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  • Locations: Aalborg, Denmark; Copenhagen, Denmark; Odense, Denmark; Skagen, Denmark
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Study Abroad Adviser: French, Erin, Humphrey, Nicole Housing Options: Hotel/Tourist Lodging
Classification at Departure: Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate Cumulative GPA: 3
Language of Instruction: English Host Country Language: Danish
Sponsor: Iowa State ISU Course: HDFS 581
Program Description:
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Lessons from Denmark: Exploring Life-Satisfaction, Happiness, and Hygge in the Happiest Nation on Earth

This 3-week summer program will explore the question, "what makes a happy life?" Denmark has consistently been ranked as the happiest nation on earth and as such has the potential to provide significant insights into our understanding of happiness and life-satisfaction. We'll explore what Denmark is doing - from how they govern, design and develop infrastructure, educate, and even how they dine - to be such a happy nation. We’ll visit and partner with the World Happiness Institute, located in Copenhagen, to be learn more about how the concept of Hygge, which permeates the Danish culture and may be a key to understanding happiness and life-sanctification. This program will include exploration of Danish Parliament, Copenhagen University, historic Hans Christian Andersen sites, and the homes of local hosts as the backdrop for exploring just what is it that makes Danish people so happy.  Students from design, sociology, urban planning, education, even hospitality management would glean beneficial and applicable personal and professional knowledge from experiencing the Hygge culture firsthand in Denmark!

By the end of the program you will:
- understand how happiness and life-satisfaction are defined and measured.  
- experience "Hygge culture" and how the concepts can be applied across various educational, personal, and professional domains to contribute to life-satisfaction. 
- recognize the influence of cultural norms in shaping lives - from the macro to mircosystems, specifcially how this impacts happiness and life-satisfaction outcomes. 
- be able to discuss the development and implementation of various methods of increasing life-satisfaction and happiness outcomes in their fields of study. 

You will be enrolled in HDFS 581C (1 credit), the required ISU pre-departure orientation course for this study abroad program.  This will be a second-half of the semester course during Spring 2018. You will also be enrolled in HDFS 581C (3 credits), the required ISU class for the travel component of this study abroad program, earning a total of 4 credits. 

2018 Program Highlights
  • Round trip to Denmark during May
  • Learn more about the popular concept of "Hygge", the cozy lifestyle of the Danes
  • Explore Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Some highlights include visiting the World Happiness Institute, Canal Tour, Bicycle Tour, Visit to a royal palace, explore the world's oldest amusement park
  • Travel to Svenborg and Odense, cities in the Funen region of Denmark. This will include a visit to the Hans Christian Anderson museum
  • Visit Aarhus and its famous art museum with the Rainbow Walk
  • Relax and practice Hygge in the coastal town Skagen
  • See historical towns like Aalborg, to have a comprehensive experience in Denmark

What is Hygge? Watch to learn more!

Program Prerequisites and Criteria for Participant Selection

Participants must meet the following requirements:
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Have taken at least 1 introductory HFD, Sociology, Psychology course that covers introduction to social, cultural or human development theories 
Applicants will be asked to submit the following materials as part of their ISUAbroad application:
  • Two letters of reference from ISU faculty members, one being from the student's home program
  • Essay explaining and reflecting on how they will benefit from participating in this program 
The College of Human Sciences may check a participant's current GPA at any time. Failure to maintain the required GPA may affect participation in an international program.
Costs and Financial Assistance
This program has costs that will appear on your U-bill and costs that you will pay for out-of-pocket, and the budget sheet linked below outlines more information about the expected costs.  Please note that ISU budget sheets are estimates and costs may vary.  However, it should give you a good idea of how much you would spend to participate in this program. Other links below provide resources to help you find scholarships and other aid to pay for participating in the program.

Lessons from Denmark Budget Sheet

Scholarship resources for this program are located at the following websites:
College of Human Sciences International Scholarships (Applications for Summer 18 scholarships will be open in January 2018)
Iowa State University Student Affairs Scholarships
Office of Student Financial Aid Scholarships
Office of Student Financial Aid FAQ

If you are a first time traveler in CHS you can find information here about CHS's Passport Reimbursement program. 



All participants in this program will be automatically enrolled in CISI, an international health insurance and emergency service plan. This insurance plan is required for all undergraduate and graduate students participating in ISU study abroad programs. The cost of the plan is $1.31 per day, and it has been built into the cost of the program fee. More information is available at the links below:

CISI Participant FAQ
International Insurance 101
CISI Policy Information
Deadline and Withdrawal Information

The application deadline for the program is December 1, 2017. You will be notified by December 15 if you have been accepted to participate. You will have a week and a half to decide if you will commit to the program, a specific commitment date will be in your acceptance letter. If you commit to your offer, you are officially part of the program, and you will be responsible for all program costs listed on the ISUAbroad budget sheet. If you withdraw, you will be responsible for all non-recoverable program payments the college is obligated to make on your behalf. Charges will be applied to your U-bill.
Contact and Additional Information
Questions about the program and academics should be directed to Program Director Amanda Hillman at Questions about the application process should be directed to the College of Human Sciences International Programs Office at or in 131 MacKay Hall.

This program is currently not accepting applications.