Testimonial by Pietro Shakarian
PhD student, Ohio State University, USA
6 weeks 2018 Armenian Studies summer school
The ASPIRANTUM Armenian Language Summer School greatly enhanced my Eastern Armenian speaking, reading, and writing skills.
The instructor, Sona Mnatsakanyan, was both a devoted and hard worker. My classmates and I came into the summer school at different levels of Armenian language comprehension, and she was able to navigate among us to make the course suitable for all.
We had an excellent group of students in our class from different countries, all of whom balanced their serious academic interest with good wit and humor.
Sona organized the sessions well and devoted separate parts to reading, speaking, listening, and watching films.
On the latter, the ASPIRANTUM summer course enhanced our cultural experience by exposing us to some excellent and often overlooked Soviet Armenian films. The fact that the classes were conducted in Yerevan greatly assisted the immersion process. At restaurants, cafes, and theatres, one could put the skills that he/she learned in class to practical use. One could also practice reading skills by reading the many Armenian-language street signs in Yerevan or by picking up an Armenian-language book at one of the city’s many bookshops.
In addition to class and the general immersion experience in Yerevan, there were also several cultural trips to nearby Armenian provinces. The school even arranged for me to lead a trip to the Yazidi village of Aknalich, where I had the opportunity to introduce the students to the world’s largest Yazidi temple.
Overall, the ASPIRANTUM summer school was a great and unique experience. It enhanced and sharpened my Armenian language skills, paving the way for my further research on the history of Armenia, the Caucasus, and the former Soviet region.
Leonardo De Santis
BA student, Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, Italy
“The summer school staff made Armenia an experience I'll never forget. I am very pleased with this experience and, if I have the opportunity, I'll return again to Yerevan to attend another language summer school with ASPIRANTUM.”View
Graduate Student, Department of General History and Department of Romance Studies at Charles University, Prague
“Armenian studies summer school was the experience which made my dream about visiting Armenia and speaking Armenian come true. I already know I will return for sure as I´ve found new inspirations and ideas for my research and now I have even bigger motivation to develop my language skills – maybe in the Winter School this time.”View