Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (SSHL), a boarding school just north of Stockholm, is well known to Swedes and expats. The school is a household name due in no small part to the present King Carl Gustaf XVI's attendance when he was a young man.
SSHL enjoys a strong academic reputation thanks to its long roster of graduates who have gone on to study at some of the best universities around the world. Founded over 100 years ago, today SSHL is a modern co-educational boarding school that attracts students from Sweden and abroad.
But SSHL is so much more than an outstanding school in a stunning location.
Stroll through the campus on a typical Wednesday afternoon and you'll sense the camaraderie and closeness amongst the students. As the sun begins to set over Lake Mälaren you'll hear members of the crew team encouraging each other to beat their last row time, or joggers pushing themselves on the running track.
So what gives SSHL its global reputation for excellence?
Vice Principal and Head of Boarding Eddy Johansson believes that the safe, supportive environment is what makes SSHL a wonderful place for young people to live and study.
The number one goal at SSHL, according to Johanson, is to welcome each student into a community of peers and staff which will give them an outstanding start in life.
“With round-the-clock support available from House Parents and Academic Tutors, every boarder has access to a rich support network which enables them to achieve their full academic potential," he says.
But there's more to the SSHL experience than just academics. Students are also offered a wide range of extracurricular activities, ranging from football, rugby, and rowing, to theatre, music and art.
Students compete in inter-house competitions as well as against other schools in Sweden and abroad. “Fritiden” is about helping to develop young people who are active and engaged - and, just as importantly, who have fun.
Dr Margret Benedikz, School Director, believes in a holistic approach to schooling, which helps pupils develop into well-rounded global citizens who recognize their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Every student at SSHL can expect to develop to the fullest of their potential thanks to high staff availability, as well as small class sizes and boarding homes.
Although SSHL puts a strong focus on academic excellence, the school remains true to its humanistic Swedish traditions. “We hope they will strive to create a better world,” says Benedikz.
A final year student named Sofia came to SSHL to reconnect with her Swedish roots after many years abroad, and plans to study Aeronautical Engineering at university.
“Living at school helps keep me focused on my studies,” she says. “But when I'm not studying, there's still time for ballet, golf, and even cosy evenings at home with the other girls.”
Just as the older girls helped Sofia transition into life at SSHL, she has herself stepped into a mentoring role, helping younger girls feel welcomed and comfortable in their new environment. “I love the atmosphere at SSHL. I've made so many friends here - friends for life."
Throughout the year, prospective students from around the world to visit and spend time at the school, experiencing a three day boarding period to really get a feel for life at SSHL.
As Eddy Johansson says, “Coming to SSHL you get to experience the very best of what Sweden has to offer, and discover the world of unique academic and extracurricular opportunities.”
This article was sponsored by Sigtuna Humanistiska Läroverk.