Organic Chemistry Research in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden

Organic Chemistry Research in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden

Gothenburg Chem flyer

2016 was the first summer this program was conducted in Gothenburg.

A group of seven chemistry students participated in the experience, under the direction of Dr. Mikael Bergdahl.  Students were paired with Swedish mentors within their area of interest, and worked 5 days a week in their labs.  Students were able to work with Swedish professors and students, as well as to socialize with them outside of lab hours.  Students were housed in apartments near the university, and most students traveled throughout Sweden, Norway and Denmark when time permitted.  By far the most common comment among our SDSU students was that they couldn’t believe how friendly and welcoming the professors and other students were.  Students were all invited to a barbecue during their first week on campus, which we are scheduling again for 2017.

2017: students will once again be paired with Swedish mentors. Exact dates will be  forthcoming but it will likely be the entire months of June and July.

 Interested in going in summer 2017?  Application deadline extended until April 15, 2017. 

 A $500 scholarship from the Office of International Programs will be awarded to each participant.

Apply Now


Contact Dr. Mikael Bergdahl,


Photos from 2016

Student looking out to see

Joey Mattocks looking out to sea Oslo Opera house. Photo by Paul Smith.

2 girls jumping in the air

Joanna Garcia Erin Campbell. Björkö, Västra Götalands Län, Photo by Paul Smith.


Organic Chemist at sink

students and faculty


student apartments

Student apartments in Gothenburg


green park

Slottsskogen Park, Gothenburg


croissant and coffee

Breakfast in Gothenburg. Photo by Paul Smith

organic chemist shaking flask

Photo by Paul Smith.

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Program Description

In Summer, 2016, SDSU College of Sciences pioneered a new research program in Organic Chemistry  in Gothenburg (Göteborg) Sweden.  The research experience was  headed up by Dr. Mikael Bergdahl,  SDSU professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry, and was conducted at the Departments of Organic Chemistry at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology.  Students joined research groups to design and implement a detailed organic chemistry research project.


Gothenburg within map of Europe

Gothenburg (Göteborg) is located on the beautiful southwest coastline of Sweden, in the heart of Scandinavia.



hiker in forest

Southern Sweden has some of the most beautiful forests in Scandinavia

Course credit:

Students will not be enrolled for credit during the research experience but may elect to enroll in Chem 497/498/897/899 as appropriate during the fall following the experience.   During the fall semester students will improve their scientific writing and learn how to present their results.


Gothenburg, (Göteborg) Sweden,  southwest coast of Sweden.


Program Director:

Dr. Mikael Bergdahl

Mikael Bergdahl, Ph.D. Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, San Diego State University. email:

Apply Now

Dates:  June/July 2017 (8 weeks)

cottages on shoreline


This program is open to Organic Chemistry. Students from other areas of chemistry may apply with instructor permission.

Minimum Cumulative GPA 2.50
Minimum Class Standing Sophomore

Prerequisites:  1 semester of chemistry research required.

kayaks on beach

Kayaking on the many waterways is a hugely popular sport, summer and winter.



rental bikes

A car is not needed in Gothenburg. Bike rentals are abundant and inexpensive


There is no fee for the program; however students are responsible for paying for the following expenses:

Personal expenses
SDSU health & travel insurance plan ($75) confirmed participants will be billed by SDSU

wooden houses perched above lake

Application Instructions

Step 1: Contact Dr. Bergdahl for approval, and to discuss housing near campus.

Step 2. Apply to the program on SDSU’s Aztecs Abroad website on or before April 1st. A maximum of 8 students will be chosen for the experience.


3 hikers backpacking with mountains in background


Housing Options

Dr. Bergdahl will discuss housing options near campus.  Students will reserve their housing before leaving California.

3 girls stroll down cobblestone street

Strolling down Haga Nygata street

General Instructions
Participants will be required to attend the SDSU pre-departure orientation during the spring semester, as well as Dr. Bergdahl’s pre-departure meeting(s).

About the city of Gothenburg

Gothenburg is a modern, international city, the 2nd largest city in Sweden, and 5th largest in Scandinavia.   In the very heart of Scandinavia, Gothenburg is  only a train ride away from Copenhagen, Oslo  and Stockholm.  Students benefit from being able to go from bustling city streets to the west coast archipelago or deep green forests within 30 minutes.

The spirit of the people of Gothenburg has historically been tied closely with the sea.  The delightful archipelago is perfect for sailing, kayaking and the like. Gothenburg is home to largest Nordic Science museum, The Universeum

Gothenburg is known for its cafe culture; coffee shops and ice cream shops are bustling with college students and families. Live music venues and clubs are plentiful.  Roller coaster enthusiasts will note that there is an amusement park within the city.    Lisberg Amusement Park may be small by US standards, but the quality of their thrill rides is well respected among those who enjoy a good blood-curdling scream.

Apply Now


For more information contact Dr. Mikael Bergdahl,

Further reading:  24 reasons why living in Sweden will Ruin You for Life