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V School Opens Office In Beirut, 40 Students (Including Syrian Refugees) Are Enrolled

This is part of us continuing to expand our footprint around the world.

Today V School announced the opening of their office in Beirut, Lebanon. 40 students, half of whom are Syrian refugees, are currently enrolled in V School’s 12-week Coding Bootcamp. “This is part of us continuing to expand our footprint around the world,” says Michael Zaro, founder and CEO of V School.

The Beirut office is V School’s first office outside of the United States, but the Beirut program is far from the first time the company has served refugees. V School, which focuses on technology education for adults, has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to provide technology training to eight refugee populations in Utah since V School’s launch in 2013. “Refugee populations is part of what we’re passionate about,” Zaro says, and explains how difficult it was to see the unwillingness of some to lend a hand and support refugees. “We have the skills and resources to do something more,” he says.

177 Al-Makassed University students applied to the “Full Stack JavaScript” Coding Bootcamp and after a series of tests and interviews, 40 of those applicants were accepted to the V School program. Zaro explains that the bootcamp is fast and intense so to keep the pass rate high, V School needed to keep the acceptance rate fairly low.

Many of the Beirut students are much more educated than the average American students. When these refugees uprooted their lives and fled a war-torn country, they left behind jobs as cardiologists, engineers, scientists, and doctors. To practice as cardiologists, engineers, scientists and doctors again, these students would have to start their educations over again. Instead, in an effort to get assimilated as quickly as possible, they’ve enrolled in the Coding Bootcamp. “This is a chance for them to gain meaningful skills,” Zaro says. “We’re helping them gain skills that they can use to be productive.”

V School hopes to soon open more offices in the Middle East and Africa to serve additional refugee populations and will begin their second cohort in Beirut later this fall. Four instructors now reside in Lebanon and in the future V School will offer guest instructor positions for professionals with a background in technology. (Contact V School for more information.)

As Zaro explains, “Programming and Web Development have become the de facto international languages of our generation and literacy as technologies slide seamlessly across all borders.”