The traditional academic visit of the program of the School of Ukrainian Language and Culture for Foreigners happened at the end of October at the Ukrainian Catholic University. This year, 17 students of the 9th and 10th grades from St. Mary’s Ukrainian School in London took part.
In an eight-day period, students from the London school not only studied the Ukrainian language but were immersed in Ukraine’s cultural environment. The school’s multi-faceted program allows students every day to discover Ukraine’s rich national culture, to use the language in real situations, and to interact with peers. During their studies, the participants dormed at the UCU Colllegium together with students of the university.
“We acquaint the participants with the Ukrainian language and culture in its various manifestations: through crafts, writing icons on glass, and various master-classes. During the lessons, the students talk among themselves, get to know the language, and learn how to use it in practice in real situations. All the activities are adapted to the age of the participants and the challenges of the times. In this way, we want to show these diaspora Ukrainians how dynamically the Ukrainian language and culture are developing,” explains the director of the UCU School of Ukrainian Language and Culture, Nazar Danylkiv.
Inna Hryhorovych, director of St. Mary’s Ukrainian School in London and head of the Association of Ukrainian Teachers in Great Britain: “I am proud that together with UCU we are able to provide not only quality educational courses for foreign students but also the best conditions for their comfortable stay in Ukraine. The children had 24/7 supervision, medical consultation, and an individualized approach.”
The UCU School of Ukrainian Language and Culture started cooperating with St. Mary’s Ukrainian School in 2017. There have now been three academic visits. The next visit is planned for 2022. “This demonstrates that we not only cooperate but that we have mutual trust,” says Inna Hryhorovych. “Among ourselves, my colleagues and I call this program ‘I want more,’ because, returning home, all the children ask how they can return for the program of the UCU School of Ukrainian Language and Culture. In London they share their impressions with their friends of their stay in Ukraine, and so more and more children want to study. The children even motivate their parents to let them go and not to worry, because they’re safe here, in dependable hands. This trust from parents and children is very valuable to us.”
Participants share their impressions of studying at the UCU Ukrainian Language School:
“The program was very interesting. We learn something new every day. We had many trips, master-classes, and even time to get to know Lviv on our own. I would recommend that everyone take part in this school.” Bohdana Shashok, a 9th-grader at St. Mary’s Ukrainian School in London
Anhelina Svitlyk, a 10th-grader at St. Mary’s Ukrainian School in London, has visited Ukraine more than 10 times, though with her parents. This is the first time she travelled here with her peers: “Travelling with parents or with a group are two different experiences. It was more fun with my peers. We play soccer here, travel to the mountains, and spend lots of time together. You will certainly not regret choosing to study with this program.”
At the end, all the participants who successfully completed their studies at the school received certificates.
As Nazar Danylkiv notes, the cooperation between the UCU School of Ukrainian Language and Culture and St. Mary’s Ukrainian School in London continues: “As the basis of our educational program, we chose the textbook Yabluko [developed by the UCU School of Ukrainian Language and Culture – editor], and we had all the school’s older students study according to this textbook. We also are working together with those who want certification in the Ukrainian language as a foreign language for schools abroad.”
The courses which the teachers of the UCU School of Ukrainian Language and Culture organize are constantly being improved. Soon the participants will be able to receive academic credits from the Ukrainian Catholic University, which can be credited at their universities abroad.