Forging a deeper connection with their land and their people, each summer Discover
Armenia participants embark on an incredible three-week journey filled with sightseeing,
community service experiences and culturally enriching activities. Youth ages 15-18 form
lifelong bonds and return home forever transformed, with heightened respect for their heritage
and a greater sense of responsibility towards their community.
About Program >
Activities and Tours
Discover Armenia participants 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.
Every year, participants spend time at the offices of AGBU Armenia and the Armenian Virtual
College where they become better acquainted with AGBU and our vast programming in Armenia
and Artsakh. There is ample opportunity for engagement with other youth groups and activities
sponsored by AGBU during this time. For example, the group spends time with performance
students and instructors at the AGBU Nork Children's Center.
Finally, some of the greatest memories come from the daily interactions. Living together, sharing a simple
dinner on the patio or out for a night out at a local restaurant, these moments bond the students who
leave each summer feeling like an extended family.
Throughout their stay, participants visit significant sites around Armenia.
Each summer the group visits the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin,
Tsitsernakaberd Memorial, Khor Virap, the Matenadaran Museum of Ancient Armenian Manuscripts, the
medieval monastic complex of Gandzasar and countless other sites.
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).
In addition to the countless locations in the capital and the surrounding regions, the group
takes a memorable trip to Artsakh where they tour monuments but also spend time in the villages
Whether it is building homes for disadvantaged families, visiting local orphanages or serving hot meals
at the AGBU Senior Centers, the participants develop a deep sense of engagement with the country.
A cornerstone of the program, community service engagement connects each individual with their homeland and is a unique opportunity for personal growth and development.
Students earn a total of 40 hours of community service during the program.
AGBU has a longstanding partnership with the Fuller Center for Housing and together, we carried
out construction projects in different regions of Armenia. Most recently, in 2019, program
participants helped build a house for a disadvantaged family in Mayakovski village.
In 2009, Discover Armenia participants established a foreign language section in the Children’s
Library in Stepanakert. Every year since, the program has continued the tradition of donating
books to add to the library. Understanding the importance of access to literature, the students
enjoy participating in this project, because each book represents a new opportunity for growth
and learning for the people of Stepanakert.
The humanitarian dimension of the trip also includes visits to the AGBU Senior Dining Centers where the students spend
time speaking to elders. Creating personal ties to the individuals who benefit from AGBU’s efforts reinforces
ties to the organization and continues to deepen the understanding of the value of its global network.
Participants spend the three-week program in a supervised environment. The Program Director as well
as summer staff (counsellors) stay with participants in the same accommodations and are available
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Participants must respect the code of conduct detailed in the registration form and follow the
directions set by AGBU staff, which are designed to guarantee the safety and well-being of