When you study in Sweden, you’re encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically. You’ll develop your ability to question the status quo by assessing information, seeking new perspectives and coming up with well-informed opinions. You’ll be free to think creatively because of the informal and non-hierarchical nature of Swedish society, where everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas and opinions.
This independence of mind and the fact that everyone can make their voice heard are two of the reasons why Sweden ranks among the world’s most innovative nations. Another is that investment in research is among the highest in the world in relation to GDP. Here are five reasons why studying in Sweden is a great idea.
1. Creativity is central.
2. Coursework is challenging – in a good way
3. Sustainability and the environment are in focus.
4. Equality and diversity are central to Swedish society.
5. Did we mention that everyone speaks English?
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is also the country’s largest city, with more than 950,000 inhabitants. Other large cities are Gothenburg, in western Sweden (population 570,000), and Malmö (population 340,000) in the south. Uppsala and Lund are well-known university cities. Less than three per cent of Sweden’s land area is built up and forests cover 69 per cent of the country. Sweden is long – some 1,574 kilometres from top to bottom – and can be divided into three major regions: Götaland in the south, Svealand in the middle and Norrland in the north.
By any measure, Sweden is one of the world’s most innovative nations, and it has been called the most digitally connected economy. Swedes are early adopters of new technology and the country’s non-hierarchical society creates a fertile environment for new ideas. The Swedish government invests a higher proportion of GDP in R&D than most other nations. Generations of innovativeness have led to a long list of world-changing inventions like the three-point seatbelt, the pacemaker, the adjustable wrench and safety matches. More recent Swedish inventions include Spotify and Skype. Sweden is a member of the European Union, but has its own currency, the krona, or Swedish crown.
Life is international student-friendly
So Sweden is green, creative, equal and open. What else should you know before you decide to study here? Everyone speaks English – Sweden regularly ranks as one of the top countries in the world for non-native speakers of English. That means you don’t have to speak any Swedish to study here. Public transport is widespread, and it works. Sweden’s extensive network of buses, trains, subways, trams, boats, planes and more can take you anywhere you want to go, car-free.
International students can work in Sweden. Though your studies are your number-one priority, there’s no legal limit to the amount of hours international students can work during their studies. After completing your studies, you can apply to extend your residence permit to look for work for up to six months. (If you do want to work, learning Swedish is important – it’s often a requirement for jobs). Sweden is clean and safe, and the standard of living is high.