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Country's name
Lebanon
Lebanon Flag.jpg Lebanon nmo symbol new.jpg
Location Lebanonlocation.jpg
Participating cities (LC's) Greater Beirut Area: American University of Beirut- Medical Center, Hotel Dieu de France, Saint Georges Hospital, University Medical Center - Rizk Hospital
Languages Arabic, French, English
Currency (how much is a Bigmac sandwich?) 5,000 Lebanese Pounds (2.46 €)
Time zone GMT+2
Number of doctors per 1000 people 3.2
Member of IFMSA since... 1964
Number of SCOPE incomings per year 100
Number of SCORE incomings per year 20
Who are our NEOs Mona Haj (Outgoings) & Yara Younan (Incomings)
Who is our NORE Ralph Tayyar
Our official website http://www.web.lemsic.org/
Come for exchange!
Ifmsalogo.jpg


Welcome Note

If you want to learn all about SCOPE-LeMSIC, continue reading. I'm sure you'll book your flight after this :)


Overview

SCOPE-LeMSIC was founded in the 1960s by a couple of active medical students from the American University of Beirut. Since then, it has been expanding greatly to include today 4 major Lebanese universities: American University of Beirut, Lebanese American University, Saint Joseph University and University of Balamand. SCOPE- LeMSIC has been dedicated to its mission of offering medical students this unique exchange experience, as such we are proud to be signing more than 100 bilateral and unilateral contracts.


The Hospitals

Currently, incoming students have the option of choosing between four leading hospitals, each of which plays an undeniable role in the creation of the next generation of physicians.

1. American University of Beirut-Medical Center (AUB-MC): to which students applying for American University of Beirut (AUB) are sent.

2. Hotel-Dieu de France (HDF): to which students applying for Saint Joseph university (USJ) are sent.

3. University Medical Center-Rizk Hospital (UMC-RH): to which students applying for Lebanese American University (LAU) are sent.

4. Saint Georges Hospital (SGH): to which students applying for University of Balamand (UOB) are sent.

One cannot but speak greatly of these four hospitals that have become well known not only in the Mediterranean region but also worldwide.

Note: These four hospitals are all located in the Greater Beirut Area :)


Accommodation & Boarding

AUBMC incoming students are usually placed in a Student Dorm located in Hamra, walking distance from the hospital. They are offered 3 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.

HDF incoming students are placed in a Student Dorm located in Achrafieh, walking distance from the hospital. They are offered 2 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.

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). They are offered 2 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.

SGH incoming students are placed in a Student Dorm or a Student Flat located in Achrafieh, walking distance from the hospital. They are offered 2 meals a day at the cafeteria of the Hospital.

Pampering Our Students (i.e. Social Program)

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 for all Incoming Students. Still, in any month of the year, the contact persons and the students will be happy to show you around. In fact, 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 incoming is also emailed a few weeks prior to arrival "the Incoming Student PDF" which will this year, hopefully be a joint effort between LeMSIC SCOPE and SCORE. The Incoming Student PDF contains all a bunch of helpful informations and tips that you will need during your stay in Lebanon.

The social program is planned 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 common to all Local Committees: all Incomings to Lebanon will meet up and join the same trips. The program is updated every year, so expect a new and improved version to be out by mid April :)

The four Saturdays of the clinical clerkship are divided as follows:

  Day 1 (The coastline)

Knefeh Breakfast

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)

Mankousheh Breakfast

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.


Local & National transportation

Lebanon is a small country (10,400 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 transportation is present throughout the largest towns in the country under different forms: buses, minibuses, taxis or service taxis, with prices ranging from LL1000 to 10000LL. Be forewarned, traffic is very common in Beirut and in the big cities every day of the week, but fortunately lessens on Sundays.

Note: Much much more details will be provided about each mode of transportation in the Incoming Student PDF.


Weather

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 the 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.


Social life

Nightlife

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!


Beaches

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

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.


Other

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.


Exchange Conditions

http://www.ifmsa.org/About-Us/Our-National-Member-Organizations/Eastern-Mediterranean/LeMSIC/Professional-Exchange-Conditions-of-LeMSIC-Lebanon

Basically, every student is to apply to three out of our currently four available LCs, giving us the chance to try and find a place for him/her in any of these LCs, ofcourse starting with his/her preference. Please do not choose only one university as your three choices! Trust me, all hospitals are equally educational and you will end up having an amazing experience regardless of which hospital you go to. Every student has to also submit the respective LC application forms (not the general IFMSA form since unfortunately our hospitals have specific forms), along with the required documents.

Make sure you please read the exchange conditions very well, and that you check your email constantly in case we needed you :)



Cities Offered For Exchange

All of the hospitals currently part of SCOPE-LeMSIC are located in the Greater Beirut Area, with 3 LCs located in Ashrafiyeh and one (AUB) in Hamra.