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Frequently Asked Questions

(and answers!)

Why should I attend Kursa? What are the advantages of the Kursa summer program?

Kursa's goal is to expand and improve Latvian education opportunities for high school students in the USA and Canada. Students living outside of North America are also welcome to participate. The program is intended for a relatively small number (10-40 students) - which creates a close-knit community where the students get to know each other and their teachers, in a friendly environment that "feels like home." This also gives the opportunity to give more personalized attention to students, regardless of their previous knowledge of the Latvian language, history, literature or culture. We are also proud of the traditions of the program, which are appreciated by our students - Kursa balles, themed evenings, educational trips and more summer activities.

I don't speak Latvian. Can I participate in Kursa?

YES! Anyone high-school age, from 13 to 18 years of age can participate in the course. Students' listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in Latvian are tested at the beginning and at the end of the program. The classes are small, so we have the opportunity to adapt the curriculum to each student according to their language skills.

I will not be able to participate for the full session. Will I still be able to attend Kursa?

YES! Although ideally everyone could join us for the full duration of the program (3 weeks in 2023), we understand that it is not always possible to be away from other commitments for a full month. When registering, you have the option to choose Full Session or choose which weeks you will attend. If there are financial concerns, there are numerous scholarships available to help.

How much does participation in Kursa cost?

Detailed information about this year's tuition fee can be found on the registration page

How old are Kursa students?

The course is intended for students from 13 to 18 years old. It is designed as a four-year program, but students can join at any year in high school and continue until they are 18. Are you 16 years old and just now started to be interested in Latvian? Lovely!
You can safely go to Kursa!

I have never attended a Latvian school. Will I be able to keep up with the Kursa program?

YES! When starting at Kursa, it doesn't matter if you know the geography of Latvia or if you only know the word "sveiki!" All you need is interest - the rest will follow! The curriculum of Kursa is based on the standards of the American Latvian Association (ALA) and the Latvian Language Agency, but it is adapted to each new group of students, so that everyone has the opportunity to grow in their Latvian education journey.

What is happens at Kursa?

In the mornings, there are classes led by teachers from Latvia and the USA: music, folklore, Latvian language, literature, history and ethics/faith studies. In the afternoons, students can choose from several interest groups thacreating the yearbook, chess, etc. In the evenings, there are folk dances and sports, swimming, themed evenings, games, and free time. Our beloved Kursa chefs will make sure that your stomach is always full!

What is the Kursa property like?

Kursa takes place at the West Coast Latvian Education Center (RKLIC) in Shelton, Washington. Our property includes classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, a pottery and handicrafts barn, a metal workshop, a fireplace room, a chapel, a swimming pool, boys' and girls' dormitories, a volleyball court, and a sports field. The nature around Shelton resembles the Latvian countryside with a lake and a managed forest with Pacific Northwest nature. Local Latvians built the camp with their own hands in the 1980s, and continue to maintain and improve the premises and the surroundings in annual large and small work parties. Several Latvians live year round in a Latvian village around the property. Kursa is located in the beautiful state of Washington - the mountains, beaches and forests of the Olympia Peninsula are right there and we visit them on outings during the camp session.

What else is happening at the West Coast Latvian Education Center?

RKLIC is not only the home of Kursa, but also  host to regular events held throughout the year. In August, the children of Mežotne Latvian children's camp run around the forest. RKLIC also celebrates Midsummer "Jāņi", camping weekends, work parties, and other social activities. When Latvians do not use the property, it is rented by Lithuanians, Estonians, private parties, and others.

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