Congratulations again on your acceptance to the Armenian Volunteer Corps. As you prepare for your experience in Armenia, we want to provide a list of items you will need to confirm your place, prepare for your upcoming travels, and know what to expect for your first few days.
Submit your Intent to Volunteer Form
As part of your acceptance package, which you received via email, make sure to review all the documents we sent. But most importantly, complete the Intent to Volunteer Form and email it back to us. This is the most important document that confirms you plan on volunteering and gives us the needed information to start preparing for your upcoming volunteer experience.
Health and Security
Health Insurance: In-country health insurance coverage is mandatory for all of our volunteers. We strongly urge you to join our health insurance plan with Nairi in case you do not have your own insurance from your home country. The AVC team will take care of the logistics of your enrollment, effective at the start of your participation in the AVC program, upon your arrival. For an overview of the insurance plan, check out their packages below. The Special plan is for volunteers who are up to 65 years old while the Comfortable program is for volunteers aged 65 – 80 years old.
COVID-19: Many of our volunteers ask about COVID regulations. The Government of Armenia announced in May 2022 that passengers are no longer required to present a COVID-19 PCR test or certificate of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to enter the country. Armenia’s Ministry of Health also eased restrictions related to entry to public places. This, however, may change in the future. For up to date information, please visit here.
Current Situation in Armenia: We understand that you may have concerns about the tense situation on Armenia’s borders. However, rest assured that AVC’s main priority is the safety of our volunteers. We have no control over what happens on the borders, but we do have control over the regions we place our volunteers and the places we take you out for excursions. We are in contact with the Embassies on the ground, so if there is any change in the situation, we will take appropriate steps to inform you quickly.
Currently, citizens of the United States, the European Union, Australia, Russia, and many others do not need a visa to enter Armenia for stays of up to 180 days. For more information visit www.mfa.am/en/visa. Make sure to check the specific requirements for your country prior to purchasing your ticket.
If you requested an airport pickup in your Intent to Volunteer form, Larisa from our sister organization Birthright Armenia has already arranged it. Once you arrive, look for our driver holding a sign with your name on it as you exit the baggage claim. Our driver will take you directly to your host family (or alternative living arrangement if you did not choose to live with a host family). If you are unable to find the driver, no worries! Zvartnots Airport has free Wifi that you can easily join. Connect your cell phone to the Wifi and make a call using WhatsApp, Viber, FaceTime to any of the numbers listed below under emergency contacts… even if it’s some ungodly hour :)! If, for whatever reason you change your mind and arrange your own transportation, let us know immediately.
All AVC volunteers are required to have a local cell number in Armenia. If you have one already, please make sure you provide it to the AVC team upon arrival (but no later than during orientation). If you do not have a local number, we will provide you with one through Team Telecom. You will then need to go register it for your preferred package at any of their offices.
If you requested to live with a home stay in your Intent to Volunteer form and submitted a separate Host Family Application Form, Tatevik from our sister organization Birthright Armenia will email you about those living arrangements. Check your emails and if you have not received anything from her a week prior to your arrival, please email her at email@example.com.
AVC individually customizes placements for all of our volunteers. However, we do not start this process until we receive your Intent to Volunteer Form and a copy of your booking confirmation for your travel to Yerevan. Once you send us both of these items, Louisa Khachatryan from the AVC team will email you (typically 2- 4 weeks prior to your arrival) regarding possible placements. When you receive that email, review the list in detail and message us back with your preferred ranking of organizations. Once you arrive in country, we’ll arrange in-person interviews with those organizations, typically taking place the first week of your arrival. And don’t worry, usually someone from our team will accompany you during those visits. If you are volunteering in Gyumri or Vanadzor*, Sona or Kara will work on these arrangements for you.
* Vanadzor placements are currently only available during summer months.
We will schedule an orientation for you during the first week of your arrival. We try to time orientations so there are a few other volunteers. Stay tuned to a separate email calendar invite from us with the exam date and time. Typically, the event takes between 2 to 3 hours and we serve a light lunch (email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any dietary restrictions).
So what do we cover during orientation? We introduce AVC and our entire team, provide a quick tour of our space, present our rules and regulations, ask you to sign some required documents, discuss placements, and provide tips on living in Armenia. In addition, we’ll review what a typical week looks like, notify you how to register for excursions, language classes, and much more. Our Communications team will also take some photos/videos of you, so come with your camera ready faces! If you noted in your Intent to Volunteer form that you need health insurance or plan to make a donation, we will take care of those activities.
If your placements are in Gyumri or Vanadzor, we’ll also organize your transportation there immediately after your orientation.
Visiting the Office and Coworking Space
The AVC office is co-located with Birthright Armenia on the second floor of the Hovnanian Family Foundation building located a short walk away from Republic Square in downtown Yerevan. We have a shared coworking space that we encourage our volunteers (and alumni) to use when needed. Keep in mind our working hours are 10am – 7pm Mondays through Fridays with staff usually out during 1 – 2pm for lunch. If you’re dropping by to meet any of the AVC staff, just remember to let us know earlier as we will likely have a scheduling conflict.
Finding our Office
The AVC Office is located at Hanrapetutyan 37 (at the intersection of Hanrapetutyan and Tigran Mets Avenue and Melik Adamyan Street – entrance from Melik Adamyan). Additional instructions and a map follow:
- By Metro: The closest metro is Republic Square/Hanrapetutyan Hraparak. Exit from the metro onto Nalbandyan Street and walk towards Republic Square. Just before Republic Square, take a LEFT onto Byuzand Street (just before the Ministry of Finance). Take your first RIGHT onto Melik Adamyan Street. Walk approximately 200 meters. Our building is on the left side of the street at the corner. The entrance to the building is on Melik Adamyan Street. Take the stairs up one flight. Our entrance is directly across from the elevator bank.
- On foot: From Republic Square, walk down Tigran Mets Avenue. Walk on the left sidewalk. Take your first LEFT onto Melik Adamyan Street. The building is on the corner of Melik Adamyan and Tigran Mets. The entrance to the building is on Melik Adamyan Street.
Emergency Phone Numbers
In case of an emergency, please contact any of the staff members below. Many staff are connected to Viber, WhatsApp, and FaceTime.
- Arina Zohrabian: +374 99 727 462 (Executive Director)
- Narine Baghdasaryan: +374 77 571 754 (Program Assistant)
- Louisa Khachatryan: +374 93 740 333 (Program Assistant)
- Merry Artinian: +374 77 861 479 (Communication Coordinator)
- Larisa Zhamakochyan: +374 332 245 (BR Operations and Excursions Manager responsible for Airport Pickups)
- Tatevik Ordinyan: +374 93 282 871 (BR Program Manager responsible for Host Families)
Have additional questions? Review our FAQs site at www.armenianvolunteer.org/index.php/got-questions/faqs. Alternatively, email us with a request to meet (in person if you are in country or virtually if you have yet to arrive).