AGBU Summer Internship Program Accepting Applications for 2018!

Where will you Make Your Summer Count?

Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain real-world professional experience while exploring a brand new city!

Submit your applications today to any of our five exciting programs – AGBU Buenos Aires Internship, AGBU Paris Summer Internship Program, AGBU London Summer Internship Program, AGBU New York Summer Internship Program and AGBU Yerevan Summer Internship Program

2018 Application Deadlines:
Buenos Aires – December 1, 2017
London – December 1, 2017
New York – PRIORITY November 1, 2017; FINAL December 1, 2017
Paris – December 1, 2017
Yerevan – December 1, 2017

For more information about our programs and the application, visit http://agbu-internship.org/.

Apply Today to AGBU Summer Internship Program 2017!

Where will you start your career? Our interns across the globe get a jump on theirs with competitive placements in our longstanding AGBU Summer Internship Program. Next summer, we will have opportunities in two new cities—Buenos Aires and Paris—in addition to the popular programs in New York, London and Yerevan.

Deadlines are approaching fast, so don’t miss out!  Choose your destination to launch your professional journey. Apply by December 2, 2016.

Click here to begin your application.

AGBU Summer Interns Made Summer 2016 Count!

AGBU Continues to Invest in Creating Generations of Talented Young Armenians

College-age students gain valuable experience in Armenia and throughout the diaspora with the AGBU Summer Internship Program.

Every year, AGBU offers a spectacular array of programs that not only help Armenian youth prepare for successful careers, but also allow them to become better acquainted with what it means to be Armenian in the 21st century.

In summer 2016, Armenians in their teens and twenties packed their business attire, instruments and shovels for internship, musical and community service programs that took them around the globe to help them understand themselves and their heritage even better.

To find out more about how our interns and other AGBU youth made the most out of their summer, click to read the AGBU press release

AGBU Summer Internship Program 2015 Was One to Remember!

AGBU Offers Young Adults an Enriching Array of Summer Programs

For students about to enter the professional world, AGBU offers an array of programs that not only allow them to prepare for their futures, but also learn about their Armenian heritage. This year, Armenian youth participated in internship, musical and community service programs that helped them solidify their career aspirations and strengthen their ties to Armenians around the globe.

To find out more about how our interns and other AGBU youth made their summer count, click to read our AGBU press release.

AGBU Alumni Spotlight Features YSIP Alum Nanor Balabanian

Nanor Balabanian
Title:
Founder, Hidden Road Initiative; High School History Teacher
Age: 23
Location: California
AGBU Involvement: Participated in AGBU Yerevan Summer Internship Program (YSIP) in 2009: Scholarship recipient

“YSIP for me was that link, the link that helped connect me to Armenia. That summer with YSIP was ultimately the best summer of my life. It not only opened new doors for me professionally, but it also connected me to Armenians from the villages of Armenia to the mountains of Switzerland and the outskirts of Jerusalem.” –Nanor

Bio: Born in Syria, raised in Anjar, Lebanon, and currently living in California, Nanor Balabanian often finds herself lost between the different places she calls “home.” Since her move to the United States in 2005, Balabanian has been passionate about connecting Armenians from around the world, both physically and virtually. During the summer of 2009, Balabanian participated in YSIP and interned at the United Nations Development Office in Armenia – an experience that shaped the rest of her academic and professional career. Motivated by her YSIP colleagues and their drive to serve Armenia, she applied to the Donald A. Strauss Foundation that granted her $10,000 to implement a public service project to bring Internet and computer labs to the rural village of Akhpradzor, Armenia (south of Lake Yerevan).

Balabanian has since founded The Hidden Road Initiative, a student-led organization that brings together Armenian students to run service projects in Armenia. In 2012, her team was invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative, founded and hosted by former President Bill Clinton, to present and network with global student leaders. Balabanian holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and a Masters in Education and Teaching Credential in Social Studies from Stanford University. She speaks Armenian, Arabic, English and French, and loves Armenian folk dancing, as well as Armenian theater. She is currently a world history teacher in Redwood City, California.

What originally led you to start up the Hidden Road Initiative (HRI) while you were still an undergraduate at UCSB? And what hurdles did you face while creating the organization as a student?

“Armenian? What’s that? Do you guys even have a country anymore?” These were the words that I first heard when I moved to my new American high school in 2005. Coming from Anjar, a village where 100% of the citizens were Armenian to a country where most people did not know of Armenia, Armenians, or the Armenian Genocide, I was in complete shock. However, this initial shock only helped to strengthen my Armenian identity, drove me to love my heritage, and motivated me to find other young Armenians who felt the same way.

My dream to connect Armenians came true when I got to UCSB and found a group of dedicated and driven students. Attending Armenian Student Association (ASA) meetings and Armenian dance practices, I was amazed at the passion and dedication of Armenian youth in America. What was missing was our link to Armenia. YSIP was that link for me, the link that helped connect me to Armenia. That summer, I got to visit one of the world’s most isolated villages. The village’s main difficulty was the lack of roads – a road to take them to the doctor, a road to connect them to the capital to sell their crops, a road to the university. While rebuilding the road itself would have been unimaginable and unsustainable for us at the time, my YSIP colleagues and I brainstormed the idea of creating a “virtual road.” That is when I founded HRI.

My goal was to connect the road and bridge issues between students in the Armenian village of Akhpradzor and the rest of the world through the Internet and summer service camps. Through the use of communication technologies, we aim to maintain a constant connection with the isolated students, assess the needs of the village school, fundraise for school development projects and humanitarian needs, provide for the costs of running the school’s computer lab and summer educational programs. Through our summer programs, we hope to empower the students by introducing them to the technological skills of the 21st century and connecting them to peers from around the world. Two years have passed and the students have been using the computers for word processing, conducting research, writing emails, Skyping with family abroad, and printing official documents for the village. Many of them have now gone to university and are able to use computers to type their papers and conduct research.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to start up and build their own company or pursue a mission like HRI? What have you learned about conquering failure and adversity?

First, start with an idea. Then find a close, trusted group of dedicated team members with whom you can build and live out the idea. It’s also extremely important to set measurable and realistic goals, measure and assess your success and failure, learn and re-do. Be open to making mistakes and through them improve and create new strategies. Failure is both depressing and rewarding. The key is to maintaining a growth mindset. When you look at failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, your chances of success increase exponentially.

You are also pursuing a career in teaching. What is it that you want your students to learn and gain from you?

Every time I visit Lebanon or Armenia, I am amazed at the differences in our lifestyles, values and cultures. Even though I grew up in Lebanon, I have become accustomed to the American lifestyle and the American ways of living. In my opinion, when you leave the country to go back to your “roots,” your identity strengthens and you start looking at life with a different perspective. Connecting with people outside of your bubble has the power to shape and change the meaning of your life. I want to encourage my students to go on service trips, to study abroad, and to live with people abroad. I also want them to know that it’s not about “us” versus “them.” Yes, we have many differences, but when we go on service projects with the mentality that we “need to help them,” that project will not work. Armenia does not need our help. Armenians need one another. We need to develop relationships because it is only through unions and relationships that we can unify and protect our heritage and strengthen our country.

Name a role model who has had an impact on your life and the decisions you have made.

One of my role models has been an Armenian American physicist named Anahid Yeremian. Anahid moved from Armenia to the United States as a teenager. Upon arriving, she worked extremely hard in school and persevered through various cultural and academic challenges. She is now one of the very few female physicists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. More importantly, she is one of the very few Armenian physicists working in one of the world’s most innovative centers.

It is not just Anahid’s drive that motivates me, but her zeal to bring Armenian youth together, as well. For years, Anahid has been the “mother” of Stanford’s Armenian Students Association (ASA). She is present at every meeting, participates in community events, and supports several ongoing projects. In fact, she influenced a team of Stanford ASA students to start the Act for Armenia organization, which funds six border villages in Armenia.

Most importantly, Anahid was the person who opened the door for me to Armenia. In 2009, she saw my passion for Armenia and decided to fund my trip to YSIP with the agreement that one day I would lead a project of my own. At the time, her request seemed impossible to me. Now, it is a reality. Not only did Anahid support me from the moment I arrived to the United States, but she also empowered me to start HRI. I am forever grateful for her mentorship and inspiration.

Her guidance also taught me the importance of having someone believe in you. I started HRI because Anahid had faith in me. I have deep respect for those Armenians who encourage and empower younger students to lead projects and make a difference. Because of Anahid’s encouragement, I was able to start this project which, in turn, gave me a chance to empower younger students, both in UCSB and Armenia. Now, those same students have started their own projects and are encouraging and inspiring other students around them!

What is your ultimate goal?

My ultimate goal is to empower and connect Armenians. I want to encourage American Armenians to discover the multiple opportunities around them that can enable them to do something. Most often, I find that when we look outside ourselves and give back, we actually gain much more than we give..

Program Dates

  • Buenos Aires: June 25 – August 4 (6 weeks)
    BASIP 2018 Application Deadline:
    December 1, 2017
    Arrival date: Sunday, June 24
    First day of work: Monday, June 25
    Last day of work: Friday, August 3
    Departure day: Saturday, August 4
  • London: June 25 – August 5 (6 weeks)
    LSIP 2018 Application Deadline:
    December 1, 2017
    Arrival day: Monday, June 25
    First day of work: Tuesday, June 26
    Last day of work: Friday, August 3
    Departure day: Saturday, August 4
  • New York: June 17 – August 11 (8 weeks)
    NYSIP 2018 Application Deadline:
    Priority – November 1, 2017
    Final – December 1, 2017
    Arrival day: Sunday, June 17
    First day of work: Tuesday, June 19
    Last day of work: Friday, August 10
    Departure day: Saturday, August 11
  • Paris: July 1 – August 11 (6 weeks)
    PSIP 2018 Application Deadline:
    December 1, 2017
    Arrival day: Sunday, July 1
    First day of work: Monday, July 2
    Last day of work: Friday, August 10
    Departure day: Saturday, August 11
  • Yerevan: June 17 – July 28 (6 weeks)
    YSIP 2018 Application Deadline:
    December 1, 2017
    Arrival day: Sunday, June 17
    First day of work: Monday, June 18
    Last day of work: Friday, July 27

YSIP Creates Unforgettable Experiences for Interns from Around the World

From June 25-August 5, twenty-one interns from Canada, Russia, Syria, and the United States came together to participate in AGBU’s Yerevan Summer Internship Program (YSIP). For the fifth consecutive year, YSIP has been the premiere venue connecting diasporan Armenian college students with their cultural heritage while providing them with hands-on work experience and a program of cultural, social, and professional activities. Participants develop closer ties with their homeland and a better understanding of their roots, while meeting peers and getting actively involved in everyday life in Armenia.

Participating students spent their summer internships at a number of leading institutions and organizations throughout Yerevan, including ArBes Medical Center, Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, AZG Armenian Daily, Deem Communications, Global SPC Law and Consulting, Hetq Online, Lragir Online, the Republic of Armenia Finance Ministry, St. Nerses the Great Hospital, Storaket Architectural Studio, United Nations Development Program, and Yerevan Hospitals No. 1 and 8. This year’s AGBU Yerevan Summer Internship Program was supervised by YSIP coordinator Anna Aghajanian and activities coordinator Aline Zorian. The students were housed at a private residence in Yerevan during their six-week stay.

In addition to gaining valuable professional experience, the interns also participated in numerous cultural activities, attended weekly Armenian language and folk dance classes, visited historic monuments, including the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and Genocide Museum, and got acquainted with the programs carried out by AGBU throughout Armenia and Karabakh. Interns had the opportunity to meet with a number of Armenian political and social figures, including the Republic of Armenia’s Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian,
Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian, and former Foreign Minister of Armenia (and current chairman of the Heritage party and parliament member) Raffi Hovannisian. YSIP participants also met with young Armenian entrepreneurs, including Hayk Vardanyan, the co-founder of Wise Business LLC, and George Tabakian and Talar Kazanjian, two diasporan Armenians who have both moved to their homeland and are currently running successful businesses in the country. The offices of the AGBU Armenian Representation and Armenian Virtual College (AVC) hosted the YSIP participants for an introductory presentation and a video chat with Yervant Zorian, the chairman of the unique online school.

This year’s participants also spent three unforgettable days in Karabakh, touring Stepanakert, Shushi, and Gandzasar. During their time in Karabakh, they were treated to a performance by the young students of the Naregatsi Art Institute in Shushi.
On July 24, interns visited the AGBU Antranik Scout Camp in the Lori region of Armenia and spent an unforgettable day with Armenian scouts from all around the world. YSIP students were also given the unique opportunity to attend a performance of “Anoush” opera at the Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.

This year’s group also took part in a unique scavenger hunt activity, together with Birthright Armenia volunteers. Together the groups were divided into several teams and sent to explore the Armenian capital in an effort to create camaraderie and familiarize them with the city and its residents.

On August 3, before the conclusion of the six-week program, a farewell reception was held at the Yerevan Museum of Folk Art, in honor of the interns, YSIP staff, intern supervisors, and AGBU staff. The evening celebrated the once-in-a-lifetime journey experienced by YSIP and their unforgettable summer experiences.

“No matter what you expect, you will be wrong. Armenia, and YSIP, will impress you from day one to the day you have to leave,” said Samuel Armen, who was a 2011 participant from the United States. “It won’t be until the days are running out that you notice how extraordinary the experience has been, from the jump-start in one’s career to the vital friendships and connections created for the future,” he said.

Fellow YSIP intern Nicole Saglamer, also of the United States, shared Armen’s enthusiasm about her summer. “Being an AGBU intern for the what it really means to be a diasporan Armenian. I have acquired an even greater affinity towards my Armenian heritage and identity, and know now for sure that coming back to Armenia to support and help my homeland is a huge passion of mine,” she said..

MSIP Concludes, Attracting More Participants than Ever Before


From June 26 – August 5, 2011, 13 Armenian university students participated in the Moscow Summer Internship Program (MSIP). Following the success of similar programs in New York and Yerevan, MSIP was launched last year, and it has quickly grown, almost doubling the number of its participants this year, while establishing its place among AGBU’s summer youth program offerings. Arriving from four countries – Armenia, Canada, France, and the United States – this year’s Armenian college students spent six weeks in the Russian capital, which is home to the world’s largest Armenian diasporan community. Program participants were immersed in Moscow’s entrepreneurial culture and were exposed to the hustle and bustle of this global hub of trade, commerce, diplomacy, and innovation.

Before the AGBU interns arrived, students were interviewed by MSIP staff about their educational interests and future ambitions and then matched up with full-time, unpaid internships in English-language work environments that would help them reach their career goals. Secured through AGBU’s network of Moscow-based institutions, host companies, and organizations, this year the following organizations welcomed MSIP participants: the Association of Russian Banks, Central Partnership Digital, Cigar Clan Magazine, Henderson and Hayas, Russian Research Center of Surgery, SKOLKOVO School of Management, Star Expo Exhibition Company/Gostiny Dvor, The Moscow Times newspaper, and Troika Dialogue Investment Bank. A few of the interns, seeking to gain greater exposure to various fields of interest, chose to participate in internships at two different companies simultaneously.

Exploring All that Moscow Has to Offer
MSIP participants were housed in the dormitories of the Higher School of Economics, which is one of Russia’s leading universities. SIVAM, an Armenian young professionals group in Moscow, worked tirelessly with AGBU to organize the MSIP program, while acting as mentors to the interns, and organizing various cultural and social activities for the students. The AGBU program was staffed by coordinator Angela Sarkysian and activities coordinator Anahit Khadjabekian.

Evenings and weekends were filled with several cultural and educational seminars, including introductory Russian language courses, Armenian dance classes, meetings with leaders of the local Russian Armenian community, and sightseeing tours to the many historic sites throughout the city, including the Kremlin, Red Square, Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum, St. Basil and Christ the Savior Churches, and Sergiyev Posad, a historic city outside of Moscow. Students had the opportunity to meet with Bishop Yezras Nersissian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Diocese of New Nakhichevan and Russia.

Participants also attended a joint event with the Higher School of Economics and AGBU Academics. AGBU Academics is an international network of Armenian students and was founded by Camilio Azzouz-Kiwanian of France, who was also among this year’s MSIP participants. During an educational meeting with Karen Mikayelian, executive director of the International Organizing Committee for the Preparation of the Western Armenian National Congress, interns participated in a discussion about the Armenian Genocide and Armenia’s foreign policy.

During the course of the summer, students also had the opportunity to visit St. Petersburg, where they spent a few days exploring the monuments of czarist Russia, including the world-renowned Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the historic St. Catherine’s Armenian Apostolic Church, which dates to the 18th C. They also attended live performances of “Spartacus” and “Swan Lake” at the Mariinsky and Alexandrovsky theaters, and had a meeting with local Armenian youth at the St. Petersburg Armenian Sunday School.

Before the 2011 season came to an end, participants attended a Supervisor’s Reception to honor the gracious professional hosts who made the summer intern experience unforgettable.

Christine Haroutounian, a 2011 MSIP participant from the United States, reflects on the summer as a valuable learning experience. “It reaffirmed the importance of being open to everything in life and always remaining curious. Whether you’re out of your comfort zone exploring the multifaceted, rough city of Moscow or carrying out familiar Armenian traditions and holidays, something to learn that will enrich your perspective and challenge you to grow,” she said.

Fellow intern Nare Tevanyan, also of the United States, added that the summer helped her appreciate her heritage in a whole new way. “Being Armenian is a gift. You can either put the gift under your bed and let it collect dust, or you can use that gift to guide you through the different chapters of your life.”

As with all AGBU summer intern programs, the cultural awakening participants experience during the summer was coupled with the benefit of hands-on practical work experience that will serve them well in the future. “Working at The Moscow Times was a pleasure. Each day I was excited at the prospect of going to work. My colleagues there were friendly, interesting, and patient. My duties didn’t relegate me to copy and coffee machines; instead I spent time out in the field conducting interviews and ultimately writing articles that were actually published in the paper. It was rewarding to see my hard work actually put into black and white and printed for people to see,” said Nick Burdman of the United States.

Preparations are already underway for the 2012 MSIP program and applications will be available on AGBU’s flagship website, agbu.org, by November 2011.

To view the press release in Armenian please click here..