Guest post: Erik BernhardssonI’m not going to start this article with a long introduction. That is because there are so many reasons to study in Sweden. I want to jump right into the list…1. Think more creatively \n \n \n \n \n \n \n A university professor was once quoted as saying that university doesn’t teach you to do a job; it is meant to teach you how to think. But, how is it teaching you to think? For the majority of the world’s universities, this means teaching you to think critically. This is not the same as learning to think for yourself. You are taught to think critically according to the method that your professor believes in. You will see this anytime you question their methods. Universities in Sweden take a much different approach. They teach you to think critically like any other university. But it is the framework around this that is much different. You are also taught to think independently and creatively. You are encouraged to not just question the non-academic world. You are taught to question everything. This gives you the ability to look at the whole world differently. It also changes the ideas that you come to. You are not looking at the world like it is wrong and you have been taught the proper way. You simply look at the world and ask, “Is there a better way?” This more creative and less judgemental method produces new ideas, not just griping about the world. This method of teaching is the main reason that Sweden consistently ranks among the most innovative countries. 2. Be challenged for a reason There are many horror stories of university courses that are difficult. University is supposed to challenge you. But, the common practice of using certain courses to simply weed people out serves little purpose. Universities in Sweden are challenging, but they build this challenge around making you the best you can be, not just to see how much they can put you through.The difference that this makes is easy to see. Overall, Sweden’s system of education is ranked among the top systems in the world. Sweden is also home to several secondary schools that are individually ranked among the world’s best. These rankings are not from Sweden itself. They are conducted by independent international organizations.Another factor that makes universities in Sweden stand out is the focus of every course. They don’t just focus on completing credits to get a degree. They are focused on reasoning, rationality, and most importantly, application. This is in contrast to the quote that we discussed earlier. Universities in Sweden don’t just teach you how to think. They teach you how to apply your knowledge.3. You don’t just sit in class A student sitting in class just to get a credit is seen throughout the world. Unfortunately, many professors are so engrossed in lecturing that they don’t notice. They may not even care, because they just like to hear themselves talk and/or proving how smart they are. You will not find this at universities in Sweden. As we mentioned, the focus is more on innovation and application. Professors want to know that you are not just learning but are able to apply your learning. They require you to participate. You will be required to demonstrate your knowledge and ability to use it. 4. Focus on environmental sustainability A huge focus and global concern right now is on environmental sustainability. Sweden is one of the countries that has made this a priority. Just like our focus on applying knowledge, our country and its citizens take this very seriously. If you are interested in furthering the cause of going green then you will find many kindred souls here. The focus on sustainability can be seen in Sweden’s rankings. We were named the #1 in sustainability among every country in the world. This is due to multiple advances that the country has made. Focus has been given to controlling greenhouse gas emissions and building more avenues for sustainable energy. 5. It’s easy to apply Students from around the world used to be able to study in Sweden tuition-free, until recently. However, in 2010, the government passed a new law, that has altered the payment structure for international students from outside the EU/EAA. The new structure includes both the tuition fees and the application fees.The change has also been accompanied by many scholarships that are available to help students cover their tuition fees. Scholarship opportunities include financial waivers for international students, with scholarships offered both by the Swedish government and by individual universities in Sweden.There are no age limits when it comes to the university entrance exam, called SweSAT (or Högskoleprovet in Swedish), and there is no need to be a Swedish citizen. However, you must meet the required permissions to apply to the course or program. 6. Experience true diversity Diversity is another major issue in our world today. Over the last century, technology made it easier to travel around the world. This also brings us into daily contact with more cultures than ever before. It is crucial that we learn not just to promote diversity but be comfortable with it. Sweden is a very diverse country. But, it doesn’t just allow diversity. Like everything else we have looked at, Sweden works hard to promote diversity. Sweden has consistently ranked among the best countries for equality in the world. It is also ranked among the best in gender equality and LGBT rights. This is due to Sweden’s overall progressive attitude. It is not difficult to see the focus of most universities. They are focused on graduating students that think like the university wants them to. The only consideration that is given to job preparation is offering job placement help. But, the large percentage of these graduates that have trouble finding a job shows that they are not viewed as career-ready. Universities in Sweden possess a much different record. If you ask CEOs around the world what one characteristic they value the most, then most of them will say creativity. This is what is missing from most universities. It is the one thing that Sweden gives to every student. You also learn actual skills that are in demand right now. You are ready to solve problems. You aren’t just taught to think creatively. You are also taught how to use this creativity. Graduates of Sweden’s universities are known as problem solvers. By this point, you should fully understand why so many international students choose to study in Sweden. The difference is seen in how high our schools rank. But, you now understand why. Our universities don’t just focus on giving you general knowledge. They focus on creativity and how to apply this knowledge. This makes you ready for a job at graduation. As you decide where to go to university, we ask you to keep in mind these six reasons to study in Sweden. For information about courses offered by universities in Sweden, visit Studeravidare.se (information provided in Swedish).