From August 1 to 12, the University of Tartu organises Estonian summer courses, where daily language lessons are combined with engaging after-class cultural activities.
The University of Tartu College of Foreign Languages and Cultures has been organising international Estonian summer courses since 1998. An average of 50-60 people from all over the world take part in the courses every year. This summer, the courses will take place from August 1 to 12.
The course is open for everyone interested in learning Estonian. Former participants have included people with Estonian roots, entrepreneurs connected to Estonia through their work, or simply eager language enthusiasts. There is no age limit to joining and students usually make up about half of the participants, meaning there is truly a mix of different people.
According to the head of the programme, Ms. Tiina Kattel, the summer courses are truly one of a kind: “Learning a language intensively for two weeks can be quite challenging. However, every year our teachers and participants mutually agree that there is a special atmosphere that boosts motivation. The programme is somehow emotionally so rewarding that you just forget about the actual number of language lessons. It is a great example of what can happen when people share a goal or are enthusiastic about the same things.”
In total, there are five different language levels to choose from, ranging from beginner to advanced levels. The language lessons aim to enhance vocabulary and knowledge of grammar, develop reading, writing, listening, and conversation skills. “I had the best teacher. She only spoke Estonian, but it helped a lot. I didn’t speak Estonian before the course because I am shy and afraid to make mistakes, but she taught me to speak,” praised Anna, one of the participants in the course. “I liked that she used various teaching methods and each lesson was different,” she added.
While the academic part is meant to broaden the language skills, the tailor-made culture programme focuses on introducing Tartu through engaging activities. It is also a good opportunity to network with other participants in a more relaxed environment.
Registration is open until June 1 and multiple scholarships are available. Find more information on the homepage of Estonian summer courses.