UWC Dilijan Welcomes New School Year, Marks 5th Anniversary

United World College Dilijan
United World College Dilijan

United World College Dilijan

DILIJAN, Armenia—The new academic year has started at UWC Dilijan. The college opened its doors to 117 new students, and now has a total of 226 students from more than 80 countries. The teaching staff was expanded by new specialists, and now consists of 36 teachers from 15 countries.

This year will mark the 5th anniversary of UWC Dilijan. Since its opening in 2014, UWC Dilijan grew and gained strength together with the modern-day Armenia. In five short years, the college made a journey from a mystery grand construction site to an integral part of the city, a member of the UWC movement, an important player in the region, and an active participant in the development and internationalization of Armenia. Dilijan’s hospitable community continues to welcome a diverse international community, making UWC Dilijan’s staff and students feel at home.

With the support of many people and organizations connected with the college, here is what UWC Dilijan is today:

  1. 388 alumni from 105 countries
  2. 36 teachers from 15 countries
  3. 45 co-curricular social projects
  4. 500+ donors
  5. $26 million in scholarships
  6. 60 alumni returning to volunteer
  7. 3,000 local children attending co-curricular projects and events
UWC Dilijan students

UWC Dilijan students

UWC Dilijan will take the 2019 – 2020 academic year as an opportunity to evaluate the school’s past achievements, and to chart a course for the next stage of its development. The ambition is to make an impact personally – on the students; locally – on the Dilijan community; and globally – contributing through the power of education to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world. UWC Dilijan will be focusing on maintaining the world-class quality of its education and the diversity of its student body.

“One of UWC Dilijan’s biggest challenges was to align the school’s global mission with the authenticity of its host country in order to become ‘a force to unite people’ within the school community, Dilijan, Armenia, and the UWC movement,” noted Gabriel Abad Fernández, Head of UWCD. “It seems to me that a huge amount of work has been done, and we continue to work so that the impact of UWC Dilijan’s values-driven education will be enabled by strengthening mutual responsibility, intercultural understanding and a focus sustainability at a personal, community and global levels.”

“As a member of the Armenian diaspora, coming to Armenia was my life’s biggest dream. However, with UWCD, I didn’t just come to Armenia, I came with the opportunities of giving back to my motherland, through the extracurriculars or personal projects. We, UWCD family, love Armenia from its highest mountain to its deepest canyon,” stated Tro Mirzaian, a student returning to UWC Dilijan for his second year of studies. Tro was born and raised to an Armenian family in Syria. In 2012, his family migrated to Beirut, Lebanon. Upon his admission to the international school in Dilijan Tro realized the importance of one’s national identity, which led him to deepen his bond with his own culture and history.

UWC Dilijan is the first international boarding school of the UWC education model in the region. The college opened in 2014, in the Armenian town of Dilijan, and currently has 228 students enrolled from more than 80 countries, and 36 academic staff members from 15 countries.

UWC Dilijan represents an exciting extension of the UWC movement into the Caucasus region at the junction of Asia and Europe. Established in 1962, the UWC educational movement now comprises 18 international schools and colleges, national committees in more than 155 countries, and a series of short educational programs.

UWC Dilijan was initiated and masterminded by impact investors and entrepreneurs Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend with the support of other Founding Patrons. The college was built with generous donations from over 330 benefactors. Its admissions policy aims to make enrollment available to anyone, regardless of socio-economic background, on the basis of demonstrated need. 96 percent of students receive full or partial scholarships, and 82 percent receive average scholarships.

The UWC Dilijan academic program — The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is an assessed program for students aged 16 to 19.

UWC Dilijan has four generations of alumni from 2016 to 2019; many of them continue their education at leading universities worldwide — Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, Duke, Berkeley, McGill, University of Edinburgh, Minerva School at KGI and many more.

United World Colleges is a global movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. It was founded in 1962 and comprises a network of 18 international schools and colleges on four continents, short courses and a system of volunteer-run national committees in more than 155 countries.

UWC offers a challenging educational experience to a deliberately diverse group of students and places a high value on experiential learning, community service and outdoor activities, which complement high academic standards delivered through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

Today, 10,725 students from over 160 countries are studying on one of the UWC campuses.
Admission to a UWC school is independent of socio-economic means, with over 80% of UWC national committee-selected students in the IB Program years receiving full or partial financial support.


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