500 international students start summer courses at UiO

On 24 June, the International Summer School (ISS) is welcoming about 500 students to the University of Oslo. For the 78th session of the summer school, students from 83 countries will attend various bachelor’s and master’s courses. 

Two young women smiling

Two happy students from the opening ceremony in 2023. Photo: Terje Sk?re/ UiO

Most of the courses last for 6 weeks, from June 24 to August 2.  

– This year ISS will introduce two new courses. The Fundamentals of Human Rights is a 3-week course in law, covering the history, philosophy and politics of human rights. The 4-week course in medicine, International Community Health, offers an introduction to the field of global health, says Anne Cathrine da Silva, Director of the International Summer School. 

Since its inception in 1947, the Summer School has continually been developing itself and its academics and has encouraged many innovative courses.  

Started as a peace initiative 

The University of Oslo’s history with international students began in 1947. In June that year, the Summer School received more than 220 American students. They travelled in a naval ship originally used in the Second World War and began their education already on the boat, on a week-long trip across the Atlantic.  

–  The program was originally called “The Oslo Summer School for American Students”, intended for students from the United States as an expression of gratitude for their help during the Second World War. The goal of the Summer School was not only academic, but also to build bridges and promote peace, as summed up in the school’s first slogan “Operation Understanding, a Force for Peace”, says da Silva. 

Since the early years, the International Summer School has been admitting students from all around the world and has been organised every summer since 1947. More than 33 000 students from around 150 countries have attended summer school at the University of Oslo. 

Early contribution to internationalisation 

The International Summer School is the oldest summer school in Norway, and the only one taking place annually since the beginning. ISS has throughout the last 77 years been an important institution for internationalisation at UiO and in Norway. Many ISS students come back to the University of Oslo later to study more.

– The role that the International Summer School plays in internationalisation does not end with the closing of the summer program. During the rest of the year the ISS maintains its contribution to internationalisation through Norwegian language courses offered to UiO employees, international students, and refugees, explains da Silva.

Norwegian language teachers’ seminar 

During the next couple of weeks, ISS is also welcoming 34 Norwegian teachers from 16 countries to participate in a teachers’ seminar. The seminar is for those who teach Norwegian language and literature abroad. The seminar is organised with the support of the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (HK-dir). 

– Norwegian language training is an area of expertise at UiO and ISS. To support the various institutes and educational communities providing Scandinavian studies around the world, ISS is organising its fourth Norwegian language teachers’ seminar, says da Silva and elaborates: 

– The aim is to build competence and strengthen relationships between Norwegian language teachers working abroad and to reinforce partnership between the educational institutions offering Scandinavian course programs. 

Published June 21, 2024 3:28 PM - Last modified June 21, 2024 4:12 PM