Gergana May reports on the robust health of the Norwegian program: "The Norwegian Program transitioned successfully to full online instruction after Spring break. At that moment, thanks to a Title VI grant awarded to the Institute for European Studies and to two dedicated graduate students of Germanic Studies, many of the paper materials had already been converted to digital format. The process continued throughout the summer with funds from the grant - it allowed additional three graduate students to work on completing the transition of all four semesters of Norwegian to online mode of instruction. The new academic year started strong with an intensive two-week introductory Intersession course on contemporary Scandinavia - it was welcome by 26 enthusiastic undergraduates. The course addressed the factors behind the leadership role of the Nordic states in today's globalized world in terms of social equality and environmental policy. It discussed contemporary phenomena such as Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her role in organizing in the fight against climate change, the successes of the Finnish educational system, the unique handling of oil wealth in Norway and the core principles behind Nordic police force and incarceration, to name a few. After the first intensive days, the semester continued with the regular Norwegian language courses which again attracted solid enrollment - 38 students are currently in the first and third semesters of Norwegian. The recently conducted mid-terms demonstrate that students are gaining proficiency on par with the in-person instruction mode of past years. It must be stated, however, that we all truly miss seeing each other, interacting in the class room and engaging face-to-face! Sadly, I also have to report that, as expected, the long anticipated two week Study Abroad trip to Norway in summer 2020 was cancelled. Hopefully we will be able to recreate it and carry it out in the near future."
Wednesday, December 9, 2020