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Health Care and Social Policies in Sweden

Health Care and Social Policies in Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Language of Instruction: 
Academic Disciplines: 
Health Policy & Management
Community Health
Graduate Courses
Population Health
Program Type: 
Fulfills KU Core 4.2
Open to non-KU Students
Faculty Led

The Healthcare and Social Policies in Sweden program will not be offered for the Summer 2021 term. It will next be offered for Summer 2022.

  • Learn about health care policy in Sweden, home to one of the best health care systems in the world
  • Lectures by Swedish health care professionals
  • Visit health care facilities in Sweden, including a maternity unit, a nursing home, and a psychiatric hospital
Program Summary: 

Sweden’s system of comprehensive and publicly-funded health care and social services, available to all residents, ranks among the most successful in the world. Sweden leads the world in major health outcomes, such as infant mortality and adult life expectancy, far outranking the United States. At the same time, Sweden spends approximately half of what we in the United States spend on health care. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to learn how the Swedish welfare state is organized and to see first-hand how it works on all levels and in various locations around the Stockholm-Uppsala area. Students will learn about Swedish history and culture, and will be challenged to re-examine many commonly held assumptions about both Scandinavia and the United States.

KU professors will guide and accompany the group,  provide background lectures, lead discussions, and answer questions throughout the course.


Founded in 1252 where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea, Stockholm now spans 14 islands and is home to nearly two million people, approximately one in five inhabitants of the entire country of Sweden. As Sweden's capital, it is home to not only the Swedish government and many of its agencies as well as the Swedish royal family, but it is also a major commericial center, hosting the Nordic corporate headquarters for many international firms, as well as some of Europe's top research universities and medical centers.

Students will be able to take advantage of the many tourist attractions in the city during their free time, including the historic open-air museum, Skansen, as well as the world-famous Vasa museum, the Abba Museum, the Royal Palace, as well as walking the narrow medieval cobblestone alleys of Gamla Stan (Old Town), or the streets of Södermalm, following the steps of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Academic Information: 

Students receive credit for one of the following:

ECON 450 Study Abroad Topics in: Health Care in Sweden (3 credit hours).

This course is offered for undergraduate students through the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Economics.

HPM 880 Health Care and Social Policies in Sweden (3 credit hours).

This course is offered for graduate students through the University of Kansas School of Medicine Department of Population Health.

There will be assigned readings for undergraduates and graduates before departure and a required paper upon return.

The course will be directed by Dr. Jessica Williams, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health and Dr. David Slusky, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Department of Population Health (by courtesy).


Students will stay in twin rooms in a hostel in central Stockholm. Breakfast is included each morning.

Life Abroad: 

The program will include the following activities:

  • Visits and lectures by Swedish officials and professionals at sites such as: the national health and social welfare planning boards, acute care hospital, geriatric hospital, nursing home, primary care clinic, hospital maternity unit, child day care center, adult assisted-living facility, psychiatric hospital, neighborhood social services office, immigrant assistance program, and national social insurance office.
  • Lectures and discussions with Swedish officials, physicians, nurses, midwives, social workers, psychologists, physical therapists, government planners, childcare workers and politicians.
  • Presentation on Swedish history and the rise of the Swedish welfare state.
  • Participation in Swedish cultural events.
  • A day trip to Uppsala for additional facility visits.
  • A cruise to Sandhamn.
  • A visit to the Stockholm City Hall and Nobel Banquet Hall.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students from any accredited U.S. college or university with an interest in health care, or social policies. Also open to KUMC medical students and other interested professionals in the field. Preference will be given to applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Further Reading: 

For more information contact: 

Jessica Williams, PhD
Department of Population Health
University of Kansas Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Kansas City, KS 66160
email: jwilliams13@kumc.edu

David Slusky, PhD
Department of Economics
University of Kansas 
1460 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045
email: david.slusky@ku.edu

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HP&M Graduate students only
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Undergraduate students only.
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for medical students in the KU School of Medicine
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Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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