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2009 Erasmus Intensive Language Course of Slovene (EILC)

Incoming students on an Erasmus exchange in a country with a less widely-spoken language are eligible to attend EILC courses. During the EILC period they receive a full Erasmus grant. Since Slovene is a less widely-spoken European language, foreign Erasmus students coming to Slovenia can apply to attend a free course of Slovene, too.

Between 7th and 25th September 2009, a Beginner’s Intensive Erasmus Language Course of Slovene (EILC) took place at the University of Nova Gorica. The course was funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission*.

The university hosted 16 students from 7 different countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Italy.

The course was carried out on the beginner’s (A1) level and in the form of 60 hours of lessons, developing all four skills – speaking, listening, reading and writing.

The objective of the course was to teach foreign students basic expressions, vocabulary as well as basic grammatical structures of the Slovene language in order to develop the students’ linguistic ability to function in everyday conversational situations in the local environment. Special focus was put on conversational skills – e.g. practising the interaction with their Slovene schoolmates, practising the vocabulary and grammar related to the following topics: student life, studying at the university, personal aims and ambitions, living abroad, comparing different cultures etc.

On the first day, the university organised the so-called “Welcome Day”, where the students got all the necessary information about the course programme, extra activities organised, the university and the Nova Gorica region. After the Welcome Day, the first lesson of Slovene with the lecturer, Mrs. Maja Melinc Mlekuž, started.

The students had 4 hours of tuition daily. Besides pure language skills, the cultural component was also included – discussions on cultural topics, organising cultural evenings where the foreign students will get familiar with the Slovene cuisine, customs etc.

After completing the course, the students received an official certificate with the assigned ECTS.

The university also organised extra activities or helped the students arrange any other activity they were interested in. Activities carried out:

– Trip to the Postojna cave and the Predjama castle

– The “Wine Tour” – an excursion to the Vipava Valley (the Wine Research Centre of the University of Nova Gorica in Ajdovščina, Ajdovščina + the Pipistrel light aircraft producer, Vipava, a local winery in the village of Goče). The students learned all about the wine-making process and tasted different varieties of local wines.

– Culinary evening (the students prepared their typical national dishes and organised a common event with the presentation of dishes and a common dinner)

– Rafting trip on the Soča river

– Bungee jumping from the Solkan bridge (the largest stone-arch in the world)

– attending two events at a disco club (a farewell party …), etc.

Some students also made trips to the pilgrimage site called Sveta Gora, the Slovene coast, Trieste, Venice … The students and the organisers met at common dinners and other events and offered the students assistance in various every-day situations.

The University of Nova Gorica is pleased with the fact that the students liked the course and their staying in Nova Gorica and that they found the knowledge gained useful. Besides developing language skills and inter-cultural awareness, there is another important aspect – closing new friendships, which might last for a long time. Frequent “EILC reunions” of the EILC students at the University of Nova Gorica seem to prove that. After the group/part of the group reunited a couple of times in Ljubljana, Maribor, Ajdovščina, Nova Gorica, organised many common excursions (Bled and other parts of Slovenia, Venice, Sarajevo, Belgrade ets.), the next EILC reunion of the whole group will take place in Brno (Czech Republic) in August 2010.

On behalf of the University of Nova Gorica I would like to thank the students for attending the course. It was a great experience to work with you.

Looking forward to meeting you soon again.

Veronika Piccinini,
Assistant for the English Language/Coordinator of Language Courses

P. S. If you are a future Erasmus student interested in attending an EILC course of Slovene or a foreign student interested in a regular Erasmus exchange at the University of Nova Gorica, please contact your Erasmus coordinator/National Agency.

*Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. The European Commission is not responsible for any use of the information contained therein.

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4 Responses

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  1. Petr (CZ) says

    September 2009 at Nova Gorica was one of the best times of my life and the best part of my Erasmus in Slovenia!! It was my first foreing experience and there was no problem at all! We spent 3 really great weeks there, met new admirable people and made real friendships. I miss all this time there, all our “basement” and other parties,trips, school.. unforgettable time as Marcus wrote up there. I will never forget!

  2. Máté says

    We spend a really great time at the University of Nova Gorica thanks to our coordinators! I warmly recommend this place for EILC! 🙂

  3. Marcus says

    I honestly can say, that this month was an unforgettable, eventful time. I advise anyone who has the possibility to take part in this EILC course to use this as well. You will not regret it :).

  4. Veronika says

    2009 EILC students are most welcome to write their comments here …

    The same goes for Slovene students, other foreign students at the University of Nova Gorica and the possible future EILC participants.