Being the only student at the college from Dilijan, I feel privileged to be the ambassador of the host town. I feel useful as many students used to ask me different questions whenever they need help in the town; to find a shop, the post office, to get a taxi, etc.
Since the opening of the college Dilijan has positively changed. Dilijan Community Center has vividly become more active. People are very interested in the college life and started to learn some basic English words and expressions for better interaction with students and staff members. Students, in turn, try to improve their Armenian through daily interactions with the locals. At the moment all the students are quite well integrated into the town routine and they feel quite comfortable living here.
It took local people some time to get used to so many different nations in one small town. During the first months they were curious about the newcomers. All the new nations, looks, languages and cultures that appeared on the streets of Dilijan seemed interestingly strange for them. During the first winter break one of the students from South Africa, Princess, wanted to stay in Armenia so I hosted her in my house. We mainly spent evenings walking around the town. Whenever people saw us on the street they approached in order to take pictures with us and practice their English asking questions about the school. I was worried she would be annoyed by this kind of attention; luckily, she did not mind being in the center of everybody’s attention and was nice to everyone and even joked that she liked being popular in Dilijan.
During these two years I have had a very interesting lifestyle with people from all over the world. Before joining UWCD I never could have imagined living under the same roof with students from Turkey, let alone making best friends with one of them.
Sona, Armenia, UWCD’16