SIX WEEKS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND HERITAGE REDISCOVERY (VIDEO MATERIAL)

“This is the 9th year of the AGBU Yerevan Summer Intern Program (YSIP). The program allows the participants to see the real Armenia, its traditions and culture and everyday life. During the 6 weeks, we travel around the country, visit orphanages, take Armenian Language and traditional dance classes, prepare Armenian traditional dishes, as well as visit Artaskh. Sightseeing and cultural trips are certainly an inseparable part of the program. The schedule of the program is rather full and we spare neither effort nor expense to allow for our students to get to know Armenia, love and contribute to the welfare of their Homeland”, said Gayane Manukyan, AGBU YSIP coordinator.

This year, AGBU Yerevan Summer Intern Program hosted 16 students from the USA, Russia, France and Lebanon as part of a large and united family. The interns spent six weeks working in leading local and international organizations to not only enhance their own knowledge but share their expertise with their Armenian colleagues. This year, the program participants were hosted by such renowned organizations as the United Nations (UN), RA Human Rights Defender office, Women’s Resource Center, Malayan’s Eye Care Center, “Arabkir” Medical Center, Deem Communications, Jinishian Memorial Foundation, Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, PicsArt, WiCastr and ICARE companies, “ImageMan” Architectural and Interior Design Studio,” Orran” Charitable Non-Governmental Organization, Paris Hotel.

“I learnt about this program from one of my friends. She recommended it as the best summer of his life and I knew I had to apply. Now I work at the Arabkir Medical Center with children with epilepsy, take notes, and follow the course of their treatment. Honestly, my internship is very informative and important. The diagnostic process, discussions and talks with the specialists help me gain a deeper understanding of my chosen field. The applied methods are different in Armenia compared to the US, which allows me to compare the two different approaches, and get a better handle on the issues at hand. I came here with an eagerness to help and I am trying to find the best way to do that. I love Armenia very much and I can now also say that this was my best summer ever”, said Rita Shehiryan from California, the USA.

As part of the program, the group also visited Artsakh, learned about its history and culture, and met the Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs Armine Aleksanyan who introduced them to the current process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. Participants also visited Shushi, Gandzasar and Tigranakert. This year’s tours throughout Armenia also included Lake Sevan, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery and Sardarapat. The group also travelled to the Armenian-Turkish border in Gyumri, from where they could admire the ruins of our historic lands in Ani. “Deem Communications has hosted AGBU interns for the last six years from different parts of the US, and with various backgrounds and areas of interest. We give the interns an authentic Armenian experience and in return they give us international experiences and an alternative approach. We had an AGBU intern last year who returned to Armenia and asked to work with us again for another two months because he felt that he had become a part of our Deem family. When they come to Armenia with a program such as this, they realize just how unique and amazing their Homeland really is and if the right bonds are established they always return”, said the founder of Deem Communications Raffi Niziblian.

During the program, the participants also visited the American University of Armenia, AGBU Armenian Virtual College, TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, Ayb School, Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and the Genocide Museum. The interns spent a day with children of “Orran” Charitable Non-Governmental Organization. They also took a course in traditional Armenian cuisine, at the end of which they were able to prepare traditional Armenian dishes such as dolma and manti. They also had the chance to take part in an Armenian Wines tasting session organized by ICARE and the EVN Wine Academy. Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan hosted the interns at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. While touring the grounds he spoke at length about their spiritual journeys and Armenian identity concluding with a visit to the Ruben Sevak museum.

Climbing to the top of Mount Aragats was another highlight of the 6 week program along with a visit to the AGBU Antranik Scout Camp in the Lori region of Armenia. The program also allowed the participants to get in touch with their roots through Armenian language and traditional dance classes. After six weeks, the participants showcased their talents during their final performance at the AGBU and Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin’s Nork Children’s Center. The program ended with a formal reception at the Yerevan Folk Arts Museum with the interns, their supervisors and colleagues and AGBU representatives.

 

VIDEO MATERIAL

 

 

 

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