Bethany College signed an exchange agreement on May 11 with Linnaeus University, located in the Småland region of Sweden. The agreement established a partnership with Linnaeus, and it will encourage the exchange of students and faculty between the two institutions.
Linnaeus University opened on January 1, 2010, after a merger between Kalmar University and Växjö University. Linnaeus has about 15,000 students living on campus, 35,000 students overall, and 2,000 employees. The university encourages international study and has partnerships in 60 countries. It teaches about 500 international students each semester. There are over 375 courses taught in English.
Birgitta Waters, lecturer from the School of Language and Literature at Linnaeus, represented the university. She and her husband, Nicholas, have been visiting Lindsborg as Nicholas researches how the language of Swedish immigrants in America transitioned toward English.
Waters says Linnaeus and Bethany have much in common. “Many Swedish immigrants left Småland, the region around Linnaeus University, to go to America, and many settled this area around Lindsborg,” said Waters. “We want to explore that historical connection.” She also thinks students will find engaging classes at both Linnaeus and Bethany. “We are very good at taking care of our students and teachers, and Linnaeus has a fantastic international program. Bethany, as well, has many excellent courses for our students to choose from,” she said.
President Edward F. Leonard III of Bethany College said, “We are making impressive progress in expanding global opportunities for our students and faculty. Linnaeus University sought us out, and we’re flattered and humbled to begin this exchange with them.”
The agreement provides Bethany’s students with another opportunity for international travel and study. Bethany has study relationships with Harlaxton College in Grantham, England, and Karlstad University in Värmland County, Sweden. Bethany also has study abroad programs through the American Institute for Foreign Study, Study Abroad Italy, and Studio Art Centers International.
Bethany has scholarships available to assist students studying abroad, including the Wayne Forsberg Scholarship, which aids students studying in Sweden. In the past 3 years, Bethany students have studied in Australia, Spain, Italy, England, Brazil, Argentina, and Japan, and faculty have taught in England and Sweden. International students have comprised on average about 5% of Bethany’s student body in the last 3 years, representing 38 countries from six continents.