Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

The Newman Institute


Sweden is one of the most sustainable countries on the planet: less than one percent of Sweden’s household waste ends up in landfill, and they are living within the limits of their natural resources by fishing sustainably from the Baltic Sea, and harvesting sustainably from their coniferous forests. The people have collectively made the decision to restore and protect the high quality of their land, water, and air, and this cultural commitment to sustainability is something we want all of our SES students to experience and be inspired by. To that end, the SES has collaborated with the Newman Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, to provide an important and very exciting study abroad program for our students. 

SES students majoring in any of our six degree programs may complete one semester studying environmental science/studies, theology, and/or philosophy at the Newman Institute in Uppsala, Sweden. This program provides students an introductory look at Swedish environmental practice and policy, while providing in-depth study and discussion opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to combine their classroom experience with on-site visits to a variety of organizations practicing in the field including: Naturvårdsverket (Swedish EPA), the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Stockholm Resilience Center, and more. Additional excursions throughout Sweden and Europe will further students’ understanding of international environmental practices. The Newman Institute is the first Jesuit university to be founded in Sweden, and the first Catholic college to be accredited since the Reformation in the sixteenth century. The academic programs are small and flexible so that students have a personalized learning experience.

This study abroad program allows for SES students to complete major coursework, as well as required University Core courses, as a part of their four-year Loyola experience. To learn more about living and studying in Sweden, make sure to check out our videos!


Required Courses (9 credit hours)

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted:
International Climate Change Negotiations
(LUC Course Equivalent- Pending)

In this course you will learn the most important stages of the international environmental  negotiations, as well as the complexities and compromises of international environmental policy negotiations and implementation. You will learn to identify the most important obstacles, challenges and possibilities in international agreements. From experts in both environmental and climate change negotiations and science, you will learn how the political process and scientific work are connected.

Swedish Environmental Policy and Praxis
(LUC Course Equivalent- Pending)

How does the Swedish government work to create sustainable and ecological development in Sweden? In this course you will explore this question through discussions about various policy tools and by examining concrete examples of action. You will also learn about the role that the state government, local municipalities and business communities play.

Environmental Destruction - So What?
(LUC Course Equivalent- Pending)
We currently face several environmental problems such as deforestation, climate change, pollution, mass extinction, ocean acidification and desertification. However, we tend to disagree about what we should do about them. Some people think that the environmental problems deserve all of our attention. Others think that we should not even care about them, but instead spend our time and money on other things. So, who is right on these matters? In order to answer this question, and the question of what exactly we should do about the environmental problems, several ethical questions must first be answered: (i) What is valuable in itself; only wellbeing or other things such as freedom or life as such? (ii) For whom should these values be revered; only for humans or also for non-human animals or maybe entire ecosystems? And, (iii) how is this to be done; through maximization or mere respect?

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted.
Theology and Film
(Artistic Knowledge and Experience)

The course is directed to those who wish to study and critically analyze modern film and the significance of religious, ethical, philosophical, and other ideas of this kind in these cultural expressions. The course is based on an interplay between analyses in cinema studies and theology. Popular film, as well as art film, is treated. In the course, sequences from current films are introduced and analyzed. Themes treated include Church, Jesus Christ, eschatology, and biblical motifs. Thereby, questions are raised, such as: What role do religious organizations, churches, and denominations play in the production process? In what sense could one talk of Christ-motifs in contemporary films? Are there examples of ideas and conceptions from non-Christian traditions? In what way are ethical questions and moral dilemmas treated? What are the conditions for film as a medium to bring up questions concerning worldview? How does the film medium mediate these questions, aesthetically and stylistically? What impact does subtitling have for the artistically and religiously penetrating power of films? What impact do critics and cultural debate have? The participants are trained in their ability to report on and analyze the content of films, as well as to discern and discuss their religious and worldview aspects.

Sustainable Democracy

Democracy means rule by the people and a central trait of democracies is majoritarian decision making. May a minority, nonetheless, be allowed to prevent the majority’s will? Should long-term interests sometimes overrun the will of the people? This course puts a normative lens on the challenges that democracies face, with regard to respecting ethnic minorities as well as securing a sustainable environment. The course is divided in three parts. The first part introduces democratic concepts and different normative models of democracy. The second part treats minority concerns as a challenge for democratic systems. Principles alternative to majority rule, based e.g. on the idea of human rights, are discussed. The third part of the course treats the challenge to safe-guard the environment in a democracy. Students discuss different ways to handle environmental issues, such as introducing new rights, setting up new institutions or civic engagement.

Sample Fall Academic Calendar*

Sample Spring Academic Calendar*

Arrival to Sweden: August 21

Arrival to Sweden: January 15

Introduction week: August 21-25

Introduction week: January 15-19

Reflection days (overnight): August 24-25

Reflection days (overnight): January 18-19

Academic term begins: August 28

Academic term begins: January 22

Excursion to the Baltic, Utö: September 7-9

Nature trip: February

Hiking trip: October 2-6

Spring break: April

Fall break: October 30 – November 5

Excursion to the Baltic, Utö: May

Synthesis (overnight): Dec 13-15

Synthesis (overnight): End of May

Academic term ends: December 15

Academic term ends: June 1

Departure from Sweden: December 17

Departure from Sweden: June 3

 *These are sample schedules only and serve to illustrate possible timelines for classes, excursions, and general activities. Each semester, a new schedule will be released.

Faculty and Staff at the Newman Institute

Philip Geister
President, Newman Institute

My name is Philip Geister and I am a Jesuit priest and President of the Newman Institute since its founding in 2001. In addition to the duties of being President, I teach several courses in Theology and Philosophy throughout the year— two of which are taught in English. It is very important to me to get to know all of the students at the Newman Institute, so please do not hesitate to stop by my office and introduce yourselves!


Felicia Johnson
Director, Office for International Programs

My name is Felicia Johnson and I am the Director for the Office of International Programs at the Newman Institute. As a Swedish-American, I am well versed in the cultures and education systems in both the United States and Sweden, where I have lived and received formal academic training in American Studies and Urban Planning. At the Newman Institute I wear many hats, but you can expect to be spending time with me during activities, excursions, and at any time that you feel you need extra support. Please direct all of your questions about our exchange program to me and I will do my best to help you find the answers that you are looking for!

Andreas Carlgren
Lector, Environmental Studies

My name is Andreas Carlgren, and I teach environmental studies at the Newman Institute. I served as the Swedish Minister for the Environment for five years, between 2006 and 2011. During my term I participated in several UN conferences on climate change; however, most of my efforts were naturally spent on developing Swedish environmental policy. Since 2012, I have been engaged full-time at the Newman Institute with our partners in Sweden and abroad. While I have left politics behind, I have kept alive my passion for the environment. I hope that through this program, we will all be strengthened in our commitment for a better environmental future for our planet!

Jasmina Nedevska Törnqvist
Lector, Philosophy

I was born in Stockholm in 1983, to a Swedish mother and a Macedonian father. My education consists of a master’s degree in political science from Uppsala University and PhD studies in political theory at Stockholm University, where I am soon defending a dissertation entitled A Natural Law Approach to the Non-Identity Problem. While contemporary scholarship argues that we cannot have duties to non-existent people, my study shows that classical, natural law – rooted in medieval philosophy – provides tenable reasons for protecting future peoples’ environment. My doctoral exchange studies were mainly carried out at Princeton University in the United States. I have also spent shorter periods as a guest researcher in the United Kingdom and South Korea. Since 2012 I have taught political theory as well as introductory ethics courses in London, Stockholm and Uppsala.

Olle Torpman
Professor, Environmental Ethics

My name is Olle Torpman and I am a 38 year old born in Stockholm, Sweden, where I have lived my entire life and had all of my education. I currently hold a PhD in practical philosophy from Stockholm University and have a primary interest in environmental ethics.  In May 2016 I defended my dissertation at Stockholm, University, Libertarianism and Climate Change, in which I studied the recommendations from libertarian (freedom-based) principles regarding problems related to climate change. I argued that there is in fact, contrary to what many libertarians tend to think, reason to allow for quite substantial governmental measures in order to fight climate change. In May 2017, I published an introductory book on environmental ethics (in Swedish). Since 2010, I have taught several courses on environmental ethics and normative ethics, as well as on the history of practical philosophy.


Admission to the Newman Institute study abroad program is administered by the Loyola University Chicago Office for International Programs (OIP). All applications must be submitted via the OIP application portal. Additional requirements are listed below.

Loyola University Chicago Requirements:

  • Full time, degree-seeking undergraduate student
  • Must be 18 years of age before the start of the study abroad term
  • 24 semester credits completed prior to attending your study abroad program (12 for transfer students). Students are eligible to study abroad starting with the summer following their first year.
  • Good academic standing with approval from Academic Advisor
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Good disciplinary standing
  • Apply prior to the Loyola application Deadlines
  • Demonstrate emotional stability and maturity
  • Demonstrate clear reasons for choosing a particular program and country. The Office for International Programs does not allow international students to study abroad in their home country.

Standard Loyola Study Abroad Deadlines:

  • Fall 2018 Deadline: March 15, 2018
  • Spring 2019 Deadline: October 1, 2018

Program Fees

$19,500 for one semester. This covers:

  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Program Excursions

Does not include:

  • Food*
  • Visa
  • Roundtrip travel between Chicago and Sweden
  • CISI insurance
  • Books, equipment, etc.
  • OIP Fee- $100 is paid at the time of application

*In Sweden, a normal cost for food prepared privately amounts to approximately $270USD monthly. 

Financial Aid Transfer

Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal PLUS Loans, IL Monetary Award Program Grant (MAP)

Student Life

About Uppsala

Uppsala is located in the central part of Sweden, close to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. An ancient city founded in 1164, Uppsala is rich in history and has a long tradition of academic excellence. Uppsala ranks as Sweden’s fourth-largest city with a population of 200,000, of which 40,000 are students at the historic Uppsala University. The long history and academic heritage are interwoven in the character of Uppsala. Many of Sweden’s foremost scientists studied and worked here, for example, Carl Linnaeus, Anders Celsius, and Svante Arrhenius. Even today, Uppsala is a major center for the life-science and biotechnology industries and is recognized for its leading position in medical research.

Uppsala is a very clean and safe city, with extensive green spaces, parks, and nature preserves offering great recreational opportunities year-round. During all seasons you will find a plethora of outdoor activities, from cross-country skiing and ice skating on the frozen lakes to canoeing and kayaking, playing beach volleyball, or running or biking on the endless kilometers of well-maintained trails. One of the largest natural recreation areas, Fjällnora, is located a few kilometers from Länna Manor, one of the housing options. Getting around is easy, with bike trails and public bus connections in all directions.

A favorite pastime of Swedes is hanging out at restaurants and coffee shops, and you will find an abundance of cafés in Uppsala. There’s even a unique Swedish word for this pastime, fika, a social meeting with friends or colleagues to enjoy strong coffee and pastries, usually cinnamon buns.

Students participating in the Newman Institute study abroad program will have the opportunity to participate in Uppsala University’s network of social clubs, known as nations, which organize social events for students at reasonable prices, including meals, music, cultural activities, sports, and formal dances.

In addition to coursework and social opportunities, students will participate in a volunteer program at Erikshjälpen Second Hand, a charitable organization which, in cooperation with the Newman Institute, sells donated items secondhand to generate aid for children around the world. Erikshjälpen is a children’s rights organization working in more than 20 countries working to reduce poverty and vulnerability in developing nations by providing access to education, healthcare, and protection. By volunteering in the local Uppsala Erikshjälpen Second-Hand location, SES students will learn about sustainability and business practices in Sweden, while contributing to and interacting with Swedish culture.

‌To see Loyola students in action in Sweden and learn more about living in Sweden, visit our Flickr page, visit the student blog, or check out some of our videos!

To find out more about Uppsala, consider visiting the tourist bureau’s website or this video produced by Uppsala University.

About Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden with a population of 900,000. The center of Stockholm is 70 kilometers from Uppsala and is easily reachable within 45 minutes by train, bus or car. There are an endless variety of things to do, and on the weekends the city is filled with visitors and residents exploring its many museums, diverse neighborhoods, parks, and other cultural attractions. Some of Stockholm’s top attractions are the Vasa Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Royal Castle and the medieval old town. In Stockholm, you will find that almost everyone uses public transportation, since parking is scarce and expensive, and the subway and the buses take you everywhere.

For more information about Stockholm, please visit the official Stockholm tourism website.

Excursions and recreational activities

Students will take excursions to learn more about Sweden and its nature conservation and environmental protection. Excursions will be made to various locations around Sweden, including the Institute’s lakeside facility, Marieudd, situated just outside of Stockholm on the shore of Lake Mälaren. Just a few steps from the front door, students can go swimming, kayaking, or hiking through the woods.

Opportunities for spiritual nourishment are also available, such as daily Masses at the Newman Institute and the neighboring Catholic Church of St. Lawrence (S:t Lars). Masses are offered mainly in Swedish, but an English Mass is said every week on Sunday evenings. There is an active Catholic student group which meets weekly on the parish premises and offers a mixture of leisure activities, lectures, Bible sharing, liturgies, and retreats. Here students will meet young adults, mostly exchange students, from all around the world, where English is the common language used. In Uppsala and Stockholm, you can also find other opportunities for practicing faith.


The Newman Institute offers housing in Uppsala for its international students. There are two different facilities available for LUC students, on the campus of Newman Institute and at historic Länna Manor. On-campus housing- Located in the center of Uppsala and has 18 rooms. The students share bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, and social spaces. Students will live together with other international students in private or double rooms.

The Newman Institute is located in the center of Uppsala and has a student residence with over 12 private rooms. The students share bathrooms, fully-equipped kitchens, and social spaces.

Lanna Manor- Located in the countryside, 22 kilometers from the center of Uppsala. Students will live together with other international students in private or double rooms and will share a community kitchen and two full bathrooms. A small garden is available for growing vegetables and herbs. Lanna Manor is situated on the shore of a picturesque lake with beautiful nature all around. It is easy to commute to Uppsala by bus or car.