Last year a total of 26,100 Swedes received funding from CSN (the Swedish government agency that approves student finance and loans) to study abroad – the smallest number in nine years.
The number of Swedes studying abroad has fluctuated between 24,500 and 29,700 since the turn of the millennium. It peaked in 2014/15 and has been on a steady downward curve since. This is likely a result of there simply being fewer people of school-leaving age, according to CSN.
Almost 7,000 were exchange students – people enrolled at a Swedish university who spend part of their degree abroad. But the majority – around 16,700 – were so-called free movers who applied for a course at a foreign university on their own initiative, instead of staying at home in Sweden.
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The most popular destination among Swedish students is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Australia. On a city level, London hosts the largest number of Swedish students.
The top university was Riga Stradins University in Latvia followed by Poland's Medical University of Gdansk. They both attracted around 400 Swedish medical students each last year.
Next on the list were Copenhagen Business School and Santa Monica College and Santa Barbara City College in the US.
”When we do surveys, foreign students usually say that they make their choice based on where their preferred education is. Then there is also a number who wants to get out and do something else, and perhaps choose based on climate or something else,” CSN's Carl-Johan Stolt told TT.