Sweden officially the Kingdom of Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of over 9.9 million. Sweden consequently has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre (54/sq mi), with the highest concentration in the southern half of the country. Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban areas.
It is also a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens. It has the world’s eighth-highest per capita income and ranks highly in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity and human development.
|Capital||Stockholm||Total Area||450,295 km2 (55th)
175,896 sq mi
|Largest city||Stockholm||Population||9,920,881 (89th)|
|GDP (Nominal)||$47,319 per person (14th)|
|Calling code||+46||Currency||Swedish Krona (SEK)|
Why study in Sweden?
The largest Scandinavian country has a lot to offer to international students. Beautiful cities, efficient public transportation, peaceful foreign relations, clean air, high-end design, and world-class academics are all a part of the Swedish experience. As one of the leading nations in environmental preservation, Sweden is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, and there is never a lack of breathtaking scenery. Although the country lies so far north that it reaches the Arctic Circle, it remains relatively warm thanks to the Gulf Stream. Most Swedes are extremely active and enjoy being outdoors. Thanks partially to a recent increase in amateur sports activity, Swedes now have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. In the warmer months, swimming, cycling, tennis, soccer, canoeing and hiking are popular activities, as are skiing and ice-skating during the long winter. In the summer they bask under the midnight sun, and in the winter Swedes enjoy the beauty of the Northern Lights.
Sweden is also the home of the Nobel Prize and, consequently, has always taken academia seriously. Standards of achievement remain high. Universities work closely with industries to give students practical experience and the independence they need to be competitive. All courses taught in Sweden are subject to rigorous quality control every six years. In addition to the government, universities are also very receptive to the student’s opinions on academic standards. The result is an education that is sought after the world over: Sweden has one of the highest percentages of foreign students studying on their soil, and the number of foreign students traveling to Sweden has drastically increased over the years. Most universities fully subsidize tuition costs for students, regardless of their nationality, so nearly anyone can afford to study here. There are also over 200 Master’s programs being offered in English, so foreign language should not be a barrier. In fact, many businesses use English as their official working language.
Below are some further highlights of the advantages of studying in Sweden:
- Sweden has a long and proud history of academic excellence, with outstanding universities dating back to the 15th century. Sweden is the home of the Nobel Prize, the world’s most prestigious academic distinction.
- Today, Sweden’s reputation for innovation is built on close cooperation between industry and academia. Swedish universities are renowned for their investigative research and independent thinking, and this reputation is cemented with rigorous quality control and nationally certified degrees. Sweden has one of the most ambitious educational evaluation programmes in Europe, aimed at maintaining this competitive edge.
- Programmes are structured in response to student demand – the result is a student-centric education system, with open, informal relations between students and teachers, and where personal initiative and critical thought are prized.
- The Swedish Institute grants hundreds of scholarships every year to help foreign students make their stay in Sweden more affordable. Currently, tuition fees for everyone are fully subsidized by the state. Sweden’s public spending on education is the OECD’s highest, at 4.9% of GDP. And because it costs to live in Sweden, foreign students can work while studying.
- Many students studying in Sweden come from abroad – 8.5% of the student body, according to the OECD – making Sweden one of the world’s most inclusive countries for education. But there is room for more: The number grew by over 80% over the last 4-year period. There are now PhD candidates from some 80 countries working towards their degrees in Sweden.
- Almost all Swedes speak fluent English. Many Swedish companies use English as their official working language. Foreign students find that this prevalence of English makes adapting to their new surroundings much easier.
- In Sweden, innovative ideas and new ways of thinking are cultivated and encouraged in an inclusive, dialogue-based climate. The focus is on translating theory into practical results by applying research to real-world problems.
- Sweden offers a non-hierarchical and egalitarian environment where teachers and students from around the world collaborate in an informal and creative setting. Students have a direct influence, both as a collective and as individuals.
- In Swedish academic culture, students practice thinking long-term and thinking sustainably: useful skills for your future and the planet’s. Sweden has a long tradition of actively pursuing global efforts in sustainable development.
- In Sweden, everyone speaks two world languages: English and Equality.
- Swedish society is known for its inclusiveness and egalitarianism.
- Many degree programmes in Sweden include internships, which are a great way to get real-world experience while you build your professional network.
- Sweden is recognized for its good working conditions and practices. It combines a capitalist economy with a strong public sector and welfare system. The job market is among the strongest in the world.
- Workers’ rights are one of the cornerstones of the modern Swedish labor market. Labour unions are powerful, and collective bargaining has meant the development of an environment where employees’ health and safety comes first. In addition to union support, a government agency, the Swedish Work Environment Authority, ensures employees’ well-being at work.