Testimonial by Asha Sawhney

BA student, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University, USA

3 weeks 2018 Persian Language Summer School

I came into this program without knowing what to expect, and left it extremely grateful for the wonderful experience! Khachik is a great program director and warm host who will make sure to answer any and all questions related to the summer school and/or your stay in Armenia. Everyone who works for him was helpful, kind, and welcoming as well. Leili, our Persian summer school teacher, really helped us get the most out of a short program. The classes are intense but the quality of instruction is excellent and the curriculum is structured such that its beneficial to students with a wide range of academic focuses whether that be cultural, political, historical, etc. There is quite a bit of assigned homework but an understanding that what you choose to put into the program will determine what you get out of it. If you are an intermediate Persian student, this is one of the best ways to get a boost in your skills and the three-week increments make it ideal for fitting language study into an otherwise busy summer.

Khachik is known for his speed in answering emails and no one should ever hesitate to reach out and ask him questions. He cares deeply about the mission of ASPIRANTUM and wants to make language study as accessible and enjoyable as possible for students from all over the world. This organization in particular is able to provide a far more accomodating environment than most other language programs, and everyone who works for it knows their environment and mission extremely well. Yerevan is also a beautiful and easy to navigate city, making it the perfect location for a program like this.

My only suggestion would be for the material being taught in class to be narrowed down a bit so that every activity that is started can get completed in time, with perhaps time to review past material to really have it sink in. I am happy with the wide range of texts, videos, etc. we received, including the ones we did not complete, because they are now useful for my own self-study at home. Perhaps a system that could be useful in the future is each week the class can be given a list of supplemental activities/materials that they can take a look at during the program if they have time, or they can keep the lists for future reference once the program has finished. An overarching syllabus for the whole 3 and 6 weeks would also be useful for students.

Other Testimonials.

Jessica Page

MPhil candidate in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, Oxford University, UK

“I cannot recommend the Persian program enough. This program was very challenging, yet flexible enough for postgraduate students who are also doing summer research in Armenia. I would certainly come back for another summer.”


Oula Alrifai

Master's Candidate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University

“Now six weeks have passed, they were full of daily exciting Persian classes and weekend adventures in the dreamy Armenian nature. Thank you ASPIRANTUM for making my experience unforgettable!”