Duke in Denmark
A 4-WEEK SUMMER PROGRAM IN DANISH BIOGEOGRAPHY & CULTURE
Human Civilization, Climate Change, and Danish CultureApply Now
This course seeks to provide an in-field, in situ, opportunity to explore the geology, ecosystems, history, archeology, and culture of Denmark through the lens of past and present climate change. Denmark preserves unique and important geological remnants of the glacial geology and landscape of the last Ice Age. Archeological sites tell the story of early Mesolithic cultures adapting to the changing climate of post-Ice Age Europe through the Bronze and Iron Age. Denmark was part of the original Viking homeland, from where this seafaring culture, enabled by the specific climatic conditions of the Medieval Warm period, set out to discover and settle Greenland, Europe, and even parts of North America. Climate and Danish history and culture are intricately intertwined. With 5400 miles of coastline, no point further than 32 miles from the coast, and an average elevation hovering slightly above sea level, Denmark provides unequaled access to study both historical and contemporaneous examples, challenges, and solutions to climate-change-driven sea level rise, shoreline development, and coastal conservation. Being surrounded by both saline and brackish seas, has created a unique floral and faunal ecosystem that blends cooler Scandinavian with more temperate central-European biomes.
Through field-explorations of relevant natural and cultural sites, combined with visits to scientific collections, museums, and zoological and botanical exhibits, this course provides students with an interdisciplinary experiential opportunity to learn about civilization’s deep, inseparable connection to the Earth’s climate. Given this social and scientific perspective, students will come face to face with the major challenges of modern climate change, from sea level rise to the biodiversity crisis, using Denmark as their natural and cultural laboratory.
PROGRAM FAST FACTS
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Term: Summer II
Dates: June 28 - July 28 (tentative), 2022
Application Deadline: February 1st
Academic Theme(s): Earth & Climate Sciences, Biology, Cultural Anthropology, History, Environmental Science
Credit Type: Duke Credit
Eligibility: Open to all majors. No prerequisite. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.
Duke Affiliation: Division of Earth and Climate Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment
Housing: Dormitory-style rooms, with shared kitchens and bathrooms; hostel and backpacker-type accommodations on overnight trips
GEO Advising: Request an appointment
Danish seals sunbathing
Windy shores of Denmark
Herd of Fallow Deer
Nyhavn Canal, Copenhagen
All students will enroll in the signature course offering one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted.
- COURSE INFO
- MORE INFO
Climate Change and the Human Experience in a Danish Context
(NS) 1.0 Course Credit
Instructors: Drs. Alexander Glass
Prerequisite: None. No prior course work in these areas is assumed or required.
Course work consists of field studies supplemented with readings, exhibit exercises, videos, thematic quizzes, exams, and class discussions. You’ll gain firsthand knowledge of the glacial geology of Denmark, its Stone-, Bronze-, and Iron Age archeology and history, the development of Viking culture and their climate-driven explorations of Europe, the evolution and nature of Northern European biodiversity (flora and fauna, terrestrial and marine), and the challenges Denmark faces with regards to rapid modern global warming (sea level rise, shoreline protection, biodiversity crisis).
From the Faculty Director
A detailed course website is maintained by the program's faculty director and updated each year: https://sites.duke.edu/dukeindenmark2022/
Syllabus (provided on request)
The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilization by Brian Fagan (2010).
Supplemental Readings (course package provided)
Single specific excerpts/chapters from (tentative and incomplete list):
- The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History by Brian Fagan (2019)
- Growing Up in the Ice Age: Fossil and Archaeological Evidence of the Lived Lives of Plio-Pleistocene Children by April Nowell (2021)
- A History of the Vikings: Children of Ash and Elm by Neil Price (2020)
- The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved by P.V. Glob (1973, classic but will be supplemented with more recent research papers)
- In Search of the Immortals: Mummies, Death, and the Afterlife by Howard Reid (2014)
- The Anatomy of Denmark: Archaeology and History from the Ice Age to the Present by Klavs Randsborg (2009)
- After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000-5000BC by Steven Mithen (2003)
- The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction by Jamie Woodward (2014)
- Eurasian Arctic Land Cover and Land Use in a Changing Climate by Gutman and Reissell (ed). (2010)
- The Development of Denmark's Nature since the Last Glacial (Geology of Denmark III) by Johannes Iversen (1973) - another classic
- The Ecology of Early Settlement in Northern Europe: Conditions for Subsistence and Survival by Persson et al (ed) (2018)
- Early Economy and Settlement in Northern Europe: pioneering, Resources Use and Coping with Change by Hans Blankholm (ed) (2018)
- Students will be viewing excerpts of various biological and historical documentaries.
HOUSING & MEALS
Costs below are estimates based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.
Explanation of Costs
The program fee for this program includes:
- Some meals
- Airport transportation to/from site
- Local transportation
- International SOS Coverage
- Program-sponsored activities and excursions
- Orientation program
- Internet usage where available
What is not included?
Use the following list to assist with budgeting for expenses outside the program fee. This list contains common examples but should not be considered exhaustive.
- On-site accident and health insurance policy
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Visa and/or residency permit
- Textbooks and class materials
- Cell phone (required)
- Independent travel and entertainment
- Items of a personal nature
Personal expenses can fluctuate greatly depending upon habits and preferences of the individual. It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.
If you are a U.S. citizen, your visa for Denmark will be arranged by the program, and the visa fee will be billed as part of your airfare. Refer to airfare estimates shown in the 'Other Costs' link above.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are responsible for obtaining a visa for Denmark on your own. Costs will vary; be sure to research the cost and process well in advance of the program start date. Some students may need to travel to a consulate or embassy to obtain a visa. If you receive financial aid, and need assistance with travel costs, please contact your financial aid counselor.
Personal expenses depend entirely on how many extracurricular activities you will spend money on during your free time and days in Denmark. It also, of course, depends on how many shirts with windmills, mugs with silly Danishisms, little mermaid statues, and other souvenirs you wish to buy. If you are planning on doing any large-scale adventure activities on your free days, this number will also be significantly higher.
It’s also wise to budget for unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies. You can use a cost-of-living comparison tool to get an idea of what daily life costs in the program host location.
Step 1: Upon acceptance to the program, you must submit the Summer Participation Agreement found in your MyExperientialEd application to confirm your enrollment. A parent/guardian’s co-signature is required. This form takes the place of a deposit.
NOTE: If you withdraw after March 15, you will be charged a cancellation fee for voluntary withdrawal. Fees range from $1,500-2,000.
Step 2: Summer invoices will be sent via email to your Duke email address and home email address. Remit payment to the Bursar per due date and address indicated on your online statement. Consult the Duke Bursar's office billing schedule for payment due dates.
Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.
Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.
This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:
Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.
- U.S. Departure: June 27, 2022
- Arrival in Denmark: June 28, 2022
- Departure: July 29, 2022
You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.
VISA & PASSPORT
US citizens and European Union members do not require a visa for travel to Denmark.
Other citizens.- Pay special attention to the visa requirements for your specific citizenship by contacting your country’s embassy. GEO can provide a letter that may be required as part of the visa application process. Please begin the visa process as soon as you have been admitted to the program to ensure you receive your visa in time for the program start date.
All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IDENTITY CARD
International Student Identity Card
An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional. ISIC is the only internationally recognized form of student ID, endorsed by UNESCO. If purchased in the U.S., the card also carries with it a supplemental insurance policy, which can prove to be very helpful in the event of serious injury. You may purchase this card through www.myisic.com. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days.
PROGRAM FACULTY & STAFF
The program faculty director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.
Deadline: February 1st
This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.
Priority: Priority is given to applicants who apply early and perform well on the individual interview with the faculty director.
Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.
Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.
GEO policy for graduating seniors who wish to apply for a Duke summer study abroad/away program:
Students must be active, matriculated students in order to participate in any Duke-in summer programs, including Duke’s domestic summer programs. All program courses must be taken for graded credit. If seniors plan to graduate in May of the year they plan to study abroad in the summer, they will not be eligible to participate on any of our summer programs unless they receive approval from their academic dean at Duke to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended.
Non-Duke students planning to graduate in May in the year they plan to study abroad in the summer must provide approval to delay their graduation until after the summer program has ended from the appropriate official at their home institution. Such approval must be furnished in writing to GEO before the student will be allowed to participate in the summer program. This approval may be sent via email to the appropriate program assistant at GEO.
Duke students who defer their graduation to participate in study abroad should consult with their financial aid advisor in the Duke Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to determine whether they are eligible for a summer aid package and/or a GEO summer scholarship.
Many of these activities will include significant walking and moderate to strenuous hikes (including hill slopes). The latter might include areas of little to no shade, and those that are exposed to the elements (bright sun, potentially high wind, heavy rain). You'll also want to consider the following factors:
Much of our day-travel is by coach or bus, sometimes along heavily winding roads. If you are prone to vehicle motion sickness, please be prepared.
Some of our hikes, depending on the weather, might be through areas heavily populated by mosquitoes and other biting insects.
If you are concerned about any of these activities please contact the faculty program director.
Before applying to this program, please note that, despite being headquartered in the metropolis of Copenhagen, the majority of this program’s activities are spent outdoors on nature, history, and/or cultural hikes, as well as indoor and outdoor exhibits. This is primarily an outdoor, experiential experience course.
Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.
Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd:
- Online application
- Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
- Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
- Academic letter of recommendation (one)
Interview: The program faculty director will contact you to schedule an individual interview.