Armenia is a wonderland of forests and highlands, and is the home of the second largest lake in the world. It is famous for its cafe culture, and boasts a rich and fascinating history. Are you looking to study abroad in a place that will leave you mesmerized by the beautiful architecture and landscapes, and in awe of the friends you will make? Armenia is the place for you.
Geography & Demographics
Armenia is a product of an ancient and significant history. With the founding of capital city Yerevan dating back to 782 BC, this is a country where every place has a story or holds meaning. Archaeologists excavating caves in the Armenian highlands have unearthed the world’s earliest known shoe, skirt, and winery. Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, which accounts for Russian influences and history throughout the country. The nation’s complex past includes the tragic Armenian Massacres of the early 1900s by the Ottoman Empire, one of history’s most studied cases of genocide.
Today, despite some of its darker days in the 20th century, Armenia sparkles in the midst of Eurasia. Studying in Armenia can be your path to real adventure. Within its gorgeous highlands lies Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Armenia, and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. It is home to several beaches, resorts, and activities.
Food & Culture
If your closest contact with Armenian people is watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Armenians are known for being generous, kind, and easy-going, so making local friends will come easily. Everywhere you go you’ll get a warm welcome, and you’ll soon learn to love your home away from home.
Studying abroad in Armenia will definitely include memorable meals. Relationships are forged at the dinner table, while enjoying the splendors of traditional Armenian food. Armenian cuisine is influenced by several factors, including history, geography, and traditional crops and animals of the country. Staples found in many meals include lamb, eggplant, mayonnaise, yogurt, and bread. Many dishes will also include nuts, fruits, pickles, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. Make sure you always try mezze, or the appetizers that are often served for the table to share — they pack big flavors into small plates!
As with any other country, it’s important to understand transportation options as well as money and costs. Armenia has extensive roads and expressways that are all paved, and many locals drive cars. Consequently, you can grab a taxi and get anywhere in the country. Public transportation is also very good, and quite inexpensive. You can take a minibus or bus almost anywhere, and there are bus stations throughout each community and province that will help you figure out where to go.
The currency in Armenia is the dram or AMD. A dram is divided into 100 luma. However, the best cash currencies to use in Armenia include the U.S. dollar, euros, or Russian roubles. Money can be exchanged in most places throughout Armenia, particularly in Yerevan. Travelers’ checks are not recommended, but ATM cards and credit cards are widely accepted.
Things to Do
Spend a day or ten exploring the shores of Lake Sevan offers jet skiing, windsurfing, sailing, swimming, sunbathing, and much more. You might also venture over to the Sevanavank monastery, one of the most famous monuments in Armenia, off the northwestern shore of Lake Sevan. Originally on an island, the monastery now sits on a peninsula since the waters of the lake fell.
Studying in Armenia
Whether you choose to study the unique and sophisticated Armenian language, whimsical Armenian art, or any other of the many educational opportunities available throughout the country, you’re sure to gain knowledge that will quench your thirst for an international education. One of the most regarded universities in Armenia is Yerevan State University in the country’s capital, Yerevan. The largest university in the country, this prestigious institution houses over 110 different academic departments. Another popular institution is the American University of Armenia, modeled after higher education practices in Western societies. The Eurasian Regional Language Program supports undergraduate and graduate students interested in studying non-Russian language. The ERLP can help arrange language and history study at the local universities.
Many study abroad programs in Armenia offer homestays, which will allow you to truly immerse yourself in the Armenian culture and language.
Studying abroad in Armenia is an unforgettable experience. The people, culture, food, and land are mesmerizing, and will leave you with a sense of belonging. Armenia is a beautiful, welcoming, and spiritually rich country to visit and work on your studies.