Small, yet mighty, Armenia is a landlocked country whose scenery never fails to surprise foreign guests. Mountain passes, valleys, and canyons make a study in Armenia feel much larger than it really is, especially when basking on the shores of Lake Sevan’s seemingly endless waters. Armenia’s mountains and valleys serve as a picture-perfect metaphor for the rising and falling made apparent by the country’s turbulent history, while the fusion of strength and humility evident in an Armenian panorama makes it the perfect place to study abroad!
Best Places to Study in Armenia
Just over 3 million citizens call the fairytale-like setting of Armenia as home. It’s nestled in a gateway region between Asia and Europe, and so has seen influence by many different cultures from all over the world throughout its expansive history. So no matter what enchanting location you drop your jaw at, it will be a cultural immersion like none other.
Armenia’s sepia-toned architecture is softened by the greenery-filled gardens and parks in Yerevan–an unexpected delight where few traces of the country’s past remain. Antiquated teahouses sit arm-in-arm with modern wine bars and watch the passing of the many eclectic street fashions–ranging from hipster to babushka. In winter, freezing temperatures coax people into pandoks (taverns), where khoravats (BBQ meats), oghee (fruit vodka), and traditional music warm the soul.
Because Yerevan is the largest city by far, most students are limited to the metropolis when it comes to studying in Armenia. But for the trailblazers always looking to devise a plan to stray off the beaten path, have no fear. Armenia conceals much of its exotic nature in some of the more remote cities. Armenia's second-largest city, Gyumri, is working hard to reconstruct and fulfill its hidden potential as a more popular tourist destination. It has kicked-off its revitalization with a bustling market that slings local delicacies you might see Andrew Zimmern chowing down on.
Popular Subjects to Study in Armenia
Contrary to the country’s sparsity, there are a plethora of subjects and courses available to foreign students. No matter which educational opportunity you choose to take advantage of, studying abroad in Armenia will quench your thirst for an international education.
One of the most regarded universities for study in Armenia is Yerevan State University, in the country’s capital. As 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.
Armenians know a thing or two about conflict resolution, making political science and conflict studies the most sought after study abroad programs in Armenia. Armenian and Russian language programs are also prevalent, while further programs usher in literature and history buffs.
Costs of Studying in Armenia
Study abroad programs in Armenia typically require students to pay a set amount in program fees. What’s included in your program will vary, but most will cover accommodation, meals, and tuition. Visas, vaccinations, and flights are usually left up to each student to arrange, but program advisors are always available to help you dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Once you hit the ground, One U.S. Dollar will get you about 485 AMD, the local currency known as the Armenian dram. Prices while you study in Armenia are in close comparison to U.S. prices, especially in the bigger cities, such as Yerevan. The good news is that most of your costs are included in those program fees so you won’t have to worry about pinching pennies while enjoying a once in a lifetime experience.
Accommodation in Armenia
No matter where you stay while studying abroad in Armenia, your surroundings will be stunningly beautiful. And as it turns out, the paperwork isn’t all that bad either.
A dorm-style situation shared with other study abroaders will be your most likely abode if you are studying at a major university in the city. But if you want to take it a step further, many study abroad programs in Armenia offer homestays, which will allow you to truly immerse yourself in the Armenian culture and language.
Armenian Visas for Students
Armenia’s visa policy varies depending on factors such as your home country, but U.S. and most European passport holders are no longer required to obtain a visa to study abroad in Armenia. Program advisors will help you to sort out any paperwork or proper documentation you may need upon arrival as well. For more information on the process, check out GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Noshings. If you’re partial to good home cooking (the way your grandmother used to make it) then welcome home. Armenian food is based largely on local ingredients, combined simply and honed to perfection. Armenian fruits and vegetables are a special treat and you will never forget the taste of juicy Armenian apricot, peach, or pomegranate.
Language Barrier. English is rarely spoken in Armenia, making the language barrier a significant factor. Armenian and Russian are the two most widely spoken languages in the country so you will have many more options if you’re proficient in either one of these languages. Those who don't speak Armenian or Russian may find communication difficult, but travelling here is still as rewarding as it is revelatory. P.S. remember to keep any chatter about Turkey and Azerbaijan to a minimum.
Personal Bubble. Armenians communicate open-heartedly, which in turn minimizes personal space. Armenians prefer to converse face-to-face and without breaking eye contact and it is rather common that they ask personal questions (#nofilter). In spite of this, Armenians are very polite, compassionate, and take to heart other people’s hardships.
Road Less Traveled. While Western Europe is a booming zone for tourism, the eastern half of the continent remains far less traveled. If you want a unique experience exploring a region chalk full of complex history and cultures, go rogue in Armenia. It will make all the difference and shine even brighter on your resume.
Despite some of its darker days, Armenia sparkles in the midst of Eurasia. Diving head first into this mysterious culture does not guarantee ease and comfort, but it does offer something much better: a chance for growth beyond knowledge that will facilitate a mindfulness that cannot be shaken.