To volunteer with Birthright Armenia, the applicant has to be:
1) Of Armenian heritage (at least one grandparent must be fully Armenian).
2) Between the ages of 20 and 32 years, and must have graduated from high school (secondary school).
3) Born outside of Armenia or, if born in Armenia, prove by official documentation that they left Armenia before the age of 12.
For participants who do not meet the requirements above, our partner organization, the Armenian Volunteer Corps, is the ideal organization to apply and participate through. Visit them at www.armenianvolunteer.org
The program runs year-round and you choose your own start and end dates.
Preferably, you need to have a completed application package at least two months prior to your intended start date. Since summer months are busier, we encourage even earlier applications.
The minimum length of volunteering is nine weeks and the maximum is a year. The only exception is Birthright Lite for working professionals age 25 and over who have full-time jobs – their minimum volunteer service is 4 weeks.
A - Birthright Lite is an option for full-time working professionals, aged 25 and over, who have valuable skills to share but who have limited time away from their job. They are invited to apply and volunteer for as little as four weeks in-country, and still experience Armenia as a non-tourist. Birthright Lite participants pay for their own travel, lodging/host family costs
Certainly. Your in-country experience might encourage you to extend your stay, and we are flexible in working with the participant’s plans for extension.
Of course! While being able to speak Armenian is certainly a plus, it is not a requirement for participation.
From Monday to Friday, all participants must volunteer six hours a day, 30 hours a week. In the evenings, twice a week we have Armenian language classes for those who need to advance their language skills, and once a week we have a presentation forum or gathering. Saturdays are reserved for seeing the country on our excursion series.
Exceptions are not made to our age criteria since we offer a very broad 12-year window. Older volunteers, even of non-Armenian descent, can come to Armenia and volunteer with our sister organization, the Armenian Volunteer Corps
One attractive aspect of the program is that we make the entire experience as affordable as possible. The travel fellowship section describes how you can qualify for an airfare reimbursement; we have no application or enrollment fees; we pay the basic costs of living with a host family which includes a daily breakfast; the only mandatory cost is 5900 AMD per month for medical insurance. Participation in an excursion costs 4000 AMD per day and includes the transportation, guide, lodging and food. Volunteers have to plan on paying for basic expenses such as food, mobile phone usage, local transportation and lodging rental (if not staying with a host family). A typical volunteer monthly expenses can range between 200-700 USD.
There are several ways our short-term volunteers transfer/access money in Armenia. The first option is ATMs, which could be easily found in every corner in Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor. ATMs in Armenia function in accordance with the Plus Global Access Network, Visa, and MasterCard systems. Keep in mind that ATMs charge you a fee for each transaction. The second option to carry cash with you directly. Another option is wire transfers. The money can be picked up at a bank with a passport. The fee for the transfer is often less than ATM charges. For long term volunteers, opening a personal bank account here in Armenia is definitely another option. Opening an account in Armenia’s banks can be done within 20 minutes and with the use of a passport.
After the 18th week of participation, Birthright Armenia starts paying volunteers a monthly allowance of 60000 AMD to help cover basic living expenses.
Our policy is clear. Birthright Armenia welcomes people from a variety of identities and backgrounds to apply. We have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination against volunteers based on age, race and ethnicity, geographical background, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious belief, mental and physical ability, and language proficiency. We aim to be an inclusive space where all volunteers find the support and community that they need before, during and after their stay in Armenia.
No, a high school diploma is sufficient.
In some instances, it’s possible to volunteer with another partner organization either before or after volunteering with Birthright Armenia, while receiving credit for the weeks volunteered with our partner. Such organizations are the Youth Corps Programs (AYF Youth Corps), the Diaspora-Armenia Connexion (DAC), Land and Culture Organization (LCO), and others. Please contact us to see if your organization qualifies.
Yes, our driver will pick you up at Zvartnots airport in Yerevan.
Yes, you can reach out to the staff via visit, phone or e-mail.
Yes, we can provide you with references upon request.
You will receive a stamp in your passport upon arrival, which allows you to stay in Armenia for 180 days. Contact us for longer term stays.
Overall, the average length of stay is 3.5 months.
Some volunteers may struggle with cultural shock, the distance from relatives, the language barrier, etc. But all challenges are surmountable and are all volunteers are fully supported by staff and fellow participants.
Yes, there will be a lot of other volunteers from different parts of the world. You will have a chance to interact with them during various program components and outside of the program too.
You will be quite busy during the weekdays at your jobsites. There are also evening activities you will be joining in our office.
We choose the volunteers based on the application, their motivation, the interview, reference letters and whether we think they’ll be good fit for the program.
Yes, we organize various cultural events, such as museum visits, group attendance to different concerts, dance performances, etc. Also, we encourage volunteers to plan their own cultural program.
"Now I know that when I go back to Armenia, there's someone waiting for me: a mom who lets me in when I knock on the door, a friend who listens to me, a co-worker who makes my work hours less stressful."