The Organization for Economic Co‐operation and Development (OECD) and The Commonwealth Fund rank Sweden among the best healthcare systems in the world. In addition, the healthcare system in Sweden is often used as a model by other countries.

This international health course explores questions such as these: What makes the Swedish healthcare system one of the best? How much of that can be replicated in other parts of the world?

Cross‐cultural learning will be facilitated onsite for students through lectures by Swedish healthcare professionals, site visits, interactions with locals and diverse members of the student group, debriefing sessions onsite (cultural processing) and daily journaling of reflections.

This course will bring together students in health disciplines from two different academic institutions, at various academic levels, which will allow for personal growth and rich exchange of ideas.

Students will learn key facts about Swedish healthcare, specifically, historical and social development, governance (healthcare law, monitoring and policy, county councils, and the role of the patient), financing, and service provision (private vs. public, purchaser‐provider split, and public health services). In addition, the students will broaden their knowledge of European healthcare: What is local and what is European when it comes to healthcare system performance in Sweden?

The students will analyze recent developments, such as patient choice as an engine for improved performance and provision of healthcare services to the elderly and refugee populations.

The course will be a combination of lectures and visits to local healthcare providers. Lecturers will represent or have experience working in prestigious universities (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University and Lund University), county councils, the OECD, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, United Nations bodies, international consultancy firms, hospitals, etc.

The course includes visits to many Swedish organizations, such as Stockholm County Council, a local governance organization; a private hospital with public contract; a research hospital; an NGO and a Public Health Department; and a primary care clinic, which is typically represented by about 15 physicians and managed by a physician or a nurse.

The visits will be set to match learners' professional interests. We will learn about regional service provision and the recent developments related to the increase of asylum seekers.  According to J. Troub, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy, “A nation of 9.5 million, Sweden expected to take as many as 190,000 refugees, or 2 percent of the population—double the per capita figure projected by Germany, which has taken the lead in absorbing the vast tide of people fleeing the wars in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere.” (Troub, Feb 2016)

This study abroad experience is a 3 credit hour spring course entitled, Sweden: Health Systems Around the World: Understanding Sweden's Healthcare System. All participants will be required to enroll in one of the following courses if accepted into the program:

  1. PBHL-H 455 (Undergraduate)
  2. PBHL-H 670 (Graduate)

Trip dates and info session

Program dates: 5/28/23 - 6/6/23

Application deadline: 10/11/22

Info sessions:

9/20/22 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Global Crossroads Classroom (ES 2132) or via Zoom: https://iu.zoom.us/j/81221038824  

9/21/22 10:00 am –11:00 am, Global Crossroads Classroom (ES 2132) or via Zoom: https://iu.zoom.us/j/81221038824

students peace sign in sweden
students out to dinner in sweden
sweden study abroad group

Students on the study abroad trip to Sweden.


The program fee is $3,400, which covers:

  • Housing (two to a room)
  • Some meals
  • Some transportation to scheduled learning activities
  • Excursions

Additional expenses will include:

  • Airfare of approximately $1,500 for roundtrip transportation to Stockholm (students will arrange their own flights).
  • Spending money for meals, excursions, theater tickets, and other incidentals (recommend $500).
  • Study abroad fees of $87 for the international study fee and $33 for insurance.
  • Passport fee of approximately $145. 
  • Tuition and related fees to cover the required three-credit hour course (amount will vary based upon residency status and full/part-time status); visit the IUPUI cost estimator to determine how the three additional credits will impact your summer bursar bill.

Please note that travel inside Sweden is exceptionally expensive. Housing and food costs are among the highest in Europe. We try our very best to keep costs as low as possible while maintaining acceptable standards and good value.

Total estimated cost: $5715 + standard tuition and fees

Apply for a scholarship now, travel later

IUPUI undergraduate students can apply for a study abroad scholarship and later identify where they want to study. As a degree-seeking undergraduate student within your first year at IUPUI, IUPUC, or IUFW, you may be eligible for the Study Abroad Planning Scholarship of $3,000. Applicants to the scholarships do not need to have already identified a program. This is an opportunity to explore all international options. 

Pre-trip planning sessions

There will be a series of pre-travel meetings on campus at IUPUI. More information on the meeting details will be sent to students accepted into the program.

How to apply

Preference will be given to public health undergraduate students; however, graduate students and undergraduate students of other majors are welcome to apply. Here’s what you need to do to secure your spot:

Complete your application


Do you have a question? We're here to help! Email Leah Jansen at lwissel@iu.edu for more information.

Please note: All information is subject to change. This site is neither a contract nor an offer to make a contract. The Fairbanks School of Public Health reserves the right to change a program as new opportunities arise.