33 students from the university network learn Euskara in Amorebieta

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2022-07-21

A total of 33 students studying the Basque language and culture in the Etxepare Institute´s university network will take part in an intensive in-person course at the Aurten Bai centre in Amorebieta, and another 16 will do the same online.

Since 2012, Etxepare has been providing grants for learning Basque. This year has seen the largest number of applications so far. To meet the demand and not exclude anyone, Etxepare has increased the number of grants offered.

For the first time, the courses will take place in two turns. The 16 students in the first group, 18 to 29 July, are already in Amorebieta, welcomed by Etxepare Basque Institute director, Irene Larraza. Five students are from Catalonia, four from Mexico, two each from Germany, France, and the Czech Republic, and one from Poland. All of them were placed in classes according to their language level, all of them sharing the classroom with local students from the school, mostly at level A1. The aim of the intensive class is to progress one level. On the same dates, 16 other students will take an online course from their respective countries.

Seventeen students will take part in the second turn, which will run from 1 to 12 August: three each from Poland and Finland; two from Russia, Mexico, and Germany, and one each from Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, Italia, and Catalonia. All of them will follow the Aurten Bai programme and be housed on-site at the Aurten Bai facilities.

Travel expenses for two of the students was also covered from their home countries after winning the writing competition organised annually by Etxepare. Among the 14 entries received this year, the winning essay was written by María Fernanda Garduño from Mexico. A student at UNAM Garduño is now studying Basque in the first group. Natalia Meteleva, a student at Lomonosov University in Moscow and winner of last year´s competition, will be part of the second group, after having to wait a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These are not the only students who’ve come to the Basque Country to learn Euskara. From 17 to 28 January this year, two people from Chile and Uruguay took an intensive classroom course, and another nine took the same course online.

Grants for studying Basque

As a result of an agreement between the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Aurten Bai Foundation, students learning the Basque language and culture at universities around the world can study at the barnetegi in Amorebieta. Etxepare and the Aurten Bai Foundation each cover half of the cost of tuition, room and board, and the students pay for travel and insurance. An online course has also been offered since 2020. Etxepare also organises the annual ´Aurten euskara bai!´ writing competition, also aimed at students from the university network. The winner is awarded an all-expense paid trip to the Basque Country from his or her home country.

For the purpose of raising the profile and encouraging Basque studies abroad, the Etxepare Basque Institute supports Basque language and culture courses taught in 35 universities around the world, with an enrolment of over 1,300 students.

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