Learning any new language is a daunting task. Regardless of any prior experience of language learning, picking up a new language always means new grammar rules, vocabulary, sounds, and if you’re lucky, a new alphabet.
Why choose Georgian? I have wanted to learn Georgian and the other languages of the Caucasus countries since I was an undergraduate studying the area as part of my major but had never found the opportunity to do so. Then five years ago I had the opportunity to study Armenian in Armenia. I would be so close I knew I must visit Georgia while I was there.
Some thirty years ago, I studied Russian in Leningrad thanks to American Councils, and the experience was an extraordinary boon to my language ability. Today, however, it is much harder for me to live abroad for extended periods of time—due to family and professional obligations. Thus, for me the shift to virtual “study abroad” was a Godsend.
Soon after I submitted my application to ERLP’s summer Dari program, it became clear that there was no way for it to go forward safely considering COVID-19’s rapid spread. Although I had recently been sent home from college to finish the semester on Zoom, I was surprised to see ERLP would also be able to adapt to distance learning for its language offerings.
Welcome to a virtual tour of Tajikistan! I'm currently virtually studying abroad in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Every week, I spend fourteen hours learning about Tajikistan and the Tajiki language from my teachers and speaking with my conversation partner in Dushanbe. I might be physically in Ohio, but I feel like I'm in Dushanbe.
My decision to study Persian language with the Eurasian Regional Language Program (ERLP) through American Councils, was an unplanned endeavor in the light of the unprecedented circumstances brought on by COVID-19 pandemic. Contrary to many of my classmates who applied in advance with the hope of traveling to their designated countries for the program, I applied knowing this year’s program will be carried out entirely on a remote basis.
Through my coursework and internship, I was challenged intellectually in a way I had never been before. It was difficult at times to go from three hours in the classroom to four hours working on a research project, but I learned how to dedicate myself to long workdays.
Buzkashi, literally translated as “goat grabbing”, is a Central Asian game where the goal is to get a goat carcass from one side of the field to the other while on horseback. Although it is often played in teams, in Tajikistan it is every man for himself. I had the pleasure of seeing the game …
Due to coronavirus sending me home prematurely from my study abroad in Tajikistan, I have recently had to move back in with my parents. This is something I did not anticipate for myself. Although, I love spending time with my parents, I miss the freedom I had living in my apartment, taking care of, and thinking only for myself.
We’ve been in Baku for about a month, and we’ve been fascinated by all of the history here. We think that a brief introduction to the history of Baku will help you appreciate your visit. People have been living in Baku’s territory since the Stone Age, so Baku’s architectural scenery is somewhat of a paradox, …