When speaking with Arman Kocayan from Istanbul, he immediately remarked about how Armenian Virtual College connects people worldwide, stating: “Hearing that your mother is from Bolis is so cool, you are from Canada and we get together by AVC from Yerevan. This created a wonderful feeling of connection and unity within me.”
Arman works as an ERP Systems Officer at a luxury goods company. He has lived in Istanbul his entire life, which he describes as “a beautiful and huge city in which you can see remains and marks of Armenians—mostly historical architecture—in many districts.”
Arman states that the Armenian community is mostly settled into four or five districts, where there are schools, churches, and social events.
While Arman attended the private Mkhitaryan Armenian School until seventh grade, he felt the overall environment of the city had an effect on how much Armenian he spoke on a daily basis. While he learned some Western Armenian, his family had very little Armenian education, so the language was rarely spoken in the home. He states, “Over the years we slowly start to forget.”
However, things changed when Arman decided to visit Armenia last year. Just a week before arriving, while researching more about the country, he learned about Armenian Virtual College, and kept it in mind.
When he arrived in Armenia, Arman wanted to avoid having any preconceived notions since he had heard both positive and negative things from friends, and immediately noted, “I was so amazed about what I saw there! First of all, seeing everyone speaking Armenian surprises you!” However, Arman soon criticized himself for not being able to speak his mother language, and made the decision to join AVC a few days later. He chose to focus on Eastern Armenian so he could speak with people who were from Armenia and be able to communicate while in the country.
From that decision last year, Arman is now at the intermediate level in his Eastern Armenian language studies with AVC! Arman particularly highlighted the role his Online Instructor Ani Dekirmenchyan had on his wonderful experience, stating: “Thanks to my dear teacher and friend Ani the lessons are so enjoyable and understandable. She really put great effort teaching me the differences between Western and Eastern Armenian. Without the teacher factor the system would never be as good as this—they are the key!”
Arman thanks AGBU and AVC for allowing him to easily pick up where he left off in terms of the Armenian language, and stated: “I really feel special and lucky because of AGBU, AVC and Ani. Having an opportunity like this is great beyond words.”
Shortly after his trip, Arman decided that moving to Armenia was his goal, and that he would put in all of the necessary work and effort to achieve it. Armenian Virtual College is not only helping him make his goal a reality, but also connecting him to Armenians worldwide!