study in sweden
Sweden is a wonderful and exciting country for international students. Source: Shutterstock

Look beyond the more popular study abroad destinations (UK, US, Australia, Canada) — look north, actually — and you’ll find plenty to excite international students in Sweden.

Few countries offer a mix of an infectious innovative culture and high-quality education as well as Sweden does.

Studying here will not only give you that coveted global perspective, but you will also gain practical skills while learning which makes you more employable when you graduate.

Here are five reasons that make Sweden stand out as a study abroad destination:

Work opportunities

study in sweden

A client walks outside Europe’s biggest Ikea store is pictured in Kungens Kurva, south-west of Stockholm on March 30, 2016. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

International students are allowed to work while studying in Sweden for up to 40 hours a week, allowing you to fund your expenses while finishing up your degree.

When you graduate, you’ll be able to apply for an extension of your current residence permit (student visa) to look for a job, or even examine the possibilities of starting your own business, for up to six months after the completion of their study programme.

There are also plenty of internships for international students at top corporations such as IKEA, Tetrapak, Volvo, Oatly and Spotify for you to gain valuable work experience. Sweden is also a start-up hotspot based on the innovative work culture in the country.

High-quality education

A quiet campus of the University of Stockholm is pictured on March 18, 2020. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFO

Academics are top-notch in Sweden, offering world-class degrees in several fields. There are 14 public universities and a number of independent institutions in Sweden.

Top-ranked universities for you to check out if you’re interested to study in Sweden include Karolinska Institute, Lund University, Uppsala University, Stockholm School of Economics, and Stockholm University.

Academics in Sweden place more emphasis on practical learning rather than learning from a textbook, where you’ll learn how to apply your knowledge in real-world contexts.

Students are taught how to develop creativity and innovative thinking to find solutions to problems, which gives them the ability to think outside the box and makes them job-ready upon graduation.

Affordable tuition

International students from the EEA, the European Union, and the Nordic countries don’t have to pay for tuition at Swedish universities.

For those outside these countries, tuition fees range from USD $8,000 to USD$15,000 per academic year, which is lower than the average tuition fees in the UK and US.

Quality of life

study in sweden

A woman waits for her train at the Solna subway station on November 6, 2012 in Stockholm, in front of the 1992 mural “The district of Hagalund” by Swedish artist Anders Aberg. Over 90 of the 100 subway stations in Stockholm have been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 artists. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

As Sweden places a lot of emphasis on cleanliness and sustainability, you’ll enjoy fresh air and beautiful, well-preserved landscape when you study abroad in Sweden.

Even the Subway stations are a sight for sore eyes, with one hundred stations featuring unique art on the platform or walls.

There is no shortage of beautiful spots to visit in Sweden, from the Stockholm Archipelago to Jokkmokk, a fairytale town located in Lapland, Sweden’s northernmost province.

In the summer months, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, or simply taking leisurely strolls through the green parks scattered around cities.

Delicious cuisine

study in sweden

An IKEA employee serves the new IKEA vegetarian meatballs, during a worldwide launch at IKEA Anderlecht, on April 8, 2015. Source: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

If you’re a fan of the food at IKEA’s restaurants, you will never go hungry when you study in Sweden. Swedish food is often comforting and savoury, using plenty of herbs like dill and ingredients like sour cream.

Enjoy delicious local dishes such as Swedish meatballs, raggmunk (a Swedish potato pancake fried in butter), marinated salmon with dill potatoes, crispbread, chives and sour cream. You may find that you even enjoy the famed pickled herring, the most basic Swedish dish.

Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy traditional Swedish crepes, waffles, cakes, pastries, cookies, dessert soups and much more offered at bakeries and cafes.

Swedes are also very health-conscious, so you’ll also find plenty of restaurants and cafes that will cater to different dietary needs. There are several vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Stockholm with the growing popularity of plant-based dining.

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

4 top cities in Europe for international students

Scholarships in Sweden that international students can apply for in 2020