Skip to main content

Current Students

Study Abroad in Sweden


Study Abroad in Sweden this Summer


3-Credit Study Abroad Experience in Stockholm, Sweden
“Health Systems Around the World: Understanding Sweden's Healthcare System"
PBHL-H455 Section 13550(Undergraduate) or PBHL-H670 Section 13551 (Graduate)


May 20-27, 2017

This study abroad course includes four mandatory pre-trip sessions. Students enrolling in this study abroad course to Sweden must attend all four of these pre-trip meetings.

  • Session #1: Monday, May 8th from 2:00-4:00pm (RG 6040)
  • Session #2: Wednesday, May 10th from 9:00am-12:30pm (RG 6040)
  • Session #3: Friday, May 12th from 1:00-4:00pm (RG 6040)
  • Session #4: Monday, May 15th from 12:00-5:00pm (TBD Location)


This course provides an in‐depth introduction to a global model for health services delivery and provides students with the opportunity to compare and contrast systems in Sweden and the United States. Participants will spend substantial time out in the field visiting Stockholm and Malmo‐area health facilities, historical sites, and universities.

The Organization for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD) and The Commonwealth Fund rank Sweden among the best healthcare systems in the world. In addition, the healthcare system in Sweden is often used as a model by other countries. This international health course explores questions such as these: What makes Swedish healthcare system one of the best? How much of that can be replicated in other parts of the world? Cross‐cultural learning will be facilitated onsite for the students through lectures by Swedish healthcare professionals, site visits, interactions with locals and diverse members of the student group, debriefing sessions onsite (cultural processing) and daily journaling of reflections. This course will bring together students in health disciplines from two different academic institutions, at various academic levels, which will allow for personal growth and rich exchange of ideas. For 2017, participating institutions will include Central Michigan University and Indiana University, Fairbanks School of Public Health.

Students will learn key facts about Swedish healthcare, specifically, historical and social development, governance (healthcare law, monitoring and policy, county councils, and the role of the patient), financing, and service provision (private vs. public, purchaser‐provider split, and public health services). In addition, the students will broaden their knowledge of European healthcare: What is local and what is European when it comes to healthcare system performance in Sweden? The students will analyze recent developments, such as patient choice as an engine for improved performance and provision of healthcare services to the elderly and refugee populations.

The course will be a combination of lectures and visits to local healthcare providers. Lecturers will represent or have experience working in prestigious universities (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University and Lund University), county councils, the OECD, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, United Nations bodies, international consultancy firms, hospitals, etc. The course includes visits to many Swedish organizations, such as Stockholm County Council, a local governance organization; a private hospital with public contract; a research hospital; an NGO and a Public Health Department; and a primary care clinic, which is typically represented by about 15 physicians and managed by a physician or a nurse. The visits will be set to match learners' professional interests. While the main focus will be on the capital city of Stockholm, we will take a side trip by train to the South of Sweden, city of Malmo. We will learn about regional service provision and the recent developments related to the increase of asylum seekers. Compared to Stockholm, Malmo has a higher percentage of foreign born citizens and has been the main entry point for asylum seekers. According to J. Troub, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy, “A nation of 9.5 million, Sweden expected to take as many as 190,000 refugees, or 2 percent of the population — double the per capita figure projected by Germany, which has taken the lead in absorbing the vast tide of people fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere” (Troub, Feb 2016).

Preceptors from the Fairbanks School of Public Health will include:

Dean Paul Halverson

  Dean Paul Haverson
  Professor and Founding Dean

Associate Dean Sue Babich   Dr. Sue Babich
  Associate Dean, Global Health
  Professor, Health Policy & Management

Requirements and Expectations

Students are required to enroll in the course in order to participate in this study abroad experience, and will earn three credits. To satisfactorily complete the course, you must fulfill these requirements:

    • Attend all four pre-trip meetings on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis:
      • Session #1: Monday, May 8th from 2:00-4:00pm (RG 6040)
      • Session #2: Wednesday, May 10th from 9:00am-12:30pm (RG 6040)
      • Session #3: Friday, May 12th from 1:00-4:00pm (RG 6040)
      • Session #4: Monday, May 15th from 12:00-5:00pm (TBD Location)
    • Participate in the week in Sweden: May 20-27, 2017
    • Complete the Individual or Group Project: Sharing your experience with the IUPUI Campus. You must submit a proposal for how you plan to share your experience with others on campus by May 1, 2017. The course instructors, will review your proposal, provide comments, and provide final approval. Your proposal must include:
      • What information do you plan to share
      • Who is your target audience
      • How do you plan to share the information (you are encouraged to be creative!)
      • When do you plan to share the information (must be sometime during the remainder of the Spring 2017 semester)
      • Will you be working on this individually or as a team (you may work with up to two additional students from the trip)
    • Submit a summary of your work by June 30, 2017. If you wrote an article for a campus publication, you should submit the article. If you hosted an event, you should submit a summary of the event, including any materials your presented, number of attendees, etc.

Satisfactory completion of the course requirements will result in an “A” in this course. Requirements that are not submitted on time or are of poor quality will result in a lower grade.


Open to Indiana University students in good academic standing who meet these criteria:

    • Must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
    • This program is designed for junior or senior undergraduate students who are interested in health and healthcare at an international level, but students of all majors are welcome to apply.
    • Although designed for students with a special interest in health, students of all majors and IU campuses are welcome to apply.
    • Graduate students from the Fairbanks School of Public Health may be permitted to attend with permission of the instructor (supplemental coursework will be assigned).

Minimum Number of Participants

We must have at least 15 participants. If we do not reach the minimum, the trip will be cancelled and all monies returned.


Students will stay in hotel accommodations in Stockholm, Sweden for the duration of the program.


Included in the cost of the trip are some meals. These meals will be clearly marked on the final syllabus. Students will be responsible for all other meals while in Sweden.


The program fee is $3,000, which covers:

  • Housing
  • Some meals
  • Transportation to scheduled learning activities
  • Some excursions
  • Some tours and entrance fees

Additional expenses will include:

  • Airfare of approximately $1,000-1,400 for roundtrip transportation to Stockholm (students will arrange their own flights).
  • Spending money for meals, excursions, theater tickets, and other incidentals (recommend $300 to $500).
  • Study Abroad fees of $82 for the international study fee and $30 for insurance.
  • Tuition and related fees to cover the required three-credit hour course (amount will vary based upon residency status and full/part-time status); visit the IUPUI cost estimator to determine how the three additional credits will impact your Bursar bill for Summer 2017.

How To Apply

Applications will be accepted until February 10, 2017. A total of 20 students will be accepted into the program. Preference will be given to Public Health undergraduate students, however,graduate students and undergraduate students of other majors are welcome to apply. Here’s what you need to do to secure your spot:

  • Click here to go to the online application. Complete the application. If you meet the criteria for the program and are accepted, you will receive notification within a few days that you have been accepted, along with a form you must sign to confirm your participation. You will have seven days from receipt of the notification to sign and submit the confirmation letter. If you do not sign the letter by the deadline, you will lose your spot.
  • One day after submitting the confirmation letter, you will receive a bill from the Bursar for the $3,000 program fee. You will need to pay the bill by the deadline indicated.
  • After submitting your confirmation you will need to register for the course:
    • PBHL-H455 Section 13550 (Undergraduate)
    • PBHL-H670 Section 13551 (Graduate)
  • Once we reach the minimum number of confirmed participants needed to travel, we will alert confirmed participants that they can begin to book their flights.


Have a question? We’re here to help! Email Sarah Johnson or call Sarah at (317) 278-8415.