Oslo International Summer School Posted by kari on Jul 26, 2011 in Culture, Language, Norway and the world
With a motto of “Six Weeks of Academic Achievement and International Good Will,” the students attending the ISS this year should be very proud of what they are doing. After the horrific events of July 22 in Oslo and on Utøya, I have been feeling quite sad and troubled. I therefore want to focus my next couple of posts on positive things coming out of Norway. The International Summer School is one of them.
ISS is a part of the University of Oslo (UiO), which is the oldest university in Norway, founded in 1811. There are about 30,000 students who enroll in UiO each year. In 1947 the first English speaking program was established at ISS. The Americans had been welcoming to Norwegian students who came to the U.S. shortly after WWII, so the Norwegians decided to invite English speaking students to the International Summer School, which was actually called “The Summer School for American Students” until 1958 when students from other countries began to attend and thus the name became “The International Summer School.”
Since 1947, 25,000 students from 150 countries have attended the 6 week long program for graduates and undergraduates. During recent years, the number of attendees has been around 600 and they come from up to 90 nations. For a small country relatively isolated in northwestern Europe, those numbers are impressive.
Some of the courses offered include Norwegian language, literature and culture, Scandinavian politics and international development. Graduate students take only one course, as do students of Norwegian. Students of all ages can apply and there are plenty of scholarships offered to offset the $3,700 it costs to attend the 6 week program. The cost is cheaper to live off-campus, but most students choose to stay in the dormitories at the Blindern campus.
Every year there is an International Cultural night where students have the opportunity to share their home culture with the rest of the students. Students prepare food that is unique to their cultures, create dances, songs, skits, games, whatever they want. I have never been a student at ISS, but when I was living in Oslo one summer after completing a semester at the University of Oslo, I attended the International Cultural Night. It was a lot of fun. I got to try really tasty food from all over the world and get a glimpse into all these different cultures. There were a few people from my hometown and from my college that were students that summer, so it was fun to see them too:)
The International Cultural Night is always held at Chateau Neuf, a really big building owned by the University that hosts all kinds of parties and other events. This year, the International Cultural Night is this coming Friday. I wish I could transport myself! I’m sure it will be extra special after what happened in Norway on Friday.
The below picture and quote is on the front page of the ISS website. Check it out here to view more.
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