Are you considering studying abroad? Are you having a hard time determining which study abroad locations is best for you?
In recent years, Sweden, one of Europe's overlooked study abroad destinations, has experienced a huge boost in interest from prospective students, and we think we know why. We've highlighted the top ten reasons to take your education abroad to one of Scandinavia's most influential countries, Sweden!
1. Internationally Renowned Education System
The quality and international standing of the Swedish education system needs no explanation, with Universities consistently ranked among the best in the world. The addition of one of its fine institutions would be an excellent addition to any student’s academic CV.
Consider choosing Uppsala University, the oldest university in any of the Nordic countries. Or, if making it in the big city is your dream, study abroad in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, at Stockholm’s University.
2. Thriving Student Life
Sweden has an interesting and unique student life that is steeped in centuries of tradition. Sweden’s largest student populations can be found in the cities of Uppsala and Lund, where student nations, organizations specifically responsible for organizing student events, are plentiful. Each nation has its own vibe and new international students get the opportunity to meet and socialize with Swedish and other international students alike.
Furthermore, students in Sweden are presented with a plentiful and varied culture to immerse themselves. Do you know about the Flogsta scream? Every night at 10 p.m., students in Uppsala’s Flogsta neighborhood gather to let out a collective scream into the night. It may sound strange at first, but it’s just one of many examples of students coming together to support one another and have some fun while they’re at it.
3. No Language Barrier
While the official language of Sweden is Swedish, a rich and beautiful language, in 2017 Swedes ranked second in the world for skills in English as a second language. As the world becomes increasingly connected and businesses seek to expand beyond national and linguistic boundaries, Sweden offers an excellent location to learn and develop your English language skills.
However, a study abroad experience in Sweden would also be the best opportunity to learn some Swedish as well. Spoken by nearly ten million people, the Swedish language shares many similarities to English, and by knowing some, it will be that much easier to immerse into your new cultural surroundings.
4. Prime Location
While they are living abroad, most international students want to take the opportunity to travel as often as possible.
Central to Scandinavia and close to central mainland Europe, Sweden is a prime location to act as a hub for a European adventure. There are various locations throughout Europe easily and cheaply reached through one of Sweden’s ten international airports or via a train system that connects with mainland continental Europe via the famed Øresund Bridge.
5. The Swedish Way of Life
Lagom, the Swedish ethos of ‘just enough’ infiltrates all aspects of life, from their study life balance to their holidays and traditions. It’s no surprise then that Swedish design, made famous by the furniture retailer, IKEA, relies so heavily on minimalism and functionality.
Together, these views on life go far in explaining Swedish society’s belief in consensus and equality. As an international student, you will find life in Sweden to be incredibly structured in some ways and very flexible in others. It’s all part of a work-life balance that values the individual’s right to live happily.
6. Beautiful Nature
See the cosmic wonder of the Northern lights or the endless summer days. Sweden’s geographic location creates a perfect environment for natural aesthetic extremes. Combined with Sweden’s “freedom to roam,” the general public’s right to access almost all public land for recreational purposes, it’s no wonder Swedes are savvy outdoorsmen.
Whether you enjoy camping, skiing, ice skating, hiking, or fishing, Sweden offers international students studying abroad limitless opportunities to explore all of the beautiful nature Sweden has to offer.
7. A Rich History
From the Vikings to Abba, Sweden has contributed a lot to the history books, and Swedes are not shy about celebrating them. Through numerous museums and festivals, the historical highlights of Sweden are accessible and championed throughout Sweden and a joy to behold.
Furthermore, many museums offer free entrance on a regular basis or on specially marked days throughout the year. If there is a fee, there is typically a steep discount for students. Depending on your area of study, some students also get passes to enter many of the museums for free. By the time you leave Sweden, you will be amazed how the land of Vikings has become one of the most peaceful and fair societies in the modern world.
8. Home to International Business
For students who wish to seek internships or work experience, look no further than one of Sweden’s many internationally-renowned businesses. Students will find the head offices of companies like H&M and Spotify in Stockholm. Or, if you find yourself studying on Sweden’s west coast, you may be interested in gaining experience at Volvo’s head office in Gothenburg.
Unlike many other countries, Sweden does not impose any official limitations on how many hours a student can work. Therefore, it is much easier for students to find job prospects that turn into lifelong careers.
9. The Joy of Fika
Life in Sweden is hardly based on all work. Fika has become a social institution that pervades every Swede's personal and professional life, in which Swedes take a moment to enjoy some sweets over a cup of coffee and socialize. It’s much more than a coffee break, however. It’s a chance for you to relax and chat with the ones you’re closest too.
No student can go too long without falling in love with the tradition, as many group get-togethers, meetings, and even dates are organized around taking a fika.
10. A Challenge Worth Taking
No matter the destination, studying abroad can be difficult at times. However, the benefits of studying abroad in Sweden are guaranteed to make the challenge well worth your while.
As an international student in Sweden, you can expect to be treated equally and with fairness. You will also find that the system is set up to help you succeed in accomplishing your dreams, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort. And although challenging at times, all of the aforementioned points go far to explain why your study abroad in Sweden will easily be one of the best experiences in your life.