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ISEP Mälardalen University, Sweden

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, and Academic Year


Västerås & Eskilstuna, Sweden




Overall 2.75 GPA; be in good standing with the University of Iowa

No Language Requirement

Application Due:

- Fall Semester 2/1

- Spring Semester 8/25

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

International Student Exchange Program has partnered with universities and colleges around the world to provide students the opportunity to have an immersive and affordable study abroad experience. The University of Iowa is a member of ISEP and thus UI students are able to study for a semester or an academic year at Mälardalen University in Västerås, Sweden.

Academic Program

Mälardalen University at night

ISEP students take their coursework alongside their Swedish and international student peers in the English language. There is no language requirement for this program. Mälardalen offers an abundance of courses in English. It is highly recommended for business; computer and information sciences; and large data analysis majors. Students are expected to enroll in 30 Swedish credits per semester, which is typically four courses of 7.5 Swedish credits.

Regardless of the number of credits for a course, courses are offered at different study paces:

  • Full time - which means it meets more often for a shorter number of weeks
  • 50% time - which means it meets less often for a longer number of weeks
  • 25% time - on rare occasions courses will be offered at this pace which usually means the course runs for the whole academic semester
  • UI students will register for First Cycle courses as these are undergraduate courses.

    Students can find a full list of First Cycle courses offered in English on the Mälardalen University's Courses for exchange students website.

    Academic Culture

    The academic culture may seem informal to some students. Professors and students usually call each other by their first name and students are encouraged to ask questions or make comments both in and out of the classroom. Students are expected to put a great deal of individual work into their studies. The course literature is studied thoroughly and to pass the course it will not be enough to just take notes during lectures, although this is essential.

    Cultural Activities

    Mälardalen University has a very active student union, Mälardalens Studentkår. For new students, international and domestic, they organize the Rookie Period, which is the first few weeks of class and is filled with activities so that you get to know your classmates and your new community. Mälardalen University also has student associations or line associations that are linked to specific study programs at the university. They mainly work with education monitoring and study social activities. Additionally, they play an important role in the introduction for new students at the university through the fadder (older students) activities. Lastly, Mälardalen University has fraternities. The fraternities are not linked to any program of study but rather focus on different areas of interest such as sports, social causes, music, etc.

    Program Dates

    Fall Semester begins in mid-August and can run until mid January

    Spring Semester is typically from late January through early June

    For More Info

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with ISEP, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Study Abroad
    1111 University Capitol Centre
    Iowa City, IA 52242

    Phone: 319-335-0353

    Mälardalen University

    Mälardalen University

    Founded in 1977, Mälardalen University is among the younger universities in Sweden but one of the largest in the country. It has two campuses, Västerås and Eskilstuna, and nearly 20,000 students. Whether courses are offered in Västerås or Eskilstuna is of little importance as students and staff travel between the campuses free of charge during working hours. It is a progressive and collaborative university with programs in design, communication, economics, health, education, technology, chamber music and opera. Course work for exchange students focuses on business, economics, computer science, data analysis, mathematics and sustainability.

    Västerås and Eskilstuna


    These two cities are situated on either side of Lake Mälaren. The two towns are approximately 65 miles west of Stockholm. Västerås is one of the oldest cities in Sweden as the area has been populated since the Nordic Viking Age. Today, the city is predominantly known as an industrial city, but also a retailing and logistics city. Eskilstuna, the smaller of the two cities, dates back to medieval times. The city grew enormously during the Industrial Revolution and become one of the most important cities in Sweden. Eskilstuna remains an important industrial center with internationally known companies. Both cities are large enough to provide a wide range of cultural activities, entertainment and sporting facilities.


    Sweden occupies the greater part of the Scandinavian Peninsula, which it shares with Norway. It has a generally favorable climate relative to its northerly latitude owing to moderate southwesterly winds and the warm North Atlantic Current. Sweden has a 1,000-year-long continuous history as a sovereign state and today is a constitutional monarchy with a well-established parliamentary democracy. Historically, Sweden rose from backwardness and poverty into a highly developed postindustrial society and advanced welfare state with a standard of living and life expectancy that rank among the highest in the world.

    US Department of State Country Information

    The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

    Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

    Living Arrangements

    ISEP programs allow UI students to swap spots with a student from another ISEP member institution. In doing this, UI students are provided housing (usually a shared furnished apartment) and meals (usually in the form of a stipend) by the host university. The majority of courses in English are taught at Campus Västerås, and many of the faculty members you will encounter at Mälardalen University are based there as well. This combined with the active international student association makes living in Västerås the easiest option.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for a visa or leaving the United States.

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Travel Arrangements

    Students make their own travel arrangements to arrive in Västerås. Arrival information along with new student orientation programs will be provided by Mälardalen University in the acceptance package to the program.

    Local Transportation

    Swedes use public transportation and it isn't uncommon to not have a car. Public transportation in Sweden is clean and reliable. It is also cashless. Students can buy monthly passes or tickets for a set amount of rides. Tickets can be purchased from most supermarkets and newsagents as well as the Västerås Tourist office.


    This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75
  • In good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing - It is the policy of the UI Study Abroad office that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and good disciplinary standing at the time of their application. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will not be allowed to study abroad. Any student who must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

    Students do not need to have any Swedish language knowledge to participate in this program.


    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • ISEP Application Fee (paid at the time of application)
    • ISEP Exchange Placement Fee (paid when accepting placement at the host university)
    • ISEP Health Insurance (paid when accepting placement at the host university)
    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Round trip airfare (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline-approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Consular and visa fees (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Textbooks, copyright permission fees, course packets, and other course-related materials (paid upoon arrival to your host country)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student as needed while abroad)
    • Rental or purchase of required cell phone; does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)

    Cost Sheet

    The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

    Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session.

    Below is a cost sheet for ISEP Linnaeus University, Sweden, which will provide students with a realistic look at costs associated with participating in an ISEP program in Sweden.

    PDFCost Sheet for ISEP Linnaeus University, Sweden for Spring 2022

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options. Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

    ISEP offers scholarships as well. Please visit the ISEP Scholarships website to find out more about their scholarships.

    How to Apply

    Steps to Studying Abroad

    1. Before initiating an application with ISEP, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa.
    2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
    3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

    Students will need to complete a University of Iowa Study Abroad application and an ISEP Exchange Application. After creating an account with ISEP, students must request permission to start and ISEP application. Permission will not be granted if the student has not met with their UI Study Abroad Advisor. Final admissions decision is made by the host university.

    Application Deadline

    February 1 for fall semester/academic year and August 25 for spring semester.

    Acceptance & Confirmation Materials

    ISEP Acceptance

    Once your complete application to your host university has been accepted, ISEP will send you an Acceptance Package. The Acceptance Package needs to be thoroughly reviewed and officially accepted by you. Once you accept the placement, you will be required to pay the ISEP Exchange Placement Fee and enroll in ISEP Insurance.


    It is highly recommended that students review the following information:

    Health & Safety Planning

  • Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information
  • Health Abroad
  • Safety and Security Abroad
  • Visa

  • Migrationsverket (information of resident permit for studies in higher education in Sweden)
  • Diversity and Identity Abroad

  • Race and Ethnicity Abroad
  • LGBTQ Identity Abroad
  • Students with Disabilities Abroad
  • First-Generation and Non-Traditional Students Abroad
  • Orientation

    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. In addition to orientations provided UI Study Abroad, your host institution will instruct you on their orientation process.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to the University of Iowa including, but not limited to, billing, insurance, the Credit Approval Form (CAF), and transcripts. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on the type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

    Host University Orientation

    Many ISEP universities will host Orientation sessions upon your arrival to their country. These orientations may be anywhere for a day long session up to a week long orientation.

    Eskilstuna River