“A few sugar cubes of Parsi” (چند حبه قند پارسی) was the name of the Farsi immersion course in Shiraz.
In November 2017, I took my students for a ten day immersion course to Iran. Everything was organised and prepared months before. Watch and read my students’ feedback here.
Each student stayed with an Iranian host family. Families were responsible for providing a private bedroom along with breakfast and dinner. But the families went the extra mile to help students thoroughly on their journey to improve their Farsi language.
The immersion started with a welcome dinner for students and families at a hotel in Shiraz. There the students received their learning package, which included a Farsi book, a notebook and a handout. My handout had sections with dialogues, song lyrics, texts (from Farsi novels or other text related to Shiraz and our afternoon activities), idioms, vocabulary (for each day), workshop activities and homework.
We set up a Telegram group (Internet SMS group) through which we could communicate together with host families and students.
Our daily activities included two hours of Farsi lessons in a beautiful café-bookstore: in Iran some bookstores have a cafe and are called Kafe ketab. Our place was called Shahr e Kaghazi (meaning: Paper town). This old house in the city centre has been converted into or a bookstore with a cafe! as you can see in the pictures:
It has a beautiful refreshing garden like most of traditional houses in the centre and south of Iran. Even though our class room was indoors, sometimes when it was quiet and sunny outside we sat in the garden.
Every day, we had our lunch all together in a different restaurant, where everyone could have choices of a main meal, side dishes and soft drinks. Everyone enjoyed the food so much.
In the afternoons, we had various activities, such as:
- going to the old bazar and practising shopping conversations
- A poetry night, listening to native farsi speakers reciting Rumi and socialising along with live traditional music in the background and homemade Iranian food
- A visit to Persepolis and Naghesh e Rustam with a professional English speaking tour guide
- A countryside village tour where we visited citrus and pomegranate gardens.
- During the village tour, we saw how traditional Iranian bread is made.
- We had a chance to try the bread with local cheese and Iranian tea. In the village, we also tasted various homemade foods made with local ingredients
- A trip to mountains where we hike to a waterfall
- calligraphy workshop
- A cinema night where students watched a modern Iranian comedy film
- and naturally, we visited all other tourist sites in or around Shiraz.
After ten days spent on the course and various cultural activities, all students were much more confident with their language and thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Read and watch below testimonials, see more photos in the gallery.
My students testimonials:
I’ve been learning Farsi on and off for quite some time already but not very systematically. I’ve decided to join Maryam’s immersion course to let Farsi language sink in. The Farsi course was very well prepared from the very beginning! I’ve been to Iran few times before and I know things can get disorganised here. To my surprise, from the day one everything was exceptionally well prepared with clear programme for the following days explained and detailed for all of us. Maryam started the course very friendly with delicious dinner and introduction of students to each other and to the host families. We had a class lessons every day in very accessible location of Shiraz. After the lessons we had lunch together and cultural activities organised for us. Maryam prepared everything to a great standard, food was delicious and activities well planned – all focused on learning language. Material of the class was covering phrases and vocabulary relevant to evening activities so what we learned in the morning, we had chance to practice in the evening! I definitely recommend Maryam’s Farsi Immersion course to anyone who would like to improve Farsi in a short period of time and see lifestyle and beauty of Shiraz.– Marcin J,
Maryam’s Farsi immersion course is truly unique. I have been to Iran before on an organised tour but this was very different. Having the opportunity to speak in Farsi with Iranians, to explore local sights of interest, discover the area in and around Shiraz, attend cultural and social activities, interact with locals and get to know our hosts and guides was fantastic. Maryam’s lessons were absorbing and fun and a useful adjunct to the overall experience. My Farsi has improved quite a bit, through lessons and through interactions with Shirazis, whether with our hosts and their friends and families, or in shops or discussing the World Cup with taxi drivers! My understanding of the language was consolidated through a greater breadth and depth of cultural insight gained through the course. Shiraz is a great city, in the state of Pars, at the heart of Persian culture, surrounded by mountains and packed with beautiful old houses, mosques and gardens. You are likely to encounter a lot of pomegranates and beautiful patterns, Expect a packed and fun trip with lots of learning, interest and great hospitality.– Daniel K,