Choosing Sweden: The 2021 Edition


Written by Nozinhle

22 Oct 2021

University applications season is upon us! For most people planning on applying for further studies, there is the tough task of choosing study destinations. Choosing the right degree programme, university, or country to study in is not always easy. There are so many factors to be considered. If anything, the task can be quite stressful. In this post, I will share with you the reasons why I chose Sweden for my studies-and why you should too!

Know Your Why

My search for the perfect study destination started off with a long list of countries that I thought were pretty good choices. As someone looking to further my studies in engineering, factors such as innovation, industry focus, and quality of education were very important. I wanted to choose a well-rounded programme that would offer practical and relevant knowledge. Technology is changing at a rapid pace. As such, it was very important for me to choose not just a programme, but a country that would provide a learning experience that is in line with current trends.

Besides innovation, factors such as equality, sustainability, and general well-being ranked very high on my priority list. Well, guess what: Sweden ranks very highly in most of these categories! So, it is no surprise that I eventually decided to move here to advance my studies. Here is why Sweden is the perfect study choice if you want to advance your studies and gain practical skills.

Did You Know…?

Did you know that Sweden is ranked in the top 10 countries in the world for innovation, environmental sustainability, gender equality, human development, and happiness? While most first-world countries are known to do well in such rankings, it is hard to find a country that ranks high in all of these consistently year after year. And yet, Sweden is one such country. The infographic below provides an indicator of how Sweden currently fares on the global platform and why it should be at the top of your study destination ranking too.

An infographic showing Sweden ranking on innovation, sustainability, equality, human development and happiness.
Infographic on Sweden global rankings. Photo: Nozinhle

1. Innovation

Sweden is home to companies like Spotify, Ericsson, Volvo, and Electrolux who are changing the world with disruptive innovations. Stockholm, the capital city, is also known as the Silicon Valley of Europe. This is because of its vibrant technological ecosystem that has seen the growth of many successful start-ups. One cannot help but notice just how much the country is progressing in the technology space. Electric vehicles are very popular in the country and there is literally a mobile application for anything! Regardless of your study choice, and education in Sweden is bound to give you skills that are relevant to today’s industries and markets.

An electric bus charging
An electric bus charging at a station in Gothenburg. Photo: Nozinhle

2. Environmental Sustainability

In addition to its dedication to recycling and reusing materials, Sweden is currently targeting to have 100% of its electricity produced through renewable means by 2040. The country is in the top 5 countries with the most electric vehicles and has the highest carbon tax in the world. So when it comes to sustainability issues, Sweden is walking the talk. Environmental sustainability is applicable to all disciplines and as such, regardless of your study choice, the opportunity to gain first-hand experience on such initiatives is very important. The world is going green. So should you.

Solar panels mounted on a building
Solar panels mounted on a building in Trollhättan. Photo: Nozinhle

3. Gender Equality

In the past few decades, Sweden has made significant strides in closing the gender gap. Currently, close to half of the Swedish parliament is made up of women and even in daily interactions, this gender balance is quite evident. Also, Sweden has made significant progress in building a society that is inclusive to people from all walks of life regardless of religion, sexual orientation, race, and disability, to mention but a few. This makes it a good destination for international students who come from different backgrounds and are looking for a society where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination.

4. Human Development

Quality education and work-life balance are two of the key factors driving Sweden’s high human development index. As a student here, I find that the delivery of the content I am studying, the study resources available, the practical sessions included in the curriculum as well as the not-so-hectic workload all make the learning experience superior. While there is plenty of room for studying, students also have a lot of time for other activities as well. For students relocating with their families, Sweden is very family-friendly and has a lot of children facilities such as play areas, parks, and family rooms in malls.

Female students having a discussion
Students having a discussion. Photo: Maskot/Folio/

5. Happiness

Certain factors are bound to make an environment more conducive to happiness. These include a good balance between study and leisure time, good healthcare support, a feeling of belonging as well as low crime rates. Although experiences may vary from individual to individual, most international students agree that Sweden ticks most, if not all, of these boxes. Mental health is very important for one to have a fruitful and enjoyable study experience and thus, it is good to study in an environment where you feel safe, included and generally, happy.

A happy couple laughing with the woman carrying a baby
A happy family walking in Gothenburg. Photo: Sofia Sabel/

In conclusion

So clearly there were a lot of facts that set Sweden apart from other countries and made it the perfect study destination for me. After moving here, I am still convinced that I made the right choice. In case you are wondering about other factors such as the weather and the food, take a moment to get advice from other international students in this blog, this blog, and this blog.

Till next time. Hej da!


Written by Nozinhle

22 Oct 2021