Stories from the Winter Break: Yahia

Experiential learning at UWC Dilijan goes far beyond the classrooms: students learn through their interactions with their peers from dozens of countries from around the world and they learn from living in a new country and an absolutely new environment. Some of the students decide to spend their vacations in Armenia, engaging in volunteering projects or simply exploring the country.

As we finished our exams, and as the winter break was drawing nearer, I started packing for my month in Yerevan, Armenia. I was not sure what was waiting for me out there, or what to expect from that city.

I was staying with my friend from Malawi and we had time to talk a lot. I realised how you can spend so much time with different people but you never actually get the chance to know them, to listen to their stories and adventures. As we stayed together for a month, I got to know him better than before. It opened my mind on how many people I come across every day at school but I don’t know much about them; how much experience every single of them carries, and how each of them can add something to my life.

Besides taking my time and discovering Yerevan, I spent my winter break doing an internship at the Aurora Prize and 100 LIVES. As a student receiving a 100 LIVES scholarship for my studies at UWC Dilijan, I was happy to make my contribution to their work: I helped them with their presentation, telling my story and how my life had been in Armenia so far.

One of the things I was astonished about was the Armenian hospitality. Every time I went to my Armenian friends’ place for dinner, I felt myself at home. People didn’t let me feel a stranger, I was always welcome and felt their friendliness all the time.

To be honest, I was not expecting to gain so much from the time I spent in Yerevan; the impact this month had on me, was huge. Especially, when I went to the Aurora Prize office and saw everything they are doing for the development of Armenia. I was glad to see people work so hard for their country: it motivated me and made me believe that someday my hometown will be rebuilt again, just as the Armenian people rebuild theirs.

Yahia, Syria, UWCD’18


UWC Dilijan is a big multicultural family and we always look to get even bigger. Armenian families that host our students have become the part of UWC community and our very dear friends. Living in a host family, our students get a chance to explore the local culture, language and people. Some of them do internships and volunteering work, but generally, they are willing to explore various regions of the country.

You can become a part of our big family by hosting one of our students during the summer/winter breaks. This is going to be an enriching experience and maybe a good opportunity to take up a new language!

Please, write to our Admissions Office | admissions@uwcdilijan.org | if you feel like becoming a host family.