Gaya Balian and Nairy Bzdigian

Gaya Balian (BAEC ’25) and Nairy Bzdigian (BAEC ’24): AUA, From Inside and Out

2 min read

American University of Armenia (AUA) students live a unique experience, as they are members of a community that allows them to grow not only in their academics, but also in their skills and relationships. For this reason, AUA students, boasting distinctive qualities, stand out in Armenian society. 

Elen Khosteghyan (BAPG ’25) is a member of the 2024 Student Council (SC) and an active student at the University. She believes that AUA students are quite ambitious when it comes to their academic success. “They are very hardworking and loyal to their principles,” she says. “I have noticed that they are also quite open to new ideas and experiences.” This is because the University hosts various educational and networking events, in addition to the SC’s organized activities, to unite the community and brighten student life. 

In addition to these engaging activities, Khosteghyan also mentions that the courses AUA offers encourage students to think beyond, fostering their curiosity and creativity, as well as shaping the way they perceive the world. 

Comparing the student community of one university to another becomes a challenge, as each has formed its distinctive culture and institutional identity. “This is like comparing two different countries with their unique cultures,” Khosteghyan suggests. “As far as I have observed, we have both differences and similarities with other university students.” One difference she notes is that AUA students are more likely to be open to diversity, which stands as one of AUA’s values. Still, this quality is not limited to our students. “Since one of our institutional values is diversity, it has been planted in us from day one, helping us to become more inclusive and open,” she continues. 

Keork Kouja Oghlanian, an administrative assistant in the Office of Student Affairs at AUA, is in constant communication with our students, notably because his office is located inside the Kevork and Cecile Keshishian Student Union. His friendliness and willingness foster frequent interactions with students. Kouja Oghlanian shares an interesting observation regarding the evolution of students’ qualities throughout his ten years working at AUA. “When I first arrived at AUA, the students were not easy to talk to, but over the past few years, they have established friendly relationships with the University staff, including myself,” he asserts. 

Moreover, today, Kouja Oghlanian perceives AUA students as diligent young adults who strive to succeed not only in their academic lives but also at work. “Every day, I see them either memorizing an entire book or engaging in extensive online meetings,” he mentions. 

Heghine Gyulnazaryan, program manager at EVN Report, has engaged with AUA students who have worked as interns at the news organization and those who have volunteered to help with the EVN Media Festival. “The students with whom I have worked have a good command of the English language, and they are great writers,” she says. Heghine also mentions that during the Festival, the students demonstrated remarkable self-discipline, as they met all of the managers’ expectations. 

Overall, AUA students showcase their distinctive qualities everywhere they go, whether at the University or in the workplace. They maintain the values and principles imparted by their instructors and friends in the community. AUA is not only a place to progress in education, but also a place where one can learn and grow thanks to the University’s unique culture. 

Become a part of the AUA Student Voices series and tell us about your achievements, aspirations, and goals! Submit a write-up through our online submission form and tell us your story! Selected articles will be published on AUA Newsroom.