Foreigners have been visiting Slovakia in order to learn about our language and culture for 55 years. And they enjoy coming back here.
Bratislava, 6 August 2019: This year the Studia Academica Slovaca summer school at Comenius University in Bratislava will be attended by 160 Slovak language enthusiasts from 35 countries. The 55th year of the summer school of the Slovak language and culture will take place from 4 to 24 August 2019 at the Faculty of Arts. The ceremonial opening of the summer school took place yesterday in the Comenius University Auditorium.
Od: CU Public Relation Office
For the most part, the student body is made up of those learning Slovak or another Slavic language, translators, cultural workers, interpreters, foreign-language teachers, and descendants of Slovaks living abroad. “The majority of you are students, but there are also Slovak language teachers teaching abroad and we truly appreciate you being the ambassadors of the Slovak language and culture and thus contributing to the mutual understanding and intercommunication between people of various nationalities and nations,” said the Comenius University Vice-Rector, Dr Zuzana Kovačičová at yesterday’s ceremonial opening of the summer school.
The foreigners are interested not only in our language but in our culture, life and institutions, as well: “I am very interested in learning about the Slovak language and all the cultural aspects associated with it,” said Aladdin from Turkey, who is one of the students. Several students keep returning to the summer school. One such example is Zoya from Russia, who is looking forward to experience three weeks of studying and an interesting accompanying programme. “I already know there are many events associated not only with the language and linguistics, which I truly like, but also with the Slovak culture itself and cross-cultural communication, which is so very important in today’s world. For me, the summer school is a unique opportunity to spend time in a beautiful city with interesting people,” she said.
The study sessions will be supplemented with folk pop music concerts, a folk culture evening spent practising Slovak folk songs and dances, a tasting of Slovak traditional food, and creative workshops. Visiting the Radošina Naive Theatre, seeing a performance of the Slovak State Traditional Dance Company (SĽUK) and going on excursions in Slovak regions will be an extraordinary experience.
The aim of the summer school events is to commemorate not only the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Comenius University, but also the anniversaries of major events and important personalities in the Slovak and (central) European context, e.g. the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the 70th anniversary of SĽUK, the Academy of Performing Arts and other cultural institutions. An international symposium of the Studia Academica Slovaca 55 entitled Identity – Language – Culture will accompany the summer school. Among the attendees will be the representatives of the domestic and foreign Slovak studies, teachers of the Slovak language and culture working at universities abroad, and teachers teaching Slovak as a foreign language at schools abroad.
The central theme of this year’s summer school is identity and its expressions in historical and contemporary reflections while changes in language, literature, art, culture, and society are taken into account. 126 summer school scholarships were awarded by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sport of the Slovak Republic; 5 were awarded by Comenius University, 2 were awarded by the Slovak Academic Information Agency; and 25 students paid for the summer school themselves. In addition to language courses for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, the summer school will offer specific courses for advanced students focusing on the linguistic, literary and translatological interpretation of texts.