- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 March 28, 2003 

Day of Learning: AUA invites future students to take a look inside

Like most facets of life in Armenia, information about its universities is spread mostly by word of mouth rather than investigation.

The American University of Armenia has taken a different approach to attract students. For the past decade, AUA has "Open Doors", an annual day to give prospective students and family members a chance to see for themselves what the university offers. The most recent came last Saturday.

"It is a day when we differ from other educational institutions of Armenia," says public relations coordinator Elmira Danelyan. "Unlike the usual Armenian manner when students obtain information concerning different departments from their relatives and friends and only then make a decision, which usually turns out to be wrong, we organize open doors day when anyone can get full and exhaustive answers to his or her questions."

In order to get those answers a few hundred students (already graduates of other universities) gathered in the AUA auditorium last Saturday. Part of them had come to the university to satisfy their curiosity while others were there seeking a more qualified higher education.

"In order to enter the American University one should know English well, and as I know should have patience and a will to study," says economist Lusine Harutyunyan. "As the education is strict here, so the expectations are high. However, for the sake of stable knowledge it is possible to do everything. That is why I am here."

Arsen Stepanyan, a 2001 graduate of AUA who works for the US Development Agency, was on hand to share his post-graduate experience.

"Before hiring someone an employer first of all takes into account the skills and knowledge of the specialist, and not the certificate or diploma," Stepanyan says. "And if such an opinion has been formed, it means that our university has worthy graduates."

There is another reason why some current students of the American University are on this side of the doors.

"Though many people think that after graduating the American University they will find a well-paid job, what brought me here is first of all knowledge," says first-year student Armine Antonyan. "I have graduated Yerevan State University Journalism Department and I feel a great difference. Here the student is in a very active atmosphere, there isn't much formality. And perhaps the most important thing is that there is a very serious attitude towards students and the students are also required to be in earnest about what they do."


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  Photo of the week
Click on the photo above to enlarge


At today's Under-21 football match between Armenia and Northern Ireland, played in Abovian, the match had to be delayed for nearly an hour while workers cleared the pitch of snow. When the field was cleared, the home team played to a 2-0 victory.



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