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9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Georgia and Learn Georgian


UPDATE: Glossika (one of my favorite language learning tools) now offers Georgian. Also see my Glossika review.


გამარჯობათ!

Five years ago Georgia changed my life.

I was in a transition period at the time wondering what to do and where to go next, and as I was searching around for teaching opportunities I found an ad for a thing called TLG.

‘Teach and Learn with Georgia.’ (the country not the state)

It was a unique teaching position where the Georgian government had developed a new initiative to bring over ‘cultural ambassadors’ from Western countries to teach English.

The idea was for us to expose Georgian people to our cultures and at the same time learn about their culture, all the while living in a host-family immersion situation.

Sounded amazing.

Admittedly, I had to look up Georgia on a map first!

It looked like a tiny strip of land wedged between Turkey and Russia, bordering Chechnya (a place I’d only heard scary things about).

When I called up the recruiter to ask about it I was told, “We’re just letting you know, it’s going to feel like you’re stepping back in time. It’ll be amazing but very challenging.”

I wrestled with the idea for a few weeks.

The thought of moving to a place I know nothing about, very close to a dangerous region of Russia, limited or no access to technology and earning a local wage (about 300 USD a month at the time) didn’t sound too appealing.

But when I saw the pictures of the landscape and realized how fun the language challenge would be, I signed up.

Everything about my experience living and doing language immersion in Georgia was literally life-changing.

 

1. Georgian is one of the most truly unique languages in the world

Georgian is one of several languages that belong to the Kartvelian language family which is native to Georgia and a few nearby pockets of Turkey and Russia.

The language is unrelated to anything outside of this geographical area (although there’s a discredited theory that it’s also related to Basque).

Take a glance at the alphabet for instance:

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  1. Not to forget: Georgian mafia infiltrates gangs of thieves to Germany – disguised as refugees.

  2. Hey Donovan, hope life’s good. maybe it’s coming up in a future post, but I was wondering how the intensive tutoring time went? thx

    1. Hey Brett.

      Good. I’ve been distracted with the wedding and everything but will update shortly.

    2. Congratulations, treat her well! She looks lovely. I will pray for the two of you that your marriage remains blessed and holy. Have fun! Are you plannIng to stay together on all your trips… ? I hope so and that you get to stay in the same place for some time to have friends with the people there.

    3. Just noticed this comment now. Sorry!

      Thank you for the well wishes and prayer. Yes, we’ll be travelling together everywhere where possible.

  3. Hi Donavan,
    I’ve been following you for a while so I’ve read this article a couple times and this month I worked on an application to TLG. I just wanted to let you know that it appears the program isn’t running anymore. Although the website is still up, once you attempt to submit your application documents via email the email bounces back. I just want to save others the time I lost in applying, as they don’t have any kind of notification about this online!

    1. Hey Maya. Sorry to hear that.

      I need to update this honestly. It looks like the TLG website is still active (still recent activity on there) so it might be a buggy system? Did you try emailing them directly or even calling?

      The Georgian government is a little bit backward when it comes to this stuff so persist. It’s totally worth it believe me.

  4. Hi Donovan,
    This sounds like an amazing experience and my wife and I are hoping to travel to Georgia next year! We are just coming to an end with our exchange student we have had since last August, she is from Batumi, Georgia. This culture is truly unique and I am glad we had the opportunity to host this amazing person from this amazing country. I am happy I stumbled across this site and will be following you here on out. 🙂

  5. Hello!
    I was in Georgia this September and in my opinion, It was of my best trips! It’s totally different, for example, I love nature and mountains. I don’t know how to explain it but I feel so alive there. And I love emotional people, who are friendly. So I was very excited about a trip to Georgia. We booked a hotel in a local style but tours we decided to buy later. Great and deep history!
    Strongly recommend visiting Georgia!

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