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SWEDEN - ISEP Sodertorn University

The Swedes invest more per capita in research and development than any other country in the world “in medical, technological and environmental areas as well as social research” with an emphasis on translating new ideas into practice. University curricula at all six ISEP member institutions in Sweden reflect this trend but also provide strong programs in business, humanities, political and social sciences. Numerous courses are taught in English and attended by Swedish as well as international students. Support services for international students are excellent and ISEP students are allowed to work in Sweden while on the exchange.

This program would be suitable for students that are ready to be abroad, but would still like some of the academic services that a U.S. college provides.  It is a good choice for someone that is a world traveler OR has never left their hometown.

Learn more about Södertörn University here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Experiences of Former Students

WHAT PAST STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY

“Sodertorn has a great community of international students and encourages much interaction between them. They also set us up with a Swedish student mentor which was very helpful.” - ISEP student from Northwest Missouri State University
Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have junior status or higher before participation. 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up.  Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).

Location

The area of Sodertorn (a large peninsula covering the southern part of Stockholm county) offers a varied landscape with suburban centers as well as large forests and lakes and many opportunities for outdoor activities including bicycling, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and hiking. The university is very close to Stockholm - the Flemingsburg campus is only 20 minutes by train from central Stockholm - with its rich historical and cultural heritage, and shopping and entertainment facilities. Sodertorns hogskola is located in a growing metropolitan area south of Stockholm, distinguished by a population of many different cultures. One of the primary tasks for this newly founded university college is to increase student recruitment to higher education in this area.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for Sweden. 

Academics

Founded in August 1996, Södertörn University is one Sweden’s youngest university colleges. The university has grown rapidly; today there are 6,300 full-time students enrolled. Södertörn University offers approximately 31 Study Programs, all of which maintain a strong link between academic teaching and research, as well as collaboration among different academic disciplines. 

The many interdisciplinary programs make the university unique in Sweden. Many of the courses and educational programs are concerned with issues of ethnicity, migration, and nationalism in modern Europe. The aim is to prepare students for a future that will require flexible, imaginative people with university-level educations. Södertörn University has two campuses: the main campus is located in Flemingsburg; the other campus is Campus Haninge. 

Students have a variety of courses to choose from: Södertörn University offers more than 80 courses taught in English. Each semester is divided into four periods of about one month each. Students usually schedule one full-time course per period. Courses span one or two periods. There are also a few half-speed courses that span two periods; two of these can easily be taken simultaneously. 

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Most professors will be European. Professors are often more formal than those in the United States, though still concerned with student success.  Some classes may tend to involve more lecture than group work or discussion, as is the norm in Europe.  Often, grades are based mostly on 1-2 exams rather than a collection of assignments, quizzes, and exams.

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

Because a translation between Swedish and US grade is lacking, it is up to the home institution to award credit as they see fit. One method is to compare the Swedish grade description with those of the ECTS, and then ECTS with US. 

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 27 ECTS credits.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 21 ECTS credits.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

ISEP students are welcome to take courses that are part of the different Master programs without having a bachelor degree, but they must have studied enough credits on the specific subject that is required. 

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.

COURSES 

A variety of courses taught in English in the fields of Business, Economics, English, Biology, Communications, Environmental Science, History, Media technology, Microbiology, Molecular cell biology, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, Swedish for exchange students, Tourism Studies. 

Basic-level Swedish language courses are offered during both semesters. ISEP participants with Swedish language ability may apply to most university courses. For more information, click here.

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.

Student Life

ORIENTATION

Together with the Student Union, the International Office organizes Orientation Days for exchange students the week/days before the courses start both semesters. During these days the students deal with all practical matters such as registration, access to computers, access to the university buildings, presentation of the courses, tour of the library, the Student union’s activities etc. They also get to socialize, meet Swedish students, get to know the surroundings. The Orientation Days are important for the students” introduction to Sodertorns hogskola so we recommend that the students arrive in time for these days. More information will be sent to all exchange students after we have received their applications.

ARRIVAL DETAILS
The host will provide arrival directions with the acceptance packet.]

  Experiential Opportunites
In some cases students studying biology or microbiology can do lab-work either as a course or as a voluntary work. If a student is interested in doing lab work, please contact the ISEP Coordinator at Södertörn University well in advance of applying to ISEP to find out if it is possible. It depends on the student’s previous studies and the availability of projects. 
Housing and Meals

ISEP students are housed in double-occupancy rooms close to the Flemingsburg Campus in Björnkulla. A stipend to cover the cost of meals is provided. 

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange to Sodertorn includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing, and the equivalent of 19/meals per week.  These meals include both those served by the host family as well as a stipend to purchase other food on your own.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$23,840

Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year.

TBD

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

 TBD

ISEP Confirmation and Application Fees

 $475

ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance, which may be instead of, or in addition to, ISEP insurance. Check ISEP

 $360

Additional Meals

 $400

Estimated Airfare

 $1,200

Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)

 $1,300

Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses

 $3,735

Total

TBD

Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of March 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office
    847-735-5231
    aolson@lakeforest.edu