Area: 10, 452 sq km
Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows
Population: 4 million inhabitants (2010 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Government type: republic
Independence Day: 22 November (1943)
Currency: Lebanese pound (LBP);1 LBP = 0.0006569 US Dollar (USD); 1 USD = 1 523.94 LBP
GDP: $58.65 billion (2010 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): $14,200 (2010 est.)
Information for Foreign Students in Lebanon
Obtaining a visaA passport is required and must be valid six months after the return date of your stay in Lebanon. Your passport must not bear a visa or a stamp from Israel. A passport stamped by Israel leads to a refusal. The visa is compulsory, to get one, go to the Lebanon Embassy in your home country with the required documents or go on the website. It will be valid for 90 days from the date of delivering. European Union nationals can also obtain a visa at the Beirut airport. To do so, you only have to hold a valid passport. The price of the visa obtained upon your arrival depends on the date of entry and the duration of your stay in Lebanon. Count 35 US dollars for a three-month single entry visa.
It is strongly advised to book an accommodation well before your arrival in Lebanon. It is a small country, so accommodation options are relatively limited; especially since real estate has suffered of fifteen years of war. Residences and monasteries are the most economic. Youth hostel is a type of accommodation which is booming. There is a Lebanese federation of youth hostels: BP 5520, 11 Beirut, Tel: (01) 366-099. Guesthouses and rooms in a local family are starting to develop. It allows you to plunge into the heart of the Lebanese society for a moderate price.
Cost of Living
Compared to the standards of the Middle East, Lebanon is quite expensive. The annual budget needed for daily expenses of a student varies between: 5000 USD and 8000 USD. Some examples of daily life: renting of a room 50 USD/ week, bus ticket = 0.34 USD, hamburger: 1.67 USD, Coca-Cola can: 0.50 USD, cup of coffee: 1 USD.
The dollar is used in many transactions. There is no problem to change your currency in this country where the banking system is one of the most developed of the Middle East. Exchange offices accept almost all convertible currencies. Payment by credit cards is becoming more prevalent in shops, restaurants and upper and middle class hotels. You can find numerous cash machines in main cities
You can make international calls from hotels, post office and stores. Regarding the mobile network, the entire territory is covered by two local operators (Cellis and Libancell). Mobile phones are commonly used in Lebanon.
No vaccinations are required. However, some vaccines are recommended: tetanus, hepatitis B, diphtheria for children. Remember to register for a health insurance in your country before travelling. Avoid drinking tap water or water served in a carafe at restaurants. Mineral water bottle is safer and very cheap.
Lebanon is a small country. You only need three hours to run through it. Buses connect Beirut to other major cities, but their frequency is lower in comparison to that of taxis. The bus is the most popular means of transportation. The "taxi services" or "services" are the most popular taxis. They can carry up to 5 passengers, each of them having to pay 1/5 of the total amount of the journey. It is best to negotiate the fare before your departure. Finally, renting a car offers a high degree of autonomy and is affordable given the competition in the market and the low price of fuel.