MEI Travel Logistics


The Institute of Middle East Studies provides brand new accommodation and facilities with quality, professional and friendly service at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) campus.  All students will be housed with a roommate in double occupancy rooms the week of the Middle East Conference. For the remaining four weeks, the choice of a single room is usually possible for an additional cost. Alternative accommodations can be arranged in advance.


Apart from the Middle East Consultation, during which students will be eating all meals with other conference participants, students pay per meal on the ABTS campus or may eat elsewhere. The basic rate for staying at ABTS during the entire 5 weeks includes daily breakfast. Special diets or menus can be arranged by prior agreement. Lunch and Dinner at ABTS costs $6/meal.

The demands of the practicum placement and language study may often require students to purchase meals outside ABTS or pack daily meals, as they will often be away from ABTS. This is especially true with regard to lunch. Meal costs should be planned accordingly.


Students are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Beirut, although it is recommended to coordinate flights with fellow participants if possible.  IMES/ABTS must be informed of student’s travel itinerary in order for us to arrange airport pick-up.

Students are ultimately responsible for their own travel within Lebanon to and from their ministry placement sites, language school and the ABTS campus. IMES/ABTS is very willing to help arrange travel for students, but it is the responsibility of the student to cover travel costs.

That being said, most previous Middle East Immersion students have preferred to take public transportation and consider the process of figuring out the public transit system an integral part of the immersion experience. For those interested in public transportation, the main road is a 10-15 minute walk from the ABTS campus. Unfortunately, wheelchair accessibility is extremely limited in Lebanon. 

Passport – Visa

A passport and visa are required for travel to Lebanon.  Passports must remain valid for at least 6 months after your date of entry.

U.S. citizens staying no longer than 1 month (extendable up to 3 months) can obtain their visa upon arrival in Lebanon ($35 fee, or $70 for multiple-entry visa).  For longer stays, a visa must be obtained in advance from the Lebanese Embassy or Consulate.

Note: All visa applicants holding an Israeli visa in their passport at the time of applying for visa or arrival in Lebanon will NOT be granted a visa and/or be admitted to Lebanon. 

Immunizations and Medical

No special immunizations are required for travel to Lebanon.

Students are required to complete any necessary medical evaluations and/or forms for their respective academic institutions prior to international travel, for example listing any existing health needs, medical conditions, and allergies that should be taken into account in planning the trip. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they are adequately fit to participate in the MEI program and IMES reserves the right to request a medical examination before travel.

It is strongly recommended that students have a current tetanus shot, update routine vaccinations including measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), and discuss your travel plans with a health care provider.

Students may wish to consider the following recommended vaccinations:

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following vaccines for travel to the Middle East (

  • Hepatitis A.  Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are contaminated and eaten uncooked.
  • Hepatitis B.  Transmission may occur via exposure to blood or body fluids, or in medical treatment.
  • Malaria Information for Travelers to the Middle East.  If you are traveling to a malaria-risk area in this region, see your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug.
  • Rabies.   Pre-exposure vaccination recommended if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, including camping, hiking, bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
  • Typhoid.  Contraction occurs through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected (for example, street vendors).


MEI participants are responsible for purchasing their own airfare tickets.  Please carefully read about and consider the safety of air carriers, as not all air carriers meet Western safety standards:

It is recommended that students purchase a refundable ticket if possible. However, this increases the price of the ticket.


Students will be voluntarily assuming any dangers and risks involved with traveling to Lebanon.  IMES assumes no responsibility or liability, in whole or in part, for any sickness, disease, injuries (including death), losses, damages, weather, strikes, acts of God, quarantine, civil unrest, criminal activity, terrorism, accident, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused, which may be experienced during travel to, from, in, at, or around Lebanon.  Please carefully read notices issued by the U.S. Department of State:

Students should thoroughly read and sign a Release from Liability for their respective institutions.


[1] $5/Day for those not residing at ABTS