FAQS ... AND EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
VOLUNTEERING and INTERNSHIPS
Who can participate (eligibility)?
To be eligible for the Armenian Volunteer Corps you must:
– be at least 21 years of age or turn 21 during your service term (NB: If you are age 21-32 and of Armenian Descent, you should contact Birthright Armenia directly as you may not be eligible for AVC);
– be able to complete a minimum one-month service term (two weeks in the case of Professional Corps service).
When can we start?
AVC accepts applications any time and volunteers can servce year-round. However, before you can start your service, you must participate in AVC’s madatory in-country orientation session. Orientation sessions generally take place every Monday, so plan your arrival schedule such that you can attend the next Monday orientation without having too much down time beforehand. Especially important if you’re here for just a short time — you want to be able to hit the ground running!
Where do volunteers and interns work?
Volunteers work in Yerevan and throughout Armenia. The most active locations are generally Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor and Shushi.
Must we always serve in our primary field of expertise or can we try something different?
Although many of our volunteers serve in their primary field of expertise, many others request to volunteer in an area that is more in line with their extra-curricular interests or hobbies. For instance, most recently we had a scientist with a passion for history and writing who asked to volunteer in a museum. He in fact helped two museums with their English-language marketing materials.
Do/can we have more than one placement?
Frequently AVC volunteers will serve at more than one placement. Occasionally their main placement may only need part-time support, in which case AVC will find a complementary placement. Sometimes our volunteers request having more than one placement so that they can broaden their experience here.
What types of volunteering and internship opportunities are there?
With over 700 active placement partners, the options are huge and span the sector range from A to Z.See a few examples of possible opportunities.
How many hours a week do we volunteer?
VolunteerCorps service requires 30 hours work per week, Monday to Friday, for a minimum of one month. ProfessionalCorps requirements are a minimum of 20-25 hours per week for at least two (2) full weeks.
Are there any language requirements?
None per se. However language can be a determining factor in terms of placements. In some specific cases, translators will be provided. Our staff speaks multiples languages, including English, Armenian, Russian, French, and Spanish so you shouldn’t have any trouble communicating with us! Most local Armenians speak both Armenian and Russian and the younger generation is in a hurry to learn English as well as other languages including German, French, and Spanish.
Where do AVC volunteers live?
For the most part, AVC volunteers choose to live with a host-family. In fact, AVC highly encourages host-family living, at least for the first couple of months in-country as this helps with cultural adaptation and integration and provides an insight into local Armenian everyday family life through immersion in the culture and language; not to mention the lifelong ties you create. Should you prefer to rent an apartment, you must make those arrangements for yourself. We can suggest agencies to aid you in your search. In the regions outside of Yerevan, you will usually stay with a host-family.
How much does it cost to stay with a host-family and what's included?
The cost is approximately US $175 (83,200 AMD) per month and includes your own room and breakfast daily (in winter, the monthly cost is 96,200 AMD). You can add on dinners and laundry service for an additional fee.
In addition to your customized volunteer placement or internship, AVC provides airport pick-up, orientation, Armenian language classes, full-time support and guidance, use of the AVC office with computer stations, high-speed internet and wifi, informational, educational and social gatherings, and optional weekly excursions (for a small fee).
What other activities does AVC organize?
AVC and its sister organization Birthright Armenia periodically organize community service projects in and around Yerevan, about every six weeks or so. Projects range from planting trees and trash cleanup, to painting and building, or spending an afternoon at a children’s center or hospital. Community service projects involve all our in-country volunteers as well as some of our local partners.
What will it cost me to volunteer in Armenia through AVC?
– There is no registration or participation fee to join AVC*.
– It is highly advisable that all AVC participants have health insurance coverage during their stay in Armenia. If you do not have adequate health insurance coverage for Armenia, we will ask you to join our group health insurance plan at a cost of 5,800 AMD per month (approximately US $12).
What do the optional weekly excursions cost?
The weekly excursions organized by our sister organization Birthright Armenia cost 4,000 AMD (less than US $9) for a full day excursion and lunch.
What other costs should I consider?
All your personal expenses are your responsibility. In addition to the costs already listed, you should consider the following for budgeting purposes:
-120-day visa, purchased at airport on arrival: 15,000 dram (approximately $32 USD) NOTE: citizens of countries with bilateral agreements may not need to obtain a visa; learn more here www.mfa.am/en/visa. Currently citizens of the European Union, the United States and Canada do not need a visa to enter Armenia for stays of up to 180 days.
-Laundry: approximately 500 dram/kilo; or 10,000 dram per month if you choose to have your laundry done with you host family (less than $25 USD)
-Eating in: Optional meal plan at your home-stay – 30,000 dram per month (approximately $65 USD)
-Eating out: 500–4,000 dram/per meal (approximately $1.25-$9 USD)
-Cell phone cards: 4,000 dram/month, depending on how often you use it (approximately $9 USD)
-Transportation: Public transportation: 100 dram/trip ($0.25) $20-$35 USD/month; Taxis: 600 dram/trip ($1.30) within the city center $50-$70 USD/month
*Working professionals over age 32 who would like to join AVC Professional Corps for less than one month (minimum 2 weeks), will be asked to make a donation to AVC’s community service project fund; the suggested amount is 75,000 AMD.
You can check the current exchange rate on the Central Bank of Armenia website