The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a long-established institution within the Nordic intellectual arena. During more than 50 years of existence it has provided a lively forum for academic and intellectual debate, and involved many leading academics, politicians, and intellectuals from all the Nordic Countries. The NSU has always been at the forefront of intellectual thinking, juxtaposing views from the international and Nordic academic arenas, and introducing new thinking and influences into the Nordic Countries. The NSU is not a dusty relic of a bygone age, but a dynamic space where intellectuals from different age groups meet to share their thoughts and test out their arguments. It constitutes a forum for intellectual thought where narrow academic disciplines are replaced by thematic topics, creating an interdisciplinary space where academics and intellectuals with various backgrounds can interact. These thematic study circles form the backbone of our organisation, creating interdisciplinary networks that function within the Nordic Countries for three-year periods. Study circles largely focus on issues related to the social and human sciences, and most participants are PhD students or post-doctoral scholars in these fields. Separate winter seminars are held for each study circle, and a more extensive summer conference is organised for all the study circles.

Our goals have always been communication and the exchange of thoughts and ideas. These goals can only be achieved if we entail a certain flexibility concerning the use of language. Therefore both Scandinavian languages and English are interchangeably used.