Sweden, known for its picturesque nature, innovative technology and rich culture is internationally recognised for its progressive social welfare, green thinking and high standard of living. What is student life really like there? One of our students spent one semester in this Scandinavian country and shared some interesting facts with us.

Erasmus Sweden

Studying in Sweden

The Swedish school system is very specific. At university you have to expect that you won’t go to school much, as the education is mainly taken in the form of self-study – going to the library, reading and other self-willing learning.
The semester is divided into two parts and you take two courses in each. These subjects are taught very intensively, if you go to school you spend 2-4 hours in the seminar and then at home you do many assignments, write essays or work on projects. You finish the course either with an exam or an oral exam, there are several options. The professors are supportive, always trying to help. Having trouble finishing your course? Don’t worry! You have as many attempts as you need, as long as you finish the course.

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But enough about school, let’s take a look at what Swedes are actually like.
Swedes are extremely conflict-free and fair people. No one is in a hurry and under stress but at the same time, they are very conscious about deadlines. Even though Swedes are calm and nice, they are also very reserved and closed. After all, Sweden is huge for its population, so people are used to keeping their distance from each other. The big advantage is that you won’t have a problem speaking English anywhere, everyone speaks English, from children to the elderly. And if you want to learn Swedish language, go ahead! Swedish is not a difficult language at all. In four months I learned more than just the basics.

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Swedish life

When it comes to the beauties of Sweden, I wasn’t that impressed by its nature, I felt that we have similar nature in the Czech Republic. But their big lakes, magnificent trees and magical snow in winter are really amazing! You also see a lot of bikes and electric scooters on the street, which are very popular. It is important for them to respect the cyclists. Also, they value ecology, so everywhere is really clean, including the air. Did you know that Sweden has the lowest smoking rate in the European Union at around 5%? Because they have replaced cigarettes with Snus, which is a form of smokeless tobacco that you put in your mouth behind your lip. They also care about their health, you normally see a lot of pensioners in the gym. Also the alcohol is generally harder to get, it’s only sold in one big shop – Systembolaget, which is mostly on the side of town and for example on the weekend it is only open in the morning.

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Swedish prices

It is fairly well known that Sweden is expensive. Swedes have quite high salaries and it doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer or a shop assistant, both have similar salaries. Food is not that expensive, but transport is, for example, 40 euros for a two-hour train ride. The alcohol mentioned is also very expensive, you can buy one drink at a party for 10 euros and the same goes for going to a restaurant, you pay around 20 euros for a simple pasta or pizza. For renting a room in a student apartment you pay approximately 300 euros a month.

So if you want to save money and have a tasty lunch, head to the Swedish ikea, where you can buy a delicious lunch with a drink and dessert for a few Swedish crowns. You can also save a lot of money at secondhand shops or outlets, of which there are plenty in Sweden.

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And what to actually taste in this country? Definitely their vegan specialties! Whether you’re craving a burger, a hot dog or meatballs, you’ll find a vegan version of everything, which is really delicious and at the same prices as regular food. Definitely also try the already mentioned and balls, whether the meat, vegetable or vegan ones and for dessert choose kanelbulle – cinnamon roll. Have them with a cup of coffee (beware, sometimes it’s hard to find caffé latte or cappuccino, they drink mostly black coffee) and enjoy this chill time because Swedes call this Fika and it’s a very popular activity!

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Sweden – yes or no?

Probably the biggest disadvantage about Sweden is that there are not as many things to do as in the Czech Republic. The cities are quite far from each other and transport is expensive, so it’s not worth travelling to a bigger city several times a week for any kind of entertainment. If you want to try life in Sweden I definitely recommend living in a bigger city. Uppsala is perfect for student life, I also recommend Gothenburg or the capital Stockholm. You also have to consider that in the winter months the sun rises around 8am and sets around 2 or 3pm, so it’s dark most of the day.

Like any country, Sweden has its advantages and disadvantages. But if you’re a lover of nature, ecology, peace and a stress-free life, this is the country for you. You’ll experience a really beautiful winter with lots of snow, you’ll meet nice people and if you’re lucky you might even see the northern lights.

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Do you want to continue reading? Check out some tips on trips around Zlín in a summer time☀️

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