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Sweden: Destination Guides - Must read

Why study in Sweden?

Why should you study in Sweden? Read our guide to the country as a study destination, including its high standing in global education, commitment to equality, and world-leading industries.

The flag of Sweden extends from a boat travelling along a river in Stockholm. Historic orange, white and cream buildings line the shore.

Sweden has a lot to offer. Known as one of the world's most developed countries, it has long been at the cutting edge of popular culture and technological innovation. For international students, this means getting an education in a place where you can have fun today while setting up a promising future. So, why study in Sweden? Allow us to explain.


Elite education


A fundamental reason why studying in Sweden is worth considering is the quality of education on offer. The country has six universities in the top 200 of the QS World University Rankings 2024, a number beaten by only three other European nation. For a small place, it exceeds expectations on the educational stage and after all, it is home to the Nobel Prize.


In this country, there is an emphasis on rationale and always having something to contribute. Students who go through its higher education system will therefore become productive members of society, ready to bring forth new and practical ideas and perspectives.


Want to know more about how university in the country works? Read our guide to understanding the Swedish higher education system.


Leaders in technology


Sweden is known as a world leader in technology, and is responsible for some of the most familiar everyday apps around. Ever played Candy Crush or listened to music on Spotify? You have Sweden to thank for creating both.


From games like Minecraft to electronics brands like Ericsson and payment services like Klarna, the country is the birthplace of so much of the tech that we use in our everyday lives. Many of the world's biggest technology companies emerged here, and many have their headquarters here, too.


So, if you're keen to study computer science or software, Sweden should be high on your list of possible destinations. Who knows what you might create?


The peak of popular culture


Another area in which Sweden punches above its weight is culture. From pop music to TV and film, the country has made entire industries out of entertaining the world.


After bursting onto the international scene in the 1970s, ABBA became a cultural colossus, with films, holograms and even a museum carrying their name. But they are not the only world-renowned musical act to have emerged from Sweden.


Within electronic music, there have been few bigger names than Avicii and the Swedish House Mafia. And perhaps most impressively, many of the world's biggest pop songs are written or produced by Swedes every year. What began with hits for American stars like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys in the 1990s led to an endless stream of Scandinavian chart-toppers. One man alone, Max Martin, has been responsible for dozens of US number one singles.


On screen, Sweden also has a reputation for quality, proving particularly popular for its crime dramas. TV shows and films such as The Killing, The Bridge and the Millennium series have all been labelled "Scandi noir", a banner that has become a byword for grisly-but-gripping storytelling. While they often don’t have the most cheerful plots, they have put Sweden in front of worldwide audiences and even when the story is scary, the scenery is fantastic.


Free tuition for EU students


While Sweden has a reputation for being one of the more expensive study destinations, it does offer free tuition to students coming from EU and EEA countries. So, while the cost of a coffee might shock you, over the long term you may find yourself saving money by studying here.


Learn more about living costs in Sweden.


Equality for all


Equality is at the heart of Sweden's values, and it makes constant efforts to bring that to bear. For example, the country has many laws, policies and plans in places to promote fairness on the grounds of gender. It also has a reputation for welcoming newcomers from around the world. So, if you are arriving as an international student whatever your background you can have a good degree of confidence that you will be made to feel at home.


Has this increased your interest in studying in the country? Read our guide to applying to study in Sweden. Then, find the right study path for you with our simple Course Matcher tool.