Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan
3 weeks, from Feb 12, 2024 to Mar 01, 2024

Online from Yerevan, Armenia

Applications for this course are closed, check out upcoming courses.

For inquiries please contact [email protected]

Check Upcoming Persian Language Courses

Persian Language Semester Program, from Aug 18, 2024 to Dec 06, 2024 (16 weeks)

Armenian School of Languages and Cultures - ASPIRANTUM is organizing the seventh 16-week Persian language semester program in Yerevan, Armenia. The seventh 16-week semester program of Persian language will start on August 18, 2024, and will last till December 6, 2024 (111 days, 300 hours of Persian language instruction).

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Armenian School of Languages and Cultures - ASPIRANTUM is inviting you to apply to the “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” online course. The course will last for 3 weeks. This online course will start on February 12, 2024, and will last till March 1, 2024.

The testimonials of ASPIRANTUM Persian language summer, winter, and online school participants are available here: https://aspirantum.com/testimonials

“Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” is a near advanced course and students will need to have a solid background of Persian with at least intermediate skills in Persian reading comprehension.

Saadi is one of the most praised and prized Persian poets, whose masterpieces are studied by thousands of students of Persian every year. His embellished and infinitely beautiful pearls of verse have fascinated almost all posterior poets and literary critics, and the depth of his poetry has educated generations and generations of Persians and many other neighboring nations.

One can spend many bottles of ink (although in our digital age, we are exempt from that danger) in trying to describe the significance of Saadi's works to the uninitiated. Still, it is only through reading those lines in the original that one can fully appreciate the actual value of that treasure.

Saadi of Shiraz lived in the Golden Age of classical Persian literature and contributed much to its development. He was born in the early 13th century and lived in an era when one of the most overwhelming events in the history of humanity took place - the Mongol invasion. However, it might sound a bit surprising to say that all the turmoil and trouble it brought to the Islamic world did not leave the stain of misery and pessimism over the creations of our poet. His works are full of optimism, wisdom, realism, and love. The poet is trying to share with the reader the multiple and various experiences and knowledge of humankind that he acquired during his long life and wanderings.

Golestan is a collection of didactic stories in prose, as a rule almost always accompanied by verse. Saadi tells various stories meant to give a spiritual and moral education to the reader. It touches multiple aspects of life, such as governance, love, spiritual development, education, ethics, etc. It is considered one of the finest specimens of the classical Persian language, through which generations studied and learned the language of classical Persian literature.

The “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” online course will help the participants to master skills in Persian, particularly in reading and interpreting Persian classical poetry, deepen their knowledge of the Golestan and learn the various meanings of Persian words.

This course will be organized on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays each week (4 days each week, 12 days over three weeks) and will include 42 hours of intensive Persian teaching (3.5 hours during each day). 

In addition to reading and discussing the Golestan every day, the students will also read an article in Persian by an Iranian scholar about a unique aspect of the Golestan. These readings are available in our syllabus. Every day the class will start with a discussion of the homework and the mentioned article. Following this, the class will read, interpret and decipher one or several stories from the Golestan. Each day's class will end with discussion and questions.

The syllabus of the first week of the “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” online course is available here: https://aspirantum.com/curriculum/learn-persian-through-saadi-golestan-syllabus The full syllabus will be available later.

Benefits of the Course

If one undertook the composition of a list of the world's most influential works of literature, classical Persian literature would occupy a place somewhere at the top of that list. By its magnificent contents and overwhelming extent, Classical Persian literature has inserted influence over Middle Eastern, Indian, and European literature during the last millennium. World-famous writers like Voltaire and Goethe were fascinated by the wisdom of the "eastern sages", and Persian poets like Omar Khayyam and Jalal-ud-Din Mawlana Rumi have or are occupying the ranks of some of the best-selling poets in the world.

Getting familiar with and learning the classical Persian language, the language of that literature, will open doors to this fantastic world of elegance and wisdom. The person who owns the keys to it will have access to one of the world's most sophisticated pieces of literature.

However, understanding medieval Persian literature does involve not only esthetical benefits but also practical ones. 

Understanding modern Iran is not just a matter of knowing how to chat in Persian. Far from that, it requires years and years of study of Persian civilization, its history, culture, mentality, and so on. If you look at it this way, literature is the only way that reflects all of those mentioned above within reach of everyone who bothers to study it. It is the easiest way of exploring a civilization, especially when we talk about the Middle Ages or the world of Antiquity.

It will not be an exaggeration to claim that modern Iran, as it is, is the child of classical Persian literature. The most important thing that makes Iran so special is nothing else but this literature on which everything else is constructed in this country.

By participating in this course, one will get familiar with the intricacies of Persian literature, learn the grammar of the early (classical) Persian language and start understanding Saadi's masterpiece, the Golestan.

We are planning to start the online classes at 9 PM Yerevan time. This time was chosen in order to accommodate students from both European and American countries. Depending on the geographic location of applicants, the time may be changed and all applicants will be informed about these changes prior to the start of the course.

Each day's class will be divided into the following sections:

First class - homework and discussion of homework article
Second class - Reading Golestan
Third class - Reading Golestan
Fourth class - Discussion and questions

During the “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” classes, the following components will be covered every day to foster the Persian language knowledge of the participants:

Grammar: Every day, we will cover the main grammatical concepts of the Golestan along with their parallels in modern Persian.
Vocabulary: During the 2-week course it is anticipated that the participants will learn around 500 or more Persian words that will facilitate their further study of classical Persian literature.
Listening: The classes are scheduled in a way so that each day participants will also listen to audio recordings of the Golestan.
Speaking: Every day the classes will push the students to exercise their speaking abilities through discussions, conversations, and role-plays about various stories of the Golestan.
Writing: Each day the participants will have assignments and homework to complete for the next day.
Reading: Every day, students will read and discuss the text of the Golestan. The corpus of texts to be read and discussed during the classes will include various stories from the Golestan.

This Persian language course is designed for participants who want to make well-grounded progress in their knowledge of the Persian language, deepen their knowledge of Persian grammar, the literary language, and classical poetry through Saadi’s Golestan.

The “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” online course will have 1 group of up to 12 participants. The participants must have at least an intermediate level of Persian knowledge before starting this course with ASPIRANTUM.

ASPIRANTUM’s Persian language schools are organized in a way that undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and professors as well as anyone interested in learning Persian through the Golestan will benefit from it. Thus, everyone with an intermediate level of Persian is welcome to apply and participate in ASPIRANTUM’s “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” course from February 12, 2024, till March 1, 2024, online.

Instructor: The “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” online course will be taught by Prof. Vardan Voskanian and Mr. Ruben Nikoghosyan will be the assistant instructor during this course (see profiles below). 


The deadline to apply to the 3 weeks “Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan” online course is January 24, 2024.

To apply, please fill in the application form below.

Participation fee:

The participation fee for the three-week course is $900.

Discount 1

If you apply before December 25, 2023, and make the payment by December 27, 2023, the participation fee will be 700 USD.

Discount 2

Need-based discounts will also be available. Please send an email to [email protected] describing your situation and we will consider your case individually.

Each participant of the online school may find sources of financial aid from their own University/School/Community or other relevant foundations.

Letter of Invitation

If necessary, ASPIRANTUM will provide applicants with an official letter to support scholarship applications.

Maximum capacity in the group: 12 students

Communication medium: The online course will be organized through Zoom.

To apply please fill in the application form below.

Registered participants should send 100% of the participation fee before December 22, 2021, online via debit/credit (Visa or Mastercard).

For questions and inquiries please contact [email protected] or Whatsapp Dr. Khachik Gevorgyan +374-91-557978

To apply, please fill in the application form below.


Vardan Voskanian profile image

Vardan Voskanian

Instructor of Persian Language

Vardan Voskanian has 22 years’ experience of teaching Persian to foreign students in an unforgettable way.

Course Syllabus

Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan Syllabus

This course is about one of the greatest masterpieces of classical Persian literature, the Golestan of Saadi. The program pursues two primary goals. The first is to give students the necessary tools for their independent readings and studies of the Golestan through accurate and detailed readings of several meaningful and engaging stories from this book. The lessons will be accompanied by explanations of words and expressions, translations of the Arabic verses, etymological glimpses into the history of essential phrases, and cultural comments. The second goal is to get familiar with the Classical Persian language and its grammatical and phonological subtleties. As classical Persian has a significant number of grammatical points different from modern standard Persian, this introduction will serve as a good point of departure for further studies of the language of classical Persian literature.

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Applications for this course are closed

For inquiries please contact [email protected]