The Institute for Foreign Languages is one of the affiliated institutes of the Centre for research in the Humanities at the University of Iceland and has been operating since the 1970s. In October 2001, in connection with the 90th anniversary of the founding of the University of Iceland and the European Year of Languages, it was agreed to add the name of Vigdís Finnbogadóttir to the institute, which thus became the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute for Foreign Languages. This was to honour Vigdís for her contributions to foreign-language learning and appreciation through her work as a teacher, translator, theatre director, President of Iceland and Goodwill Ambassador of Languages for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).