Reviews school students

Roman Hamula, Australia

The summer programme at Ivan Franko Lviv National University served as a valuable gateway to strengthening my grasp of Ukrainian and to engaging Ukrainian life on Ukrainian soil. Daily language training, duly at the heart of the programme, provides comprehensive treatment of Ukrainian grammar which both informs and establishes a solid frame of reference for the practical, less technical material and scenarios. Oksana Turkevych leads an impressively effective and very approachable team. Their good humour, along with the small, diverse classes (my advanced class, taught by the delightful Danuta Mazuryk, alone comprised just five students from three continents) meant a relaxed and productive classroom setting, one that regularly left us looking ahead to forthcoming sessions with keen anticipation. Beyond the classroom we actively participated in roundtable briefings on Ukraine’s economy and political situation, became acquainted with Lviv’s infamous architecture and cafés, and even performed karaoke while camping in the gorgeous Karpaty mountains. These and many other memorable activities were a great pleasure and offered rich, direct insight into various aspects of Ukrainian life. Equally, perhaps more importantly, these settings provided an ideal opportunity to apply language training and develop confidence in a practical, real-life context. This is a formidable, well-rounded and thoroughly enjoyable programme, arguably the foremost of its kind. I commend the course both to individuals seeking to strengthen an established Ukrainian language skill set, as well as to those pursuing a fun and meaningful introduction to the language. I encourage interested parties to give serious consideration to the opportunity to participate in the 2015 class at such a critical juncture in Ukraine’s history.

Mart Lume, Estonija

I had the fortune to attend Ukrainian Language Summer School in Lviv University during three weeks in August of 2014. I was very impressed by the level of organization and the atmosphere, which was very professional, yet made it easy for students and teachers to interact outside of the class, thus making learning even more effective and fun.

The teachers were excellent and the program was well thought out. I was surprised by how much we learned in just three weeks! The approach was very engaging and individual, as there were typically just 6-10 people in the class. The lessons stroke a great balance between teaching vocabulary and grammar rules, and then using practical fun exercises to remember them. Also, at the beginning each student was assigned to a class appropriate to their skill level, so everyone was always appropriately challenged and motivated to learn. Besides the classes, there were interesting lectures on a wide range of Ukrainian-related topics in the afternoon, and social events in the evenings and weekends (including a trip to the Carpathians) where all of us became friends and had lots of fun.

Personally, I came into the program knowing some words but being shy to speak because of consistently making errors. After already a week, I found I had sufficient vocabulary and grammar knowledge to be confident enough to express myself in any situation. I warmly recommend this course to anyone who would like to get a jump start in Ukrainian language and culture!

Justine Donch, France

I am happy to have had the opportunity to participate in this summer school. I particularly liked the program since it was very versatile. Intensive Ukrainian classes in the morning helped me improve my Ukrainian skills, even though I already spoke it well. There was absolutely no time to waste or get bored since the classes were extremely interesting; additionally, the teachers were dynamic and creative. We worked on our grammar, vocabulary, on different texts, listened to audio recordings, etc. We also read a lot out loud, which was a good and productive exercise for us, foreigners, who usually have a hard time with correct stresses.

I can only add that the level of teaching is very high, therefore it is worth attending this summer school. In the afternoon we had lectures which gave us a chance to practice the language, as well as learn more about Ukraine, its history, traditions and culture. We also went on different tours.
We returned home with wonderful memories and a desire to take part in this summer school again!

Hirano Takashi, Japan

I arrived in Ukraine for several reasons, one of which was a desire to improve my knowledge of Ukrainian, the grammar of which I had been studying at Tokyo University of Foreign Languages. At first I thought that if I just live in L’viv I will be able to learn the language. However, over time I realized that this is a myth. In reality, one needs professional education to reach a high level of knowledge of the language. The summer school provided me with the ideal opportunity to study Ukrainian – not only because the Summer School has highly qualified teachers from Ivan Franko NUL, but also because I worked and could only attend courses during the summer. This school was a unique place that united different people from various countries with a variety of occupations in studying Ukrainian. We, foreigners, spoke only Ukrainian to each other every day even after classes. Sometimes we corrected each other’s mistakes and talked about what aspect of Ukraine we developed an interest in. It is probably difficult for you to imagine what it all looks like, but the main thing is that people came from different parts of the world with a sincere desire to study Ukrainian.  As a result of attending the school we felt an incredible synergy for studying Ukrainian and an increasing love for Ukraine! The teachers of this school are not only professionals; they know all the modern methods of teaching a foreign language and are capable of implementing them during class. I can guarantee this as a qualified teacher of Japanese. This does not mean that they are very stern or serious. The atmosphere at the school is very friendly and fun which strengthens the interest of students in their studies at all time. After obtaining the certificate, I felt that my abilities and skills in Ukrainian have really improved, but at the same time I desired to study it more and more. I started to like speaking and writing in Ukrainian considerably more than before.

Marian Luschnat, Germany

For me there was no better place to get to know Ukraine and to learn its rich language than L’viv. And there is no better opportunity to do so than the summer school at Ivan Franko University.

When i started the program my knowledge of the Ukrainian language was rather limited. The offered language course did change that. Learning in small groups of students from different parts of the world was not only effective, but also a lot of fun. The instructor offered a structured learning program with the right mixture of useful vocabulary and challenging grammar. Within a very short time every participant was provided with a language framework that allowed her or him to start communicating with the locals – and thus to continue learning Ukrainian outside the official course. Nothing beats actually being there when learning a foreign language.

The same, of course, applies to getting to know Ukraine as a country. I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures and workshops on its history, folklore and geography held by experts on these various aspects of Ukrainian country studies. And more than once we participants got to connect the offered dots ourselves when walking the streets of L’viv, going on of the excursions and conversing with Ukrainians. That for me was the central benefit of taking part in the summer school program: Not only did we learn, we experienced.

In L’viv i got fascinated by Ukraine and since then I did not let go of the experiences made there.

Emiliano Ranokki, Italy

The summer school of Ukrainian in L’viv has been one of the brightest pages of my life. I spent three wonderful weeks in one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. The weather corresponded to the season, the group of people was very pleasant. I still correspond with some of them. Over the course of three weeks I made significant progress. I often reminisce about that time and miss my friends (to be more specific, my girlfriends), who were there.