Study Abroad in Oslo, Norway

Fall Semester Program
Norway’s capital is teeming with active and politically engaged citizens. Home to the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, scenic beauty and outdoor life, Oslo is an ideal setting for deep exploration into the field of peace and conflict resolution. An urban campus, Bjørknes University College has young, exciting scholars who are dedicated to the field and teaching. Alongside Norwegian and International students, you will study Norway’s approach to conflict mediation and peace building, relationships with developing nations, and the role of the media, religion, and government institutions in society.

Why Norway?
First, the country’s small size and population belie its large role in international affairs. Norway’s involvement in peace mediation in Sudan, and its efforts to create dialogue between traditionally tension-laden groups such as Israelis and Palestinians, and groups in the Balkans are well known. Second, as a rapidly changing culture and society, Norway is actively engaged in defining and redefining its roles internationally and within its borders. This is a dynamic discussion that includes European integration and the EU, and multiculturalism in Norwegian communities and schools. Third, the experience in Norwegian culture challenges our perceptions of the “sameness” of Western societies in their cultural and political approaches. Encounters with the perspectives of a small Nordic country and its culture will be part of your experience. Finally, the college’s size and central location offer an interactive and hands-on access to the study of Norwegian approaches to contemporary issues.

Learn More


Communication, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Political Science and Global Studies. Students take courses at Bjørknes University College with Norwegian students to earn up to 16 credits. All courses are taught in English by Bjørknes professors.


Each fall, students choose three of four course offering at Bjørknes University College to earn 16 PLU credits. All the courses are taught in English and are taken with Norwegian and other international students who are majoring in Peace Studies and International Relations.

The program also includes  “Norway – An Introduction” (not for credit) to help students navigate the local culture. When studying in Norway, you ought to know something about its history, geography, culture, society and politics. This mini course will make sure you scratch the surface of the “Norwegian-ness” and in return get more out of your time there. As part of the course Bjørknes organizes various excursions, in and around Oslo.

Fall 2019 Courses

POLS 350/COMA 441 (5.33 credits)
Terrorism & Counterterrorism
Dr. Hilde E. Restad, Associate Professor of International Studies

POLS 350/COMA 340 (5.33 credits)
The Ethics of War & Peace
Dr. Henrik Syse, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies

POLS 350 (5.33 credits)
Foreign Policy Analysis
Dr. Christopher White, Associate Professor of International Studies

POLS 350 (5.33 credits)
International Political Thought (5.33 credits)
Dr. Christopher White, Associate Professor of International Studies

Course description – Fall 2019

Read more about the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Bjørknes.


Torstein Dale-Åkerlund – Torstein is the Head of Studies and specializes in Peace and Conflict Studies and African Studies.

Henrik Syse – Professor Syse is a Senior Research Fellow at PRIO (Peace Research Institute, Oslo), Editor of the Journal of Military Ethics, and one of five permanent members of the Nobel Committee. He is one of Norway’s most notable philosophers and lecturers.

Christopher White – Professor White has a background in international relations and specializes in political theory. He also teaches Global Armed Violence and Foreign Policy Analysis. Recently he has taken a keen interest in Political Psychology as well as Biological and Neuroscientific Theory and its relation to the Humanities.

Hilde Eliassen Restad – Professor Restad specializes in American politics, international politics, security studies and Middle East Studies. Given her expertise in American Politics, she is often in the media as a commentator. Her latest book was on American Exceptionalism.

Tomas A. Røen – Tomas specializes in African Studies  Law and has served as a Lecturer of International Relations for Bjørknes and the United Nations. He also was a Facilitator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Cecilie S. Næss – Cecilie’s background is in Political Science, specializing in area studies (East Africa and the Middle East). She has previously been studying and working as an international observer on the West Bank.

PLU Course Equivalency

Use the online Interactive Guide to see how students have used study away credit from the Oslo Gateway Program at PLU. This tool serves as a starting point for academic planning. 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. Course and study tour offerings are subject to change.

Fall Study Tours

Orientation to Bjorknes and Peace & Conflict Studies – Bjorknes faculty, staff and students prepare PLU students for coursework and living in Oslo during the Bjørknes orientation and course content workshop.

Bus Pass – a local bus pass is provided for transportation to the college and local events hosted by PRIO and other local NGOs.

Residence Hall

You will live in student housing in the city where you will meet Norwegian and other international students. You will have a single bedroom with your own bathroom and shower, and a shared kitchen. You are provided with a monthly stipend for food, which gives you the freedom to cook using local ingredients and occasionally explore the local restaurants.

Program Fee

The PLU comprehensive fee for Fall 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. For non-PLU students, please check with your home institution or sponsoring study abroad organization on program cost.

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

Ami Shah
Assistant Professor of Anthropology & Global Studies
Director, Oslo Program

Brynn Smith
Semester Program Manager


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 required. All courses are taught in English.

Application Deadline

Fall applications are due March 15

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

Lute Featured on Bjørknes Website
Check our this great quote from PLU student Martha Spieker, about her experience studying at Bjørknes during Fall Semester 2014.

Faculty At the Forefront of Peace Studies
Dr. Henrik Syse, a member of the Executive Board at Bjørknes University College, Professor and Head of “The Ethics of War and Peace” course has been nominated and accepted for membership onto the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

Mark Jensen, Associate Professor of French, co-founded and contributes to the popular blog United for Peace of Pierce County.

Reflections on the Program
Learn about PLU student Sarah Smith’s experience studying in Oslo as a Political Science and Global Studies double major.

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

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.

Each fall, 3-4 courses from this list are offered at Bjørknes in English. The faculty also continue to develop courses related to Peace & Conflict. The Fall offerings are typically established each February. Each class is worth 5.33 credits

POLS 332
Africa Then and Now

POLS 350
Geopolitics of the Arctic

POLS 350/COMA 341
Global Armed Violence

POLS 350
War and Peace in the Middle East

SABR 350
The Nobel Peace Prize

POLS 350
Foreign Policy Analysis

POLS 350/COMA 440
The Ethics of Peace & War

POLS 350/COMA 441
Terrorism & Counterterrorism

Migration and Refugee Studies

International Political Thought

Program Highlights

  • Fall Semester program (mid-August to mid-December)
  • Coursework taught in English
  • Nobel Peace Prize announced during program
  • Live in politically and peacefully active Capital City