n Adult Education Institution Dante among other languages (English, Italian, and German) we organize Croatian language courses. As we know a lot of migrants are trying to find their forever home, and some of them found it in Rijeka, Croatia.

Last year we had a group of Ukrainian women who were struggling with the Croatian language so they enrolled in our Croatian language course. This is the story of Anna:

Anna was born in Kyiv and lived there till she was 32. Then she moved to Croatia with her husband and children. One of the biggest challenges? Language.

Arriving in Rijeka, Anna felt a whirlwind of emotions: excitement, anticipation, and a hint of nervousness. She was determined to excel, but her Croatian was very bad, almost non-existent. Before arriving, she used YouTube tutorials to learn Croatian but she didn’t feel confident enough to speak. Thankfully she knows English so communication with locals was possible on most occasions.

In the beginning, every conversation felt like navigating through a dense fog. Simple tasks like ordering food or asking for directions became daunting trials. Maria felt isolated, and the language barrier seemed insurmountable.

So, she enrolled in a language course at Adult Education Institution Dante. As weeks turned into months, conversations became less daunting, and misunderstandings fewer.

It certainly helped that our Institution has a different approach to teaching. We went on a lot of trips and held classes outside the classroom. When we were in the classroom, we used different options to make the class more interesting, like quizzes, interactive presentations, watching movies, and engaging in conversation with native speakers.

However, Anna’s journey was not without its setbacks. There were moments of frustration and times when she questioned her abilities. Slowly but steadily, Anna’s hard work began to pay off. She aced her exams and started participating in class discussions. Beyond the academic realm, Anna’s newfound confidence spilled into every aspect of her life.