ISS' history

The ISS is a learning community of diverse students who come together to study, interact and increase understanding and good will between nations. But it all started out as an expression of gratitude.

The first summer session for English-speaking foreign students at the University of Oslo was organized and held in 1947. It was offered for American students only, as an expression of gratitude for educational opportunities provided for Norwegian students in the USA during and after World War II.

Name change

In the 1950s the number of non-American students increased steadily, and in keeping with this development, the name of the school was changed in 1958 from the "Summer School for American Students" to the "International Summer School".

Since 1947 more than 30 000 students from more than 150 countries have attended. In recent years the student body each summer has consisted of around 600 students from roughly 90 countries.

Courses all year round

The ISS now offers Norwegian courses all year round. We have around 300 students in the spring and autumn semesters, and many of them also participate in the Summer School. We have offered our most popular course, Norwegian for Academics (NORA) since 2012 and we offer a course for employees at UiO and for other working professionals in Oslo called Norwegian for Researchers (NORIR). The newest addition to the course catalogue is a non-credit course designed for newcomers to Norway, Norwegian Society, Cultures, and Institutions, offered every spring semester. 

Every forth summer we also have a three weeks seminar for Norwegian teachers from all over the world. 

ISS today: Mission statement

Through its entire history the ISS has played an important role in the efforts of the University of Oslo to reach out internationally.

The ISS is an academic center for learning in an international context, and a forum for fostering intercultural understanding. It aims at developing and conveying knowledge and at promoting understanding between people from different cultures. This dual purpose is reflected in the ISS motto:
"Six Weeks of Academic Achievement and International Good Will".

About the University of Oslo

The ISS is proud to be part of the University of Oslo, which is the oldest university in Norway. It was founded in 1811 and is the largest university in the country with a student population of slightly less than 30,000. The Blindern campus is located in pleasant surroundings, ten minutes from the city center by subway-to-surface rails and only minutes away from the lakes and wooded hills of Nordmarka. 

Photo: Mahmudul Hoque Moni, ISS Student 2014
Photo: Mahmudul Hoque Moni, ISS Student 2014
Published Oct. 19, 2016 4:08 PM - Last modified Oct. 19, 2016 6:40 PM