Keti Archaia ’17

Double Major in Management and ICP

AUP is not just a university – it is a family and a shelter for those who went abroad seeking education combined with adventure. I love how tight, yet wide, the AUP community is – everyone knows each other, yet everyone is from a different corner of the planet. When I first applied to AUP, I knew I was looking for a high-quality, diverse education, but I had no vision of what to do with that education. Taking advantage of the liberal arts system, I took various courses, trying to find my passion. Because I was able to pursue so many different interests as I sought out the best education possible, being a student at AUP widened my world infinitely.

I came to AUP from a small town located in the country of Georgia. What first attracted me to AUP was the opportunity to study in Europe while getting an American-style education. However, from the moment I first walked into a class at AUP, I realized that AUP is so much more than a fantastic combination of location and liberal arts education. It’s all about the people – the multinational classmates, friendly professors, helpful staff and even the Parisians you meet at the local boulangeries – they let you experience not just America, or France, but the whole world in one place.

While all the courses that I took at AUP were engaging, I was most fascinated by the dynamics of the classes themselves.

Keti Archaia

This is what living in Paris is about to me and how it combined with my academic experience at AUP. Imagine you are in the AUP library reading a book by Ernest Hemingway for literature class and then about 15 minutes later you are sitting in the café where he once sat and wrote the same book. You see this book coming alive and experience part of the inspiration that made him write these words. Then you have an art class, where you discuss Impressionism and its founder, Claude Monet. You are just one bus stop away from the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie, two wonderful museums where you can see many of Monet’s masterpieces, and then the next weekend you have a picnic planned in Giverny, where Monet’s foundation and his famous garden is located. At AUP, my studies became more than just books and presentations, they became part of my life.

While all the courses that I took at AUP were engaging, I was most fascinated by the dynamics of the classes themselves: professors always encourage engagement, letting students speak up, ask questions, start discussions, and to a certain degree define the direction of the class. With this kind of approach, students are learning not only from the professor, but from each other as well. Plus, having a multinational environment with professors and students from all around the world makes the learning much more informative with everyone giving their perspectives and experience from their own cultural lens.

I’ve slowly realized that what I am most passionate about is the learning experience itself. Being an alumna of AUP has given me a pathway to use my knowledge and experience to the benefit of my country. Now I am devoting my career to building the same kind of learning experience I had at AUP in places where it’s less accessible. In fact, after graduation I returned to my home country where I volunteered and taught English in a children’s shelter. At the same time, I remodeled my childhood home into a family-style hotel. I have just started a job as a Marketing Manager at Palitra Media in Georgia and am also working on an NGO project that aims to bring fundamental changes to the education system in Georgia.