Baltic landscapes


BALSSI offered first-year Estonian as well as first and second year Latvian and Lithuanian in summer 2011:

  • Scandinavian 404óLanguages of Northern Europe: Estonian
  • Scandinavian 404óLanguages of Northern Europe: Latvian
  • Scandinavian 404óLanguages of Northern Europe: Intermediate Latvian
  • Scandinavian 404óLanguages of Northern Europe: Lithuanian

  • *Scheduling of classes at the intermediate level is contingent on sufficient enrollment, and may be canceled due to low enrollment.

    BALSSI prepares students for subsequent training domestically and abroad. Students may only register for one language per summer. This 8-week program offers the equivalent of two full semesters of academic study.

    Credits: Upon completion of the program, students will receive 8 credits and a letter grade (A-F). Upon request, the Registrar of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will issue a transcript for coursework at BALSSI.

    Classroom hours of instruction:
    Monday through Friday:
    4 hours each day 8:30 - 1:00 PM (with a break from 10:30-11:00 AM)

    Note: BALSSI participants MUST complete the two consecutive 4-week sessions for a total of 8 weeks.



    We were extremely fortunate to have five experienced instructors in Madison for BALSSI 2011.

    Dan Ryan (elementary Estonian) received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008.  He comes to BALSSI 2011 from the College of Charleston.  His dissertation is entitled "The Tsar's Faith: Conversion, Religious Politics, and Peasant Protest in Imperial Russia's Baltic Periphery, 1845-1870s."

    Dzidra Rodins (elementary Latvian) holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Minnesota with a minor in English as a Second Language (ESL). Dr. Rodins has taught at the College of Du Page, Wagner College, and the University of Minnesota, and teaches ESL at De Paul University. This is her fourteenth summer teaching at BALSSI.


    Iveta Grinberga (intermediate Latvian) is a doctoral candidate in philology at the University of Latvia, where she is writing her dissertation on "Age and second language development." An experienced lecturer of Latvian, Iveta has taught at the University of Washington in Seattle, Carolina University in Prague, and the University of Latvia. This is her fourth summer teaching at BALSSI.

    Aurelija Tamosiunaite (elementary Lithuanian) is a doctoral candidate in Slavic and Baltic language and literatures at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned a master's in Slavic studies with a concentration in Lithuanian linguistics in 2007. Aurelija has taught Lithuanian language and culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at the Dainava summer program in Manchester, Michigan. This is her second summer teaching at BALSSI.


    Outside the Classroom


    Students in BALSSI have the opportunity to continue their study of Baltic languages and culture well beyond the classroom through informal gatherings, lectures, and other events.


    Lithuanian student blog

    In summer 2010, students in intensive intermediate Lithuanian, taught by Aurelija Tamosiunaite, created a Lithuanian blog that features recipes, short poems, and the students' thoughts on studying this challenging and rewarding language. Check out their entries at