tips you will need. The social program is planed meticulously to include in a span of 4 days and 2 to 3 half days, over 4 weeks a concentrate of the best that Lebanon has to offer. It is intended to cover four major regions in Lebanon and offer a guided tour through ancient sites, castles and ruins, as well as a cultural trip through Lebanon, and a gastronomical discovery of Lebanese breakfasts, meals and sweets. It is done with the help of the ministry of Tourism of Lebanon.
Note: The Social Program is a common program in all Local Committees. All Incomings to Lebanon will meet up and join the same trips.
The four Saturdays of the clinical clerkship are divided as follows:
Day 1 (The coastline)
Visit of the Geita Grotto, one of the largest and most beautiful natural caves of the world
Guided visit of Byblos and its Citadel, the most ancient city still inhabited in the world, and source of the first Alphabet
A traditional Lebanese lunch at the beach with an afternoon swim in Batroun
Visit of Notre Dame of Lebanon in Harissa after a trip up the mountain in the Teleferique
Night sightseeing over the Bay of Jounieh from Harissa
Day 2 (The North)
Visit of the Gibran Museum in the Becharre village
Walk in the Cedar village Cedar reserve
Lebanese Lunch in the Ehden Village
Visit of the Saint Marie Church of Ehden- from where you are guaranteed a wonderful view of the coast of North Lebanon
Visit of the Saint Antonios Kozhaya Monastery in the Kadisha Valley ( where you will find the first Syriac and Arabic printing press ! )
Day 3 (The South)
Foul Breakfast in Saida
Guided visit of the Souk and the Old Soap Factory
Guided visit of the roman ruins of Tyre
Lebanese Lunch at Tyre
Afternoon visit of the Tyre Village and possible swim
Day 4 (The Bekaa)
Labneh Breakfast at Chtoura
Guided visit of the Heliopolis of Baalbeck, the largest most preserved roman ruins in the world!
Guided visit of the wine caves of Ksara, the oldest caves in the world!
Lunch in Zahleh
Visit of the Ammiq Steps
Going back to Beirut through the beautiful mountain road of Barouk
View of the Bekaa Valley and the Qaraon Lac from top of the western mountains chain
Stop at Barouk’s Cedar Reserve for a memorable sunset view from 1780m of altitude!
Half Day 1 (Deir El Kamar-Beiteddine)
Visit of the Beiteddine Village and palace (choice to visit the Moussa Castle)
Visit of the Deir El Kamar Old Village (choice to visit the Musee Baz)
Dinner in Deir el Kamar
Half Day 2 (Beirut Tour)
Tour starts in Down Town at the Place de l'Etoile, with the visit of the Saint Georges Greek Orthodox Cathedral and its Crypt through which you will have access to the wall which is the only unfortunate remnant of the 7 Beiruts of History.
Walk in Down Town Beirut and visit of the unfortunate only remnants of the Phoenician Port.
Visit of the old Mosques, Churches and Synagogues.
Tour ends with the National Museum Visit.
Lebanon is a small country (10542 km2): the drive from south to north or from east to west takes about three hours! The main highway, also called “autostrade”, crosses the country from one end to the other along its coast, passing by Beirut. You will no doubt have to take it at one point or the other, as it is the starting point for other journeys.
Most Lebanese citizens own a car although public transport is present throughout the largest towns in the country under different forms: buses, minibuses, taxis or service taxis. Be forewarned, traffic is very common in Beirut and in the big cities every day of the week, but fortunately lessens on Sundays.
Buses travel mainly in Beirut and between Lebanon’s major towns. There are three main bus pick-up and drop-off points in Beirut:
Charles Helou Bus Station: Just east of downtown, for destinations north of Beirut (including Syria). This is the only formal station.
Cola Bus Station: It’s a big confused intersection, not as well organized as Charles Helou station, and it is generally for destinations south of Beirut. Bus fare ranges from LL1000 to LL7000. Usually drivers advertise the path of their buses by shouting it high and loud! There are also a growing number of microbuses covering the same routes, which are slightly more expensive than regular buses, but a lot cheaper than service taxis. Microbuses are operated by individuals. The advantage is that they are small, comfortable and frequent, but you’d be taking your chances regarding the driver’s ability. You pay on the microbus, at either the start or the end of your journey.
Dawra Bus Station: It is located northeast of Beirut, on the way to Jounieh on the main highway, and covering the same destinations as Charles Helou. It is usually a port of call on the way in and out of the city. Beirut is well serviced by its network of buses. The red-and-white buses are run by the privately owned Lebanese Commuting Company (LCC) and the large blue-and-white OCFTC buses are government owned.
Buses operate on a ‘hail-and-ride’ system: wave to the driver and the bus will stop, and you have to ask the driver to stop and go down. The only official bus stops are where the bus starts and finishes. There are no timetables, but both companies run buses from roughly 5:30AM to 9PM, with services departing roughly every 15 minutes. Buses can be very time consuming but are handy if you’re on a time-rich, cash-poor stay. They’re especially good value for trips to places such as Brummana and Beit Mery.
A ticket is bought for LL1000 (except for most distant destinations it reaches LL1500) as soon as you get on the bus: this will allow you to stay on the bus till the terminal. LCC offers also a ‘yellow card’ which can be bought for LL15000. This card allows you to take the bus approximately for 20 times and has no expiry date. You can also buy the ‘red card’ for LL45000. The red card allows you to take the bus as many times you want for 1 month only. These two cards can be bought from the bus drivers in the bus.
Taxi and Service Taxi:
Extensive informations are found in the IS-PDF.
Service taxis are plentiful and cheap in Beirut. Most routes around the capital are covered and you can hail one at any point on the route. Taxis are recognizable by their red number plates or for some by a “TAXI” sign on it. The only way to find out if the driver is going where you want is to hail him and ask. If the driver s not going where you want he’ll (and it’s nearly always a ‘he’) respond by driving off. If he’s going in your direction the acknowledgment to get in may be as imperceptible as a head gesture.
The fare for all routes in central Beirut is LL2000. Try and pay at the earliest opportunity during your trip. It’s a good idea to keep a few LL1000 notes handy for these trips. But remember that sometimes you will have to take more than one service taxi to arrive to your destination, or pay double fare if the driver accepts to take you straight there.
If you do wish to take a service taxi as a private taxi, make sure the driver understands exactly where you are going and negotiate a price before you get in. Most destinations in the center of Beirut cost around L8000 to LL10000. Private taxis from the airport are a notorious rip-off. If you think the driver is asking too much, just wave him on and wait for another one.
If you are planning to bring a bike with you to Lebanon, make sure it is suitable for the road conditions. Once you leave the coastal strip, the landscape is extremely hazardous even if you are still in Beirut. Traffic presents quite a problem for cyclists in Lebanon, especially in Beirut and one should be extremely careful.
It is indeed possible to go skiing in the morning and swimming in the afternoon! Lebanon has three different climate zones- the coastal strip, the mountains, and the Bekaa Valley.
The coastal strip has cool, rainy winters (mid-December to February), and hot damp Mediterranean summers (June to September). During the spring (March to May) and autumn (October until mid-December), the weather in the coast is warm and dry with occasional showers.
The mountains have a typical alpine climate; fresh breezes keep the summer heat at bay, which is why many people head to the mountains to escape the oppressive heat during the summer months. There is heavy winter snow, which lasts from December to May on the higher peaks. At certain times of year you can stand on the warm coast and look inland at snow-covered peaks.
The Bekaa valley has hot, dry summers and cold, dry winters with snow and frost.
Beirut’s Gemayze and Monot districts are world-famous for their vibrant nightlife that caters to the needs of all types of pubbers and clubbers. You name it, we have it! Rave clubs, hip pubs, classy nightclubs, and even quiet, cozy bars. Pubs open at around 8 pm (or even before!), clubs open later (at about 9), and they all stay open till the early hours of the morning. Just two things: you have to be over 21 to get into some nightclubs, and we recommend that you reserve a table before-hand. Otherwise, show up early and be prepared to get continuously brushed up against at the bar! Guys, good luck going in alone. Girls, you’ve got not problem!
Take a stroll along Gemayze and Monot and enjoy their old architecture while hopping from pub to club. All of them serve all types of alcoholic drinks (even absinthe!), including shots, cocktails etc…Prices are almost the same from place to place. Nightclubs require a minimum charge of 20 to 30 dollars. Otherwise, you pay per drink.
Lebanon’s night-life is not restricted to Beirut anymore; it has spread to the North where many clubs and pubs have opened in the past 5-10 years. Batroun is one of these towns, which has become an amazing place for clubbing, even for people from Beirut and Kesrouan. It is estimated that around 3,000 visitors come on Saturdays to party! Most of the nightclubs, are located in the “souq” which used to be a place for traditional shops. There you find the old-style buildings converted to pubs and clubs with beautiful design.
One of the main reasons that motivate clubbers to go to Batroun is that clubbing there costs less than in Gemayze or Monot. For example a drink cost around 8$, while the minimum charge in a club is around 15$.
Make sure you check out this section in the IS-PDF!
With 225km of Mediterranean coastline extending the entire length of the country from north to south, you'll find plenty of sun and sand in Lebanon. Beach season in Lebanon stretches from April to October, with sunny, dry weather and warm temperatures (20-32°C / 68-90°F) for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. However, even in the winter season you will find plenty of activities to take advantage of along Lebanon's scenic shore.
The coastline in Lebanon alternates from sandy to rocky beaches, offering an interesting variety of terrain and seaside activities. Along the coast north of Beirut, the mountains descend sharply to the Mediterranean Sea, offering spectacular vistas of rocky coastline and colorful sunsets over the water. In the south, fragrant and colorful citrus groves and banana trees line the coast, giving way to some of the country's best-preserved and remote sandy beaches.
Lebanon's coastline is not just for sun worshippers. Nature enthusiasts can explore the unique Mediterranean ecosystem at the Palm Islands Reserve, located 5km off the coast near Tripoli. The reserve is a prime location for observing Lebanon's coastal flora and fauna, including sea turtles, seals, and over 300 species of migratory birds. The well-preserved beaches at the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve are also known for their rich marine and freshwater habitats.
Adventure enthusiasts will find diving, waterskiing, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing, paragliding, and much more along Lebanon's coast. Snorkelers can explore the magnificent submerged Phoenician and Roman ruins off the coast of the city of Sour (Tyre). Traditional beach enthusiasts have several options to choose from in Lebanon. For those seeking full amenities and comfort, luxury resorts and beach clubs offer private beach access, swimming pools, water skiing, diving, boat rentals, nighttime entertainment, restaurants, and accommodations. Good, inexpensive public beaches with clean water and basic facilities are located in Jbail (Byblos), Chikka (near Tripoli), Batroun, and south of Sour (Tyre).
To make the most out of your stay in Lebanon throughout the summer (or even during the sunny days of the winter), you should head to one of the many beach resorts that line the Lebanese coast both north and south of Beirut. There you will be able to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, relax in the swimming pools, enjoy water sports and activities, and sunbathe while enjoying the sea. Entrance fees are usually cheaper on weekdays.
Wine Tasting and Wineries
Lebanon is one of the oldest sites of wine production in the world. The Phoenicians of its coastal strip were instrumental in spreading wine and viticulture throughout the Mediterranean in ancient times. Despite the many conflicts of the region, the country has an annual production of about 600,000 cases of wine, mostly influenced by with French wines of Bordeaux and the Rhone. Also, all the major wineries have their vineyards in the southern Beqaa Valley. More importantly, despite the wars that occurred in Lebanon, wine was produced every year.
Hiking in Lebanon
Lebanon has an extremely varied terrain, scenic vistas, and historic environs that combine to create unique hiking and trekking opportunities throughout Lebanon. For a quintessential Lebanese experience, you can wander through the Adonis Valley, a ruggedly cut gorge sprinkled with historic ruins that is the site of Adonis and Aphrodite's love story in Greek mythology. There are many trekking clubs and tour operators that run guided outings throughout Lebanon, ranging from leisurely day hikes to longer multi-day treks.
Horsh Ehden natural reserve in Zghorta, North Lebanon, near Tripoli and Al-Chouf Cedar Reserve, Lebanon’s largest natural reserve. Both reserves offer good and extensive trail systems and which comprises many cedar forests, stretching over thousands of hectares in the Mount Lebanon range. Outdoor activities in the reserves include mainly hiking and trekking. In addition to the reserve’s important plant-life, it is also an important habitat for local and migrating birds. You can spend the night in a hotel located in the center of the nearby village, Maaser Al-Chouf, known for its rural landscape and traditional stone houses with red-tiled roofs.
Wady Qadisha (the Sacred Valley) is classified as an international heritage site and is considered a holy site for Lebanese Christians. You can spend the night in the ancient village of Bcharre, hometown of Gibran Khalil Gibran, the Lebanese poet and painter. Other places include remote regions: • Aakkar (green villages) and Hermel (deserted villages) in the north and north-east respectively. • Adonis valley (the site of the Adonis and Aphrodite myth), Faraya (Kfar Debyan), and Makmel park (the Black corner, the highest point in Lebanon)
Ecotourism is a field which has grown increasingly popular in Lebanon since the creation of Liban Trek (the first ecotourism company in Lebanon) in 1997. Many companies specialized in this type of tourism offer a widespread of possibilities to discover the marvels of Lebanon through a sweet taste of its nature and its history all year long. Further details are present in the IS-PDF which is sent to all incomings.
There are also museums, international festivals and other cultural exhibitions to check out! Full details are provided in the IS-PDF. During the summer: the Beiteddine International Festival, the Jounieh Festival, the Byblos International Festival and Baalback International Festival as well as the Deir El Kamar and Ehden Estivals are a pure artistic details as well as a unique opportunities to discover some of the Ancient World's marvels by night. It is a breath-taking experience and an opportunity to watch internationally renowned artists such as Scorpions, Charles Aznavour, renowned Ballets, famous operas such as Carmina Burana, Sir Elton John,Jose Carreras, musicals such as the Notre Dame de Paris Musical, as well as to discover Lebanese musicals, dancers and singers ( Fairuz, Caracalla Dance Academy, Rahbani Musicals, and many others ). During the winter: many plays are offered in Arabic, English and French mainly; as well as many concerts. For those imbued with an artistic sense, the winter alternative of the wonderful summer International Festivals is the Festival Al Bustan which gathers select international and national prestations to delight us with: examples include Il Barbiere di Siviglia of the Teatro Dell'Opera di Roma as well as world renowned pianists, orchestras and modern and classical ballet schools.