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Helsinki reflection
Mass Communication in Scandinavia

Globalization of the North: Media, Culture, and Migration in Scandinavia

Northern lights, design, architecture, progressive social policies, rustic cuisine and dark humor – such Scandinavian identifiers have more recently become complicated by the intermixing of global/local media forces, an influx of migrants, and global capitalism. Nordic cultures present a unique case for exploring how some of the most serious global challenges become addressed in local contexts through media, academia, and the social, cultural, and political realities of refugees residing in Scandinavia. 

In this embedded travel program, students will investigate the power of globalization in shaping local media, culture, and everyday ways of living, and will delve into the diversified aspects and interpretations of globalization. Informed by approaches to globalization, we will, for example, explore the connections between the media coverage of the migration crisis, the views of local reporters covering the crisis, and the experiences of the refugees themselves.

In addition to contemporary social concerns, we will study Scandinavian popular culture, the power of small countries in the newly emerging  international political and economic order; as well as cultural hybridity. The academic component of the program will offer an opportunity to participate in lectures together with local communication students at the University of Helsinki, to visit the corporate offices of the largest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, to engage in global service-learning at the Deaconess Institute of Helsinki, and to gain a comprehensive understanding of Stockholm’s school system for refugees through site visits

The academic portion of the program will be complemented by local culinary experiences in classic and trendy venues, and by various excursions. Cultural immersion opportunities will take students to the footsteps of the origins of Finnish sauna culture, with a possibility of traditional ice swimming, at the Helsinki’s newest eco-friendly sauna facility.  Participants will travel from Helsinki to Stokholm on a widely popular overnight cruise for a two-day stay ending with a feast in a Swedish neighborhood dating back to the 1200s. 

The program is limited to 16 students, so apply early!

Program Dates: February 16 - February 25, 2018, as part of a semester-long course in Queens.

Program Itinerary: Explore the program!

Undergraduate Course: COM 3110: Mass Communication - Scandinavia (syllabus).  This course takes place on the Queens campus during the Spring 2018 semester.

Faculty Director:
Tuija Parikka, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication Arts - email

Dr. Parikka is an award-winning Assistant Professor of Communication Arts. Her research interests include gendered aspects of transnational media, globalization, migrant subjectivities, virtual/augmented reality, and qualitative methods.  In her most recent title, Globalization, Gender, and Media. Formations of the Sexual and Violence in Understanding Globalization, she studied the relationship between globalization, gender, and media through various international cases. Her current work builds upon the role gender plays in advancing or resolving conflicts embedded in globalization processes and discourses, and expands to migrant subjectivities and virtual/ augmented, and mixed reality. Her methodological interests include media ethnography, text and discourse analysis.

Dr. Parikka is of Finnish origin, and earned her MA and Ph.D from the University of Helsinki, Finland. She first arrived to NY as a visiting scholar in 1998-2001, and soon after, returned to live in NY first as a permanent resident, then as a dual citizen. Her diasporic identifications and movement between the United States and Scandinavia continue to inform her academic activities and passions in a myriad of ways. 

Program Fee: The Spring 2018 program fee is $975, not including course tuition and round-trip airfare.  Full-time students registered for 12 to 18 credits in the spring will not pay additional tuition charges.

Status: The Spring 2018 Scandinavia has reached capacity.

Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation: Please check back.

Cultural Mentoring Programs: Please check back for Fall 2017 dates.