7-30-2013 1-20-42 PMSweden is becoming one of the fastest growing countries for study abroad. Unlike other more tried-and-true study abroad locations like the UK and Australia, Sweden offers the foreign experience without the stress of having to know the language right when you get there. Most programs offer college-level or even graduate-level courses in English in addition to giving their students the opportunity to study the Swedish language. However, should a student come to their study abroad program with an advanced knowledge of Swedish in place, they are usually able to take courses along with native Swedish speakers.

But Sweden’s academic programs are not the only reason that students are becoming more drawn to this country. It’s natural beauty with forests, fjords, sea coast, and mountains make this an ideal place to study for hikers and other nature lovers. It is a country that is also known for its environmentalism, highly-educated populace, student-centric academic system, generally safe atmosphere, and incredible tolerance. All of these factors together make it a great location for students to study abroad.

Programs in Sweden

The Swedish Program

Among the most highly-ranked study abroad programs in Sweden is The Swedish Program in the Liberal Arts at the Stockholm School of Economics. This is a program based in Stockholm that is at a small enough university for foreign students to get one-on-one personal attention from the study abroad staff and from the professors. However, this program is situated in the middle of Stockholm and gives the ambiance of studying at an urban university campus. This program also offers challenging university-level courses in English like Swedish Crime Novels, Swedish Politics, Crime and Punishment in Sweden and the US, and Women, Swedish Society, and Culture. Additionally, this program allows students to study Swedish at a variety of levels that fits their current language level. Unlike many other programs in Sweden that only provide housing in dorms or apartments, The Swedish Program gives their students the opportunity to stay with host families or to live in apartments. This program is very highly-rated by students due to the attention received from the study abroad staff and university faculty, the housing situation, the excitement of living in Stockholm, and the two, week-long vacations each semester. Students are able to apply directly for this program at www.swedishprogram.org.

CIEE’s Program at Uppsala University

CIEE’s Uppsala University study abroad program gives students the chance to study at one of the oldest and most revered universities in Europe. Founded in 1477, this university is famous for its academic rigor, traditions, and famous alumni. Among them is Carl Linnaeus the botanist, Anders Celsius the physicist and astronomer, and Niklas Zennström the inventor of Skype. Up until 2010, the university had compulsory student involvement in the student nations that were divided amongst provinces of origin. However, these student nations are still very much involved in student life and organize many student feasts, excursions, and other activities. These nations are also open to foreign students. Courses in this program vary from the liberal arts, to business, science, IT, and social sciences. Students are also able to take the Swedish language, although many courses are available in English. Any student with advanced knowledge of Swedish is encouraged to take regular college courses in Swedish. Additionally, the program offers many cultural activities in addition to local and regional excursions. You can apply for this program at http://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/sweden/uppsala/arts-sciences/.

University Study Abroad Consortium at Vaxjo / Kalmar – Linnaeus University

This study abroad program is for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There is a plethora of courses for students to choose from with this study abroad program in English. Students can take classes in biology, economics, education, engineering, the humanities, math, the social sciences, social work, and so much more. The city of Vaxjo is located about 300 kilometers northeast of Copenhagen, Denmark and is surrounded by beautiful lakes and forests. The town has a population of 75,000 and is a continuing important trade center in the heart of Sweden’s Kingdom of Crystal. Students will no doubt enjoy its scenic location on this program’s many local and regional excursions. To apply for this program, please visit http://usac.unr.edu/study-abroad-programs/sweden/vaxjo-kalmar.

Choosing the Program that’s Right for You

No matter how wonderful the program in question may seem, you always need to consider a number of factors. Firstly, you have to decide if the program will provide the right academic support for your interests. Then you need to decide if what the program offers is enough for your study abroad experience. For instance, can you live in a dorm, host family, apartment, etc.? Will there be excursions? What support do they offer? Finally, you have to pick a program that is within your budget and is approved by your home college or university. If it is an approved program, the credits earned abroad should be counted towards your degree and your college should cover most of your tuition. But ultimately, Sweden may be the best alternative for students without a second language who want to study somewhere off the beaten path.

Author’s Bio:

Alice has recently obtained her Bachelor degree in the US college and has been accepted to one of the Sweden educational programs. Alice is passionate about traveling and writing. You can visit her website or email her directly.