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Whether you see yourself as a future environmental engineer or envision becoming an architect or urban designer, Scandinavia will inspire you like nowhere else can.

Spend three eye-opening weeks exploring the creative and technical field of urban design in two of the world's most sustainable countries. With a small group of high school students, trek across Denmark and Sweden while gaining an understanding of how forward-thinking ideas in design, engineering and transportation are applied in the real world. Urban design is not a passive field of study and neither is this adventure. Island hop on Sweden's ultra-efficient metro system, and soak in Copenhagen's historic architecture and "green" culture by bike and kayak. Help construct an affordable housing community using modern design and environmentally friendly building practices. Learn to sail on a live-aboard boating adventure through Stockholm's pristine urban waterways. Visit a town where waste is used to produce heat and energy and homestay with an eco-family.

As you explore Scandinavia's flagship cities, become acutely aware of how sustainability is seen and reflected in a city's architecture, transportation systems, housing and even its food culture. Before saying goodbye, take on the role of master planner and harness the concepts you've learned to solve important issues in your own community back home. This one-of-a-kind learning adventure will develop critical STEM skills while challenging you to think about new ways to create balance between urban living and the natural world.

Earn & Learn
Scandinavia Urban Design Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

Scandinavia Urban Design offers 3 interdisciplinary college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 5 hours of documented community service.


Course Description

This course provides students with an in-the-field examination of sustainability and urban design. Through studying how Denmark and Sweden have utilized their surroundings to create sustainable cities, you’ll emerge with the knowledge of how to apply similar ideas to solve unique issues in a number of other countries and situations. In simple and concrete terms, learn how to design a city holistically with the goal of making it more efficient, sustainable, livable and happy.

Course Objectives
  • Recount the history of Sweden and Denmark’s city development to understand the forces that have driven sustainable innovations
  • Quantify the environmental qualities of an area through objective observation, usage tracking and mapping, plus learn how to record data for urban planning purposes, such as justifying spending
  • Qualify the design of a city based on its safety, usability, aesthetic design and its encouragement of creativity, play, communion and overall social well-being
  • Reflect on your own experiences and apply skills learned and tools acquired by designing and testing your own urban solutions to existing issues
  • Practice communicating in front of community leaders, city planners and politicians, and gain experience pitching and defending your creative ideas


Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. On this program, partner with community organizations on a variety of projects focused on sustainable design and building projects that, ultimately, aim to improve life for ordinary Scandinavians. Many conservation strategies in Malmö are currently “hidden” and your work here will bring them to the forefront, raising the consciousness of homeowners.

While volunteering at a butterfly garden, witness how planners’ creative use of an underutilized space can go a long way toward beautifying an area while also solving urban issues such as flooding and food sustainability.

5 Service Hours

3 College Credits

Scandinavia Urban Design Itinerary



Learn about Stockholm’s biggest environmental design successes and future challenges, while on foot and while sailing along the coastline. In the urban utopia of Hammarby Sjöstad, or Hammarby Lake City, discover how this city of 17,000 uses its septic system to heat homes. Experience Stockholm’s ultra-efficient rail system and make a connection in Central Station, where human bodies provide heat in winter and seawater keeps the air cool during summer. Before venturing farther out into Sweden, we find time to explore the winding cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan, or Old Town, reflect on the history of urban development with an eye toward its future.


This city of 65,000 in southern Sweden’s Kronoberg County bills itself as a blank slate where growth is achieved responsibly and anything is possible. There’s a youthful vitality here, and a passion for all things local. Everyday life is happy, as witnessed in its countless parks and smartly-planned greenways. Visit an urban vertical garden and learn how intelligent horticulture reduces air pollution. Take a bee tour and discover how bees act as an indicator species for vegetation and green space census is an essential metric for today’s urban planners. Meet with city officials and engage in thoughtful policy discussions. Learn how progressive leaders are bringing about new energy solutions such as small solar and supporting their big ideas with proven math. Leave with a deeper understanding of how one of the most sustainable communities in the world has come to be and how its trailblazing ideas can be brought back to your community.


Malmö is a college town teeming with energy and ideas. There’s a thriving design scene and a creative class that appreciates intuitive aesthetics and urban engineering. Visit Bo01, a revered eco community, and witness how sustainable building practices are doing wonders for its residents as well as the environment. Well-planned bus systems and a strong car-sharing culture have led to significant environmental outcomes. In the district of Hyllie, we take a carbon neutral tour with a conservation expert. Discover how residents are using technology to monitor and adjust their energy usage. Here, transparent recycling containers and mobile recycling centers create greater personal accountability. In the district of Augustenborn, a former flooding hazard, 90% of storm water now runs through human-designed canals and ponds and is cleaned by natural flora prior to reaching the ocean. Witness this feat of modern engineering up close.


The Danes know how to do it right. In Copenhagen, cycle on the city’s bike superhighway and meet with cycling experts and local commuters to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of a pro-cycling culture. Take an urban architecture tour, not as a passive viewer but as an engaged global citizen curious about how aesthetics can be channeled to encourage a sense of community. Analyze the math, science and technology behind the country’s most impactful wind farm, learning about scale from experts in the field. And what better way to see how Copenhagen harnesses seawater for large-scale cooling purposes than from the seat of a kayak. We leave city limits and head to Christiana to immerse ourselves in its reuse culture touring recycled homes and seeing how bartered food systems and shared public resources can work in practice.

  • Trip Highlights

  • Construct a parking garage butterfly sanctuary and vertical urban farm
  • Help design sustainable and affordable housing in Malmö
  • Discuss progressive energy solutions with leaders from the sustainable city of Växjö
  • Tour bustling and historic urban centers with a focus on sustainability
  • Cycle a bicycle super highway and kayak the coast of Copenhagen
  • Learn to sail while exploring the beautiful Stockholm coastline
Scandinavia Urban Design Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Benjamin Vasquez from Belvedere, CA

My favorite times on this trip were the unplanned ones. I enjoyed the spontaneous trip to the beach in Malmo, for example. I learned that we don’t always have to stick to the plan to have fun. The experience was very worthwhile. This trip made me new friends as well as strengthened my bond with an existing friend.

Caroline Rispoli from Westport, CT

All aspects of this trip were incredible, including the location, activities and academic course. There wasn’t a single activity I didn’t enjoy. The experience was life changing and worthwhile.

Pawit 'PJ' Sethbhakdi from Prakkret, Thailand

I learned a lot of problem solving, not just in urban design. This has been an amazing trip and I hope that others would feel the same way.

Scandinavia Urban Design FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?

Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour. For more information about expenses that might apply to your program, click here.

How does travel work?

For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.

How does Broadreach address safety?

Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We’d be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you’re considering if you’d like to call our office.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.

Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.

Who will my instructors be?

Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).

Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?

We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.

Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?

Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.

How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?

We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).

What do the academics involve? How do college credits work? What if I don’t take the program for credit?

Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.

We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic high school and college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past. For more details, click here.

Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?

In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit for more information and to apply online for scholarships.

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