31 students from the university network learn Basque in Amorebieta
Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.
A total of 31 Basque language and culture students of the Etxepare Basque Institute´s university network will take an intensive in-person course at Aurten Bai in Amorebieta, with another 16 attending online.
Just like last year, there are two sessions this year. The seventeen students signed up for the first session, running from 17 to 28 July, are already in Amorebieta. Five are from Poland and two each are from Germany, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Mexico. The foreign students are placed in groups according to their level of Basque, together with other students at the barnetegi, most of them at level A1. The goal is to move to the next level of Basque proficiency. At the same time, another 8 students took an online course from their respective countries.
The second round will be held from 1 to 12 August. Fourteen students will be attending: four from Italy; two each from Barcelona, Poland and Germany, and one each from Mexico, Argentina, Chile and the USA. The students will follow the Aurten Bai programme and will be living at the barnetegi.
The Institute organises an annual writing competition among barnetegi students before the start of the course. Participants are asked to write a one-page essay on "If I were to come back again...". The winner’s expenses are covered for tuition, plus travel to the Basque Country. This year´s winner was Lorea Tintori, an A2 student at the Università di Bologna. Last year´s winner was María Fernanda Garduño, a Mexican student at UNAM.
These students are not the only ones who have come to learn Basque in Euskal Herria in 2023. On 9 January, 13 students from the Etxepare Basque Institute´s network of Basque Language and Culture lecturers in Latin America took part in the Aurten Bai barnetegi programme. Most of them joined in online, but others were able to travel to Amorebieta.
Grants for studying Basque
The Etxepare Basque Institute has been offering bursaries for to study the Basque language since 2012. Thanks to an agreement between the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Aurten Bai Foundation, students from the Institute´s university network have the opportunity to spend time learning Basque at the Aurten Bai barnetegi in Amorebieta. Etxepare and the Aurten Bai Foundation assume equal shares of the cost of the course, accommodation and meals, and the students pay for insurance and travel. The course has been offered online since 2020 onwards. Etxepare also organises the annual ´Aurten euskara bai!´ writing competition, also aimed at students from the university network. The winner is awarded travel expenses from their home to the Basque Country, as well as accommodation.
To raise the profile of Basque studies abroad, the Etxepare Basque Institute sponsors Basque language and culture courses in 35 universities around the world, with more than 1,400 students enrolled in classes.