This is the first installment in a series of blog posts written by the 2012 Peace Scholars as they complete their summer program in Oslo, Norway. This post was written by Clara Bergan from Luther College.
Removed from the norms of my daily life in Iowa and placed across the ocean in Norway has so far been an incredible experience. In the last few weeks my time at the Nansen School and the International Summer School have facilitated relationships and nurtured new ways of thinking that I never thought one summer could offer. Being receptive to different cultures and languages has allowed me to embrace life knowing where I have come from, but with an eagerness to explore what others have to offer.
This week we visited the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), where we met with Senior Researcher Henrik Syse. As a man who wears many hats, Syse was truly inspiring. A philosopher by trade, Syse was a personable and approachable individual determined to help us feel welcome. He shared PRIO’s role as a peace research organization. We all left motivated to make change and hopeful of the ability to make peace, however it’s defined.
I am so lucky to spend time with the twelve other Peace Scholars who are passionate about controversial global issues like peace and democracy. Each of us brings different perspectives to the table, whether it’s during class-time or around a coffee table. Never before have I been placed with a group of students so receptive and aware of the realities surrounding global issues, while remaining determined, and most of all, hopeful.