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Msc Jaroslav Valtr, Brno University of Technology,ročník 4
About the country
Location of the place
Lebanon is considered as a link between Europe and the Middle East. The life here is not that strict compared to other countries in the region. This could be caused by the diversity of religions which can be found in the country.
Beirut is the capital and also the largest city in Lebanon. The city can look like one big chaos for someone like me with no experiences with the Middle East but locals have their own rules and you will get used to them very quickly. You can experience both fancy parts for rich people as well as less developed parts where people live in modest living conditions. In general, everyone can find something interesting here.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
Trips were very well organized by local members of IAESTE. Our group of interns visited all the most important and interesting place in Lebanon.
I was very lucky since I worked for one of the top project management companies in Lebanon D.G. Jones. The company was founded by Donald G. Jones in 1962 in Beirut. Since then, the company has operated continuously across the Middle East providing construction consultancy specializing in Quantity Surveying and Project Management.
I worked as a member of Project Management Team responsible for the biggest shopping mall in Lebanon. My responsibility was to control variations (changes) executed during the final stage of the project. Firstly, the contractor submitted certain variation which was executed with permission of the customer. Our goal was to assess whether the change was executed correctly and check the numbers (unit rates, quantities). After this stage, negotiations with all companies involved in the variation took place.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
As an intern, you can expect a salary of the full-time employee but I was able to cover all my expenses for food and trips around Lebanon with my salary. In general, it is a personal issue since I did not go to clubs or pubs that often.
The company required good language skills but in my point of view, the position required excellent language skills since the communication for all tasks was crucial. All members of our team were fluent in English and I did not have any problems to talk to them about all kind of topics.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
The accommodation was provided by the American University of Beirut and was free of charge.I lived in dorms and shared a room with a student from Libya. I did not have any problems during my stay.
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organised events...)
As promised by the contact person Sara, a taxi driver was waiting for me at the airport. Local IAESTE members were absolutely amazing people who took care of us during the whole stay. As mentioned above trips around the country took place every weekend. In addition, we had a welcome dinner and several "meetings" in pubs or clubs.
Meeting other foreign students
Our group consisted of around 20 people from different countries in Europe and Asia. Some of us were quite busy during the week so regular meeting took place mostly during the weekend or after our trips.
Sport and culture
The campus provides fully equipped gym as well as swimming pool. In addition, the private beach is also available.
Food, local specialties
We have tried plenty of meals during our trips but I really do not remember any names. No worries, locals will help.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Be patient, everything takes a bit longer. Be flexible, not everything is working according to the plan. Be curious, you can learn a lot about the region, culture and all the things behind the scene.
What not to forget with you
You do not need anything special but sun glasses can be handy.
Benefits of the internship
Oh, where should I start?! The period in Lebanon was one of the best in my life. All aspects (work, company, people, cultural experience) were great and I can only recommend this country to people who would ask me.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Very simple and straightforward communication with Sara Halwani. I did not have any problems. All issues were easily solved.
Overall experience with IAESTE
No problems from the beginning until the very end.
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