What is a typical day like at the Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum? What is the dorm like? What excursions lie ahead for this coming summer? This blog text will address these issues.
But first: Before discussing the dorm and excursions, a quick note about an important question: Can a student registered at a North American college or university get college credit from attending the Studium? Yes. But here’s how this works: As in the case of many other study-abroad programs, the institution abroad does not itself award a certain number of credits. The awarding of credits—either semester or quarter credits—depends on the student’s home institution. What the Prešov University Studium organizers offer upon a student’s request is an official stamped document which states clearly what the program is and how many class hours the students attended for history, folklore, and language. The students then takes this document to their university’s Registrar who processes this information and determines the exact number of credits to be awarded. The student might also want to download the informational brochure already available at the C-RS website, print it out, and add it to that official document from the Studium so that their Registrar clearly understands what the program entailed. Every college and university has the right to assess study abroad programs on the basis of its own standards. Students who want credits should let the Studium organizers know from the start if they would like to get this document.
A typical morning at the Studium begins from 7:30 to 9 in the cafeteria across from the dorm where participants will find a good breakfast. Then, off to morning class which starts at 9. The first week’s morning and afternoon class sessions this summer, 2014, will be divided up between the language lessons and the folklore lectures offered by Prešov University Professor Emeritus Mykola Mushynka in Rusyn and Professor Patricia Krafcik from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, in English. In weeks two and three, along with language classes, participants will attend history lectures by Prešov University Lecturer Valerii Padiak in Rusyn and the University of Toronto’s Professor Paul Robert Magocsi in English. More on the faculty and classes in the next blog.
Meanwhile, what about the dorm, the cafeteria, and the excursions?
The dorm rooms are suites of two “bedrooms,” each with two beds, and each suite has a toilet which is in a separate little cubby from the sink and shower. It has been possible for previous participants to ask for a bedroom for one person for a few extra dollars, and this may be the case again—so please write to the Studium organizers with your request (write to English-speaking Timea Veres at email@example.com). For stunning views of the surrounding town and countryside, go up to the top floor. From one side you can see the village of Kapušany, and if you look carefully, you can actually make out the ruins of Kapušany castle high up on a craggy hill. From another side of the dorm, you look down at the swiftly flowing Torysa River which runs through Prešov and offers a terrific walking and running trail for residents and visitors. Wifi is available in the rooms. There are two kitchens on each floor with a stove and a smattering of pots, dishes, and mugs, and each has an additional and larger refrigerator for residents to use. Some of us became proficient at using the European washing machine and dryer located in the kitchen areas; others simply washed out items of clothing by hand in Woolite or some other detergent and hung them on travel drying lines stretched across the room. Bring light summer clothing, and plan to dress in layers for the occasional cooler or rainy day. This writer found that washing these kinds of clothes by hand isn’t a problem at all.
The cafeteria is located just across the parking lot from the dorm. Breakfast may include pastries and hearty bread, butter, and jam, sometimes sliced cheese and ham, at other times eggs and yogurt, and even granola. Lunch always starts with a delicious soup served family style, followed by a variety of dishes of meat and potatoes, some fish, some versions of baked dough. Dinner salads were also available at suppertime, as well, and this writer found that option to be nutritious and very welcome. The occasional serving of pyrohŷ is always a hit. Occasionally a dish served for lunch or for supper was a bit difficult for us to define, made of thick dough and other ingredients. A sense of humor definitely makes the experience of dealing with the food fun. You’ll have some amusing memories from this aspect of the program, but you’ll never go hungry. And with a visit to TESCO or the small grocery across from the dorm, you can always find a few snacks or pieces of fruit to supplement the cafeteria diet. If you have any special dietary needs, please let Timea Veres know right away.
Excursions and special events this coming summer will include the Medzilaborce Festival of Culture and Sport; the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art; gravesites of famous Rusyns at Čertižno; a visit with young school kids at the Rusyn-language elementary school at Čabiny; walks around Prešov to the various places of worship and the Rusyn Museum; a play in Rusyn at the Alexander Dukhnovych Theater; a pysankŷ and a folksong workshop; a trip north into Poland to the town of Krynica to visit Lemko Rusyn sites, including the Nikifor Drovniak museum and a visit to a Rusyn Orthodox church along with famous and much beloved Lemko Rusyn poet Petro Trochanovsky; and an excursion to Kurov, the native village of Studium instructor and Prešov University professor emeritus Mykola Mushynka where Studium participants will—as they did last summer—experience a magnificent performance by the Kurov folk ensemble. This performance will replicate the springtime “Rusalia” festival replete with an authentic Rusyn wedding. Last summer’s participants were absolutely enthralled by this last visit. The village folk welcome us warmly, their ensemble is superb, the food is excellent, and the music will have us tapping our feet and dancing.
Next blog text: Faculty and Classes.Written by: Patricia Krafcik. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org