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Scandinavian Studies


Students hold candles during the annual Sankta Lucia fest.
  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Developing fluency in any language is "the hottest job skill," according to an October 2013 CNN Money online article about language fluency. The article reports that about 25,000 jobs will open up for interpreters and translators by 2020, according to estimates from the Department of Labor. In the private sector, Asian and Scandinavian languages "offer the highest return."

Augustana has a longstanding exchange program with Uppsala University in Sweden. During a semester or academic year in Uppsala, students earn credits in a variety of subjects, and coursework is available in both English and Swedish.

Augustana students have had internships at the U.S. 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.

Recent graduates

Eryn Maccabee '14 is attending the University of Denver Publishing Institute.

Whitney Wilson '09 is an assistant at Oops Doughnuts Productions in Los Angeles.

Amy Hultquist Carter '08 is regional director of donor relations at George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Stephanie Dahl '07 is an MBA candidate at DePaul's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, studying international business and marketing strategy.

Kerstin O'Connor '07 is a licensed master of social work at the University of Iowa Hospitals Organ Transplant Center.

Jenn Rogers '02 is vice president of marketing and sales at Mayorga Coffee, LLC, in the Washington D.C. area.

Augustana offers a 27-credit major in Scandinavian Studies and an 18-credit minor in Scandinavian Studies. The program is part of the college’s Department of German and Scandinavian Studies. Along with the Swedish language, courses cover a wide range of cultural topics, including literature, drama, art and film — classical to contemporary. Many students of Scandinavian Studies combine this major with another of Augustana’s nearly 90 majors and related academic programs.

Students of Scandinavian Studies often participate in the Swedish conversation table, Scandinavian Club and the annual Sankta Lucia festival. Students also participate in activities with the local American Scandinavian Association, such as volunteering at the annual Påsk (Easter) celebration with local children.

The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center, a national institute for archival research of Scandinavian immigrants, is located on campus. Augustana's library resources for Scandinavian studies are among the finest in the United States, with a Swedish-language collection of about 25,000 volumes.

Students 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.

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. 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.

Dani Soerens '11, Scandinavian studies and communication sciences and disorders major; currently a graduate student in audiology at Northern Illinois University
"One thing that is special and unique about the education I've received in Scandinavian Studies is that since Augustana has a Swedish background, we are able to identify with the college's history and certain parts of the campus culture. Also, the professors are very personal and will help you one-on-one with anything you need."

Kate Buckingham '10, Scandinavian studies and history major; currently employed by the Therapeutic Recreation Association, Phoenix, Ariz.
"Scandinavian studies at Augustana gave me a wider appreciation for other cultures, and fueled my interest in anthropology... by studying a language and culture not widely examined, new perspective is gained through an anthropology perspective. Besides being a great way to meet people (telling someone you speak Swedish is a definite conversation-starter), Scandinavian studies provided me a great opportunity to experience the world outside the United States."

Lisa Huntsha ’10, Scandinavian studies and sociology; currently archivist and librarian at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana
Augustana gave me the opportunity to pursue my many interests fully, which has shaped my passions and pursuits for the future. My experience here had also given me opportunities to hold leadership positions and grow personally, not just academically. Studying abroad in Grebbestad, Sweden, in the summer of 2008 was an irreplaceable opportunity. It was a fun and educational trip that gave me a chance to put my Swedish language skills to use, and to experience another culture.

When the Julbok came to Founders Hall

On the Monday after Sankta Lucia Day, I opened my office door in Founders Hall and was greeted by a face, of sorts, peering in my window through the pre-dawn gloom. A jagged amber snout wrapped in red ribbons gazed eyelessly from beneath two gloriously curved horns, all made of woven hay.

Video: Anderson gives annual Ander Lecture

Dr. Philip J. Anderson, professor emeritus of church history at North Park Seminary in Chicago, gives the annual O. Fritiof Ander Lecture in Immigration History: "Voluntary Religion and the Swedish Immigrant Experience." He is a leading authority on Swedish-American history, and has published widely in the field. One of his special fields is the role of religion among Swedish Americans.

Augustana to exhibit 'A Different Way of Seeing'

The Augustana Teaching Museum of Art will display "A Different Way of Seeing: Swedish Art from the Charters Collection" from September 5 to October 25 in the main gallery of Centennial Hall, 3703 7th Avenue in Rock Island. A public gallery reception will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 5, and the exhibition will be open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.
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