After completing my M.A. degree in Persian art history at The Courtauld Institute of Art, I knew I wanted to continue working and researching in the field and would need to strengthen my language skills in order to work with Persian sources. At the recommendation of my professor, I enrolled in ASPIRANTUM’s four-week Persian Language Summer School, expecting a rigorous month of language study that would hopefully jumpstart my reading proficiency and give me the foundational knowledge to continue studying independently at the end of the course. Not only was the intensity of the course perfectly suited to helping me reach these goals, but the quality of instruction and the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm of everyone involved in organizing the program far exceeded my expectations.
I had studied Persian for a few months prior to enrolling in the program but having four hours of Persian class every day allowed me to improve much faster, in large part due to the excellent instruction of our teacher, Ani. In a class of students with multiple levels and different strengths, she managed to involve everyone in speaking activities and encouraged us all to participate in grammar and reading comprehension exercises. Her patience and encouragement created a comfortable and engaging classroom environment, without any of the nervousness and self-doubt that often accompanies speaking practice in language courses. I was able to deepen my understanding of Persian grammar, build my vocabulary, and practice my reading comprehension, the three skills that I was most interested in, while also improving my speaking and listening skills. After four weeks, I feel confident that I have a better understanding of the mechanics of the Persian language, which will allow me to continue studying independently and to build on the knowledge gained in ASPIRANTUM’s course.
In addition to studying Persian language and culture in our classes, ASPIRANTUM’s program offered us the chance to learn about Armenian culture as well, through weekend trips to various sites around the country and living and studying in the city of Yerevan. The enthusiasm of the director Khachik and both Persian teachers, Ani and Vardan, for sharing Armenian culture and history with us truly set the program apart. Through Khachik’s efforts in planning a series of excursions for us, we had the opportunity to really get to know the country we were studying in and see lots of Armenia beyond Yerevan, without any of the trouble of organizing it ourselves! I especially enjoyed visiting remote monasteries and learning about the country’s unique architecture. Our teachers were extremely knowledgeable in Armenian history, and they were always happy to share their insights and give us recommendations on what to do in Armenia based on our unique interests and areas of study.
Overall, the quality of language instruction makes this program an excellent choice for students interested in quickly improving their Persian, and the hospitality and warmth of the ASPIRANTUM team, and the country of Armenia, will make it an unforgettable experience.
Interested? Check Upcoming Persian Language Courses!
Our Persian language courses are open to anyone with upper elementary or intermediate knowledge of the Persian language. The lectures are organized with the academic interests of our participants in mind. Students as well as researchers working in Iranian Studies and relevant fields will benefit the most from our courses.Check Upcoming Courses
MPhil Candidate, Modern Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oxford
“The winter session exceeded all my expectations. I was able to learn Persian at a rapid pace, while also exploring Yerevan with new friends.”Read Testimonial
Faculty Member, Swansea University, UK
“The course met and exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I’m so happy to able to have gone from a very basic Persian knowledge to be able to communicate fluidly in many situations and to have a much better reading and writing competence.”Read Testimonial
BA student, Occidental College, Los Angeles, USA
“After the three weeks, I came away from the program ahead of where I hoped to be and with the confidence of a student who knows that no matter what, he can learn the language.”Read Testimonial