Study at LAU

International Students

The Buddy Program

I am an LAU student. I want to become a Buddy!

Local students are encouraged to help the international students with any questions before their arrival and during their stay in Lebanon. They provide the friendly face, helping hand, and first Lebanese friendship that can make a world of difference for new arrivals. Buddies can also offer linguistic support, cultural guidance and information about life at LAU and in Lebanon.

The program also allows students returning from an international experience to support fellow students in their preparations for their semester abroad.

At the start of every semester the Office of International Services hosts a Buddy meeting for the participants of the program.

Buddy activities include:

I am an international student. I need a Buddy!

A Buddy will be there to help you before your arrival and during your stay in Lebanon. Your Buddy facilitates your integration in the campus life at LAU and encourages you to meet, interact and engage with the community in Lebanon.

If you want a Buddy, please fill out this form.

Meet your Buddy!

Meet Mariane Papazian, a nursing major at LAU Byblos, also minoring in Psychology. Her hobbies include reading, researching, learning new languages, and listening to heavy metal! 

“What I love about the Buddy program is that it encapsulates the virtue of human connection: no matter how diverse people’s backgrounds can be, we can always find common ground and connect with one another. I also love expanding my knowledge about foreign students’ cultures and languages, as well as strive to provide them with a rich, culturally-immersive experience. Welcome to your new home, welcome to LAU”.

Meet Tamara Dalibalta, a second-year student majoring in international business. Her hobbies include going out with friends, baking, and exploring new places.

“I chose to join the Buddy Program to help international students explore Lebanon and show them what Lebanon has to offer, as well as to meet new people from different backgrounds, and cultures, and of course to learn new things about the heritage, history, and cuisine of countries I might not have visited before”.

Meet Assem Al Hariri. Meet Assem Hariri, an IT student at the Beirut campus. His hobbies include outdoor activities and tech.  

“The excitement of meeting new people, the laughs, and the feeling of being able to show and guide are what I’m staying here for”.

Meet Elie Awad, a civil engineering student at the Byblos campus. His hobbies include playing soccer, photography, and hiking.

I chose to join the Buddy Program because I had been exposed to an international environment as a student at a German school in Lebanon. I also feel honored to help international students discover my lovely country. I am passionate about culture and tourism, and this program provides me with great memories and experiences with people coming from overseas. The best way to get to know a country is to speak and live with locals, so exchanging ideas and knowledge with international students is ideal. As a Buddy, I am ready to show the best face of Lebanon to our foreign friends!”

Lea Ghandour

Meet Lea Ghandour, an economics and political science student at the Beirut campus. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, playing music, and volunteering.

“The Buddy Program allowed me to pursue my passion in meeting different cultures and enriching my mind with different perspectives, in addition to experiencing Lebanon from a foreigner’s eye”.

Reine Akkoush

Meet Reine Akkouch, a senior communication arts major, minoring in PR & advertising and multimedia journalism. She also recently studied Corporate Communications in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her hobbies change occasionally, but she currently enjoys going on walks, reading, watching series, and knitting.

“I joined the Buddy Program in hopes of introducing internationals to the true culture of Lebanon as opposed to the stereotypical image displayed in the media. I also love learning about other cultures and meeting people from different backgrounds, so the Buddy Program was a perfect opportunity to do exactly that”.

Mery Derjani

Meet Mery Derjani, a civil engineering student, minoring in computer science and construction management at the Byblos campus. Her hobbies include cooking, hiking, camping, and styling.

“Through the Buddy Program, I am able to support international students to have a great journey at LAU by introducing them to our culture and showing them the beauty of our country”.

Anhal Kozhaya

Meet Anhal Kozhaya, a senior in political science and international affairs student with a minor in legal studies. His hobbies include partying, cycling, adventures, public speaking, and community service. 

“My loyalty to LAU is the main cardinal factor that drives towards all the activities I do on campus; having that being said, I joined the Buddy Program since I want all international students a have the best experience that they can ever ask for while they are here at LAU. I feel like I have a duty towards spreading the culture of LAU and its mission for others”.


Meet Mariella Mansour, a fifth-year industrial engineering student at the Byblos campus. Her hobbies include Latin dancing, hiking, camping, and swimming.  

“What I love about the Buddy Program is that I get to invest my time and enthusiasm into helping the international students at LAU, in hopes to make their stay memorable and enjoyable”.

Maytham El Zein

Meet  Maytham Alzein, an ITM business student at the Beirut campus. His hobbies include football, tennis, and motor biking. 

“Being an exchange student last semester gave me the motivation to get enrolled in the Buddy Program so I can be part of such a great and unforgettable experience at LAU”. 

Aya Catherina Elias

Meet Aya Catherina Elias!  a psychology student at LAU Byblos. She aspires to be a clinical psychologist in the future.  Her hobbies include painting, sketching, writing, reading, hiking, swimming, boxing, doing yoga, and much more. 

“The reason why I joined the buddy program is to make international students’ time worthwhile in Lebanon and especially at LAU. I would love to show them what I love about my country, and I would also love to help students in whatever they might need during their stay”.

Meet Maria Daher, a psychology student minoring in political science and gender studies at the Beirut campus. Her hobbies include dancing, hiking, camping, judo and traveling.

“I chose the buddy program because I love meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds. I believe it is important to have someone you can count on when you’re in a totally new place to help you get around the country. It is also my goal to show to foreign students the beauty of Lebanon often ruined by the media”.

Sherine Bou Saada

Meet Sherine Bou Saada, a business management student at the Beirut Campus. Her hobbies include swimming, photography, shopping, and camping. 

“What I love about the Buddy Program is that I get to share the true beauty behind our culture with our international students, and most importantly, to guide them through LAU’s finest campus life”. 

Meet Liana Kheir! Liana Kheir, a nursing student at the Byblos campus. Hobbies include dancing, singing, gaming, and outdoor activities.  

“I choose to join the Buddy Program to pervade my knowledge and tips into aiding international students that might need help. An inquiry that might seem simple might be highly important to others. Sharing strengths in an enjoyable manner and contributing to LAU and the students as much as possible”.

Meet Salim Sraj a senior marketing student at the Beirut campus. His hobbies include swimming, meditating, playing football.

“What I love about the Buddy Program is that I’m delightfully helping the exchange students who are going through the same problems and struggles when I was on an exchange”.

Meet Jana Hag Hassan, a business management student at the Beirut campus. Their hobbies include board games, reading and swimming. 


“I’m thankful for the buddy program because it offered me a chance to make new friendships, I got to know many people and see many new places. It allowed me to expose myself to different cultures and grow my knowledge and experience with different people”.

Meet Saeed Arayssi, a third-year mechanical engineering student at the Byblos campus. His hobbies include reading history, going on adventures to faraway places, and all things blue. 

“The reason I joined the BUDDY program is that everybody around me said I would be a perfect fit. I’ve always been fascinated by cultures and diversity. It is these driving forces that push me to not only accept and enjoy different cultures, but also to have everyone enjoy mine”.