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For Americans

Study Abroad in Scandinavia 

Each year, the Brittingham Viking Organization (BVO) invites students from UW-Madison to study abroad at universities in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, and welcomes Scandinavian students from these countries to study at UW-Madison. For over 70 years, the BVO’s cultural exchange program has provided valuable and unique study abroad experiences and welcomed scholars into its active alumni organization. The BVO is recognized by UW-Madison as an independent scholarship program. 


The BVO’s scholarship program for Americans begins during the spring semester and sends scholars to Finland, Sweden, or Denmark based on majors, university availability, and academic requirements. All scholars then spend the summer studying together at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo in Norway. 


Scholarships are designed to cover housing, tuition/program fees, roundtrip flights to Scandinavia, visas, insurance, and a generous living and travel stipend. Scholars travel together around the Nordic countries to visit Viking alumni and celebrate cultural holidays. The entire program runs from January through August 2025 and is roughly thirty weeks long. The total value of the program is up to $25,000 depending on academic status and available programs.


All our scholars become lifelong members of our alumni network consisting of around 500 scholarship recipients from the last seven decades. Our alumni serve as a valuable support system for our scholars while they are abroad and can provide connections for academic and professional opportunities during and after the scholarship period has ended. The people you meet might become your lifelong friends, and the social, academic, and professional contacts you gain make the Brittingham Viking Organization unique. 


Hear a testimonial in the video below from past scholars. You'll find more information about academics and applying further down.

Available Universities on the Viking Program 

The BVO sends UW-Madison students to Lund, Helsinki, or Copenhagen for the spring semester. The scholars study abroad in different cities at different universities during the spring semester, but also form a scholar group that travels together during school breaks. The scholar group completes the summer scholarship program together in Oslo at the International Summer School.

To find out more about available classes and subjects at our partner universities, please visit their respective websites. Available universities have different GPA and student classification requirements. Please take this into consideration when determining your preferred study abroad destinations in your written application.

 

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (SPRING SEMESTER OPTION)

 

University of Copenhagen

Topics(s): Arts, Humanities, Science & Technology, Social Sciences

Requirements: Open to 2024-25 Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students with a 2.5 GPA

 

Copenhagen Business School

Topic(s): Business

Requirements: At this time, Copenhagen Business School is only an option for applicants who have already applied for the Copenhagen Business School Exchange (applications due March 1, 2024). If the applicant is selected to be a Brittingham Viking Scholar but later finds out they are denied a spot in the Copenhagen Business School Exchange, they will study instead at the University of Copenhagen.

HELSINKI, FINLAND (SPRING SEMESTER OPTION)

Aalto University

Topics(s): Engineering, Science & Technology, Business, Design

Requirements: Open to 2024-25 Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students with at least a 3.0 GPA

Hanken School of Economics

Topic(s): Economics, Marketing, Finance, Business

Requirements: Open to 2024-25 Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students with at least a 3.0 GPA

University of Helsinki

Topic(s): Arts & Humanities, Science & Technology, Social Sciences

Requirements: Open to 2024-25 Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate Students with at least a 3.0 GPA

LUND, SWEDEN (SPRING SEMESTER OPTION)

Lund University

Topic(s): Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Biological and Physical Sciences, Business

Requirements: Open to 2024-25 Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors with at least a 2.8 GPA

OSLO, NORWAY (SUMMER – ALL SCHOLARS)

The International Summer School at the University of Oslo has been hosting bright students from all over the world since 1947. The program includes housing and a meal plan along with a series of excursions and is a valuable academic experience no matter your major. Available classes at ISS cover broad topics such as international politics, social change, and human rights.

Important Notes

  • Currently, Brittingham Viking scholars studying in Copenhagen, Lund, and Oslo study on exchange through UW-Madison’s International Academic Program (IAP) office. Students in Helsinki study as free moving students, which means that the credits they receive in Finland are not considered in residence (unlike on IAP programs). This is subject to change as IAP makes changes in its own policies, so make sure you know what you need academically from your time abroad and communicate that with the selection committee as much as possible. Question 8 on the written application provides you space to do so. If needed, talk to your academic advisor before completing your application!

  • Scholarship funds are given as a lump sum upon arrival in Scandinavia to assist with airfare to the Scandinavian countries, tuition, room, board, and travel expenses throughout the region. Scholars may be asked to pay some costs (e.g., visa fees) prior to arriving in Scandinavia but will be able to reimburse themselves after receiving scholarship funds. Scholars assume responsibility for additional miscellaneous study abroad expenses (e.g., entertainment, personal travels, clothing, etc.). 

  • Commitment requires scholar availability from January through August 2025 including a weekend in late August of 2025 to attend the annual Brittingham Viking Organization Convention in Scandinavia.

  • Scholars must be planning to return to the Madison area for one full academic year after scholarship, either to study or for employment. We expect that returning scholars will be involved in welcoming new Scandinavian scholars to Madison in September 2025 and selecting the next group of American BVO scholars in spring 2026.

Instructions for Applying

Start your application as soon as possible. Our application process is split into two portions, the first of which only takes a few minutes to complete.

Application Closed for 2025
  • After you have completed the initial application, follow the instructions in the confirmation email or visit this webpage to download the written portion of the application.

  • Complete the scholarship application thoroughly and with respect to the word limits.
     

  • Create a single PDF of your written application with the file name FirstnameLastname.pdf (e.g., BuckyBadger.pdf) and submit it here.

  • Applications must be submitted here by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.

  • Applicants who are selected for an interview will be notified by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2024. Selected applicants must be available for interviews on Saturday, April 6, 2024 (virtual) and Saturday, April 13, 2024 (in person in Madison). Please note that not all applicants will be invited to the second interview.

  • Any questions about the scholarship or the application should be directed to us.scholarships@brittinghamvikings.org with the email subject “Application Question.” A member of the selection committee will get back to you as soon as possible.


Timeline for Applying

  • March 22 — applications for Spring and Summer 2025 due

  • March 29 — all applicants are notified via email of their interview status

  • April 6 — virtual first interview for selected applicants 

  • April 13 — second interview for selected applicants in Madison

Click here to download the written application if you've already completed your initial application and you're looking to submit.

If our scholarship program isn't relevant to you this year, but you'd like more information about future opportunities, consider filling out the initial application anyway so that we can add your email to our mailing list!

 

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