Introduction

The Thanks to Scandinavia (TTS) Institute in American Studies is a special program intended for teachers and other educational professionals from the five Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Students in their final year of preparation to become educators will also be considered. Held each July, this program is organized and directed by Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Its primary purpose is to provide program participants with a survey of significant aspects of American society and culture, helping them gain a greater understanding of the U.S.

During the two weeks of the program, Nordic educational professionals will have academic, cultural, and social experiences exposing them to major urban, small town, and rural environments in America’s Midwest “Heartland.” The 2012 Institute sites are tentatively scheduled to include Chicago, Illinois; Decorah, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids in Iowa. Optional guided visits of Madison and New York City at the end of the institute are also available.

Institute participants will attend lectures presented by experts in the field including Luther College faculty members and other highly qualified professionals representing many academic disciplines and a variety of viewpoints. Each presentation will be followed by additional opportunity for discussion with the lecturers or presenters. In addition, there are numerous field trips (excursions) and social or cultural activities which will expand or enrich the many themes presented throughout the Institute. The many opportunities to interact with local citizens on a very personal level is a particular strength of the program often mentioned by previous participants.

This very special program has consistently been evaluated as outstanding by the vast majority of its over 1800 previous participants.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email program co-directors Uwe Rudolf (rudolfuw@luther.edu) or Ruth Caldwell (caldweru@luther.edu).

Co-directors Uwe Rudolf and Ruth Caldwell