Gateways to the past and present


Norway 1024 532 Kari Plog '11

Staying connected to PLU's roots while studying the present

Tamara Williams, executive director of the Wang Center for Global Education, says Gateway programs are entry points to regions with a deep educational partnership with Pacific Lutheran University. They develop lifelong transformation and establish a cultural exchange between campuses in both places, she says.

The Gateways punctuate PLU’s educational mission that was established in 1890 by Norwegian pioneers — a commitment to the values of Lutheran higher education.

Two of the most important Gateways connect PLU to its heritage — programs in Telemark and Oslo, distinctively different locations in Norway.

Claudia Berguson, program director for the Telemark Gateway, says both programs look beyond Scandinavian heritage and focus on the “needed element” of studying contemporary Norway.

“Our courses (in Scandinavian-area studies) and study away both strive to move students from an interest in heritage to an interest in how Norway approaches disciplines like business, alpine ecology and literature from their perspective,” she said.

Students studying in Telemark have the opportunity to learn Norwegian and participate in field trips that underscore outdoor life and regional identity. Lutes in Oslo focus on conflict resolution and peacebuilding, topics Norway is deeply committed to, Williams said. The country is engaged in a dynamic discussion defining and redefining its international roles, and PLU students participate in dialogue on issues such as European integration and multiculturalism in schools.


Explore peace and conflict studies, as well as Norway’s global implementation of conflict resolution and aid for developing countries.


The University of Southeast Norway offers Scandinavian studies, international tourism and sustainable development, business, alpine ecology and kinesiology programs.

Kari Plog '11

Kari Plog, digital content manager at public radio station KNKX, spent five years as a reporter and copy editor at The News Tribune in Tacoma. In 2015, the Society of Professional Journalists named her Western Washington New Journalist of the Year. She returned to PLU as part of its communications team in 2016. She joined KNKX in 2018.

All stories by:Kari Plog '11