Whether it is building homes for disadvantaged families, visiting local orphanages or serving hot meals at the AGBU Senior Dining Centers, participants develop a deep sense of engagement with the country. A cornerstone of the program, community service connects each individual with their homeland and provides a unique opportunity for personal growth and development.
The participants earn a total of 40 hours of community service during the program and are presented with a certificate.
AGBU has a longstanding partnership with the Fuller Center for Housing and together, construction projects are implemented in different regions of Armenia.
The humanitarian dimension of the trip also includes visits to the AGBU Senior Dining Centers where the participants spend quality time with elders. Creating personal ties with the beneficiaries of AGBU's programs reinforces ties to the organization and continues to deepen the understanding of the value of its global network.
Throughout their stay, participants visit significant sites around Armenia.
Each summer, the group visits the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Tsitsernakaberd Memorial, Khor Virap, and the Matenadaran Museum of Ancient Armenian Manuscripts.
The program also includes day-trips to significant sights such as Garni, Geghard, Sardarapat, Noravank, Mount Aragats, Lake Sevan, as well as a visit to the ruins of Ani (from the Armenian side of the border).
Discover Armenia participants travel to Armenia from every corner of the globe, and engage in a number of cultural and educational activities in addition to the scheduled sightseeing and community service. One of the highlights of the summer is a group hike at Mount Aragats - the tallest mountain in Armenia. The students also enjoy a diverse selection of activities from Armenian folk dance and singing courses, to engaging in the grape benediction ceremony and festivities at the Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary.
Participants also become better acquainted with AGBU and our vast programming in Armenia and Artsakh with multiple visits to the AGBU Armenia and AGBU Armenian Virtual College offices. There is ample opportunity for engagement with other youth groups and activities sponsored by AGBU, including performances with students and instructors at the AGBU Nork Children's Center.
Finally, some of the greatest memories are made from the participants’ daily interactions with their peers. Living together, sharing a simple dinner, or enjoying an evening at a local restaurant, create bonds unlike any other.
Participants spend 18 days in a supervised environment. Both the Program Director and expert counselors live in the same accommodations and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our longtime Director of Summer Youth Programs (Armenia/France) Herminé Duzian leads the 2022 Discover Armenia Program once again this summer.
Along with a committed team of expert counselors, Herminé Duzian, the AGBU Director of Summer Youth Programs (Armenia/France), serves as the Program Director of Discover Armenia each summer. Participants are supervised for the entire duration of the trip.
An alumna of the AGBU Tarouhi Hagopian School in Lebanon, Herminé Duzian's lifelong involvement with AGBU and the Armenian community began in childhood as a young scout and athlete. Her positive childhood experiences led her to focus on AGBU youth programs throughout her career. Each summer, Herminé looks forward to teaching a new generation of Armenians about their cultural identity and heritage.
AGBU Discover Armenia expects a positive attitude and enthusiastic participation from all enrolled. Students must follow the directions of the Program Director and Staff. All participants require and should expect essentially equal attention. Behaviour detrimental to the safety or enjoyment of the experience will not be tolerated. A more comprehensive list of rules and regulations is listed on the Participant Code of Conduct and Agreement Form found on the application. This must be signed by each participant and legal guardian during registration.
A specific itinerary will be provided closer to the program start date and will be clearly communicated to participants and their families.
You can keep in touch with your child via email or phone. Each participant can bring his/her own international mobile phone (unlocked and capable of working with GSM systems) or buy one in Armenia. The participants can also use the free WiFi of the location of their stay to communicate with their families and friends. In case of emergency, you may reach out to the program director.
Zvartnots International Airport
The Program Fee does not include the price of plane tickets. All flight arrangements are expected to be made by the participant. Our Program Director will connect with you after enrollment to coordinate travel with each family.
Citizens of the following 45 countries can travel to Armenia without a visa: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
Nationals of countries not mentioned here should contact the closest Armenian embassy to check visa requirements.
All participants must bring a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after their departure date from Armenia.
The group will be staying in a newly-renovated building outside of Yerevan in Hankavan (a 40-minute drive out of the city). The site is equipped with modern dormitories, sport facilities and fields, as well as a swimming pool. All suites comprise 2 rooms with 3-4 beds each.
Participants enjoy a variety of healthy meals from traditional Armenian meals to sandwiches and continental cuisine. As the size of the group is large, we cannot accommodate special requests and expect that participants will enjoy the group meals provided. If your child has food allergies, please contact us in advance of enrollment to discuss the options available.
A complete packing list will be provided to participants prior to their arrival in Armenia. This will include our guidelines for attire as well as housing essentials. There is no laundry service on premises and so it is recommended participants bring enough clothing for 18 days.
The building will not be available before the beginning of the Program and after departure dates. If your child is arriving prior to the program start date, you are responsible for arranging accommodations in country in advance of or after the program.
Discover Armenia requires that all participants live together in AGBU housing. This fosters camaraderie and collaboration amongst the group. NO EXCEPTIONS will be made.
AGBU is requiring that all participants provide a proof of vaccination against COVID-19 prior to the start of program. Participants are living in close dormitory-style quarters and we must ensure the safety of all enrolled. Vaccination will reduce the potential for outbreak and medical attention. In addition, to enter the Republic of Armenia, participants will need to provide a negative PCR test 48 hours before arrival to Yerevan.
Please note that COVID-related regulations are changing rapidly. So if there are any last-minute changes, we will inform you via email.
Outside of COVID- 19 vaccinations, there are no other mandatory immunizations required for travel to Armenia. However, we recommend that you consult with your child's physician prior to his/her trip. All prescription medications and pre-exisiting conditions must be brought to the attention of program administrators in advance of enrollment. AGBU reserves the right to deny a participant if the Program Director feels she cannot accommodate a medical condition.
All participants must submit a health form disclosing health conditions that may affect their daily activities. AGBU is not responsible for managing the health care or developmental needs of the participants. If a student has severe allergies or other conditions that require medical oversight, please discuss these with the Program Director in an open and honest manner to determine whether the program is the right fit for your child.
Yes. All participants, regardless of age or country of origin, are required to have travel medical insurance during their time with AGBU Discover Armenia.
AGBU ensures 24-hour medical assistance onsite at the hosting facility. In case of emergency, medical support will be provided from the nearest hospital.
Our summer fees are €1000 euros or $1200 USD, Air Travel fees is not included.
The Participation Fee includes lodging expenses, meals as well all planned activities including tours, group dinners, organized trips out of town, and local sightseeing visits.
For financial aid, please, contact the Program Director with a request for application form.
The basic necessities (daily meals, lodging, and local transportation expenses) are included in the program fee. Spending money should be provided to each participant at the parents' discretion (150-200 EUR or USD should suffice).