Explore with Us
Throughout the conference, we will share our love of learning by engaging in five topics throughout the five days. Some of these topics will approach integral aspects of Scandinavian culture as seen from the inside. We will also dive into essential components of the study abroad experience and explore how we can create high-impact learning opportunities.
“Not too much, not too little.” That is the definition of the Swedish word lagom. It is not just a word though; lagom is a life approach. It is about balance on personal, cultural, and societal levels. Sustainable lifestyle, personal well-being, the protection of public access to nature, gender equality, and a comprehensive social welfare system can all be seen as part of lagom. But is it really just a typical Scandinavian way of embracing the unexceptional and mediocre?
Embarking on a journey and encountering strangeness can open our minds and spark curiosity. Fruitful dislocation occurs when we engage with novel and unsettling contexts. Dislocation and travel hold powerful learning potential, making culture suddenly perceptible, leading to new discoveries and reflections. Shifting the lens and wandering new paths can leave us shook up and slightly tilted, in a momentary imbalance that sharpens our attention. How do we turn journeys into high impact learning moments for our students and ourselves?
Wednesday: 55°N, 12°E
Latitude and longitude are imaginary lines drawn on maps to easily locate places on Earth. But, “place” is so much more than a geographical location – it is a vehicle for making the curriculum come alive, for evoking a sense of belonging and it engages us both emotionally and physically. 55° N, 12°E is Copenhagen. It is a city for biking superhighways, public transportation, livable and sustainable urban design, and cultural experiments. How can a place divide? How can it connect?
Is trust a magic Nordic ingredient? The Scandinavian countries have an astoundingly high level of trust, particularly amongst government, public authorities, and citizens. Social trust is often celebrated as instrumental for personal happiness and for building prosperous societies. But to whom do we extend trust? And does the idea of trust automatically evoke a notion of mistrust and “us and them”?
We cast shadows, we leave footprints and trash, and we create images and memories. What impact do study abroad experiences have on the choices and lives of students, and on the local community and environment? Reflecting on the International Educators Conference week – and 60 years of DIS programming – what have we learned? How can we pay it forward, plant new seeds, and find innovative paths for study abroad to be a catalyst for excellence in undergraduate education?