UISS is an excellent program. The language instruction alone makes it worth the trip. The classes are rigorous and fast-paced. It is easy to see improvement in speaking and comprehension after just one week. I remember loving the program and learning a lot twenty years ago, but this time I really experienced the specialness of the program.
There is a warm, generous, open feeling in the air that starts with Nelleke, the director, and goes through the staff and all the students. There is a real sense of togetherness that is helped in large part to having fika (coffee break with snacks) and lunch together every day as well as the many evening and weekend get togethers. There are people of all ages from all over the world and everyone mixes quite well.
I especially got a lot out of my afternoon class (Improving your Swedish through Theater and Music). It was very active with lots of theater games and songs and it was actually the most challenging thing I did. Most people in that class were at I higher level than I was but our teacher was excellent at making the class a place where you could take risks and push past your comfort zone. There is lots of singing the entire time at UISS and it is great because everyone participates with great enthusiasm. I’m not one to jump into group singing in the United States, but at UISS, the enthusiasm is really catching and I found myself participating with great gusto. I really did not want to leave at the end. I’m already trying to figure out when I can come back!