Sustainable Development, Energy and Eco-municipalities in Sweden
May 4 – May 11, 2013
Join Antioch University students and alumni for an exciting exploration of sustainability innovations in western Sweden. This trip, open to all Antioch University students and alumni, will familiarize you with the Swedish approach to sustainability, the integration of eco-municipalities into Swedish society and the evolution of urban sustainable development in Gothenburg, Falkenberg, Helsinborg, and Malmo. An optional trip is available to Samsoe, Denmark, an island community that uses 100% renewable energy.
Why Sweden and Denmark?
Many communities across the globe are launching sustainability initiatives to reduce their carbon footprints, waste stream and impact on fragile ecological systems, but they are usually done on an individual project basis. In Sweden, the vision and planning take place on a system level. In 1983, the small village of Övertorneä established the country's first eco-municipality. That successful initiative launched a nationwide movement in many Swedish communities. This trip will give you the opportunity to analyze and reflect on the unique nature of a systems-wide approach to sustainable planning, development and resilient thinking in three western Sweden cities. In addition, Samsoe, Denmark is an internationally known island community with 100% renewable energy sources. Touring this island is a unique opportunity to see how vision, resilience, and innovation can work to achieve outstanding carbon neutral results.
We will be staying in Youth Hostels in our three destinations. Students will share bunk rooms with 4-6 other people. Youth hostels are an affordable way to travel in Europe and have kitchens so students can prepare their own meals.
Course Description - May 4 – May 11, 2013
This course will focus on Sweden’s efforts in renewable energy, sustainable development, urban food development, and establishment of eco-municipalities. The course will be led by Torjborn Lahti, a Swedish expert in eco-municipalities, and Polly Chandler, Chair of the Department of Management. The goal of the course will be to expose students to the wide breadth and depth of alternatives to fossil fuels on the west coast of Sweden and the systems approach to sustainable development called eco-municipality. The course will begin in Gothenburg, Sweden. Students will then slowly travel south stopping in Helsinborg and Malmo. An optional tour in Denmark is available for students interested in arriving early. This optional tour includes a trip to the Samsoe Energy Academy and a tour the Island of Samsoe, Denmark, a zero carbon footprint island off the coast of Denmark.
We will visit multiple sites in western Sweden to study sustainable energy, transportation innovations, waste management systems and urban development approaches. We will travel by mass transit and ferry, as well as walking tours. You, and fellow travelers, will tour Gothenburg’s multiple sustainability efforts in urban agriculture, passive homes, biogas and wave power. In Falkenberg you will tour a wind farm and learn about the implementation of their eco-municipality. In Helsinborg students will meet with leaders in sustainable development and learn about a biogas plant and community engagement. Multiple group discussions and reflections will provide opportunities for you to compare the distinct cultures, economies and ecologies of Sweden and the United States. Ultimately, you will leave Sweden with a new perspective on what is possible in the world of sustainable systems, and a fresh energy to lead change in your own community.
Minimum Enrollment: 8
Maximum Enrollment: 18
This is a 3 credit course. Students taking the course for credit will be required to keep a photo and written journal.
The Swedish Model; Swedish Culture, History and Policy; Sustainable Urban Development; Water Resource Management; Renewable Energy, Resilient Systems and Leading Change; Urban Ecology; Energy Innovations and Carbon; and Reduction Strategies.
Participants will analyze and reflect on what we can learn from Sweden while developing strategies for sustainable development and planning in our own homes, communities and businesses. Students will develop insights into how sustainable communities and organizations have evolved and thrived in Sweden, the role Swedish history and culture has played in shaping emerging sustainable systems, and the specific ways Swedish businesses and municipalities have collaborated to increase ecological efficiency.
Pre Course Requirements - Pre trip Meeting on April 6. Course assignments will be discussed at this meeting. Students taking the course for credit will be required to keep a journal.
May 4 -11 - The trip begins in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 5. Students can travel to Gothenburg from Stockholm or Copenhagen. Students should plan on traveling from the US on May 4. Students return to the US on May 11 from Copenhagen.
May 30 - Final materials due for students taking the course for credit.
$2500 includes transportation while in Sweden, accommodations, all tours and guides, and a $500 food card. Airfare, transport to and from the airport, the train to Gothenburg, and any additional personal expenses are not included in the trip fee.
All accommodations are in 4-5 bunk youth hostel rooms. Additional fees are required for more private accommodations.
Optional Trip to Samsoe, Denmark
Estimated Trip fee - $ 300. Students depart the US on May 1 and arrive in Copenhagen on May 2. The group then travels with Polly Chandler to Samsoe for an overnight stay and an island tour on May 3 of the Energy Academy. Students will then travel to Gothenburg on May 4 and meet the rest of the group. The $300 optional trip fee includes transportation to Samsoe, 2 nights accommodation, tour of Samsoe, and transport to Gothenburg. Students interested in this extension should contact Polly Chandler. Registration will be done through the Department of Management once the number of students and tour details are confirmed. Minimum Students - 5.
This itinerary is subject to change.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
- Depart US
Sunday, May 5, 2013
- Travel from Copenhagen or Stockholm to Gothenburg, Sweden
- Accommodation, Hostel Gothenburg,
- Course Begins at 5pm - Discussions on goals of course, itinerary, and dinner.
Monday, May 6, 2013
- Meet representatives and hear presentations at Gothenburg City, Mistra Urban Future, and Chalmers Technical University.
- Visit to Urban Agriculture Activities in Gothenburg
- Visit to Eco-Centrum, the biggest permanent Eco-Exhibition in Sweden where you can get an exposé of the best “green” technology in Sweden
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
- Travel to Alingsås, “Passive houses”, meeting with Hans Eek, “Eco-architect”
- Travel to Borås, visit to a Biogas plant, meeting with representatives from the Eco-Municipality, Biogas as part of the sustainable strategy
- Visit to wave power plant (the world biggest!)
- Visit to sustainable housing areas
Wednesday May 8, 2013
- Travel to Falkenberg, meeting with representatives from the Eco-Municipality
- Visit to wind farm, travel to Helsingborg
- Accommodation, Youth Hostel in Helsingborg
Thursday, May 9, 2013
- The change process in Sweden and Eco-Municipalities, reflections and discussions, meeting with the chairman of the Eco-Municipality Association in Sweden
Friday, May 10, 2013
- Visit to the recycling facility on the old landfill in the City, biogas plant, biogas buses, etc.
- Travel to Malmö, visit to the Eco-City Augustenborg in Malmö, green roofs, urban agriculture, etc.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
- Travel to Kastrup/Copenhagen, Flight to US
Booking Travel to Sweden
May 4 – May 11, 2013
All participants will have to book their own flights to Copenhagen or Stockholm. Train, bus and ferry services are available for travel to Gothenburg. The course begins in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Once course/trip registration is complete and we know we have the minimum of 8 students, we will:
- Provide each participant with travel details on arriving in Gothenburg.
- At that point, individual students can determine their travel plans to find their best flight option.
If you are having any concerns or issues we encourage you to work with a local travel agent. Keep in mind that most flights to Sweden are night flights from the east coast. Gothenburg can be reached from Stockholm or Copenhagen and there are train and bus options to get to our hostel.
International Student ID Card (ISIC)
How to get a card: You can buy the card online, search locations to buy in person near you, or you can call 1-800-223-7986. The card costs $25, and if you buy it online there is a $3 shipping charge. The ISIC card is only available to full-time students, so you must be able to prove you are currently studying full time at school, college or university.
When applying, please provide one of the following documents:
- A copy of your university or student identity card, clearly dated and indicating you are a full-time student or
- A signed and dated letter on official university or school stationery stating you are studying there full time. We prefer an original copy, although photocopies and faxes may be accepted or
- A valid school email address (when you order online)
You will also need:
- Proof of your date of birth
- A passport-sized photograph (when you order online, you will put the photo on the car when it arrives, you do not need the photo before you order)
- Travel Insurance (remember AAG)
- International Travel Advisories
- Shots and Inoculations
You should make sure your general immunizations like tetanus are up to date but there no specific requirements for travel to Sweden
- IDs, Passports and Visas
- Do I need one and/or the other? You need a valid passport, and highly recommend you bring another form of photo id like a driver's license
- It's a good idea to make 2 copies of these and other travel documents. Give a copy to someone you trust not going on the trip and the other in a separate location with you while travelling.
Every student must have a passport that is valid through November 4, 2013 (six months after the travel date). If you do not have a passport, or your passport will be expired before then, you should start the process of getting one if you think there is even a chance you will go on the trip. Sometimes the passport process can take several months. USPS Passport Application Information
- Flying international
- Customs and Border Protection - See the US Customs and Border Protection website for travel tips, and what to know before you go.
- Jet Lag - Stockholm is 6 hours ahead of us here on the east coast. See information on Jet Lag on how to work through jet lag specifically at a 6 hour difference
- Time Zones in relation to Sweden
Packing and Preparation
- Student Packing List for Sustainable Sweden Study Abroad (PDF 100K)
- Weather predictions and norms - The average minimum temperature is about 1 degree Celsius or 34 degrees Fahrenheit. The average maximum temperature is about 16 degrees Celsius or 61 degrees Fahrenheit. The average monthly precipitation is about 3cm or 1.18 inches. The spring average during the day is about 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit, so dress warm and in layers.
Currency and Money
- Notify your bank ahead of time of your travels. Foreign transactions can be flagged at your bank and they may stop any transactions until they contact you, which may be difficult.
- Exchange - It is recommended that you land with at least some local currency (SEK). The current exchange rate is $1 to 6.9 SEK
- Cash, travelers checks, and traveling with money - You will be provided with a food stipend of $500 US, most likely in the form of a visa card. It is recommended that you keep some local currency in a separate place other than in your wallet or purse in case of emergencies.
- Tipping - There is no obligation to leave a tip in Sweden, and gratuity for service charges like hotel staff or hairdressers is already included in your total bill.
- Tipping is not expected for these type of services in Sweden - with an exception: Swedish tipping behavior changes when you go out to eat or drink. It's common to leave a small tip of 5-10% in a restaurant or bar. In Sweden, you tip by rounding up the amount of the bill. For example, if bill for your dinner is 121.60 it would be appropriate to give the waiter an even amount of 130 in Swedish kronor
Culture and Norms
- Language and communicating
- Technology and Communication
- Cell phones and calling cards- There are several different options when travelling internationally with your cell phone:
- You may change your service temporarily (by the month) to get better rates
- You may use a prepaid phone like Tracfone or Gophone with international service
- You may use your current phone and have the charges on your regular bill
- Cell phones and calling cards- There are several different options when travelling internationally with your cell phone:
Below you'll find information about the major wireless companies. Please do not hesitate to call your provider and ask for specific details and options.
Tracfone is a prepaid, no contract phone service. For international rates click below:
International Support Web Page
GoPhone Packages (phone with $ prepaid with international rates, check international details)
Current Rates (make sure you know if it is incoming or outgoing calls!)
Course Name: Study Abroad Trip to Sweden
Course Number - MNN 512, Section A
Registration Instructions for Current Students
- Go to the AUNE website
- In the green section at the bottom of the webpage click the link formyAntioch
- Log in to myAntioch
- Select Students Menu
- Click on My Holds to make sure you do not have any holds and are cleared to register
- Under Registration choose Register for Sections
- Under Term select 13SP20 - AUNE Spring 2013 from the pull down menu
- Under Academic Level select 20MAS - ANE Masters Level from the pull down menu
- Click on the Subjects pull down menu. Scroll down the competency area list and select 20MNN - MNN Natural Systems. Do not fill anything else out on this screen. Then click the Submit button.
- On the next screen you will see the course listing 20MNN-512-A Study Abroad Trip to Sweden
- To "Select" a class for registration click/check the little white box to the far left of the class listing.
- To continue your registration, you MUST scroll all the way down and click Submit.
- Next you should be on the Register & Drop screen. Under Action select RG - Register.
- To complete your registration, you MUST click Submit.
- IMPORTANT: Check your work. Go back to the Student Menu and Click on My Schedule. If the Study Abroad Trip to Sweden there, you are done. If it is not there, go back and try again (Did you press Submit?)
Registration Instructions for Alumni
Alumni register using the Continuing Education application. Follow the instructions included on the form.
- When completing the application, calculate the 3 credit course fee using the Alumnus Fee of 50% of credit or audit charge shown on the form. Then in the Amount column, add the $2500 trip fee to the course fee and total the two amounts.
- All tuition and fees are paid at the time you submit your application form.
- The Registrar’s Office will email you with information once your registration form has been processed.
- If you plan to make your payment by credit card you must use the online credit card authorization form.
Registration Instructions for Optional Trip to Samsoe, Denmark