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Naira Baltaian
United States 2023 participant
11 Sep, 2023

Exploring Armenia: A Transformational Experience

1 min read

Before applying to Birthright, I was a bit hesitant because it was my first time traveling by myself for an extended period. After experiencing the program for the past 12 weeks, I can confidently say that it was the best decision I have ever made. I volunteered in Vanadzor for a month and had never been in such a mountainous and fresh environment before. There, I volunteered for a tourism company called Lori DMO, where we promoted tourism in the Lori region. I am proud to say that not only was my volunteering time very beneficial, but it also helped me establish networks that I will cherish forever. Currently, I am volunteering in Gyumri, and there are not enough words to truly capture the beauty of this city. Gyumri's vibrant colors and hidden gems are something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. I am volunteering at an art studio, Varem Marem, and a cafe, Nazuk, during my time here, which I thoroughly enjoy. I will forever cherish the Gyumri hospitality and how at home the city makes me feel. These two cities are not that similar, but I was very fortunate to experience them both and highly recommend volunteering in either of them throughout your time!

A Global Network of Friends

Birthright has given me the opportunity to form friendships that I know will endure a lifetime. As mentioned earlier, I had some reservations about applying to the program due to the independent nature of the journey. However, it turned out to be one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. I have forged strong bonds with people from around the world – France, London, Uruguay, Russia, America, and the list goes on. I will forever be grateful for these friendships that have deepened my connection to my heritage. From excursions to havaks, forums to weekend adventures, there are ample opportunities for individuals to explore and discover the best versions of themselves. Therefore, if you're hesitating about applying, I hope that my brief passage has influenced your decision. Gracias, Merci, Спасибо, and Thank you!



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