Only since 1987 has it been possible to study modern Scandinavian languages at Edinburgh University.
It is the only place in Scotland and Northern England where such courses may be taken and one of the very few centres in the British Isles.
We have about 100 students and the section is one of the smallest in the university so you will rarely find yourself in a learning group of more than fifteen students.
This offers many advantages: you will very quickly get to know your fellow students and the members of staff, your language learning will inevitably be active rather than passive, and you will find that the teaching is done in an informal atmosphere in which your individual input will, perhaps, be greater than in a larger department.
Despite our small size and the newness we offer a good and increasing variety of subject options and the personal and professional interests of the staff cover all the Scandinavian countries and a wide range of interests.
Given the informal atmosphere within Scandinavian Studies the exchange of views on all matters between students and staff is usually continuous and direct but, to make sure that we are not merely assuming the existence of such an exchange, you will also elect student representatives through whom views can be channeled if necessary.
For the same reason, you will also be given a particular member of staff as your general tutor to help you with any difficulties you may have.
The staff has long experience in the rapid and concentrated teaching of language skills to absolute beginners and such students will be pleased and, perhaps, not a little surprised to find that by their second year they are joining the same courses as those who arrived here familiar with a Scandinavian language.
Right from the beginning you will also have the advantage of practical tuition by native speakers.
This article was published on Apr 14, 2011