Come to Norway – Experience the World
Today, we greet and meet 500 students from 87 different countries at the University of Oslo. We wish you all a warm welcome to the 73rd International Summer School!
You come to live and learn for six intense weeks at Blindern campus in Oslo. This year, we also welcome teachers of Norwegian from around the world to participate in a teachers’ seminar, which will run parallel with the first two weeks of the ISS: a special welcome to them as well!
It is said, that if you want to have a pleasant conversation, you must avoid politics and religion. Well, we certainly hope the experience at ISS is a pleasant one, but we have no intention of avoiding difficult topics like politics, faith, ideologies, preferences, cultural traits, principles, and other important and complicated topics. Dialogues across such divides do not only make our educational experience stronger, but are an essence of UiO’s International Summer School. We like to see our classrooms as secure spaces for open-hearted dialogues and discussions where we can agree, disagree and agree to disagree, within a context of mutual respect of our differences.
Ever since its idealist beginning, the International Summer School has been committed to tackling pressing issues in the international community, in an effort to promote international goodwill and peace. Issues such as the climate crisis, world poverty, refugees and forced migration, gender equality, the global economy, and the challenges to democracy – just to name a few, permeate all the ISS courses, be they within the arts and humanities, social sciences, law or other academic fields. Perhaps we can say that never before has it been more important to foster international cooperation, understanding, and education. It is only through traversing sectors that we encounter our collective responsibility to promote positive change, and the importance of being mindful of our own participation in the world.
We are confident that serious contribution toward the promotion of international peace, security and cooperation can only be made by fostering knowledge and understanding. Therefore, I am proud to say that our summer school is committed to more than purely academic achievement.
There are a lot of things that cannot be learned from books. Some things are best learned by experiencing them for ourselves. Therefore, we urge all ISS-students to actively take part in classroom settings, and not least the cultural events and excursions provided as part of the program. ISS works toward the strengthening of skills like cross-cultural sensitivity and empathy. You may find yourselves challenged by perspectives that do not match your own. You may find yourself sharing special moments with people from countries or political systems that may be different from your own. We hope you not only see this as a part of what we hope is a qualitative educational experience, but also as part of your contribution toward a collective development effort. As with all good learning, you will find that a lot of the transformative process will continue long after you have left the classroom.
Our hope is this experience will continue to develop and challenge you, just as you – the students of the International Summer School – continue to develop and challenge the University of Oslo.
Vårt ønske er at UiO styrker sin evne til samspill internt og eksternt. Målet er å utnytte den enestående posisjonen vi har som hovedstadsuniversitet i en av de mest kunnskapsintensive regionene i Europa.
I Rektorbloggen skriver vi om saker av stor betydning for UiO.