Oxford University student delighted with Ukrainian language summer courses in Lviv
Oxford university student Andrew Wychrij spent last summer in Lviv studying Ukrainian language at the Ukrainian Catholic University’s School of Language and Culture.
Andrew is currently reading Russian and History at Oxford. Born in Britain of Ukrainian descent Andrew says that he has always been proud of his roots and had a strong interest in Ukraine and Ukrainian that has been encouraged by his family who came over to Manchester from Ukraine at the end of the Second World War. Andrew continues his involvement in the Ukrainian Community, including captaining the university Ukrainian Society’s 5-a-side football team, and has a keen interest in modern Ukrainian studies.
‘There’s something indescribably satisfying about reconnecting with your roots but with that can also come with an uneasy sense of trepidation. However much you think you know there is no substitute for actually going somewhere and experiencing it for yourself. With regards to language and culture, that point is especially valid and, being a member of the Ukrainian Diaspora community in Manchester, I made it my mission to go to Ukraine and do just that. I couldn’t help a few nerves as I stepped off the plane in L’viv harbouring some serious misgivings about the strength of my underused language skills, wondering how smoothly the conversation between me and my relatives would flow. It was predictably difficult on that first day but five short weeks later words were skipping off my tongue freely and easily, my family commenting on my rapid improvement. I was immensely satisfied as I left and I owe a debt to the wonderful teaching at Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) for that.
I cannot speak highly enough of the tuition I received at the Catholic University in Lviv. My course was tailored to my very specific needs and requirements and my teachers, Valya and Olena, could not have been more friendly and accommodating. I opted, due to my relatively short stay, to have intensive daily lessons, which though naturally demanding, allowed me to improve rapidly. I think, as with most young people in my position, I had a healthy source of vocabulary from speaking to áàáöÿ (grandma) and ä³äî (granddad) but to awaken that knowledge and add to it so it becomes functional in modern Ukraine, is no mean feat. However, my teachers did this expertly and in our lessons, which were informal and genuinely enjoyable as well as productive, I learnt a great deal, particularly of the language but also of contemporary culture and life.
My time UCU was certainly well spent, the course very reasonably priced and it was enlightening to meet others studying there who were from Ukrainian communities around the world. Lviv itself is also a beautiful place, as well as the perfect location to test out Ukrainian language skills, and the university campus was located only a short way from the centre. All in all, I highly recommend anyone who has the intention of learning some Ukrainian to take a course at UCU.’
The School of Ukrainian Language and Culture at the Ukrainian Catholic University combines a demanding and intensive academic program with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The communicative approach, used in teaching Ukrainian, makes the educational process both enjoyable and efficient. Students learn the language by using it, rather than simply by studying it. They acquire all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing and will do so through communicating in the language from their very first day in class.
Teaching staff consists of fully-qualified experienced native speakers who have a University degree either in teaching Ukrainian to foreign students or Linguistics.
The Ukrainian Institute in London is affiliated to the Ukrainian Catholic University.
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