Serbian Students Learn Norwegian


This year 25 students are going to start on their master studies at the University of Belgrade, Institute of Scandinavian Languages. They want to study the Norwegian language, literature and culture. Though this is the largest program for studying and learning Norwegian in Europe, there isn`t yet any mobility exchange program between these students and educational institutions in Norway. 

The Norwegian language is popular among many other groups of students from Serbia. The SAGA Language School in Belgrade provide intensive courses to persons that want to learn to speak and read Norwegian. Their courses are so popular that they provide training in several towns in the Balkan region. After a few months the students speak and read Norwegian. 

It is the history from the 2nd World War that "created" this environment for cooperation, as 4268 prisoners from Serbia was deported by the German military to do slavery work in Norway during the period 1942-45. Many of these prisoners got support from Norwegians during the war, helping them to survive the hard labour camps. This created a strong Friendship Society between Serbia and Norway, which is still very active.

Mr. Dragan Markovic from Belgrade has been one of the most central persons to promote Norwegian - Serbian relations. In November 2011 Dragan was conferred Knight of 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his tireless work and promotion of Norwegian – Serbian cooperation and friendship through more than 30 years. He was central in the establishment of the Saga Language School. One of the first persons you "meet on the wall" when visiting Saga Language School, is indeed Henrik Ibsen!


During the 2-3 hours visits personnel from HiST informed and demonstrated new training methods and new ICT/mobile learning services that had been developed and tested in recent European projects like the KA3-ICT project Done-IT, and the Leonardo da Vinci projects Global SRS and EuroPlast. This created a lot of interest. 

HiST, the Institute of Scandinavian Languages, University in Belgrade and Saga Language School are going to investigate if it is possible to create new mobility programs for exchange of students and staff from Serbia and Norway. It is desirable to create exchange programs where students and staff may be interchanged for short and longer periods. This will for instance help improve the introduction of new learning and training methods in language training in Serbia, while at the same time creating new job opportunities for students that want to work in Scandinavian companies that have established businesses in the Balkan region. 

The picutre at the top shows John B. Stav, Natasa Ristivojevic Rajkovic, Maja Milicevic, Arild Smolan, Milena Podolsak and Aleksandra Vucurevic during a visit at the Institute of Scandinavian Languages. The picture at the bottom shows Dragan Markovic, Zorica Nicolic Markovic, and Arild Smolan during a visit at Saga Language School.

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