Arctic Norway and SwedenWeek-Long Study Tour | Psychology Program

Required Course(s)
Positive Psychology

Scandinavian countries are known for the high levels of well-being reported by their populations and their governments are often considered role models of strong welfare states. However, Scandinavian states have also had a troubled history when it comes to dealing with certain communities – e.g., the Sami people, who are the indigenous population of these lands.

On this tour, we will dive into the various ways in which the Scandinavian welfare model manifests itself across Sweden and Norway, but also how certain communities have navigated the challenges they have historically faced and continue to face living in these ‘model’ welfare states. You will speak with members of local Sami communities to learn their stories and traditions  as well as researchers in the area who are studying the relationships between culture and well-being. A major aspect of the tour will also be the arctic climate itself, with a focus on understanding how it shapes the cultures who live in it and how adverse landscapes affect human resilience.

Tour Objectives

  • Explore structural and agentic aspects of human well-being in the context of Scandinavia
  • Gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how Positive Psychology can be applied to the real-world environment through exposure to the history, the stories, the socioeconomic climate and institutions of the region
  • Deepen your relationship with your fellow students and professor in an extended out-of-class setting and engage in your personal learning process by actively participating and challenging your current ideas and assumptions

Possible Activities

  • Academic lectures at the Arctic University’s Department of Psychology from researchers studying the relationship of culture and well-being – with reference both to the settler and indigenous populations.
  • Visits to the local indigenous communities in Jukkasjärvi/Kiruna to listen to their stories of living in these countries, listening to their music and healing traditions
  • Understand the hostile world scenario and human resilience/perseverance through a trip to the Polar Museum and the stories of polar explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen