Published: 30 Jun 2010
It is a big step to study abroad, and the options are almost limitless. So what makes Sweden stand out as a study destination?
Develop skills for tomorrow
Studying in Sweden is different. Swedish universities have an open climate, with a strong focus on group work. This will give you valuable skills for the future. The global job market values ambitious, innovative and perceptive team players. Swedish universities foster these qualities through a forward-thinking culture where you're close to the latest ideas and trends.
Swedish master's degree programs offer unusual opportunities to turn theory into practice. Many programs also cooperate closely with the industry, offering students the possibility to mix study and practical work. This gives you distinct advantages over your peers when entering the job market.
Sweden has three universities in top 100 and eleven in top 500 of the 2010 edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Reach your full potential
Swedish universities will encourage you to discover and develop your true strengths and talents. The education system is student-centric and relations between students and teachers are informal. As a student in Sweden you're expected to address your teachers by their first name.
Personal initiative and independent thinking are prized. You will be required to take an active role and contribute with your opinions and ideas at lectures, seminars and in group discussions.
Taking the initiative and questioning old presumptions is rewarding, especially in the long term. It will give you the opportunity to develop your individual strengths and refine your academic abilities.
Experience a culture of innovation
One of the world's most modern countries, Sweden is the birthplace of many successful international corporations.
Innovative research at Swedish universities and companies has resulted in a number of successful inventions. Some examples are: the computer mouse, Bluetooth for internet mobility, the pacemaker, the ball bearing, the Tetra Pak beverage packaging system, the dialysis machine and internet applications such as the online music streaming service Spotify and the free internet calling service Skype.
Skype is an intriguing example. It was founded by entrepreneur Niklas Zennström in 2003. The exact number of Skype users is difficult to estimate, due to its rapid growth. But at peak times, up to 23 million people are online using Skype simultaneously.
These fairly recent inventions build on a long history of excellence in academia and research. Sweden is the home of the prestigious Nobel Prize and has highly acclaimed universities dating back to the 15th century.
Sweden has a number of large multinational corporations, such as telecom provider Ericsson, automotive companies Volvo and Scania, household appliances corporation Electrolux, bearing manufacturer SKF, and high-tech engineering groups Sandvik and Atlas Copco.
The deep-rooted creative environment has made Sweden a strong nation within design, fashion and music, with well-known international brands such as furniture giant IKEA and clothes retailer H&M. Sweden is also one of the largest music-exporting countries in the world.
Photos: Hans Bjurling and Ellinor Hall
This feature has been published by the Swedish Institute.