7 Amazing Reasons to Study in Sweden | Top Universities

7 Amazing Reasons to Study in Sweden

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 15, 2021 Updated March 15, 2021

Sponsored by Study in Sweden (the Swedish Institute)

You’ve probably lusted over Sweden’s progressive politics and much-envied welfare system. Or perhaps you’ve gotten itchy feet hearting pics of its beaches and mountains on your Insta-feed. But did you know that Sweden is also home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities? In case you hadn’t already considered studying in Sweden, well, here are seven great reasons you should…

1. Banish rote learning forever.

If you’re 100% allergic to rote learning, you may be interested to learn that Sweden – home of the GPS, Nobel Prize and Daim chocolate – is partial to a bit of disruptive pedagogy... In a concerted effort to train the planet’s future problem solvers and world leaders, Swedish schools and universities encourage students to think creatively about pressing issues, in informal non-hierarchical classrooms with a strong emphasis on holistic thinking and sustainability.

If you’re concerned about how this approach translates into global reputation, the answer is pretty well. Sweden comes 14th in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings, and eight Swedish universities feature among the global top 300 in the latest QS World University Rankings®.         

2. Protect the environment and defend sustainability.  

The most sustainable country in the world with the highest percentage of renewable energy in the EU, Sweden is a great study abroad destination for students interested in sustainable energy and environmental conservation. Sustainability is at the heart of Swedish customs and values – a fact that accords well with its stunning natural landscapes – including mountains, beaches, nature reserves and parks.

3. Attend a terrific university, with a scholarship.

In order to attract and support talented students from around the world, the Swedish Institute, as well as a number of other top Swedish universities, offers scholarships to international students on the basis of nationality, merit and economic background.

4. Be yourself!   

The stats don’t lie. The Swedes are a young, multi-cultural urban lot. Of the country’s 9.9 million, 85% live in large cosmopolitan cities (mostly Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Uppsala and Lund), and about two million are under 18!

The most equal country in the world according to Business Insider, and known for being ahead of the curve on LGBTQ rights, Sweden is famous for its commitment to diversity. Almost 15% of the Swedish population are first-generation immigrants, while one in five Swedish children has relatives from another country.

What does this mean for you? If you study in Sweden, you’ll benefit from an inclusive multicultural environment and the sense of being liked just as you are, Bridget.

5. Learn Swedish. Watch Bergman films without subtitles. Brag about it.

While you may not be required to speak fluent Swedish in order to live or study in Sweden, you may want to take advantage of the opportunity to pick up a new language and increase your employability.  

While most people will struggle for a fair while before being able to watch Scenes From a Marriage without subtitles, studying in Sweden could certainly help... Many Swedish universities in fact offer international students a chance to pursue part-time Swedish language courses during their studies, but you could start learning even earlier either online or by signing up on a summer course. Find out more here.

6. Find a job after you graduate.

A number of multinational firms are based in Sweden, and there are plenty of opportunities for ambitious grads – especially if you’re interested in becoming an engineer, software developer, architect, or any of these high-demand jobs listed by the Swedish Migration Agency (this document is in Swedish – use Google Translate if you’re not fluent yet!). 

IKEA, Spotify, Ericsson are all, unsurprisingly, Swedish. Innovation continues to be a Swedish specialty, as reflected in rankings such as the Global Innovation Index. Government investment in technology, climate change research and medicine and biotechnology has stimulated growth, research output and job opportunities.

7. Experience the much-discussed (and praised) Swedish Model.

Sweden’s welfare system is incredible. Benefits of working in Sweden include free healthcare, sick leave, childcare and education, state subsidies in a variety of areas to make life inexpensive and pleasant, as well as 18 months of paid parental leave per child. You’ll also find that workers in Sweden are incredibly well-represented and protected through strong union support and the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

This article was originally published in November 2016 . It was last updated in March 2021

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