OPENING OF A NEW BEC SEASON
Dealing with autumnal weather is not always the easiest thing to do. And yet, we believe that on an exceptionally showery day that happened to be the day of the great opening of a new BEC season (13/9) we successfully managed to provide our guests with both nice refreshments and enough entertainment. Although it had been raining cats and dogs for two days we decided not to give up and instead bravely face the vagaries of the weather and enjoy the evening.
Strongly determined to climb the steep slopes under the Veveří castle and cross its gates, we loaded our boat with good humour, vivid music (provided by a medieval music group Cor et Orchis) and nice people, and let it plunge into the grey stormy waters of the Brno lake. A few moments later, as if impressed by our resoluteness and the breakneck waterboarding stunts of Pavel Trčala, the nature decided to stop teasing us and instead, share our enthusiasm.
The late afternoon sun came out and – to our great delight – the rest of the event went on splendidly. A short introduction of the Referral programme and the priority services (assistance) we provide for our partner companies was followed by the speeches delivered by some of our partners and supporters: Tereza Chrástová (City of Brno), Frank Van Bommel (Dixons-Pixmania), Roman Tesař (GTS Lufthansa) and Tyler Siprova (RedHat). After the official part, some of our guests decided to take the guided tour around the castle and then joined the rest of the guests already networking over a glass of wine and a tasty buffet. Yet, once the evening started drawing to its end and all the ‘meat and mead’ was shared, it was time for us to leave the castle and set on our (bus) journey home.
Below you can see a few snapshots of this unforgettable event. Many more can be also found on Flickr.
CZECH LANGUAGE SEMINAR AND MINI-FAIR
Also the event that took place in the Brno Österreich Institut in the second half of the last month was, in a way, an unplanned celebration. By organising the Czech language seminar and mini-fair (24/9) we not only tried to ignite interest and love for Czech (and other languages) in our expats, but – as we found out a couple of days later – we also added our small bit to the international celebrations of the European day of languages (26/9) proclaimed by the Council of Europe in 2001.
During the panel discussion, more than fifty visitors of the seminar had an opportunity to listen to and discuss their stories and experience with their fellow expats – Nikola Fořtová and James Thomas from the Department of English and American Studies (Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University) – as well as several experts on various methods of learning, teaching and examining Czech for foreigners. Whereas Martin Punčochář willingly shared some of his tried-and-true teaching tips for Czech teachers and learners (including the famous “middle finger rule”!), Martin Oslizlok, one of the official examiners, provided those interested in getting a permanent residence permit with valuable advice and a free copy of the Czech language mock test. Thanks to the contributions of Veronika Ivakina and Michaela Bláhová (respectively) our guests could also learn more about an innovative method of teaching second languages to young learners and the possibilities of learning Czech through one of our partner organizations – The South Moravian Centre for the Integration of Foreigners.
The seminar was followed by an equally interesting part of the programme – a (not only Czech) languge mini-fair. Not only got the visitors a chance to find out about various (Czech) language courses directly from the representatives of ten of Brno’s leading language schools and centres (Österreich Institut Brno, The South Moravian Centre for the Integration of Foreigners, Correct Language Centre, Light Point, A School, MKM, Berlitz, International House (ILC), Vocabulary2GO, TLC – Top Language Centre), but they were also offered 5-20 % discount on all of the offered courses. The resulting bargains, the beauty of the Czech language as well as the old and new friendships were then – as usual – properly celebrated by refreshments and several bottles of nice Moravian and Austrian wines – see more photos.