Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Brittingham Viking Organization (BVO) and how does it involve scholars?
The BVO is an alumni organization whose primary members are scholarship recipients, informally called “Vikings.” Viking family members and honorary Vikings are also considered a part of the BVO. Collectively, there are over 300 BVO members. The BVO is responsible for organizing alumni reunions, scholarship selections, fundraising, and alumni communications. The BVO holds an annual reunion called convention. Convention usually takes place in August or September and each year the location rotates between Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Madison, WI. Following his/her selection, new Vikings are immediately part of the Viking family. After a new scholar’s scholarship experience abroad, scholars are expected to play an active role in the organization’s administration upon return. New Vikings are specifically encouraged to play a role in marketing the scholarship, participating in selections, and apprenticing the next generation of scholars. Participation in the BVO is a lifelong opportunity. Vikings from all generations are encouraged to host visiting scholars in their homes, attend BVO social events, take part in BVO fundraising, contribute to the BVO newsletter “The Ripples”, and more.
2. What defines a Viking scholar?
Viking scholars have a range of backgrounds, interests, and involvements. Recipients of Viking scholarships tend to be academically motivated, socially active, and globally minded. They are also students who have an active presence in the classroom and in the community. Vikings scholars have an interest in making meaningful connections in other parts of the world as well as in the place they call home. Scholarship selection committees look for applicants who demonstrate initiative, responsibility, and creativity in their pursuits. Another aspect of Viking scholars is the importance of loyalty and commitment. Every Viking will give her/his own definition of what it means to be a Viking, dependent upon their varying experiences, perspective and involvement.
3. What do the scholarships cover?
In total, there are currently 10 active Viking scholarships that provide for 16 new Vikings to study abroad each year. Each scholarship is administered differently, but broadly speaking, the scholarships provide for full-time study with housing and travel allowances. As with any travel abroad experience, scholars should expect to pay moderate out of pocket expenses. Scholars are encouraged to secure additional funding to cover costs associated with international travel opportunities.
4. Who can apply for the Viking scholarships?
University of Wisconsin-Madison full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are U.S. citizens can apply for three scholarships to study in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, and Norway. U.S. applicants do not need to be of Scandinavian heritage to receive a scholarship. The Madison Ehrnrooth and Horelli scholarshipsoffer three students the opportunity to spend the spring semester in Helsinki, Finland. The Madison CBS scholarship offers three students the opportunity to spend a summer of study at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. The Madison Viking scholarship offers two students the opportunity to study at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo in Norway.Citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden who are full-time university students have the opportunity to apply for several scholarships to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Every academic year, two students from two rotating Nordic countries will receive the Scott & Ella Brittingham Viking Scholarship In addition, one student from Finland will be selected each academic year to study on the Brittingham Ehrnrooth scholarship. In 2013-14, one Swede will study for the full academic year on the St. Erik Viking Scholarship.
Every summer, two students from rotating Nordic countries will receive the Brittingham Wisconsin Alumni Association Scholarship for summer school. Additionally, one student from Norway will be selected to study on the Apeland Scholarship and one student from Sweden will be selected to study on the St. Erik Viking Scholarship.
5. What should applicants expect from the interview process?
Applicants who are offered an interview should expect to meet with a panel of Viking scholarship alumni during the interview process. The interviews are professional in nature. Interviewees should expect a range of questions about their academic and social pursuits as well as their specific interests in studying abroad on a Viking scholarship.
6. Who should applicants contact for additional information?
Applicants should email their respective national coordinators for further information about individual scholarships or general questions regarding the Brittingham Viking Organization.