When I first heard about the new undergraduate program at the American University of Armenia (AUA), I had moved from Belgium to San Francisco, where I was attending a college preparatory school and planning to apply to the University of California school system the following year.
After living in San Francisco for seven months, I was fascinated by the city and was extremely enthusiastic about a new start in the Bay Area. Despite this, AUA was continually on my mind. Out of curiosity, I started conducting some research about AUA, which made me more interested in the institution. I had never imagined that after moving to the United States I would consider re-settling in my birthplace of Armenia, where I had left 10 years ago and where my loving grandparents still reside.
I started to re-evaluate my goals in pursuing an undergraduate education, seeking advice from people that inspired me. Nelly Der Kiureghian, the wife of AUA President and Founding Member Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, gave me the most valuable advice. “Twenty to twenty-three years of age are the years when you still need the love and warmth of your family,” she said. Her words stayed with me for a long time and they affected me in a way that is not quite easy to explain. This was a turning point, and I prepared myself for a new journey back to my beautiful homeland.
When I applied to AUA, I was a little nervous and I wasn’t sure what to expect, however I was certain about a few things: I would still be studying in a western-style educational institution of higher learning, I would enjoy my life in my home country, and I would take care of my grandparents, who longed for years to have their oldest granddaughter by their side.
I was not mistaken. Since I joined AUA, I have enjoyed every second of being part of this remarkable institution. AUA’s state-of-the-art facilities and its incredibly intelligent and diverse faculty and staff make this university very unique and stimulating.
As a proud AUA student, I am so happy to have access to the newly constructed AGBU Papazian Library, where I spend most of my time, sometimes until late at night. The courses offered at AUA help me develop critical thinking skills, expand my knowledge, and broaden my perspectives. To be honest, this is something that I did not expect to experience in Armenia, especially not at this level. AUA is truly opening new doors to Armenian youth that will lead to new successes.
I was initially thinking of pursuing two years of study at AUA and then continuing my education in the United States, but I am now determined to complete my undergraduate degree at AUA.
I am delighted with my choice of selecting AUA for my undergraduate studies, and am honored to be called an AUA student!