UWCD students regularly leave the classroom in order to put their theoretical learning into practice, to better understand the region, and to develop the skills of leadership, planning and inter-personal communication.
Now that the first Project Week of the term is over, all the students are back and the reports are handed in, it is time to sit down and review what has been done so far.
First year students’ PWs were dedicated to exploring various regions of Armenia – getting to know all the shades of Armenian autumn, from the sunny vibrant landscapes of the south to the fog tinted mountains of the north with shy snowflakes and a crisp winter chill in the air. This PW was an excellent opportunity to spend several days in the remote towns of the country and to delve into the daily routine of the town and see the daily routine of the cities.
Also, as the ambassadors of UWCD, they visited local schools, cultural and educational centres to introduce the UWC movement to young people, share their personal stories and spread the word about living the mission.
Haghpat, Ijevan, Stepanavan, Alaverdi and many more – every town had something to offer, a history to be learned, not to mention interactions with local people who were more than excited to tell the guests everything about their town, show them around, in the true spirit of Armenia's renowned hospitality.
ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY
Second year students took it to another level and organised PWs that directly impacted communities in Armenia and Georgia. One of the projects was called “Cheer Up the Walls” – a group of artistically gifted students spent their time painting and decorating the walls of an orphanage in the neighbouring city of Vanadzor. This was the second phase of a project initiated last year by the current alumni of UWCD.
Another ongoing project is Holy Grail, which saw the group heading off to Kakheti, a famous winemaking region in Georgia where they learned about traditional winemaking techniques and investigated some of the economical and chemical aspects of the process. They even produced their own wine label and participated in the process of winemaking.
One of the impact projects this year was implemented in cooperation with Dingo Team in Yerevan, an organisation that provides urgent assistance to stray animals in Armenia. As the wintertime draws near, our students helped the team with the construction of a new rehabilitation centre for stray dogs and cleaning works.
An integral part of the experiential learning model, PWs are challenging and transformative: they encourage our students to make the most from their time spent at the College, give back to the community and sometimes to step out of their comfort zone. The holistic UWC experience lets them learn skills that will make them better people and follow the UWC mission to make "education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future."