Tbilisi American Corner counts its history from November 9, 2006 and is the only American Corner in the city.
Usually, most American Corners in Georgia and around the globe are located in the Public Libraries and some of them in the local Universities. Tbilisi AC is an exception as it is located at the National Palace, historical building and occupies quite large and comfortable space, which gives AC possibility to use their space not only for club activities, but for public too, like: public lectures, film screenings or participate in workshops organized by the U.S. Embassy or related Institutions.
AC has very rich technical resources, as well as book and film collection, board games, modern gadgets, like Kendell, Audiobooks and different programs for studying American English. Here, you can use modern technologies, other resources which are renewed every year and immensely rich library where you can immerse yourself in the country’s culture which is both – incredibly far and extremely close.
Through past years Tbilisi American Corner implemented many kinds of projects, like Summer school on different topics, U.S. Presidential mock election, some cultural programs, like Halloween, Christmas, U.S. Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Earth Day, Memorial Day and so on.
“This year US Embassy funded our projects that gives us possibility to widen our interests and design them to respond modern Georgian society’s needs, which reflects Global challenges. This year AC Tbilisi started a big project “Community Development Project – 2018” which includes some subprojects for different age groups and people of interest,” – Natela Urushadze, Tbilisi American Corner Coordinator told Caucasus Business Week.
AC always keeps its fingers on the pulse and equips young people with the knowledge and the skills they need to know in modern times.
“Right now we are running two projects: “Empowering Tbilisi Women”, which will be finished soon and “Religious Tolerance” for University students and other civics, interested with the topic. After a while we are going to carry out “Financial Education Project” which is designed for High School students and Entrepreneurs. All of them will work separately and gain financial knowledge in accordance to their needs, which they could use properly in their startups or Entrepreneurial matters,” – Natela Urushadze adds.
In addition, this summer, AC is going to run program with professional trainer on programming and using 3D printer and other modern technologies properly and afterwards share gained experience with peers in order to take responsibility on running Technology Club. Last year, “Sharing Experience” was one of AC’s successful projects which was implemented in 15 public schools.
As Tbilisi American Corner is located at the National Palace, the most of its beneficiaries are schoolchildren. AC offers the number of interest clubs to them, as: “English for Kids”, “American Book Club” for middle age group, for High school students “All about America”. AC also runs, Sunday Movie Clubs which is open to public. Besides, during a year, they run “Technovation Challenge Club” and “Comics Writing Club.” Alongside, they acquire film, photo shooting and editing.
Every summer AC carries out Summer School project in accordance to civic demands, from Start Up, to Critical Thinking.
At the moment the average number of AC students are 136 on regular tutorials. Most of them come to AC by the stories they hear from their friends, mates or parents, some find us on social media – FB page “American Corner Tbilisi”.
Mikheil Arakelyan joined AC last year and says that it is the only place where he and his friend can learn and speak American English and urges everyone to come to the American Corner.
“The reason why I go to American Corner, is that it is the only place in Tbilisi, where we can speak American English, so when I have International meetings or forums, I can speak English fluently. Also, many guests from USA visit us. The AC implements the projects which are connected with problems all over the world we are work at. That’s why everyone must come to American corner – says Arakelyan.
I walked in American Corner a year ago but feels like I’ve been here forever. It’s been the greatest experience of my life. It offers the opportunities I could never think would have appeared in my life. I’ve discovered independence and some great skills while being here. I will forever be grateful for everything that American Corner does for me and my friends. I am sure that this place will hugely contribute not only to my education but also to my career. It has already offered the kind of experiences that anyone could dream of – says Nia Kharebashvili, another member of AC.
But AC has a very ambitious goal to reach as many people as possible and tries to enlarge its users’ network by improving their services, programs, carry them to the public schools, and invite other schools to the center. Most Institutions which participate in the center’s projects have become friends and now are connected with each other with a signed Memorandums of Partnership.
“Besides the programs which are run by professionals, Americans or Georgians, they study teaming up, independence, they feel that their opinion or experience is counted. They have possibility to run discussions with American professionals on wide spectrum. They meet U.S. Embassy Diplomats, US Ambassador and visit the Embassy itself.” – Natela Urushadze explains.
AC best accomplishment is its successful alumni, who has graduated from American Universities such as Washington, Boston, New York, Arkansas, Abu-Dhabi and Bulgaria American University. Needless to mention about European or Georgian Universities, it’s quite a long list.
“But the most of all its friendly atmosphere which they have here, which helps them to make new friends with the same interests, reveal some talents inside themselves and display it. To my opinion, it is the main goal why they come and stay with us for some years,” – Natela Urushadze concluded.
Author: Meri Taliashvili