Tuesday, January 14, 2014


The main building of Presov University

Are you considering participating in the Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum International Summer School for Rusyn Language and Culture? You may have questions about what the experience is going to offer, what it will be like to live for three weeks in Prešov, what the dorm and the cafeteria food are like, what a typical day offers, what the class sessions will be, what excursions are planned. In the course of two blog texts, we’ll offer some helpful information based on last summer’s experience and on what is in the works for this coming summer.

Prešov is a small but bustling city, typical for Central Europe with a large main square built on “Main Street” (“Hlavná ulica”) and surrounded by beautiful historical buildings and busy with people shopping, strolling, heading to work or home. An informational souvenir shop right on the square offers free small maps, which last summer’s participants discovered and found useful in identifying streets and sites in the city center, and your Studium organizers will point out this shop on a walking tour of the city early in your stay. The TESCO department store, also located nearby on Hlavná ulica offers all kinds of goods, including groceries, clothes, toiletries, and souvenirs.
The Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky

On the main square is the striking Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Nicholas, and just down Hlavná ulica within easy walking distance is the Greek Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Not far from this is the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, and tucked into the Old Town near the square is the Orthodox Jewish Synagogue. On the street you may hear Slovak, Hungarian, and Rusyn spoken. In Prešov, one quickly begins to understand the wonderfully multicultural nature of eastern Slovakia. And don’t overlook the little side street called Florian Street because here you’ll find the amazing “Croatia” ice cream shop with its shop window open onto the pedestrian-only walkway. You’ll visit there more than once. After ice cream, just cross the street to enjoy a steaming coffee or a cold beer on the outdoor patio and enjoy people-watching. From your university dorm to the main square is a comfortable walk of about 10 minutes—and there is sufficient free time built into the busy Studium schedule for you to enjoy all of this.
The Greek Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Just across the street from your dorm is perhaps the most beloved and most frequently visited spot for Studium participants—the Ballada coffee shop. This is a cozy place, with an intimate feel both downstairs and upstairs, its walls lined with bookshelves filled with books, including books about Carpatho-Rusyns. Or sit outside in late afternoon or into the evening and relax with new friends over coffee, tea, or the ubiquitous icy beer. Wireless Internet there also draws students with their laptops. Next to the Ballada is a small grocery store with the basic necessities such as milk, yogurt, juices, fruit, chocolate, and some baked goods, and yet another shop with school supplies. At the university’s main building, you’ll find a small shop with university-related souvenirs, including T-shirts, mugs, caps, and other memorabilia.

In the next piece, we’ll describe the dorm, the cafeteria, and what is on the docket for this coming summer’s classes and excursions. 

The best ice cream shop, located on Florian Street
Written by:  Patricia Krafcik - email:patkrafcik@gmail.com