Study Abroad in Bø, Norway

Fall Semester, Spring Semester or Full-Year Program

Formerly known as the Telemark program, this Gateway is located in the town of Bø. Located in a region known for its rich cultural tradition and outdoor life, the University of Southeastern Norway provides the opportunity to study in the natural landscape, engage in an active campus community, and experience the rich natural heritage of Norway. The town of Bø, with a population of 5,000, becomes an active student town during the academic year when students from different parts of Norway, and different parts of the world, come together to create a diverse campus community.


Nordic Studies, Norwegian language, Environmental Studies, Biology, and Business.

Courses are taught by The University of Southeastern Norway (USN) faculty at the Bø campus. Courses are taught in Norwegian and English. No previous language required; students may take Norwegian language at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students typically take 3-5 classes per semester, for a total of 15-17 credits.

Academic Program Options

Alpine Ecology & Environmental Management* (Fall and/or Spring)
Focus: Environmental Studies; Natural Sciences; and Norwegian Language
*Note: 2 years of college-level science required

Business Administration (Fall and/or Spring)
Focus: Marketing and Management

International Tourism and Sustainable Development (Fall and/or Spring)
Focus: Environmental Studies, Biology, Business, Norwegian Language

Outdoor Life, Culture & Ecophilosophy (Fall)
Focus: KINS

Scandinavian Studies (Fall and/or Spring)
Focus: Norwegian Language and Literature; Anthropology; Business; Environmental Studies; Philosophy; and Sociology

PLU Course Equivalency

Use the online Interactive Guide to see how students have used study away credit from the USN Gateway Program at PLU. This tool serves as a starting point for academic planning. It includes some courses only taught on the Vestfold campus. If a course equivalency is not listed, it may be requested from the appropriate academic department.

Pacific Lutheran University awards all credits earned in this program. Semester-long study away programs fulfill PLU’s Cross Cultural Diversity requirement.

Note: USN offers coursework that fulfill PHED requirements at PLU. However, the GenEd PHED requirement is based on the number of PE courses you take, not the number of credits you earn. 

Course and study tour offerings are subject to change.

Residence Hall

You will live in a student residence hall among Norwegians and other international students. You will have a double bedroom with your own bathroom and shower. You are provided with a monthly stipend for food, which gives you the freedom to prepare your own food.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee for Fall or Spring semester covers this academic experience (instruction and academic credit, housing and meal stipend, study tours, study abroad insurance, visa fees, and a $750 flight credit). To find the current comprehensive fee for one semester, divide the total full-year cost listed on the Admissions website by two. Please note that the comprehensive fee varies each year, and the cost of this program will be based on the year in which you study away. Financial aid applies.

Out-of-pocket Expenses

Some air travel, books/supplies, personal excursions, domestic travel*/postage for visa processing, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included in program cost.

*Be sure to research your visa requirements as you may have to go in-person to a consulate or visa processing center. Depending on the country, there may or may not be a local consulate, and you may have to fly to another US state.

Global Scholar Award

All PLU Gateway & Featured Programs are Global Scholar Award eligible. This need-based award can cover out-of-pocket expenses up to $2,500 on PLU Gateway and Featured semester programs.

Scandinavian Cultural Center Endowed Awards

SCC Endowed Awards are available to all full-time PLU students.

External Scholarships

For more outside scholarship opportunities, please visit our Funding webpage.

Contact Us

Michael Behrens
Associate Professor of Biology
Director, USN Program

Brynn Smith
Gateway Program Manager and Study Away Advisor


Sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Students must have a minimum 2.7 or higher G.P.A. (3.0 preferred). Must be a student in good standing. No previous Norwegian language study required. Many courses are taught in English.

Application Deadline

Fall and Full Year applications are due March 15

Spring applications are due May 1

A $50 non-refundable fee is due with the application. A $300 non-refundable program payment to confirm participation is required within 10 days of acceptance.

NOTE: Each academic year the current application is made available during International Education Week in November.

Application Components

  • Online application
  • Short essays
  • 2 recommendation forms (1 faculty, 1 professional)
  • Application fee

Student Experience
Visit PLU student Bonney Melton’s blog to learn about her experiences studying in Bø.

Reflections on the Program
Learn about PLU alum Nelson Franks’ experience studying in Bø as a Business major.

Photo Gallery
Check out our Flickr Photo Gallery to see pictures from past participants in the USN program.

Watch this PLU video to get an idea for the USN program and what your semester (or year) might look like.

Norway and PLU
Click here to learn about all of our study away offerings in Norway, our partner institutions, and a brief history of PLU’s connection to this Scandinavian country.

Program Highlights

  • Fall (mid-August to mid-December), Spring (early January to mid-June) or Full Year
  • Norwegian language study at all levels
  • Content coursework available in English & Norwegian
  • Specialize your studies for the semester by taking courses in one academic track
  • No previous language required