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Copenhagen, Denmark, Malmö , Sweden

Program Description

This 4 week study abroad program is located in Malmö, Sweden, with visits to Stockholm and Copenhagen, Denmark. While we travel, we will explore the rich history of Scandinavian design, which is known internationally for its functional simplicity, attention to detail, and refined aesthetic. Rooted in social democratic concepts, modern Scandinavian design will be observed through urban and environmental planning, architecture, industrial and product design, and graphic design.

Through studio visits and lectures, we will learn from designers about their projects, practice and research. We will explore forests, archipelagos, coasts, cities, parks, public transit, and museums in order to gain an understanding about Scandinavian culture as well as provide context for our understanding of design.

Location Description

This program will start out in Malmö, which is located on the southernmost point of Sweden and is its third-largest city. As a port town-turned burgeoning coastal metropolis, Malmö is marked by the world-renowned "Turning Torso" building designed by Spanish architect Calatrava. Travel sites note that Malmö is the "worldliest, grittiest and most continental of Sweden's major cities, a place where Middle Eastern markets, Italian coffee culture and edgy, gritty bars challenge Nordic stereotypes at every corner."

Just over the Øresund bridge is Copenhagen, Denmark—a mere twenty minute train ride from Malmö and a global design hub in its own right. As Denmark's capital, Copenhagen offers a sleek mixture of historic, modern, and cutting edge design. From Michelin-star and farm-to-table restaurants, bikes as far as the eye can see, and a harbor so clean you could swim in it, Copenhagen will both inspire and invigorate.

Northward by train is Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city and yet another major design hub. Called “Beauty on the Water," Stockholm is situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. The city is spread across a vast network of islands and bridges that are dotted with thousands of boats. Stockholm boasts almost 100 museums, manifold historic buildings and landmarks, and offers lush parks at every turn for your afternoon fika, or perhaps a meandering stroll. In addition to its beauty, Stockholm is known for its cleanliness, ease and modernity of public transport, and its inclusive culture.


Carissa Henriques | | Graphic Design


Student accommodations will be apartment-style rooms with easy access to public transport. Rooms will be shared with other JMU students (two to three, depending on availability), and include internet/wifi, kitchen/kitchenette, and access to laundry facilities.

Some meals will be provided by the program (e.g. a weekly lunch or dinner), and a meal stipend will be provided to cover some food costs.

Additional Items to Consider

• Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU), and as such, they will follow all EU policies.

• Students must possess a valid passport prior to traveling to Sweden.

• Visas, immunizations, or background checks are not required for US passport holders.

• Most Swedish speak English, so no additional foreign language experience is required.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

No foreign language needed

Open to all students and class levels

Non GRPH or ART majors are welcome, but they will be required to conduct a short interview with the Director.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


GRPH 392: Scandinavian Design and Participatory Practice (3 credits)

ART 392: Scandinavian Design and Participatory Practice (3 credits)

ENGR 498: Scandinavian Design in Context (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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