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In less than fifty years, Norway moved from being one of the poorest and most homogenous countries in Europe to one of the richest in the world with a population that is increasingly multicultural. Today, twenty-five percent of Oslo residents are not of ethnic Norwegian background. The New Norway study abroad program investigates dramatic changes in Northern Europe by critically analyzing the development of the Norwegian welfare state through a wide range of topics such as globalization theories, nation-building and national identity, governance and political party systems, European integration, racial thinking, histories of racialization, international aid politics, sexuality, and environmentalism. The topical organization of the program is cumulative and deliberately contradictory, illuminating the international relevance of the Scandinavian case study.
The program was formerly known as "Scandinavian Urban Studies Term" or "SUST." While now taking up many issues beyond classic "urban studies," the program is firmly rooted in the home base of Oslo. In Oslo, meetings with political parties and community organizations give students firsthand insight into policy-making and community organizing in Norway. As a result of their analysis of the Scandinavian context, students are equipped to think critically about their experience in the United States.
- How has national identity in Norway been shaped and reflected by art, film, literature and social movements?
- How have art, film, literature and social movements reproduced and/or challenged conventional understandings of what it means to be Norwegian?
- What are the contemporary challenges and opportunities for the Scandinavian welfare states in general and the Norwegian social democracy in particular?
- How does the form of a welfare state relate to its ability to foster a true multicultural society?
- How might the Scandinavian welfare states adapt to the challenges of multiculturalism, European integration and globalization?
Good to Know
All seminars, lectures and readings are in English.
The program is based in Oslo, Norway, a compact, increasingly multicultural city nestled between the Oslo fjord and mountains, and is associated with the University of Oslo, International Summer School (ISS). Classes are held on campus three days a week (usually Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays). Optional Norwegian language study offers deeper insight into Norwegian culture. Those with prior Norwegian language study who choose to continue will be placed in a Norwegian class by exam. Students who opt out of language study will conduct an independent research project over the course of the semester.
Housing is located in a student village near the campus which is a shared living space with Norwegian and other international students. HECUA students buy and cook their food with a provided monthly food stipend.
Students also intern for four to six hours each week with a local organization, placing them on the front lines of political, social, and cultural debates in contemporary Norway.
A field trip to Stockholm, Sweden or Copenhagen, Denmark (alternating years) illuminates the similarities and differences among two Scandinavian states, particularly in their responses to globalization, migration, and multiculturalism.
Students in the program are required to register for a residence permit before they leave the U.S. HECUA will help guide students through the residence permit application process. For more information about the residence permit application process, contact HECUA student services.
The program fee covers group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
The fee does not cover round-trip airfare from the U.S. to Norway, incidental expenses (souvenirs, extra food, cell phone service, etc), course readings, or residence permit costs.