Armenia is a landlocked country in Southwestern Asia, or Eurasia. It is situated at the gateway between Western Asia and Eastern Europe and bordered by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Turkey. Located in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, Armenia is a mountainous region with fast flowing rivers. The government system of Armenia is a republic; the president is the chief of state and head of government. Armenia has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of private freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Armenia’s economic freedom score is 68.7, making its economy the 44th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 1.6 points, with a sharp decline in fiscal health and lower scores for investment freedom and labor freedom overwhelming modest improvements in judicial effectiveness and monetary freedom. Armenia is ranked 20th among 44 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is slightly below the regional norm but well above the world average.
In Armenia, schools are essential for cultural survival and are highly valued with 1,600 years of literary history. The government spends about 3 percent of its annual GDP on education and has passed new laws to help increase educational standards. Armenia has found some success improving education standards and is continuing to find solutions to other educational issues.
In 2014, the World Bank announced that they will provide $30 million for the Education Improvement Project in Armenia. Reforms taking place include implementing new educational standards and a new national curriculum and extending the educational system to include grade 12; these steps are vital to building a successful and competitive educational system in Armenia. The project will also help 12,000 children living in poverty in rural areas and boost development for electronic content.
Armenia is an ethnically homogeneous country, where Armenian is the official language and is spoken as a first language by the majority of its population.
As of today, Russian is still, by far, the best known foreign language among the Armenian population. English is gaining popularity in recent years. French and several other languages have also begun to be studied and used. Kurmanji is the largest minority language of Armenia spoken by the Yazidi minority. Other minority languages recognized by the Armenian government are Assyrian, Greek, and Russian.
Armenia formally decreed its sovereignty on 21 September 1991 after the failed August coup in Moscow. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was popularly selected as the first President of the newly sovereign Republic of Armenia on 16 October 1991. He ruled alongside Vazgen Sargsyan, the Defence Minister, through the Nagorno-Karabakh War with Azerbaijan. The war ended in 1994 after a cease-fire brokered by Russia was put in place. The war was a success to Armenian forces who managed to seize 16% of Azerbaijan’s globally known territory including Nagorno-Karabakh itself. Since then Azerbaijan and Armenia have held peace talks, arbitrated by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Armenia is located in the south of Transcaucasia and covers the northeast part of Armenian uplands (located in Alps-Himalaya range).
Armenia is landlocked and in the north shares borders with Georgia, in the northeast and the southwest with Azerbaijan, in the east with Nagorno-Karabakh, in the west with Turkey, in the south with Iran. The greatest extent from the northwest to the southeast is 360 km, from the west on the east - 200 km. The area of Armenia is 29.8 thousand sq km.
Armenia's different varieties of climates depend on the absolute height of the land. They vary from the dry subtropical to the mountain tundra climate. The following six basic types can be distinguished. Another type of climate is the dry continental type. It prevails along the middle reaches of the Arax up to an elevation of 1,300 m. It differs from the dry subtropical climate by its cold winters.
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