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International

Incoming mobility - Useful information

Any passenger traveling to Lebanon should always refer to the website of the Ministry of Public Health BEFORE leaving for Lebanon to check the latest ministerial circulars and the conditions of entry into the territory.
Given these uncertain times in which the world is going through, we advise you to book refundable and modifiable plane tickets.
For any emergency and/or in case you needed to complete the forms related to the Ministry of Public Health (if applicable), international students can use the emergency number of the International Relations office: +961 81 115 706 (reachable on WhatsApp, by SMS and telephone).

Until further notice and as per the guidelines of the WHO (confirmed with Beirut Health Organization), all passengers arriving to Lebanon should:

  • Undergo a PCR in one the laboratories accredited by the competent authorities in the countries from which they departed within a maximum of 96 hours before the date of issuance of the result until arriving to Lebanon. Only passengers who show a negative PCR test are allowed to travel to Lebanon.
  • Undergo a 2nd PCR test upon arrival at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport and quarantine at your place of residence while awaiting the result of this test.

N.B: all passengers who have received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, minimum 15 days before their departure for Lebanon, are exempted from performing a PCR test at the countries they are coming from before their arrival to Lebanon.
However, they shall perform a PCR test upon their arrivalat Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport in accordance with Circular N.7 / 2.

Once in Lebanon, students must:

  • Declare themselves at their embassies and comply with their guidelines.
  • Avoid all areas defined at risk by their embassies.
  • Follow up on the latest socio-political and economic news of the country by regularly checking the following sites:

International students coming to USJ must mandatorily subscribe to USJ group insurance covering sudden illness, hospitalization and repatriation. The terms and conditions of this insurance will be provided to you in a separate document.

You will not be able to register at your affiliate faculty without having provided proof of subscription to USJ’s insurance. In order to do that, students must:

  • Fill and send the insurance documents (that you will receive by email in pdf version)before their arrival to the international relations sri.mobilite@usj.edu.lb by email in ONE PDF document.
  • Finalize, once in Lebanon, the payment of the insurance either through bank transfer (in USD or euros) to USJ’s account (which details will be provided to you in due time) or in cash USD at the financial office of USJ (4th floor, Berytech building, Damascus road, Beirut).
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The international relations department will then proceed with the request to activate the insurance and will contact the student at a later stage to pick up the insurance card.

European and/or Canadian passport holders can get a tourist visa upon arrival at the airport.
However, it is highly recommended to apply, before the mobility, for a multiple entry visa covering the whole stay at the nearest Lebanese embassy or consulate.
To get a visa, students need to make sure that:

  • The passport is valid for at least 6 months as of the arrival date to Lebanon
  • There is no mention of Israel on the passport (visa stamp etc.)
  • They have their USJ acceptance letter
  •  

Check the Lebanese General Security website for more info.

Students are responsible for searching, finding and booking their housing by themselves. However, many options are available:

  • Shared apartments is by far the preferred option for international students. The offers are usually from individual to individual but mainly through the Facebook group « Mobilité internationale USJ ». We recommend students to join the group and check it out.
  • USJ Residence: it is located on Damascus Street next to the Rectorate, facing the French Embassy. It offers single or double-set rooms divided into two wings: one for girls, the other for boys. Places are however very limited and not always guaranteed which is why students must book in advance by sending an email to residence.etudiants@usj.edu.lb and wait for their reply.
  • Nearby dorms and residencies: you can check the list on this link.
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In order for USJ to book a taxi for you to pick you up at the airport, you must send a copy of your flight ticket along with the following information as soon as possible by email to sri.mobilite@usj.edu.lb:

Family name

Name

Flight number

Airline company

Date of arrival (dd/mm/yy)

Exact hour of arrival
(please indicate if AM or PM)

Residency address in Lebanon (even if provisional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reimbursement/payment of the taxi will be done on site in Lebanese pounds at the international relations office once settled down a few days after your arrival.
The “USJ special price” will vary depending on the route to the destination and depending on the evolution of the economic situation in Lebanon (possibility of lifting gasoline subsidies etc.).

N.B: If you do not want USJ to reserve a taxi for you, you will still need to give us the details of the person/other taxi company who will pick you up at the airport. Note that the prices may be much higher than what USJ offers you.

In order to circulate in Beirut, students can:

  1. Book a taxi online such as Uber, Careem or Allo Taxi.
  2. Book a taxi in advance with a private company by calling and requesting a taxi at a specific time.  Here are come companies located in Beirut that have affordable prices:
    Queen Taxi: +961 1 423 340
    Badaro Taxi: +961 1 384 678 | +961 3 286 027
    More options on this link: https://www.beirut.com/Taxi
    P.S: It is always better to ask for the price in advance
  3. Use the collective taxi called "SERVICE" for inter-Beirut rides. Until further notice, the fee can vary between 4.000 and 8.000 L.L. depending on the ride.
  4. Use the Buses to go outside Beirut (check the Bus Map Project and www.zawarib.net

International students should strictly comply with the official academic calendar of USJ and refer to their host faculty for any further details regarding teaching mode (online, hybrid or onsite), exams dates, make-up sessions etc.


IMPORTANT NOTE: students registered at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences (FDSP) or wishing to follow one or more courses in it must know that the FDSP has its own academic calendar that is different from USJ’s. Please refer directly to the secretariat of the faculty for more information and details on this subject: fdsp@usj.edu.lb

The final learning agreement cannot be finalized until onsite registration after being approved by the academic coordinators based on courses availability, schedules and within the limits of places available for each course.

Official registration is done at the host faculty and not at the international relations office. To do so, students need to:

  1. Go to the administration office of the host faculty or contact them by email,
  2. Check the semester’s courses availability and schedules,
  3. If needed, students can ask to see or get in touch with the head of the department or Dean of the faculty,
  4. Finalize the learning agreement based on the number of credits/ECTS that must be validated at the home institution upon return,
  5. Finalize your registration based on the host faculty’s procedure.

Very important reminders:

  • The majority of the courses should be taken at one faculty.
  • If you want to take courses at a faculty other than your host one, then you must give the code as well as the title of the course(s) in question to the administration of your host faculty.
  • Bachelor students can only choose Bachelor courses and, if really needed, not more than one or two Master courses.
  •  Based on USJ’s internal regulations, the maximum number of ECTS that any student can register in is 36 ECTS per semester.

Arabic session: if you would like take an Arabic session, you need to pass by the Centre de Recherches et d’Etudes d’Arabe (CREA) at the Campus des Sciences Humaines (CSH), Damascus street, Beirut, in order to fill the form and check courses availability and schedules.


Payment of the Arabic session:

  • The 1st session is free as long as it is part of the final learning agreement approved by all parties. However, if you decide to take a 2nd one ; whether during the same semester or the next one, then you will need to pay 50% of the total cost and it should also be part of your approved learning agreement.
  • Exceptionally, only students initially enrolled in Language fields of studies can benefit from free Arabic sessions.

NOTE: You have up to 2 weeks as of the date of the beginning of courses at your HOST faculty to modify and finalize your registration. After this date, no modification will be allowed.

N.B: upon registering, please provide an official passport photo (white or gray background) to the administration of your host faculty so that they can prepare your student card that you will receive once it is ready.

Once the registration is done, students will have to fill a new and final learning agreement (2nd page), have it signed by both academic coordinators of the home institution and USJ then hand it to the international relations office of USJ within the first 2 weeks since the start of the courses at their host faculty.

The student’s personal credentials (username and password) will be sent via SMS on an active mobile number (preferably a Lebanese one). They will allow them to access USJ’s Wi-Fi network on all campuses as well as the online student website (site de l’étudiant) where they can have access to their grades, moodle etc. 

The official transcript of records will be sent in scanned copies at the end of the semester – once the grades would be inserted on USJ’s internal portal – to the international relations office of the student’s home institution by email (and the student will be in cc.). Students must count at least one month after the end of the exams.

Students who buy a Lebanese SIM card from ALFA or TOUCH should send their number to their host faculty as well as the international relations office on sri.mobilite@usj.edu.lb.
In order to activate the student plan, students should be under 25 years old and:

  • Have an active Lebanese sim card containing a minimum of 15 USD in their mobile account
  • Access their profile on the site de l’étudiant using the username and password that they received via SMS.
  • Click on MON USJ à Bouquet Alfa et Touch à ACTIVER l’option
    P.S: an SMS will be sent later on to Alfa or Touch and a few days later, the student will receive an SMS including the instructions to follow in order to activate the option.

 

In case of any technical problems, do not hesitate to contact – for free – Alfa or Touch by dialing 111 or to pass by the IT office of any USJ campus or simply contact USJ HELP DESK (Helpdesk@usj.edu.lb)

The Sports Center is located at the Innovation and Sport Campus (CIS), Damascus road, Block A, 4th floor. To register, students must have their letter of acceptance or student card, once obtained. This registration will give them access to the gym, squash room and indoor pool.

The Student package – which must be paid at the reception of the center in cash USD – is, up until now, as follows:

  • 20 USD for 1 month
  • 90 USD for 6 months
  • 165 USD for 12 months

 

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday: from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday : closed

Contact: centresportif@usj.edu.lb   

Students can also check the various sport selections and join the different USJ teams.
Contact: Mr. Maroun Khoury (maroun.khoury@usj.edu.lb)

Student life:
The Department of Student Life’s mission is to mobilize student life within the University through helping student bodies organize projects and through supporting various student structures such as USJ Clubs (music, law, scouts, cinéclub, mediation, discovery, etc.), Amicales USJ (student groups), the University Pastoral etc. For more info: sve@usj.edu.lb

Volunteering via “USJ on mission”:
USJ has always insisted on the civic engagement of its students and has tirelessly sought to promote justice in a society that lacks of it. Volunteering and civic engagement are in fact one of the missions of our University.

Following the serious economic crisis that has hit Lebanon and Lebanese citizens since 2019, all student structures were taking actions to try to relieve, help and be present with families in need. This is how the “USJ on mission” project was born.

“USJ on Mission” brings together several structures of Saint Joseph University of Beirut: the pastoral, Day 7 Operation, and the Department of Student Life. This project was officially launched in April 2020 to collect food and money to help families in need affected by the economic situation in Lebanon. Initiations and actions were launched with more than 3,000 families in need. And, in June, it was decided to maintain this project for the long term. Thus, the project now engages with 250 families by sending a box of food every month.

Following the explosion that shook Beirut on August 4, 2020, actions were carried out at different levels and several services have been provided: medical, legal, psychosocial, clearing – renovation – catering, meeting food and material needs.

For more info: https://www.usj.edu.lb/usjenmission/index.php  
Contact: Father Jad Chebli, s.j. aumonerie.usj@usj.edu.lb / jad.chebli@usj.edu.lb  
Telephone: +9611421000 ext. 2103 / +96176189698

Considering the socio-economic crisis through which Lebanon is going through, many conditions and rules can be imposed regarding the withdrawal of money in international currencies ($ or €). We advise you to bring with you an amount of cash money that you can exchange, onsite, for Lebanese pounds (L.L.), according to your needs.
Note that the cost of living is worth around $ 800 per month (which was worth 1,200,000 L.L. at the official rate of $ 1 = 1,500 L.L. but which, today, is worth way more with a black market and money exchange office rate varying between 1$ = 13.000 L.L. as of June 3 on the black market and money exchange offices).
You can also have “fresh” money transferred to you in cash $ through OMT, but beware; even this option may change from a day to another…
As for using your international credit card in Lebanon (in ATMs, online payments etc.), refer to your home bank for details. Generally, you can withdraw money from Lebanese ATMs but in Lebanese pounds only and at the official rate adopted by banks ($ 1 = 3.900 L.L. up until now).

Opening hours:
Our office located at Rectorat USJ, Damascus road, is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. or between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Contacts: sri.mobilite@usj.edu.lb

 

Telephone: +961 1 421 000 ext.: 1275 (Melissa) - 1158 (Nayla)

Students can have items and letters delivered to the following USJ address and we will contact them by email upon receipt.


Address:
UNIVERSITE SAINT-JOSEPH
Service des relations internationales
Melissa Greck ou Nayla Hocheimy Hajj (c/o « your name »)
Rectorat, Rue de Damas, Beyrouth, Liban
Tél: +961 1 421 000 ext. 1275-1158

IMPORTANT: Please note that sometimes, extra fees might be charged. USJ will cover them only if the student pays back or else we will not hand them their item.

For any practical information, students can check:

Here are some links to know more about tourism in Lebanon:

 

Enjoy your stay😄