Learning Together - A personal experience of a student at the first Eastern Partnership school

author: Gayane Ghazaryan  30-10-2019

In September 2018, a pilot scholarship programme was launched by the support of EU for the students aged 16-17 from EaP countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. I was one of the 30 lucky students who were selected to study in the first European School outside of the EU borders. Unexpectedly, my education in a high school in Armenia became one in an international school in Georgia thanks to the EU. 

New country, new culture and new educational program, new friends and new opportunities.

Throughout the year I have discovered more not only about Georgia but also other member countries. I can say that my biggest cultural discovery was Moldova as I had never met anybody from Moldova before and had little knowledge about the country and culture. Georgia became a new home as Georgians are very hospitable and also we have a great atmosphere of unity among our programme students which drives us back to Tbilisi after the holidays with more opportunities of experience in multicultural environment. 

I can surely say that the typical school day in EaP European School differs from what I have in my Armenian school. We spend a lot of time together with our classmates in the classroom, in the canteen, in the library, in the yard or during after-school activities. As we have individual schedules, we have classes with different groups which enables us to communicate with other 54 classmates.

In our boarding facility, we have all the comforts to study, relax, have fun, prepare some snacks, do sports or just walk with friends and chat. We also have an opportunity to encounter with animals as we have a small dog shelter near our building. We also have 2 sheep in the yard and a kitten in the boarding. Thanks to the animal-friendly atmosphere in the school, I gradually overcome my fear of animals which I think is a great progress.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is unique and differs from our national curriculum and it challenges us not only to learn the theories and read literature but also to put our knowledge into practice, analyse, take risks and be inquiring. Our IB Diploma is on European Studies, which means that our education is based on European values and we learn European languages, such as English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, we study History, Politics and Economics of European and other countries. The international teaching staff, including native speakers and highly qualified IB teachers, allows us to have high standards of education and be ready to continue to study in the top universities of the world.

Besides the chances the program gives itself, it also opens the doors for further development and opportunities. Throughout the program, I had an opportunity to participate in GiMUN in Georgia, RomeMUN in Italy, several European Youth Parliament (EYP) sessions in different regions of Georgia, EaP European School Summer Camp in Georgia, to volunteer in Red Cross, UNICEF and C.O.A.T.S. The EU opens more and more areas of development and shapes us as future leaders of our countries.

Now I am more than happy to be a Young European Ambassador and a first-generation student of European education outside of its borders. My main goal is to develop my country as the EU develops us as individuals with our own identity but in one unity with our friends. 

You can find more information about the EaP School here.