Augustana College - Rock Island, IL

  • BA

Augustana College offers a major and minor in Scandinavian studies. The department's two full-time faculty members have spent extensive time in the Nordic region leading student groups, traveling and engaging in research, and both are active in the academic community of Scandinavian studies. Founded by Swedish graduates of the Universities of Uppsala and Lund in 1860, Augustana College is the oldest Swedish-American institution of higher learning in the United States. The college honors many Swedish traditions and continues to foster pride and connection to its heritage. Augustana is one of the very few U.S. colleges and universities to offer a program in Swedish language study, along with Scandinavian literature, film, art, culture and history. Students of Scandinavian studies benefit from small, active classes. Whether discussing a work by a Scandinavian author or film director, comparing cultural movements of today and a century ago, or conversing in Swedish, students can learn the language and culture in more depth when they work closely with professors in a small-group setting. Many students combine their Scandinavian studies major or minor with another of Augustana's more than 60 majors and academic fields of study. Depending on career goals, popular choices include international business, music, speech communication, English, history, biology and political science. Facilities The Scandinavian department is located in the historic Denkmann Memorial Building, which houses classrooms, offices, "smart" language laboratories and support facilities for most of the college's six language departments. Augustana's library resources for Scandinavian studies are among the finest in the United States, with a Swedish-language collection of approximately 25,000 volumes. Students may use the resources of the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center on campus. The largest and best-equipped institute of its kind in the U.S., the Swenson Center has approximately 12,000 printed volumes, 236 microfilmed Swedish-American newspapers, and the records of more than 2,400 Swedish-American churches. The collection includes extensive material about the communities established by immigrants and the roles they and their descendents have played in American life. The Swenson Center also serves as a major genealogical research facility and promotes Swedish-American academic research. For more information, go to Outside the classroom Since 1981, the Scandinavian department has sponsored the Augustana College Summer School in Sweden (ASSIS). This unique program offers intensive instruction in first-, second- or third-year Swedish, in which students earn a full year of language credit in six weeks, learning from their Augustana professors and native speakers. Five weeks of language study in Grebbestad on Sweden's west coast include weekend trips to Oslo, Norway and Gšteborg, Sweden, plus the opportunity to join in the Swedish celebration of Midsommar. ASSIS concludes with a week-long stay in the capitol city of Stockholm. Augustana has benefited from a longstanding exchange program with Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. In addition, students may spend their junior year studying at the colleges in Karlstad (VŠrmland) or VŠxjš (SmŒland). Some merit-based financial assistance is available to students studying in Sweden through the Erick and Kerstine Eck Scholarship Fund. Augustana students have participated in internships at the United States consulate, the Grand and Sheraton hotels, and the Swedish UNESCO office, all located in Stockholm. Other possibilities include internships with Volvo or SAAB, the Peace and Life Foundation, and Skandinaviska enskilda banken. The Scandinavian department sponsors campus groups such as Kaffebordet (Swedish conversation table) and Scandinavian Club, and stages the annual Sankta Lucia festival with its performances of traditional Swedish Christmas songs. Students also participate in activities with the local American Scandinavian Association, volunteering at the annual PŒsk (Easter) celebration with local children and attending other events throughout the year.

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