BIST Scandinavia 2015


Medieval Scandinavia: Viking Culture and Conflict (HIS )

Dates: May 11-June 5, 2015

Instructors: Tyler Sergent & Wendy Williams

The peoples of Scandinavia, collectively known as the “Norsemen” and the “Vikings” in medieval history, provide a remarkable and complex culture for historical study. Our course will seek to develop a picture of this history, culture, and society of the peoples of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden through hands-on learning experiences, from examining medieval manuscripts in royal libraries to sailing Viking era ships on a fjord.

We will approach our study in two broad areas: 1) the “Viking era” of the early medieval period (8th-11th centuries) when the Scandinavian peoples, though settled successfully in their own territories, began to explore and encounter other settled peoples of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East with surprising success and long-term effect; 2) the “Christian era” of later medieval Scandinavia (12th century onward) when the people began to convert from traditional religions to the dominant form of Christianity of western Europe. Among the subjects covered within these two broad areas of Scandinavian history will be the themes of culture and conflict.

Our experiential learning will also focus on the impact that landscape and topography, which varies greatly between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had on the Viking era Scandinavians in terms of settlement, trade, travel, and encounters with other peoples. We will visit places in all four countries that provide opportunity to apply our analytical tools, and with assistance from local experts and scholars, we will delve into the world of the Vikings both academically and experientially.

Estimated Cost

Estimated Total including airfare, course fee, meals, housing, spending money, passport and immunizations: $4,835

Berea can cover up to a third of the cost with the New Horizons Grant: $1,595.55

Left for student to cover with personal funds, outside grants, 0% loans, etc.: $3,191.10

Financial Support

Financial support from Berea College is available for any major to cover a portion of the cost of a summer abroad. The Department of Foreign Languages offers similar financial support for qualified majors and minors. »Read more


For specific questions about this course, contact Tyler Sergent or Wendy Williams.

For general questions about the BIST application process or scholarships, contact the Education Abroad Team at or (859) 985-3453, or drop by 205 Woods-Penniman.