Darla, Nico, Veronica, Alessandro, Maju, Iga, Molly, Matteo, Nuranindia, Mortimer, Hanna… These are just some of the names of the 23 foreign students who all have something in common: this summer they’ll come to the Basque Country to learn Basque.
Since 2011, a collaborative effort between the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Aurten Bai Foundation has given Basque language and culture students from the Institute´s international network of universities the chance to apply for scholarships to study Euskara at the Zornotza barnetegi.
This year 23 students from ten different countries will have the opportunity to live and learn about the Basque language in July, August and September. The first five, arriving from the USA (two), Cuba, the United Kingdom and Italy, will start on Monday.
This initiative aims to spread an understanding of the Basque language and culture beyond the boundaries of the Basque Country, and in this way allow students who already have basic knowledge of the language and culture to attain a deeper grasp.
Students will come from around the world: including Germany, England, Italy, Finland, Poland, Hungary, USA, Cuba, Ireland... They will visit the Basque Country in six stints lasting from twelve days to fifteen days. In addition to attending language classes for seven to eight hours a day, they’ll also be invited to take part in a range of activities to immerse themselves in the Basque culture. In summary: two weeks of living and breathing in Basque!
One of the students, Matteo Fiorini, from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, is the winner of the ‘Aurten, euskara bai!’ competition. Organised every year by the Etxepare Basque Institute and Aurten Bai Foundation, students from around the world submit essays in Euskara on their relationship with the Basque language. The winner is awarded a two-week stay at the barnetegui, all expenses paid.
Supported by the Etxepare Institute, the network of readers enables students at 35 partner universities to study the Basque language and culture. Since 2011 over 130 international students have been awarded grants to study Euskara at the Zornotza barnetegi.