Have you thought of studying Persian in Iran, but not sure where to start from? Here there are a few tips to help you navigate and make your best choice.
First thing to bear in mind is that unlike many Arab countries, in particular such as Jordan and Egypt, there are not private language schools in Iran offering short-term / crash Persian language tuition. All language institutes (apart from one, see below) are university-affiliated and offer very good teaching, excellent even, at very reasonable prices, but on certain conditions.
The first condition is that you must obtain a student visa and while it is easy to do, the process is lengthy and might take up to three months or even more. Iranian student visas must be obtained from abroad. In other words, do not count on travelling around Iran and then turning up at your study institute without a valid student visa already issued. You may otherwise have to leave the country to collect the visa at the Iranian Embassy of your choice – Tokyo even. The location for visa collection must be specified when applying for the visa in the first place.
The second condition is that these university-affiliated language institutes have fixed course schedules and you need to adjust your study plans to their timetable. Otherwise, you may be offered private lessons and these are not really cheap. On a personal note, I would not recommend private lessons for beginners, but at the end of the day, it depends on you.
The third condition is that you must stay in the institute-provided student accommodation, unless you have a family in Iran and exemptions can be made in this case.
One extremely important point to bear in mind is that your student visa is issued for a specific language institute and cannot be changed, especially last minute. So, be sure about your choice!
When it comes to choosing a Persian language institute in Iran, you have a sea of really good options to consider. Start by picking a province where you want to embark on learning the language. That said, Dekhoda Language Institute (www.icps.ut.ac.ir) with the University of Tehran is by far the most vibrant and pleasant place to be. It has a good vibe, great location in northern Tehran and offers excellent quality of teaching. The second most popular and renowned institute is the International Center for Teaching Persian Language to non-Persian Speakers with the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (www.en.um.ac.ir). Popular with students from universities in Russia and Central Asia, it has an excellent reputation and well worth giving up the fun of Tehran for. The Persian Language Learning Centre with the University of Esfahan (www.ui.ac.ir) is also reasonably good, but their student numbers are much lower and tuition fees are the highest compared to other language institutes ins the country. Their student accommodation located up at the Sofeh mountain foothills comes with balconies over the entire city of Esfahan, which is very enjoyable in the evenings, to say the least. And Esfahan is Esfahan – “half of the world” – what can I say! The University of Shiraz also boasts a major Persian Language Learning Centre in the country (www.suiro.shirazu.ac.ir). Located in the pleasant and affluent Qasr-e Dasht area of Shiraz, it is low-key and cosy, just what you need to focus on your studies with an occasional visit to the Hafez or Saadi mausolea. Getting in touch with their office might be a challenge, but persevere and call (!!!) or contact me if you are stuck. The only non-university Persian language centre in Iran is Saadi Foundation (www.saadifoundation.ir) in Tehran. Located in the Velenjak district, it is a little more commercial and be prepared to pay more for their courses. Teaching quality is good and classes are held in the same building as student accommodation.
If you are not planning to study in a university in Iran, aim to at least obtain a Standard Persian Language Proficiency Test (SAMFA) certificate. Held since 2018 it will be a good proof of your Persian language knowledge and can also be used back home with reference to the European Framework of Languages.
And final point to bear in mind, communication with language institutes in Iran can be exhausting. Your e-mails are often answered with delays and language can be a barrier, although not always, in getting the information you are after.
If you have more questions or need help, do not hesitate to contact me directly.
您有众多的选择。首先，先决定您想在哪个省区学习。德黑兰大学（University of Tehran）的附属学院——Dekhoda Language Institute （www.icps.ut.ac.ir）无疑是最具活力及宜人的学习之地。此学院位于德黑兰北部，教学优良。其地点优越、学习气氛佳。第二个受欢迎的著名学院是Ferdowsi University of Mashhad（www.en.um.ac.ir）的附属学院——International Center for Teaching Persian Language to non-Persian Speakers。此学院特受俄罗斯和中亚大学生的青睐，声誉高，值得您舍弃乐子多的德黑兰前来这里学习。另外，伊斯法罕大学（University of Esfahan, www.ui.ac.ir ）的附属学院——The Persian Language Learning Center 也是一个不错的选择。和伊朗国内的语言学院相比，此学院的缺点是学生不多、学费居冠。然而，此学院的学生宿舍位于索菲山（Sofeh Mountain）山脚，附有阳台，可俯瞰整个伊斯法罕，黄昏的景色之美可想而知。毕竟，伊斯法罕是举世闻名的城市！设拉子大学（Universiry of Shiraz, www.suiro.shirazu.ac.ir）是另一提供波斯语学习的主要大学。此大学位于Qasr-d Dasht，是设拉子较富裕的地区，环境低调、宜人，是个能让您专注于学习的好地方。课余时间还可造访Hafez或Saadi Mausolea。和该校联系是一大挑战，请不断打电话，坚持不懈！若碰上钉子，不妨联络我。伊朗唯一非大学的波斯语言中心是位于德黑兰的Saadi Foundation（www.saadifoundation.ir）。此语言中心位于Velenjak区，较商业化，故学费较高。教学水准高，课室和学生宿舍在同一栋楼里。
您若不打算在大学里学习并考获文凭，请至少获得“标准波斯语能力测试文凭”（SAMFA，Standard Persian language Proficiency Test）。此测试始于2018年，是证实您的波斯语能力与知识的最佳证明。此文凭参照欧洲共同语言参考标准（Common European Framework of Reference for Languages），在您的国家也受承认。
翻译：DK（@lingdohkin / www.bigfoottraveller.com）