Why move to Sweden to get your academic degree?
One of the most difficult decisions that students face at the end of their high school studies is what kind of degree to pursue to increase the chances of landing their dream job one day.
There are several criteria that should be taken into account when choosing the university where one will spend the next 3-5 years of ones life. Academic standards, course offerings and language of studies are perhaps the most important ones, but other factors like tuition and living costs, city location and social life also play an important role.
A lot of young adults are uneasy about leaving their friends and family and move to a foreign country. This is an understandable feeling, and it is a change that not everyone is ready for at 19. But migrating to a new country will give you a fresh perspective on life. You will also feel the thrill of discovering a new country with people who are in your same situation, something that you can not do if you stay close to home.
If you decide to exit your comfort zone and move abroad for your Bachelor’s degree, then why not move to Sweden?
Here are some the reasons why you should seriously consider spending three or more years of your life in this beautiful country.
Sweden has a long and illustrious history of academic excellence and despite its relatively small population, it’s home to some of the world’s best universities. Swedish universities are renowned for their investigative research and independent thinking. Many programmes offer close cooperation between academics and industry, and degree theses are often written in collaboration with companies.
Critical thinking and personal initiative are at the heart of the Swedish academic system. Open, informal relations between students and teachers will challenge you to question the status quo and form your own opinions and arguments. 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.
Many degree programmes in Sweden include internships, which are a great way to get real-world experience and increase your professional network. The fact that Sweden is home to the largest number of multinationals per capita of any country in the world means that there are always plenty of job opportunities available. If you don’t want to work part time during the school year, there is also the opportunity to work full time during summers.
English really is universal in Sweden
Sweden is a great destination for international students. Overall, there are more than 600 English-language degree programs in Sweden, ensuring that prospective students will find a great fit for their academic needs. In fact, fluent English is spoken by nearly all Swedes, and it is the official working language of many Swedish companies. This makes learning, and adapting to the country, significantly easier for international students.
The student population is diverse
Students from 106 countries study in Sweden, making for a diverse student body. Most programmes contain a mix of students from all over the world. You’ll learn vital intercultural skills and be able to see issues from very different points of view. In fact, Sweden’s educational policy is based on the recognition that a multicultural student body is a resource.
Scholarships make studying cheaper
The Swedish Institute grants hundreds of scholarships every year to help foreign students make their stay in Sweden more affordable. Students from outside the EU have to pay tuition fees, but are eligible for grants on a State and university level. Sweden’s public spending on education is the OECD’s highest, at 4.9% of GDP. And because it is expensive to live in Sweden, regulations make it easier for students to work to support their living expenses.
Sweden is famous for its long, warm and light summer days. In the northern reaches, the sky darkens briefly to twilight, then lightens again. Summer is also the time when Swedes get together to celebrate, mostly at summer houses. Twenty per cent of Swedes, or 1.8 million people, own a summer house. Here they celebrate Midsummer and throw crayfish parties. If you stay in the cities you will experience outdoor living in cafés and picnics in the multitude of urban parks.
Fika is a perhaps the most rooted tradition in Swedish culture with the basic meaning often having a coffee with colleagues, friends or family, often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. Fika is considered a social institution in Sweden. Traditionally, fika requires sweet, baked goods, especially cinnamon rolls. Keep in mind that if you invite people to your place for a fika, you should offer them a variety of baked goods, they like to have a choice!
Big cities or university towns: take your pick
Depending on where you decide to study, you could live in one of the bigger cosmopolitan cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg or in cozier university towns such as Lund and Uppsala. Whether you want to visit tourist attractions every weekend, enjoy the nightlife and be surrounded by a continental vibe or if you prefer to be a part of a lively student population that dominates a city’s cultural and social life, your needs will be satisfied.
These are only some of the reasons why moving to Sweden could prove to be one of the best decision of your life. Just remember that the opportunity to move to a new country will probably never be more rewarding than as a fresh undergraduate student. It is an experience that will improve your personal life and also your future career prospects, enabling you to truly shape your future.