How to find International Programs for Students who like to travel [fully funded]

Recently, my friends were asking me how I find fully funded international programs all the time, so here we go:

1.apyAll you need is to follow the right pages on social media and mail subscriptions. Find and follow on social media non-governmental organizations(NGO) pages that offer programs to students. One of such pages is Armenian Progressive Youth(APY) NGO. This page is always sharing various short and long term programs, and if you become a volunteer there, you can go to more programs via their organization. Be careful not to pay them for subscription to their organization, if you want just become a volunteer there 🙂 Also, join there various groups where they announce about new programs.

https://www.facebook.com/apypage/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/groups/298687651551/?multi_permalinks=10155399266231552&notif_t=group_activity&notif_id=1496993923879693

https://www.facebook.com/groups/259827344184776/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/groups/153107808116364/

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Luysi Ashkharh is another NGO that shares various programs. I am not familiar with their activities but I think their programs are also fully funded, and most probably Erasmus + projects.

https://www.facebook.com/Luysi-ashkharh-210958319283469/

3.download  is a platform that connects students all over the world (munplanet.com). Do not be confused with the name; you do not need to be a regular participant of MUN. The programs are not MUN conferences (but of course they have it too). You can share your ideas there, follow other fellow members, read useful articles, etc. But the most exciting feature of their website is their mail subscription. You just sign up, and from time to time you get emails about fully funded programs, conferences, workshops, etc. The best things about this site is that it does not spam its members with unnecessary emails. It seems they just send you what you need. Actually, due to this platform, I am going to Norway for ten days to participate in Isfit Student Festival for free. It includes accommodation, food, travel costs, even covers transportation in the city. BTW Isfit is organized every two years so that you can apply for 2019 festival. It has an exciting program: fun workshops and project days, one day off, one ski day, and cultural programs every evening:  concerts, theater performances, etc. Only traveling from your country to Norway is not covered, but fortunately, there is a financial aid opportunity, so as you can guess I got one.

 

4. erasmus_logo It has many programs from short period workshops to monthly or yearly durational programs. This platform has a lot of programs, so for more information just go erasmusplus.am Unfortunately, you cannot apply to the short term programs through their website, however, by following NGO’s or universities that offer Erasmus+ programs, you will be able to apply. APY also offers Erasmus + programs. One of the Erasmus + exciting programs is EVS which duration is from 2 months to 1-2 year. It is again fully funded, but you  volunteering service or social work is a must. As far as I have noticed, EVS programs are usually from 6-12 months, volunteering work is either social media marketing, PR, journalism, work with children or that kind of stuff. The one thing you should know about Erasmus + projects is that you should buy the plane tickets beforehand, and then during or after the program, they reimburse you. For Armenia, it covers max 360 euros. For traveling to some countries it can be more, but recently it was 360 euros. If you go via organization (e.g., APY) they take about 30% from the amount, so it is left 252 euros for your tickets. However, if you buy tickets early, you can fit in this range. Recently, APY mentions that the ticket costs are covered up to 70%, so you can see how much you should spend on your travel. Usually, Erasmus + workshops are having participants representing certain NGO-s, so it is better if you are part of the organization (volunteer or intern), or apply via their organization. I am blessed to say, that I took part in Erasmus + workshop. I went to Sweden for ten days via APY because I won in their video contest.

 

5.grobspkl  I guess you all heard of armacad.info. But first, let me explain. …
They added a new feature that you can add your subscription preferences and get weekly updates. Before this new feature, they were spamming me with all the programs they had, but after this new update, I have found some cool programs, that are of my interest. The only disadvantage of Armacad is that you cannot choose your school program preference (undergraduate, Masters, Ph.D.), not all programs are fully funded or have financial aid opportunities. So I will suggest you to see if you are eligible for the program (age limit, country, school program), what it covers, and then decide if you want to apply or not.

 

6.usg-seal.png usa.gov. It cannot be easier than this. You just subscribe to their mailbox or check the announcements page from time to time to see new exciting programs. US Embassy offers great programs for students such as UGRAD(one semester abroad), SUSI(one month in the USA), etc. All the programs are fully-funded in its fullest form, and even some of them give pocket money. The US Embassy in Armenia, also, organizes movies screenings, seminars, etc., so you can be active in this form too.

 

7. 10991244_10155258907520338_1587008608972346077_n AIESEC is another awesome NGO that organizes social programs and offers a lot of opportunities abroad. You can follow their Facebook page and group to get updates about the programs. AIESEC programs are great if you have money but not enough for travelling by yourself. They cover everything except airplane tickets, so if you have enough money to cover travel costs then you can easily apply through this organization.

https://www.facebook.com/aiesecarmenia/?ref=br_rs

https://www.facebook.com/groups/195575444273983/?ref=br_rs

I hope this article will help you to find right programs for you, and good luck on your endeavors to start free international journeys.

By

Arpine Kirakosyan

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What is Going on With the World?

Donald Trump, a hateful and racist man, was elected as President of the U.S. even after a year of speaking about revenge, hate, and war.

 

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-Blek Le Rat 

 

Trump has banned Muslims from seven different countries the entry to America (even to Green Card holders). 

One of these countries are retaliating by banning Americans into their countries.

 

Armenia is about to witness its most complicated voting sessions.

 

People are hating each other because they are not the same.

We hate Muslims and black people because they are different and believe in a god that we don’t.

 

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– Kaws

 

 

Syria has been at war for seven years.

Iraq and Palestine have yet to recover from what has been done.

 

Brussels was attacked.

 

Nice was attacked.

 

Lebanon. Spain. Netherlands. Pakistan. Tunisia. Libya. Turkey. Egypt. Uganda. Nigeria. Australia. India. Israel. Australia. Denmark. All attacked.

 

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– Banksy

 

All that blood spill.

All that hate.

What for?

 

For future benefits?

For our own selfish reasons (whatever that may be)?

 

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– Shepard Fairey

 

 

Where did we go wrong?

How did the human race ever go from two people living in peace to being so full of hate and disgust that we can no longer live together without violence?

 

What is wrong with the world?

 

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– Banksy

 

 

People are out on the streets.

Protesting. Yelling. Demanding.   

#WomensMarch

#Marchforlife

 

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– Shepard Fairey 

 

#jan25

#revolution

#Prayfortheworld

 

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– AptArt “We see you with our hearts. So look at us with your eyes.”  

 
What is going on?  

 

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– Banksy 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/timeline-of-terror-attacks-in-past-20-years-1420662841

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

Elie Saab: Spring/Summer 2017 Haute Couture Collection

Recently, Paris was witnessing one of the most significant events of the fashion industry. Exclusive costumes that can, no doubt, be perceived as unique works of art were demonstrated during the Couture Week.

The Lebanese designer Elie Saab could not be left out from the list of designers who vigorously contribute to the high fashion. Moreover, he again gave an outstanding and also very subtle touch to his spring/summer 2017 haute couture collection. This time, Middle East, mostly Egyptian motives combined with modern styles came to impress the audience. The whole collection is mostly based on the trending colors of 2017; various shades of blue, specifically dusky and Egyptian blue were dominating among the demonstrated looks. Beige that does not lose its power and remains a trending color for most fashion designers can also be seen in this collection. Inspired by the culture of mid-century Egypt, Saab let us feel the spirit of the Arabian culture not only by the shown outlooks but also with music that keep us in that specific mood throughout the show. Transition from Arabic to contemporary music helps us not forget about the time period we currently live in.

Trailing caped backs and skirts cut to flow over narrow pants put a strong emphasise on perfectly demonstrating feminine body; this style of clothing can also be considered as a trend of 2017. Glitter and gold, that is another trend of this year was used on most clothes; this no doubt make an outfit look more elegant and luxurious. In regard of jewelries and headbands that complete the looks, are attributes that remind us about Egyptian culture.

The show was the combination of the past 20th century Middle East cultural motifs and contemporary fashion trends in terms of colors, fabric and overall looks.

My Memories of the Unbelievable Siena

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In October 2016, I visited Italy with my mother. We had a blast in every single city that we visited, but little did I know, that Siena would impress me that much.

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In Siena the architecture soars, and could well lift your soul. Effectively a giant, open-air museum to the Gothic, its spiritual and secular medieval monuments still sit in harmony, many filled with collections of Sienese art. Add vibrant streets where every third door (literally) opens into a restaurant, and you’re in for a very fine time indeed. Because this is Italy before the Renaissance, magically transported to the modern day. The guide told us a lot about Siena and its ancient history, she also told us that it is – like every other city in Italy – an open-air museum.

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The guide also told us about the “Palio Races” of Siena. A race which lasts less than 2 minutes, is the subject of debate and competition all year round and can cause men and women to laugh or cry; such is the Palio, the greatest traditional festival in Siena. Siena is divided into seventeen contrades, or areas of the city. The Sienese people belong first to a contrada and then to the city.

Each contrada competes against one another in the Palio, and rivalry and competition are an integral part of the preceding months before the event. Ten contrade are selected for each race, each contrada is assigned a horse, and the horses compete in la corsa of Piazza del Campo while thousands of people come as spectators and participants, transforming the main piazza into a teeming sea of people. There are two palio races each summer; one on the 2nd of July, and the second on the 16th August. The festivities start three days prior to each Palio, although the anticipation is already evident weeks before. During this time, there are banquets, parades, blessing of the horses and celebrations of all kinds. During these days, there are events such as the assigning of the horses to the ten contrade the first, second, third and fourth trial, and the Prova Generale, followed by the dinner of the Prova Generale for each contrada. Contrada colors are worn by Sienese people, and music, singing and drumming can be heard on the streets at all times of the day or night.

On the day of the Palio, spectators crowd into the piazza from noon on, willing to bear sun, heat and sweat to witness this traditional event. The more sedate will pay for seats situated around the edge of the piazza, which are usually sold out eight months in advance.

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The piazza is sealed off minutes before the Palio starts, and eventually (after a few false starts), the horses are off, and it is over before the dust settles. The winning contrada feasts and celebrates for weeks afterwards, with banquets, replays and much discussion, and the losing contrade can only hope that with much preparation, plotting and luck, they will fare better in the following race.

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A wonder for all who see, this tradition is unusual in that it is of the people of the city – the Palio is a unique phenomenon, one that arouses much emotion, an event that the Sienese people hold dear to themselves, and as such is a strong authentic tradition that is a once in a lifetime experience to witness and enjoy.

Not only was I amazed at the Siena history but also I was astounded by the beauty of the very square where the races were held annually. It was magnificent in its simplicity and influential in literally the art of every single corner, restaurant, fountain or brick and I didn’t cease to capture every corner of it, hoping to return once again.

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– Diane Jakob

 

Fill your life with adventures: Exotic places to visit

Life is about having as many adventures, as life allows us to have. Travelling is one of the best ways to create adventures and have new experiences. It is something that  everyone ought to be able to do at least once in their lives. In addition, travelling is the best way to learn about different countries, nations, their cultures, traditions, history as well as the language. Travelling proves that dreams are for real, and that there is a heaven on earth.  Here are some of the most wonderful and exotic places to visit once in life.

1.Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

In Jose Ignacio only 300 people live, but in winter, the city is filled with popular Latin stars like Shakira. There are  very good hotels and fashionable restaurants. Jose Ignacio is an ideal place for everyone.

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2.Koh Rong Island, Kambodia

If you want to relax, then you definitely need to visit the island of Koh Rong. No high buildings, noise and cars. Around you just silence, a few fishing villages and wonderful nature. Koh Rong is also called “Thailand 20 years ago”

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3.Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye Island has a long history. At different times there lived Mayas, Indians, whalers and buccaneers. Today, Ambergris Caye attracts divers from all over the world.

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4.Roatan, Honduras

Cruise ships began to run to the coast of Roatan in 2005. This is because Honduras is not the safest place in the world.

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5.Puglia, Italy

Holidays in Puglia brings bright emotions: azure sea, red earth, golden sunsets, and, most importantly, the people are very hospitable. Apart from a beach holiday , there are  some things to see: Castle of Bari, the Basilica of Santa Croce , Archaeological Museum of Rignano Garganico  and much more.

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6.Zambia and Zimbabwe

A beautiful place like Victoria Falls, is known all over the world. It is close to Hwange National Park, about which few have heard. The park is enormous – 14 600 sq. km, there are lakes, rare plants and wild African animals and birds. The pride of Hwange are elephants (they are there more than 30 thousand).

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7.Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Phu Quoc – it’s just a paradise. The island is framed by white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and emerald jungles. Here you can go diving, kayaking and visiting various farms. Camping Quoc gives great feeling of unity with nature.

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8.Salinas Grandes, Argentina

This is a salt desert – a large salt marsh, which length is 250 km and the width – 100 km. When there is rain, saline water drags and turns into a giant mirror. Through the Salinas Grandes run railways and roads, but it is still considered inaccessible and therefore not so popular among tourists.

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9.Whitehaven, Australia

Whitehaven Beach – is a beautiful 7 kilometer coastline, along the Whitsunday Islands. It is known worldwide due to its white sand.

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10.Pink Sands, Bahamas

Harbour Island is one of the most amazing places of the Bahamas. Unusual color of the sand due to the presence of tiny particles of foraminifera shells. This single-celled organisms that live on the bottom of the reef under rocks and in caves of the coastal ocean floor.

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11.Playa de Amor – a hidden beach, Marietas islands, Mexico

If not the sound of the waves, people probably would have known about the beach hidden from the eyes. Playa del Amor is located a few meters from the coast of uninhabited Marieta Islands. Very few tourists get there. The real paradise for lovers of privacy.

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12.Vaadhoo, Maldives

There is one beach in the world, which is particularly beautiful at night. Plankton, thrown on the beach of the island Vaadhoo, colors coast with thousands of lights. Blue glowing waves reflect like stars in the sky over the Maldives!

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13.Glass Beach, California

Near the town of Fort Bragg there is an interesting beach, studded with colored glass. At the beginning of XX century there was the town dump, and then in 1967 the authorities closed it and held territory clean for many years. Now there is no garbage here, but the shore is covered with small, peeled waves glass stones.

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Highway to hell

img_3455I’ve been driving in Armenia for 2 years now, what attracted me the most was a phenomenon that I noticed in the past two months. I would like to call it “Singing in Cars is Forbidden.” I was stopped by cops one night because me and my friend were singing in the car, It was weird and extraordinary to be stopped for this. I didn’t break any rules, I wasn’t drunk, I didn’t speed, my lights were on. The officer asked for my papers and then asked me if I was drunk. They don’t have any blowers to test if you’re drunk, but only in Armenia cops have the super power of noticing a drunk person from one blow of their breath on the driving license.

After this incident I decided to run a small experiment by myself, I went out late at night with my friend and we sang in the car. Guess what! we were stopped each time, and every time I was shocked with the comments that I would get. Some of them even took upon themselves the responsibility to be part of my personal life and ask me why as a girl I was out so late. The second part of the experiment was in the mornings when I would drive to work or class. I usually have music in the morning to boost my mood, and according to an article in everydayhealth.com, listening to up beat music helps boost your mood. I was stopped again several times, some would say Im drunk at 9 a.m. in the morning.

The bottom line here is that we claim to be open minded in our society, but the truth is that the major part of our society still needs a lot of effort to be close to open mindedness. Listening to music in the car is what makes the day happier and more productive for me. I’m not doing anything illegal, but trying to seize the day is ,I guess, a crime. So dear cops next time why don’t you try to stop the cars that drive crazy fast at night, the drunk drivers, the ones that endanger their lives and others’ lives by passing a red light. Why don’t you try to support the females that are trying to drive in your country, instead of dragging their motivation to the ground. Why can’t you just have some integrity and ethics to be “Gentlemen” and respect people’s privacy.

The Issue of Creativity

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Whenever I am asked, and alternatively required to compose an original piece of writing for a particular purpose, this otherwise enjoyable task is often hindered by an unsettling sense of apprehension at the prospect of failing to be creative.

A professor in a persuasive writing course recently established that one must read at least twice as much as one writes in order to perfect the latter art. Yet one cannot help but escape the impression that the more you read, that is the more you learn of the world and of man’s richly diverse experiences of appreciating it, the less you are capable of conjuring an approach for its appreciation that is inherently your own. The process of discovering the world is conducive then to a creative drought, leaving the mind thirsty for original and novel thought. The mind stumbles into an abysmal fall wherein the spark of creative thought remains the sole safeguard against the shattering landing.

Comes then the infallible question: why bother at all? If indeed everything you have to express has already been done so, and in most likelihood more eloquently and appealingly so, why strive for creativity at all? Why not merely give in to the numb reprisal and repetition of that which has demonstrated steady resolve over the course of time?

The only believable answer I’ve been able to come up with, which would offer a hint of solace to an otherwise depressing realisation is that the occasional enchanting thought, or appealing word construct, what George Orwell defines as aesthetic enthusiasm (See? Even here on must refer to another’s definition to allow for the most exact wording of one’s own ideas. Ironic, isn’t it?), that do emanate from within in the overwhelming noise of writing that pervades our lives serves to perpetuate an otherwise diminishing sense of Beauty. Our unconscious reprisal of previously expressed human truths and experiences under the veil of a seemingly “creative” approach ultimately allows for their perpetuation and therefore survival.

So maybe ignorance is bliss. The less we know about something, the better we are capable of fooling ourselves into believing that a particular gust of thoughtful wind carries with it a drop of originality.

Gevorg Mnatsakanyan

References:

Orwell, G. (1946). Why I Write? Retrieved from http://orwell.ru/library/essays/wiw/english/e_wiw