University of York: University of York offers beginner course in Ukrainian for refugee hosts

The lessons will focus on practical conversation skills on a variety of subjects, including: introductions and greetings, personal information, family and work, food and transport and- of course – the British weather.

All course fees will be donated to the Unicef Ukraine appeal.


The course, which starts on 28 June, will be taught by Dr Maryna Kapas-Romaniuk from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, herself a refugee from the country, which is at war with Russia.

Living near York since April with her son, Dr Kapas-Romaniuk is an experienced Ukrainian language teacher, and previously taught foreign medical students in Kyiv.

She said: “Refugees, particularly children, may not be able to speak English initially, although they will be learning quickly. We know many hosts and their families are keen to speak to their guests in their native language, and we’ve already had a great response, with dozens signing up.”

Fast progress

The course will run in two formats; an in-person course on the University of York campus on Tuesdays, or online on Thursdays. Fees are being kept as low as possible at £50 for the course (£30 for University of York students).

Dr Kapas-Romaniuk is passionate about ensuring that the Ukrainian language continues to be shared, and believes host families will be in a good position to make fast progress.

She added: “I know that success in learning a new language is all about motivation, and sponsors/hosts will be able to put their knowledge to use immediately. I’m really excited to be sharing Ukrainian more widely via the University.”