About

What is ISFiT?

ISFiT is not just another student festival.

The International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), is the world’s largest international student festival. It has been organized every second year since 1990, gathering students from all over the world for ten days of dialogue, cultural events, workshops and more. The next festival takes place in February, 2019, and will invite 500 students from over 100 different countries to discuss the theme of migration. Will you join us?

The History of ISFiT

It all started back in 1988, when a group of students at Studentersamfundet had an idea of creating an international student festival to gather students from all over the world to create unity between students across borders. Since the very beginning, ISFiT has held a wide program of cultural events providing entertainment to both the international audience and the citizens of Trondheim. The cultural program of ISFiT consists of concerts, scene art, meetings and ceremonies. Through the cultural program, ISFiT wishes to create a venue where the participants get the opportunity to break through cultural barriers. During the festival there will also be workshops. These are smaller workgroups where participants will be discussing and sharing their views on topics related to migration. Right before the festival kicks off in Trondheim there will be held dialogue groups where participants will meet to understand their situation and how to use dialogue as a tool. The dialogue groups have been running since 1997, and have spanned various conflicts and countries since that time.

A year later, in 1998, the students of ISFiT began to wonder why the Nobel Peace Prize was never awarded to students. This was the beginning of the Student Peace Prize. The Student Peace Prize will be handed out during the festival, to a student or student organization that strives towards peace and understanding rather than violence.

Over the years a number of significant people have visited the festival, including Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Dalai Lama, Chai Ling, Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams and numerous others.

Migration: The Global Puzzle

There are an estimated 244 million people living outside their country of origin in the world today. As long as there have been humans, we have been on the move. For some, migration is an empowering experience that can open up a new world. Others are forced to move due to wars and disasters. Host communities may encounter resource challenges, whilst countries with a high degree of emigration can lose valuable human resources and face brain drain.

Narratives surrounding migration have become increasingly polarized and the debate focuses on the extremes. ISFiT wants to challenge these extremes, highlight the opportunities and likewise the challenges that can arise when people migrate. The festival hopes to provoke and allow fruitful discussion surrounding the theme: migration.

As 500 students meet up in Trondheims beating heart, the Student Society, we will work towards exploring and discovering various aspects of migration and how it affects our lives and communities. This we hope to achieve through dialogue, where we will understand and listen, but also challenge and be challenged. Ideas, perceptions and worldviews will be shared as ISFiT invites students from all over the world to neutral grounds, where we will give space for everyone to share their stories such as we can gain insight into the topic of migration in today’s global world. With this in mind we hope to enlighten our audience and participants on the complexities of the theme, and pave the way for a broader understanding of migration.