A five-day pilot project was organised which took place at the end of May 2012 with the goal of enabling our students to get to know the cities of Split, Mostar and Sarajevo and to become familiar with their history and culture.The project was a great success and an encouragement to continue with such projects.
In June of the following year, the school organised a week-long study trip exploring the islands of Middle Dalmatia and their culture while sailing along the route from Split to Dubrovnik. In June 2014, CLS played host to its students in Orebić, on the Pelješac peninsula, and in June 2015, CLS and its students headed towards Cavtat and, through our ‘Cavtat – Southern light’ study programme, we introduced Southern Dalmatia to our students.
In June 2016 we had our ‘Zadar’s gems – Crystal falls and pearls of Northern Dalmatia‘ study programme which centred around the school’s home for the week in Kožino, a few miles from Zadar, and in 2017 we were based in Fažana, Istria from where we explored the towns of the peninsula, as well as the Brijuni Islands off the coast, in our ‘Bewitching Brijuni and Terra Magica’ programme. In 2018 we once again returned to Southern Dalmatia and were based on the island of Šipan. We explored the Elaphite Islands in our programme ‘The Secrets of the Elaphite Islands – Another World on our Doorstep’.
During the week-long CLS ‘Language and Culture’ programme students had twelve hours of lessons in language tuition, organised in four three-hour long sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
The classes were conducted at two different levels:
and took place at the school’s home, where certain social events were also held. We also introduced a number of early morning yoga sessions, in which all students could participate if they wished.
Sunday and Wednesday were set aside for whole day excursions: On Sunday there was a full-day boat trip, concentrating on the neighbouring island of Koločep, and on Wednesday, visits to some lesser known sights and places in and around Dubrovnik. On Monday a half-day excursion to the other main island of the Elaphite archipelago, Lopud, dovetailed with lessons. On Tuesday after lessons students were free to explore our base island of Šipan either independently or by joining a group walk to Šipanska Luka arriving in time for dinner. On Thursday after lessons we took a trip to Mali Ston and the neighbouring part of the Pelješac peninsula. Friday evening was an opportunity to relax at the farewell party.
During the special programme of excursions, students had the chance to practice their Croatian amongst themselves, with native speakers, excursion organisers and tour guides. In their free time, students were able to try out their language skills in and around town, in shops, restaurants etc.
We think that the ‘Croatian Language and Culture’ study programme represents a valuable contribution to the CLS ongoing mission, both here in London and globally, to provide a high standard of Croatian language study and the opportunity to gain knowledge about Croatia and its culture.