Luther students Hansen and Wood selected to study in Norway for six weeks

March 6, 2019

Luther students Hansen and Wood to study in Norway for six weeks

Luther College junior Kristen Hansen and sophomore Piper Wood have been selected as Peace Scholars for the 2018-19 academic year. The pair will spend six weeks studying peace and dialogue in Lillehammer and Oslo, Norway.

Luther is one of six colleges founded by Norwegian-American immigrants in the 19th century that participate in the annual summer Peace Scholars program in Norway. The program, an outgrowth of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum held in Minneapolis, is designed to deepen students’ understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace. Through an application and interview process, students from Augsburg College, Augustana University-Sioux Falls, Concordia College-Moorhead, Luther, Pacific Lutheran University, St. Olaf College and the University of Hawaii at Manoa are selected as Peace Scholars.

Students selected for the Peace Scholars program will study in Norway from June 17 to Aug. 3. Scholars begin their studies in Lillehammer, at the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue for five days. During their time at Nansen, students are participant-observers in structured dialogue sessions with students from the Balkans and Ukraine.

The program continues at the University of Oslo’s International Summer School, where students participate in a course of their choice from the ISS catalogue, as well as the Peace Scholars Seminar. This rigorous academic course provides an introduction to interdisciplinary peace studies, exploring its theoretical and empirical aspects.

During their stay in Norway, they are required to blog regularly about their studies and experiences. Access to the blogs will be available through When the Peace Scholars return to the U.S., they are asked to play a leadership role in peace activities on their home campuses.

Kristen Hansen

Hansen, daughter of Raymond and Mary Hansen of Oronoco, Minnesota, is a 2016 graduate of John Marshall High School. She plans to graduate from Luther in 2020 with a major in women and gender studies and minors in English and Africana Studies. Hansen said, “I am looking forward to further developing my reconciliation and dialogue skills and learning more about institutional peace work and systemic restoration work. This program will deepen my knowledge of practical dialogue-based conflict resolution, integrated education as a tool in peace building, and sustainable reconciliation work.”

Piper Wood

Wood, daughter of Sarah Wood of Des Moines, Iowa, is a 2017 graduate of Valley High School. She plans to graduate from Luther in 2021 with majors in environmental studies and international studies. Wood said, “I am excited to learn peace and dialogue techniques and collect valuable vocational skills by connecting with students from around the world at the International Summer School. As an environmental studies major, I recognize that global issues like climate change cannot be solved by individual countries, and I think that the Peace Scholar Program will equip me with tools to practice meaningful dialogue cross-culturally, in order to find solutions to transboundary issues. I am really excited about the opportunity to apply my learning to our Luther community when I return.”

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: