Testimonial by Atussa Mohtasham

PhD student, Princeton University, USA

3 weeks 2019 Persian Language Summer School

The Persian language summer school organized by ASPIRANTUM enabled me to study the Persian language in a unique environment. I spent summer 2019 in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, and attended Persian language classes from Mondays to Fridays of the week. On weekends, there were excursions organized by the program to nearby monasteries, historical sites, and natural attractions, like beautiful Sevan lake. On a free weekend, the class organized a trip to Tbilisi in the neighboring country of Georgia. The city of Yerevan itself was extremely peaceful, calm, safe, and comfortable to live in. There is a vibrant café and wine culture there and always something interesting and fun going on. Alongside Persian language, I learned a lot about Armenian history and culture, the Caucasus, and the region’s relation to Iran during my time there. The program thus offered me an invaluable cultural experience in all regards.

The language classes themselves are best suited for beginner and intermediate Persian learners. Classes utilize a number of teaching methods, from lectures, video clips, the Iranian news, audios, music, classical poetry, and modern Iranian literature. The instructor was also very open to feedback from the students and modified the course plan according to our interests. Emphasis was placed on conversation and class discussions on topics like Iranian culture, history, and politics. Because of the interactive nature of the lessons, my speaking skills and listening comprehension improved greatly over the course of the program. There was, however, not much focus on advanced Persian, like building literary or academic vocabulary, so the course helped mainly to improve conversational Persian skills. One other drawback was that, while it was wonderful and enriching to be in Armenia, Armenians don’t speak Persian, so we were not in an immersive environment and had little opportunity to utilize Persian outside the classroom.

Overall, the ASPIRANTUM Persian language summer school was an irreplaceable learning experience for me. Armenia became my home to me for the summer due to the kindness of the people and the richness of the culture. I was able to improve my Persian in a country that borders Iran and shares many cultural similarities and a lot of history. I recommend the program to any student looking to experience both Persian language learning and adventure.

Interested? Check Upcoming Persian Language Courses!


Our courses are open to anyone with upper elementary or intermediate knowledge of the Persian language. The lectures are organized with the academic interests of the participants in mind to ensure that BA, MA, PhD students as well as post-docs and professors who work in Iranian Studies and relevant fields can benefit from it and learn Farsi at a rapid pace.

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