Before discovering the Armenian Virtual College, Valery Novoselsky had known only some basic Armenian phrases, including some expressions of love, that he learned from Armenian friends. Today, Valery has expanded that knowledge to include history, architecture, language, as well as music, by enrolling in AVC’s online courses and has completed advanced levels for most of them.
Growing up in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, Valery recalled that even though there was no significant Armenian population, he had always been socially connected with Armenians throughout his life: “We were citizens of the same country during the times of the Soviet Union.“ This influence later on grew into stronger ties with Armenians as he moved to Moscow and later to Haifa. He grew up with Armenian neighbours, school mates, and friends, and eventually developed an interest in Armenia’s culture and history. In October 2011, a quick online search led him to discover Armenian Virtual College, and after viewing the course list, Valery knew he had found what he was looking for.
Valery has now completed courses on Armenian history from ancient times until the twentieth century, language, architecture, and music. While he stated it can be difficult to remember some of the names of famous Armenian figures as well as geographic locations, he noted that the detail and quality of information within the courses made the material easy to comprehend and was appropriate for people of all learning levels.
Valery states that AVC’s course materials and methods of teaching inspired him to further explore topics he found interesting. For example, after learning about the Mamikonian Dynasty in a history course, he stated: “The facts that I learned about the Dynasty via AVC prompted me to read more sources on the history of Armenian communities in China, the topic which deserves better attention of anyone interested in Armenian heritage and its strength.”
As a result of both his Roma background and passion for human rights, Valery is involved with the international Roma movement and is currently the editor of the Roma Virtual Network. Valerie values highly the role AVC can play as a bridge between Armenia to the international community: “Thanks to AVC, Armenia will have new friends who have basic knowledge of the history, culture and language of the Armenian people. And regardless of their official duties, they will be public diplomats of Armenia to the world in the real sense of the word,” Valery states.
By Lena Tashjian