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 International Services and Programs Office hosts a Buddy meeting for the participants of the program.
Buddy activities include:
- Campus tours
- Locating nearby banks, grocery stores, bookstores, etc.
- Support in local housing
- Fun outings to familiarize students with the country
- Meetings with selected outgoing students to provide tips on how to prepare and what to expect abroad
- Be part of orientation meeting and pre-departure orientation
- Excursions/hikes/touring trips around Lebanon
- Gatherings in hometown/villages/homes for familiarity and immersion in culture.
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 Chadi Boulos, an Economics and Political Science student at the Byblos campus. His hobbies include swimming, reading, cooking, and stargazing.
“My curiosity about new cultures, and meeting new people pushed me to join the Buddy program. I would also love to be there for international students and help them get to know both LAU and Lebanon”.
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”.
I am Perla Bardie, a senior psychology student at the Beirut campus of LAU. My hobbies include crocheting, listening to music, and reading.
“I joined the buddy program because I just love meeting new people and making new friends. Also, I’d love to learn about their culture and teach them about mine!”.
I’m Al Walid Al-Barazi, I currently study at LAU majoring in IT management, and enrolled in the buddy program. I am Syrian American and was born and raised in Lebanon. I enjoy learning about different cultures, and my work experience in the USA has definitely helped me with getting used to a diverse environment. I can speak Arabic, English, and German, and trying to work on my Spanish. My hobbies are working out (weightlifting and kickboxing), horseback riding, hiking, and enjoying Lebanon’s nightlife.
“I look forward to assisting International students with adjusting to Lebanon’s welcoming yet excitingly different environment with my experiences and abilities.”
Christopher El Helou, majoring in political science and international affairs and psychology and minoring in sociology. I recently did an exchange semester at Sciences Po Paris, Menton. My hobbies include swimming, cooking, gardening, and trying new restaurants and bars.
“I chose the buddy program for 2 main reasons. I love meeting new people from different cultures and sharing with them all that my country has to offer. The second reason is that I was an exchange student, and I would love to help other exchange students, both outgoing and incoming, anyway I can.”
I am Sirine Sassine, a second-year student majoring in business banking and finance with a double emphasis in accounting. My hobbies include reading, listening to music, and going out with friends.
“By Joining the buddy program, I will be able to interact with students from diverse backgrounds and gain insights into various cultures, beliefs, and practices that I may not have been exposed to before. Furthermore, I am passionate about showcasing the beauty of my country, Lebanon, to others. Through sharing its stunning landscapes and rich culture, I hope to inspire a love and appreciation for the unique charm it holds. Additionally, I am eager to support students during their stay, offering assistance and guidance to ensure they have a memorable and fulfilling experience in Lebanon.”
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”.
Meet Joelle Al Kaasamani, a political science and international affairs student with a minor in multimedia journalism. Her hobbies include history, dancing, basketball, and engaging in lively interactions.
“I joined the Buddy Program to connect with and support international students, showcase the authentic vibrancy and cultural richness of Lebanon, and create unforgettable memories.”
Meet Bisan Siefeldeen, a third-year bioinformatics student. Her hobbies include playing the piano and guitar, taekwondo, reading, and traveling.
“Here to become a catalyst for change! Together we can create a global community where everyone feels welcomed, supported, and cherished. This is the opportunity to embrace diverse perspectives, foster meaningful connections, and share laughter, stories, and traditions. Here to celebrate the richness of our differences!”
I am Nour Abdel Karim, a senior in psychology at the Beirut campus. My hobbies include make-up and cooking, and I highly care about my academics and enjoy connecting with others through knowledge.
“Being our second home, LAU welcomes us all into a journey of dynamic social life, self-discovery, and infinite opportunities, which is why I am here! I joined the buddy program for the beauty of cultural exchanges, and most importantly to welcome international students into their new home and show them the depth of our culture and the richness and love that it has to offer.”
Hello! My name is Julien Wannous, a third-year Civil Engineering student at LAU Byblos. I enjoy physics, playing Basketball, hiking, and swimming.
“After two years of the college experience, I feel ready to assist international students to have a smooth experience at LAU, a comfortable stay in Lebanon, and to feel at home. I love Lebanon, I hope they’ll love it too!”
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”.
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 Marie José Agop or MJ, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student at the Byblos campus. My hobbies include reading, playing the guitar, clubbing, photography, and board games.
“II joined the Buddy program because I would love to make international students feel welcome and comfortable in their stay here. I am very fun and down to do almost anything. However, I also love low key outings where I can just chill”.
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”.