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Studying in Sweden: Student Satisfaction Survey Results

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International students consider Sweden the second-best place to study in Europe. This is the result of the StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2014. Almost 7,000 students rated their study abroad experience on the world’s largest database of international student experiences, STeXX.eu. Out of those, 425 international students reviewed their experience of studying in Sweden, rating it as a top education destination with an average grade of 9.1 out of 10. The results give interesting insights into how international students find living and studying in Sweden, and why they would recommend it to their friends.

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All together 12 Swedish universities received an award for international student satisfaction. Karlstad University was the only one to receive the highest certificate: Certificate for Outstanding International Student Satisfaction, averaging above 9.5 out of 10. Linköping University and Linnaeus University placed second and third, both rated by students as excellent in terms of international student satisfaction. Four other Swedish universities were awarded “excellent” student satisfaction, and five received an award for “very good” student satisfaction.

Lund UniversityWhat makes Sweden such a great place to study?

Sweden is known for its high standards in education. Especially, research and development are important elements of academic activities at Swedish universities. Students appreciate the high-quality learning facilities, including comprehensive libraries and well-equipped labs. Most students agree that university staff members are focused on meeting students’ needs, and thus create a friendly and international learning environment.

“Great infrastructures and learning facilities, welcoming and always ready-to-help office staff, international atmosphere, amazing overall environment.”
 – Italian student

“The teachers are very competent, the courses interesting and well prepared. The lab equipment is very impressive and the whole university is neat and you get the feeling that there is a lot of money being invested in education.”
– Austrian student

Students also comment positively on the great social life in Swedish cities and on campus. They appreciate nightlife in Sweden, as well as the great number of opportunities to get involved in cultural life; there are concerts, plays and exhibitions held all around the country. Also student unions contribute to this pleasant experience by organizing a great variety of social activities.

“The corridor parties are a norm every weekend/middle of week and you will have to try hard not to get invited to at least one every week. The student organizations are very active when it comes to organizing academic events, but also fun activities.”
– Georgian student

Street in StockholmThe downside of studying in Sweden: cold weather and high living expenses

The few negative comments were mainly about the cold weather, as so often in the Nordic countries. As university officials play an important role in satisfying the needs of students, some international students feel that their study experience abroad lacks challenge and a spirit of an adventure.

Also, most international students agree that the living costs are high in Sweden, and that cheap accommodation is difficult to find. On-campus accommodation was highly favored for its reasonable price, but also for social connections. Only a few reviewers experienced Swedish people as reserved and cold, while a majority found them to be fair, helpful and very tolerant.

To find out more about studying in Sweden and the results of the International Student Satisfaction Awards, visit the full StudyPortals country overview for Sweden. You can also compare more than 690 English-taught master’s degrees as well as many English-taught bachelor’s programs at Swedish universities.

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Written by Tiina Niemi
Tiina comes from Finland and currently lives in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. She works in research and PR at StudyPortals. Before moving to the Netherlands, Tiina lived in Germany and in Italy. In her free time she enjoys baking cakes and doing all kind of sports. 
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