Our early history dates back to September 1970, when the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Culture was established as an autonomous unit within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Gdańsk. In 1981, the Department was transformed into the Chair of Scandinavian Studies, initially operating within the Faculty. Prof. dr hab. Zenon Ciesielski, the initiator of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Gdańsk, served as the director of the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Culture as well as of the Chair of Scandinavian Studies from 1983 to 1990. The Chair was also headed by: prof. dr hab. Jan Szymański (1981-1983, 1990-1993), prof. UG, dr hab. Andrzej Kubka (1993-1996), prof. UG, dr hab. Hieronim Chojnacki (1996-2013), and prof. UG, dr hab. Maria Sibińska (2013-2016). Between 2011 and 2016 the Chair of Scandinavian Studies operated within the Institute of Scandinavian Studies and Applied Linguistics directed by prof. UG, dr hab. Hieronim Chojnacki. On September 1, 2016, the Chair of Scandinavian Studies was converted into the Institute of Scandinavian Studies, and since then the Institute has been headed by prof. UG, dr hab. Maria Sibińska.
The full-time Scandinavian Studies Program at the University of Gdańsk boasts an academic tradition of over 40 years. The academic year of 1975-76 witnessed the establishment of a five-year full-time M.A. program in Scandinavian Studies. At that time Swedish was the main language of emphasis. Since 1980-81 our students have been able to pursue their degrees in Scandinavian Studies with an emphasis in Norwegian. Fifteen years later the first students were admitted to the program with Danish as the language of emphasis. Following the Bologna Process the Chair of Scandinavian Studies has been offering its B.A. and M.A. degrees with an emphasis in one of the following languages: Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish. In 2015, the Institute of Scandinavian Studies introduced a new major in the language, culture and economy of Finland, which follows a well-established tradition of Finnish language instruction at the University of Gdańsk.
The list of our programs would not be complete without mentioning the Postgraduate Course in Scandinavian History and Culture offered from 1972 to 1976 by the Department of Scandinavian Languages and Culture prior to the introduction of its M.A. degree program. Since 2012 successive groups of Scandinavia enthusiasts have attended the Postgraduate Program in Scandinavian Studies to explore the languages and culture of the region.