Established in 1939, Middle East University (MEU), in Beirut, Lebanon is in the unique position of being the only Seventh-day Adventist institution of higher education in the Middle East and one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in Lebanon. Middle East University sits nearly in the center of the 10/40 Window. For 80 years, MEU has helped students pursue knowledge in a faith-affirming context and has inspired them to change their world through committed and selfless service.
Middle East University welcomes students from around the world. Currently, MEU is proud to have students, faculty, and staff representing over 40 countries. This legacy of international, ethnic, and cultural diversity, within the student body and among the faculty, has contributed to a rich cultural heritage, and sets MEU apart from other universities, giving students at MEU a distinctive advantage. Students’ and alumni reports consistently describe Middle East University as a warm, friendly, family-oriented atmosphere that provides an oasis, ideal for studying and growing in Christ.
Middle East University is ideally positioned on Mount Lebanon at the eastern edge of the vibrant city of Beirut. This location affords plenty of opportunities to experience the exciting culture of the region while studying and living within the peaceful comfort of the university’s secure campus. Located in Sabtieh, an area named for the founding Adventist community, the beautiful, green, 33-hectare campus also boasts breathtaking views of Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea.
Parents are often understandably concerned about the safety of their children
studying in foreign countries with which they have little familiarity. As such, we
have built several safeguards into the program to facilitate communication with
the students and to establish boundaries for the program participants.
To ensure the safety of its residents, security personnel, who are instructed to
permit only those with specific University business onto the campus, guard the
gate to the campus. After midnight, the gate is locked and is only accessible by
remote controls, which are only issued to residents of the campus.
General travel within Lebanon is safe, and crimes such as petty theft and assault
are infrequent. Additionally, it should be noted that Lebanon has exceptionally low
crime rates according to Interpol statistics compared with the majority of large
metropolitan areas in America.
Ranked as the 5th most spoken language in the world, the native language of over 280 million people, one of the six working languages of the United Nations, and one of 13 critical languages identified by the US Department of State, Arabic is a language for which there is great demand. Arabic is also the language of Islam, spoken by over a billion people worldwide. It is the living medium of a vibrant contemporary literature and culture. In the globalized world of today, competence in Arabic is an invaluable asset to jobs in government, international fields, and— most importantly— mission service.
MEU’s Arabic program utilizes Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as a baseline for engaging in Arabic language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). Modern Standard Arabic also comprises a baseline for understanding Arabic grammar generally and for engaging the main Arabic dialects (Levantine, Gulf, Egyptian, Iraqi, Kurdish, North Africa).
The program’s proficiency guidelines and assessment rubrics reflect ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language) proficiency categories for each of the four language skills in evaluating functional language ability. ACTFL is a recognized American standard, which will assure MEU meeting ACA criterion.
The ACA Arabic program at MEU is not just about having fun in a new culture —whether it is learning how to cook traditional Lebanese food or traveling like Lawrence of Arabia in the Wadi Desert— but it is also about serving the local community. Students who enroll in the ACA program have a variety of opportunities to help local refugees, while also practicing their Arabic language skills.
As part of the Arabic Language and Culture program, students can serve twice a week to work with refugees in a variety of ways, including working with ADRA, teaching children at the Adventist Learning Center, and striving to meet the needs of refugee women. This internship is approximately 75 hours per credit, up to 1 or 1.5 per semester and 3 per school year, inclusive of all work, including coordination and preparation, providing feedback afterward, and creating and presenting an oral and visual report at the end. Other opportunities to get internship credits are: communication, marketing, teaching, television, IT, business, graphic design, photography, and chaplaincy.
Along with the classes and service-oriented activities, students participate in cultural outings, traveling to various historic and iconic destinations within Lebanon like Baalbek, Tyre, Sidon, Tripoli, Harissa, Byblos, Jeitta Grotto, and the famous Cedars of Lebanon. Three international trips are selected out of four possible countries: Egypt (Cairo), Jordan (Petra), Turkey (Istanbul), and United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi).
Students will find Lebanon, and particularly Beirut, to be a very open and accepting Mediterranean culture and society with a unique European flavor. The cultural mix (European, Mediterranean, Arab, Persian, Turkish) is expressed in lifestyle, food, and dress quite familiar to European and American students.
The natural beauty of Lebanon inspires exploration. From relaxing days swimming at the beach to exciting adventures skiing, camping or hiking in the mountains, students will find that Lebanon provides an eclectic array of outdoor activities.
A free Tourist Visa is granted to most Western country passport holders upon arrival to Lebanon. Corresponding information and instructions will be provided by the ACA office. Any additional questions may be directed/answered by the Director of the ACA program at MEU.
Scheduled outings may include the following: