Our students can benefit from an “Intro to Norwegian literature, culture, and language” when choosing Norway as part of their European Studies program.
Learning about this Scandinavian country can help an American student better understand the complex chapters of European history and cultural connectivity. Norway is a unique country in Europe; the Norman imprints are deep in France (Normandie), Italy (Sicily), Spain (Seville), England, and the East European regions that once constituted “the trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks” (The Volga River – The Black Sea – The Mediterranean Sea).
Norwegian is a language spoken almost exclusively in Norway where one has to make a difference between Bokmål (the standard language) and Nynorsk (regional dialect); however, a tourist fluent in Norwegian would be able to understand both Swedish and Danish and even feel significantly less-than-clueless when facing German. Most Norwegians are also fluent in English.
Norway opted out of the European Union through the referendum of 1994, but it is, nevertheless, significantly involved in EU projects. Since the 20th century, Norway has consistently come at the top in statistics as “the happiest society” and as a country with the highest living standard in the world. That is one more reason for students to wish to learn about this country’s language and culture and to plan visiting it.