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Since 2007, AGBU has made the dreams of Armenian Diasporan students come true by providing them the opportunity to visit our homeland. They come not as tourists, but rather as interns who live and work in the capital and contribute to Armenia. During the six-week program, interns begin to better understand today’s Armenia and strengthen the bonds with their homeland. They discover and explore our rich heritage, teach while being taught, and reassess their role in Armenia’s future. The 2013 AGBU Yerevan Summer Internship Program (YSIP) brought together 29 young adults from Australia, Lebanon, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Interns were immersed in Armenia by living and working in the capital. In addition to their daily work schedules, program elements included Armenian language classes at AGBU Armenia Virtual College (AVC), dance classes, discovering Yerevan’s hidden gems, and weekend trips around Armenia to sights many of them had previously only heard about from their parents and teachers. Interns now can proudly add to their resumes the international, professional and practical work experience they gained by working in a myriad of local and international organizations including the American University of Armenia (AUA), Arabkir Medical Center, Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), Emporium, Golden Apricot International Film Festival, Grant Thornton, Hetq News Agency, RA Ministry of Diaspora, National Art Gallery of Armenia, Office of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia, RepatArmenia Foundation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Women’s Resource Center, and more. One of the highlights of the program was the 4-day visit to Artsakh. The memorable trip to the south began with a visit to the Khor Virap Monastery, just 100 meters from the Turkish border and in the shadow of majestic Mount Ararat. Other stops included Noravank Monastery in Areni and the breathtaking Tatev Monastery – including a ride on the Tatev’s Wings tramway – before finally arriving in Stepanakert.

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