Tips for going on an internship abroad in Sweden: welcome. Sweden is the 5th largest country in Europe in terms of surface area. Its landscape is multi-faceted, with a balance of dense forests, mountain ranges and lakes bordering the big cities: it’s sublime! Sweden is full of surprises, but you’ll have to take a few things into account to get things right once you’re in the country! Incidentally, just for the in-country travel part, we’ve put together a top 10 list of the nicest towns to visit in Sweden.
Tips for going on an internship abroad in Sweden: what you need to pack in your suitcase
Here is a list of specific elements to consider for an internship in Sweden:
- Warm clothing: Sweden can be very cold, especially in winter, so make sure you pack appropriate clothing, such as woollen jumpers, padded jackets, thermal trousers, hats, gloves and scarves.
- Waterproof clothing: Sweden is known for its changeable climate and frequent downpours. So make sure you bring waterproof clothing, such as a rain jacket and rain trousers, to keep you dry when you’re on the move.
- Sturdy footwear: Waterproof, hard-wearing footwear is essential for walking on a variety of terrain, whether in town or in the great outdoors. Choose hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes.
- Socket adapter: Sweden uses type C and F sockets with a voltage of 230 V. Make sure you take a plug adapter with you if your electrical appliances use another type of plug.
- Hiking rucksack: If you’re planning to explore the Swedish countryside in your spare time, a hiking rucksack will come in very handy for carrying water, snacks, a first-aid kit and other essentials.
- Protection against mosquitoes: In summer, there can be a large number of mosquitoes in Sweden. Take along an effective mosquito repellent and light, long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from bites.
Public transport card or app: If you’re planning to use public transport, it can be useful to have a public transport card or download an app to make your journey easier.
- Currency converter: Although Sweden uses the Swedish krona (SEK) as its currency, it is advisable to have a currency converter to help you manage your expenses and estimate costs during your stay.
Don’t forget to check the specific requirements for your placement and destination in Sweden, as well as the current travel recommendations.
Advice for your work placement abroad in Sweden: managing your budget
Managing your purchasing power as a student in Sweden is essential to maintaining financial balance during your stay. Here are some tips to help you manage your spending:
- Budget: Draw up a realistic budget based on your monthly income and expenses. Identify unavoidable expenses such as housing, transport, food, utilities and so on. Also allocate part of your budget to discretionary spending, such as outings and leisure activities.
- Affordable housing: Look for affordable housing options, such as halls of residence or shared accommodation, which can be cheaper than renting a single flat. Don’t forget to factor in additional costs such as utilities, electricity and internet.
- Budget meals: Cooking your meals at home is generally cheaper than eating out or buying ready meals. Shop at local supermarkets and look out for special offers to save on your food budget. Go for local and seasonal produce, which can be cheaper.
- Public transport: Use public transport to get around as much as possible. Sweden has a well-developed public transport network, including buses, trains and the metro, which are generally affordable for students. Find out about student passes or monthly travel cards to save on regular journeys.
- Discounts for students: Take advantage of discounts and benefits specifically for students. Many institutions, museums, cinemas and shops offer reduced rates or special offers for students. Don’t forget to show your student card to benefit from these advantages.
- Managing outings and leisure activities: Plan your outings and leisure activities to stay within your budget. Look for free or low-cost alternatives, such as parks, free cultural events, guided walking tours, etc. There are often affordable options for enjoying student life in Sweden.
- Control your spending: Tracking your spending regularly will help you understand where your money is going and identify areas where you can make savings. Use budget management apps or tools to help you track your spending and keep a clear view of your spending power.
It is also useful to find out about grants and financial aid for which you may be eligible as a student in Sweden. Don’t hesitate to consult the resources available from your educational establishment and contact the student aid services for further advice on managing your budget.
Tips for working abroad in Sweden: what’s there to see?
Sweden’s heritage is rich and diverse, reflecting the country’s history and culture. Here are just a few of the highlights of Sweden’s heritage:
- Historic sites: Sweden has many historic sites, such as the Royal Palace in Stockholm, an imposing building dating back to the 13th century and the official residence of the Swedish royal family. The Vasa Museum in Stockholm is home to the world’s only almost completely preserved 17th-century ship.
- Traditional architecture: Traditional Swedish architecture is marked by Scandinavian influences and unique features. The colourful wooden houses of the Dalarna region, known as “stugas”, are emblematic of Sweden. Medieval stone churches, such as Uppsala Cathedral, are also part of the country’s architectural heritage.
- Viking heritage: Sweden has a rich Viking history, and vestiges of that era can still be seen today. The site of Birka, on the island of Björkö, is an ancient Viking trading town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Rök runestone near Lake Vättern is a famous runic inscription dating from the 9th century.
- Swedish art: Sweden also has a notable artistic tradition. Modern and contemporary Swedish art is on display in museums such as the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Swedish folk art, with its colourful motifs and craft techniques, is also popular.
- Natural heritage: Sweden is renowned for its natural beauty. The varied landscapes include dense forests, sparkling lakes, coastal archipelagos and majestic mountains. National parks such as Abisko, Sarek and Kosterhavet offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching and outdoor relaxation.
- Traditions and festivals: Swedish traditions are celebrated through festivals and events throughout the year. Midsommar, St John’s Day, is a popular summer celebration where Swedes gather to dance around the maypole and enjoy nature. Lucia, on 13 December, is a traditional festival of light marking the start of the festive season.
Advice for an internship abroad in Sweden: adapting to Swedish culture
Here are a few tips to help you adapt to Swedish culture during your work placement in Sweden:
- Punctuality: Swedes attach great importance to punctuality. Make sure you arrive on time for your business appointments and stick to set times.
- Respect for personal space: In Sweden, personal space is important. It is preferable to maintain a certain physical distance during professional interactions, unless a close relationship has already been established.
- Direct communication and honesty: Swedes tend to be direct in their communication. It is appreciated to express opinions clearly and honestly, while respecting other points of view.
- Hierarchy and decision-making: Swedish culture generally favours a democratic and participative approach to decision-making. Even if you’re a trainee, don’t hesitate to contribute your ideas and suggestions, while respecting the organisation’s hierarchical structure.
- Teamwork: Collaboration and teamwork are valued in Sweden. Be prepared to contribute actively to group projects and share your ideas constructively.
- Equality and respect: Sweden is known for its culture of equality and mutual respect. Treat your colleagues with respect, regardless of their status, and avoid discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin or any other characteristic.
- Fika: The “fika” is a Swedish tradition involving a coffee break accompanied by a pastry or snack. Take part in fika moments with your colleagues, as it’s an opportunity to socialise and strengthen professional ties.
- Learning the language: Although many Swedes are fluent in English, learning a few basic phrases in Swedish can be appreciated and will make your day-to-day interactions easier.
- Respect for the rules and the environment: Sweden is a country that attaches great importance to the environment. Make sure you follow the rules when it comes to sorting waste, consuming responsibly and preserving nature.
- Cultural curiosity: Be open to discovering Swedish culture. Explore local customs, traditional cuisine, outdoor activities and cultural events to enrich your experience of Sweden.
By showing an interest in Swedish culture and being respectful and open-minded, you’ll be well prepared to integrate and make the most of your work placement in Sweden.
Do you need more tips on applying for an internship abroad in Sweden? Contact us here about your work placement abroad in Sweden and we’ll be delighted to help you find the best possible placement in Scandinavia!
For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.