BALSSI Students Gain Language Competency

Aug 15, 2012

BALSSI cooking class 2012The 2012 Baltic Studies Summer Institute offered four intensive language courses at the University of Pittsburgh: beginning Latvian, intermediate Latvian, beginning Lithuanian, and beginning Estonian. A total of six undergraduates, six graduate students, and three community members participated.  BALSSI 2012 was enhanced by a rich program of lectures and cultural offerings. All of these events were free and open to the public. Attendance at each event ranged from 15 to 90 people. In addition, Pitt’s Summer Language Institute picnics were held every Friday, featuring a different East European or Balkan cuisine prepared by the students themselves and regional music. The program also included lectures by scholars working on the Baltic countries, as well as weekly singing lessons in the target languages.

“Extracurricular activities were helpful for a feeling of immersion and cultural competency … As a musician, the time spent studying folklore and folk songs was incredibly enriching.”
(A beginning Latvian language student)

“I’m so impressed with the progress I’ve made that I’m considering taking the intermediate course next year.”
(A beginning Lithuanian language student)

The Baltic Languages Summer Institute was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 13. Read the article here.