Iceland and Sweden

Faculty: Nicole Enzinger and Marissa Dickison
Class meeting time: Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Trip Dates: May, 2025



We welcome you to experience the natural beauty and culture of Scandinavia! Our academic focus for this course is environmental appreciation and care. We will facilitate learning about peace, justice, and reconciliation through the lens of environmental science and sustainability.

In Iceland, we will explore unique geography and ecosystems as we relax in geothermal hot springs, hike to waterfalls, kayak in a glacier lagoon, visit a volcanic black sand beach, and snorkel between two continents. As we go, there will be opportunities to appreciate Icelandic flora and fauna, including puffin colonies. We will learn about Icelandic culture and history by sampling local seafood markets and restaurants, exploring the cities of Reykjavík and Selfoss, and visiting museums that feature Viking ships, archeological sites, geothermal power, and more.

In Sweden, we will slow down in the midst of urban Sweden, exploring the cities Göteborg and Stockholm. We will learn about the Scandinavian philosophies of lagom (“just the right amount”), hygge (“contentedness”), and njuta (“enjoyment”) as we explore Swedish lifestyles and sustainability. We will spend time visiting museums, cathedrals, and the Royal Palace in Stockholm, with opportunities to go hiking, roller skiing, and enjoy a floating sauna.

Our classroom component will have an assortment of activities that will prepare us for the upcoming travel. We will appreciate Iceland and Sweden even more as we lean into lagom, hygge, and njuta prior to and during the trip. Furthermore, Iceland and Sweden are countries known for sustainability with rich spaces for exploring environmental science through a lens of care. Our course will also include a field trip to the Nordic museum in Portland and to the Scandinavian troll sculptures in our area, which are sustainable art. We will also learn about Scandinavian practices in sustainability (e.g., we will have the opportunity to learn how to knit and explore ideas like slow fashion). We will engage in discussion about arctic ice melting data and ecology for exploring ways we can positively impact the environment. 

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1 Portland, Oregon → Reykjavik, Iceland: Explore city center
Day 2 Reykjavik, Iceland:

The Settlement Exhibition (viking ruins and museum)

Hellisheidi Geothermal Energy Exhibition

Blue Lagoon &/or Sky Lagoon

Day 3 Akranes or Reykjavik, Iceland:

Glymur waterfalls hike

Folk museum or War and Peace museum

Guolaug natural pool

Seafood, fish markets/restaurants

Day 4 Selfoss or Fludir, Iceland:

Golden Circle

Thingvellir National Park

Silfra Fissure between two continents - option to snorkel or hike

Day 5 Selfoss or Fludir, Iceland:

Gulfoss waterfall

Geysir geothermal area

Ljosafoss power station museum

Skalholt cathedral

Raufarholshellir lava tunnel tour

Selfoss Centre- restaurants & shopping

Day 6 Vik, Iceland:

Selijalandsfoss and Gljufrafoss waterfalls

Reynisfjara beach & Black Sand Beach

Dyrholaey - rocky arch & puffin colony

Vestmannaeyjabaer (Heimaey island) puffins, town, volcano

Solheimajokull glacier walk/ or hike through tour


Day 7 Skaftafell, Iceland: Skaftafell glacier hike
Day 8 Skaftafell, Iceland:

Diamond beach

Svartifoss waterfall

Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, optional kayak

Day 9 Reykjavik, Iceland to Stockholm, Sweden: Travel day from Iceland to Sweden
Day 10 Stockholm, Sweden:

City Hall

Gamla Stan

The Vasa Museum

Nobel Prize Museum

Day 11 Stockholm, Sweden:

Free Day to explore Stockholm (pick a museum or activity on Stockholm city pass)

Dinner with Swedish friends of Nicole

Day 12 Stockholm, Sweden: Visit Djurgården and can be easily reached by taking the computer ferry from Gamla Stan
Day 13 Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm City Kayak Tour
Day 14 Stockholm, Sweden:

Royal Palace

Stockholm Cathedral

Ostermalm Saluhall

Day 15 Travel from Stockholm, Sweden to Gothenburg, Sweden: 

Travel Day

Explore Gothenburg on our own upon arrival

Day 16 Gothenburg + West Coast, Sweden:

Natural History Museum

Free afternoon

Explore Feskekörka and group dinner

Day 17 Gothenburg + West Coast, Sweden:

½ day walking tour of Gothenburg

Evening party with Swedish friends

Day 18 Gothenburg, Sweden → Portland, Oregon

Registration process View all trips