More about Scandinavian Area Studies

The elective programme, Scandinavian Area Studies, addresses exchange students and bachelor students at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science and provides an introduction to the Scandinavian region and, in an interdisciplinary perspective, to basic knowledge and concepts of culture and society, as well as the various connections between them.

The aim of the programme is to create an overview of a broad field of culture and history as well as of social and political conditions in Scandinavia in order to enhance students' understanding of Scandinavian culture, society and history.

The language of instruction is English and, with its interdisciplinary aim, the programme is organised so that students who possess a solid historical and cultural foundation based on the latest research have an optimum opportunity to obtain a sympathetic, analytical and political view of cultural and political problems in the Scandinavian welfare state.

Scandinavian versus Nordic
Scandinavia traditionally refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden – while Nordic also includes Finland, Iceland and remoter regions such as a Greenland and the Faeroes.

We have decided to maintain the title, Scandinavian Area Studies, on historical grounds even though the object of the studies is the entire Nordic region and all of the Nordic countries. Scandinavian Area Studies could perhaps have been entitled Nordic Studies instead, as traditions vary from country to country.

Some people in the United States feel that Nordic has invidious connotations that bring to mind the racial theories of the interwar years, while there is nothing controversial about it in the Nordic countries, where it is actually a concept with very positive connotations associated with ideas of the Nordic social model (which is called "the Scandinavian Model" in US textbooks).

Scandinavian is usually used in Germany, while the French and Chinese study Nordic.

It would be possible to continue and, for those who are sufficiently interested, this could provide subjects for many student assignments. Here, however, we will conclude by establishing two points: we have many names for the things we love, and the focus of Scandinavian Area Studies is the Nordic region, its culture, history and society.  

Language courses - learn Danish
Scandinavian Area Studies also provide you with the opportunity to learn Danish and offer language courses via the 'Lærdansk' language centre where you can attend courses both for beginners and for advanced students.

You would do well to improve the skills you acquire during language courses by taking elective subjects in Danish. The language courses are held at the University of Southern Denmark and via 'Netdansk' so you can begin a language course before you arrive in Denmark.

Social life
  We will take good care of you when you arrive in Denmark and offer you the opportunity to take part in various combined social and cultural arrangements during your studies.

They will give you a good chance of getting to know the other students and create a basis for subject-related and social exchanges while, at the same time, helping you to improve your language skills. 

 The language of instruction is English and there are many foreign exchange students at the university who help to make an exciting study environment and give you the opportunity to make international contacts.

 Study trips abroad
A bachelor degree with the elective subject, Scandinavian Area Studies, offers you the opportunity to travel and take some of the programme modules abroad. This is particularly appropriate for the ECTS points connected with elective subjects. In this context, Scandinavian Area Studies cooperates with foreign universities, which include:

 The Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS) at the Department for World Cultures, University of Helsinki.

 The Department of Scandinavian Studies – UCL (London)