United World College (UWC) Dilijan is one of eighteen schools and colleges across the globe. It is the first international residential school in the CIS region and the only UWC in the postSoviet space or the Middle East.

The school is located in Dilijan, a sixteenth century spa town situated within the Dilijan National Park —an area renowned for its beauty, spring water and unique microclimate. UWC Dilijan became the fourteenth United World College established in the global education movement.



The idea of establishing a UWC international boarding school in Armenia was conceived of by impact investors and social entrepreneurs, Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend, in 2006. It was realised in 2014 with support from founding patrons, Noubar and Anna Afeyan, Gagik Adibekyan, Vladimir and Anna Avetissian, Oleg Mkrtchan, as well as an anonymous benefactor.

The UWC Dilijan campus occupies eight hectares of land located on the ancient Silk Route and at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Russia. The Founders’ aim was to bring the transformational power of education to young people from diverse geographies, cultures and backgrounds.

They envisaged creating a school that combines the best practices of today’s education, and embodies the future of education. The school’s core value is sustainable excellence in all aspects of development, from intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual growth to environmental stewardship.

London based Tim Flynn Architects designed the building to be sustainable & efficient, locally maintainable and environmentally friendly. The college’s campus is the first in Armenia and the CIS to be certified under the BREEAM standards of ecological construction (an environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings and compliance with international green building standards).

The college building has also become a Laureate of the IGRA Green Roof Leadership Awards in the Trendsetting Architecture category, as well as receiving a 2015 International Property Award in Public Services Development, becoming a silver medalist in the FIABCI 2016vWorld Prix d’Excellence Awards and being the first project in the CIS to earn such high recognition from the international expert community.

The College offers a two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) for students aged 16 to 18. UWC Dilijan provides its intentionally diverse, global community of students with a transformative two-year residential education in line with the UWC movement’s core values.

The mission of the school is to “make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”, social, economic and environmental development, and peace in the region and the world as a whole. More than 200 youngsters from 80+ countries of the world study in the UWCD. The diploma is recognised by universities worldwide and the curriculum is taught in English. Most UWCD graduates are admitted to top universities worldwide.

Back to top

Dear Visitor,

We are glad you are interested in the activities of the IDeA Foundation.

On this platform, you can learn about two-decades long thought, passion, commitment and hard work — all in pursuit of a more prosperous Armenia. The road has been long and reflections many. But we managed to achieve to a point where our work has left its mark on the lives of millions of people and we are really proud of it.

Our accomplishments are the fruit of a collective effort by hundreds of thousands of promoters and volunteers, tens of thousands of donors and supporters, hundreds of colleagues and dozens of founding partners. Together, we have shown what wonderous things can be achieved when people strive for realization of a common goal.

Allow our family, who was lucky enough to witness these remarkable achievements from the beginning, to express our sincere gratitude to numerous wonderful, caring, purposeful people and organizations that made all these achievements possible. We have the honor to present their successes and express our gratitude to them.

We have tried to present the key landmarks of our journey to a brighter Armenia, to chart the lessons learned, and some of the new approaches and initiatives they have forged — the 700 projects over the last 20 years.

We hope that learning about these works will be as pleasant for you as it is for us to tell about them.

But, more importantly, we would like to see you among those Armenians who will continue this path together with us in the future.

If a single community of like-minded people working towards the realization of a common vision of the future can achieve such a result, imagine what kind of changes can be made if the efforts of the entire nation were directed towards creation. Together we can dream.

And, together, we can make our dreams come true.

Thank You,

Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend