expands in the United States

Ståle Heggset (middle) with Simone Gramstad (left), Margrethe Hopstock Havgar, Anna Hopstock Havgar and Enok Gramstad. Photo: Inger-Torill Kirkeby.

Ståle Heggset (middle) with Simone Gramstad (left), Margrethe Hopstock Havgar, Anna Hopstock Havgar and Enok Gramstad. Photo: Inger-Torill Kirkeby.

A great opportunity to learn Norwegian, says Ståle Heggset during Globalskolen’s first visit with students, parents and potential new students in the United States.

By Inger-Torill Kirkeby
Norwegian American Weekly

Globalskolen was established in 1998 to provide free education in the three subjects included in “Complementary education for children abroad”: Norwegian, Social Studies, and Religion & Ethics from first to 10th grade. Globalskolen thus gives children living abroad for a shorter or longer period of time the means to go back to Norway and fit right in to the Norwegian school system.

1,000 students in 87 countries

Globalskolen is internet based, and the students are spread all over the world. Approximately 1,000 students in 87 countries are signed up to study Norwegian online. Twenty teachers coach the students through their weekly assignments and help them reach their goals. All the teachers are well qualified both in the subjects they are teaching and in ICT.

Teacher Ståle Heggset, emphasizes the flexibility of Globalskolen. All the students can study when and where they want; and this is what matters most to students attending regular local schools as well.

Visiting Houston and Miami

There are 100 students with in the United States, 60 of them in the Houston, Texas area. Heggset had invited all the students and their parents, and potential students to a gathering while visiting Houston recently.

Heggset himself teaches fourth graders, and he said that the gathering was also a great opportunity for him to meet some of his students, getting to know them better.

He spent time talking to parents and students that might want to take advantage of this great way of learning Norwegian, and quite a few liked the idea of studying online.

In Miami there are four students only, attending the full course, but Heggset met with them and both teacher and students seemed to enjoy meeting each other.


Norwegian as second language

Globalskolen also offers lessons for students that do not want the three subjects’ course. While in Miami, Heggset met with Norwegians living here permanently, some of them married to Americans and with children naturally a part of the American society. Many of them had never heard of Globalskolen and did not know about this opportunity to sign up for lessons on internet. Globalskolen has classes in basic Norwegian for those not speaking the language, and classes for those who know a little Norwegian. This is a great way to learn how to communicate with family and friends in Norway. When listening in on the conversations going on, it seemed like Globalskolen may have more students in the Miami area for the coming school year.

“Yes, we have the capacity to teach more students,” says Heggset, “hoping for more students in the United States while at the same time emphasizing that quality is more important than quantity.”

For more information on Globalskolen visit

This article was originally published in the Norwegian American Weekly on May 15, 2009. 

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.