A group of people at the Nobel Institute

Beyond the Nobel Prize: Innovation in Sweden

  1. Program Details

    Examine innovation across a variety of disciplines and consider how solutions to society’s problems require creativity and collaboration.

    Location Stockholm, Sweden
    Term May Session
    Housing Apartment
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students
    Language No language prerequisite
  2. About Beyond the Nobel Prize: Innovation in Sweden

    A century ago, Sweden was among the poorest nations in Europe. Today, the country is a world leader in innovation—ranked #2 on the 2019 Global Innovation Index—despite being home to just 0.13% of the global population.

    Students will examine innovation across a variety of disciplines and consider how solutions to problems facing society require creativity, collaboration, and new ways of thinking. In particular, we will explore how organizational, political, cultural, and social environments can foster innovation, using the Swedish context. By immersing in Swedish culture, we will better understand its role in facilitating an innovative environment as we examine the reasons behind Sweden’s ranking (#2 in 2019) on the Global Innovation Index and the Nobel Prize, international awards bestowed by Swedish institutions that recognize significant academic, cultural and scientific advances. As a learning abroad seminar, students will learn about their level of intercultural competence and strategies to increase their competence, as well as engage in a practical experience of navigating another culture in an intentional and reflective way. Through examining innovation through the Swedish lens and across disciplines, students will emerge with an understanding about how business and government practices to foster innovation in a country beyond the United States.

    Housing & Meals

    Stay in shared housing with other program participants.  A welcome and farewell meal as well as some additional meals are included in the program fee. 


    While in Sweden, your surroundings will become your classroom. Explore Swedish culture and its role facilitating innovation across disciplines—such as the arts, education, science, and technology—through readings, lectures, and visits to various sites. Learn about the Swedish context and how work environments can foster space for creative thinking and expression. Potential excursions, lectures, and points of interest may include:

    • Walking tour of Södermalm
    • Stockholm ghost tour
    • Walking tour of Gamla Stan
    • Stockholm Archipelago Boat Tour
    • Subway Metro Art Tour
    • Guided tour of the Swedish History Museum
    • Guided tour of Vasa Museum
    • Guided tour of Nobel Museum
    • Guided tour of Riksdagen
    • Drottningholm Palace
    • Skansen
    • SUP46
    • Klarna Bank
    • Visits to local businesses with active researchers and inventors


    All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

    It might be possible to deviate your return flight. Inquire with your program contact if interested.

    Learning Outcomes

    This seminar offers you opportunities to examine:

    • The role of creativity and innovation in addressing societal challenges and how organizational environments and locations foster creative thinking and problem-solving
    • The social, economic, cultural, historical, and political conditions that led to Sweden's recognition as a global leader in innovation
    • The history of the Nobel Prize, as well as particular examples of academic, cultural, and scientific advances
    • Similarities and differences between the United States' and Sweden's approaches to fostering innovative and creative practices within society
    • Your own level of intercultural competence and strategies to increase your level of intercultural competence

    Faculty & Staff

    This course is led by Nikki Letawsky Shultz, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and International Programs, College of Biological Sciences.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Instructor-Led
    Program Level 3000-level coursework

    One 3-credit course


    Throughout the course we will explore many essential questions, including:

    Innovation & Creativity

    • Where do good ideas come from?
    • What is innovation? What is creativity?
    • How do environments (organizational, social, political, and cultural) foster innovation? 
    • What organizational practices contribute to innovation?
    • Why does Sweden have a reputation for innovation? 
    • What conditions in the Swedish context contribute to innovation and innovative practices?

    The Nobel Prize

    • What is the Nobel Prize? Who has been chosen to recieve a Nobel Prize & why?
    • How might the Nobel Prize selection adapt for the future? 
    • What discoveries or achievements are worthy of a Nobel Prize?

    Intercultural Competence/Swedish Cultural Context

    • How do people effectively navigate different cultural contexts?
    • What does it mean to be Swedish?
    • How does one effectively navigate the Swedish context? 

    Receive credit for: BIOL 3905

    Approved for: Global Perspectives liberal education theme

    Please note that this syllabus is from an embedded study abroad model that will be adapted to reflect a 3-week, in-country global seminar: Spring BIOL 3905 syllabus 

  4. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Term Program Dates Priority Application Deadline* Final Application Deadline
    May Session 2021 May 16 – Jun 6, 2021 February 1, 2021 March 1, 2021

    Program dates are subject to change.

    If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 16 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

    Orientation Dates & Locations

    Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

    See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

    Term Abroad Date/Time Location
    May Session 2021 TBD TBD
  5. Priority Deadline

    If you apply by the priority deadline and confirm within the allotted time you will receive the published program fee. Applying after the priority deadline and/or not confirming within the allotted time means you may be subject to an airfare increase.

    Fees for Beyond the Nobel Prize: Innovation in Sweden

    May 2021 Cost of Participation forthcoming

    Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fees range from $5,500–$7,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

    If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

    Billing & Payments

    Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

    Cancellation Policy

    Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
  6. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term May Session 2021
    Program Name Global Seminar: Beyond the Nobel Prize: Innovation in Sweden
    Track Name Beyond the Nobel Prize: Innovation in Sweden
    Country Sweden


    University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee.

    Non-University of Minnesota Student—apply

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for this program.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.


    After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

    • Application Essay

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation. Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

    Next Steps

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
  7. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, email

    Roslyn Udairam or call at 612.625.0475.

Passport Information

If you do not currently have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your return date, or are still needing to apply for a new one, start the process as soon as possible. Visit the UofM Passport Office website for more information.