Where are the Vikings?



"navigator of the fjords"




The Museum of National Antiquities


The Viking Age heritage has been contorted through history - romanticized during the 19th century, as the horned helmets were made up. A horned helmet would be very impractical in combat. Most Swedes are proud of their Viking roots, though they don't take it very seriously.

Sweden is great for outdoor life - skiing, skating, hiking, canoeing, cycling, sailing and horse-riding, depending on season.

Due to allemansrätten, berry- and mushroom-picking is largely unrestricted, except of course in gardens and plantations. Angling is allowed in seawater including the Baltic Sea, as well as major lakes Vänern, Vättern, Mälaren, Hjälmaren and Storsjön. Fishing in other bodies of water often requires a license.

Stockholm and Gothenburg have great nightlife and shopping opportunities.

All education in Sweden is free for residents. Although the government has subsidized schools and classes, there also exist many private alternatives where a tuition fee is required. Students' Union membership is optional since 2010, but the union fee of around 500 SEK/year can give several perks, such as mediation of dorm rooms or entrance to union parties and events.

As a foreigner wishing to study at a Swedish university or other school of higher education, you do not have to pay tuition fees. However, the current center-right government have introduced tuition fees for non-EU/EES citizens, starting in 2011.

Some important university cities:






If you are a student there is something known as an "academic quarter" where classes and school-related events will start 15 minutes past the hour. At some schools after 18:00 this becomes a "double quarter" where events commence 30 minutes past the hour. Students are expected to be punctual and show up at the appropriate time.

You can find more useful information about studying in Sweden on the Study in Sweden website. (http://www.studyinsweden.se)

EU and EEA citizens are allowed to work in Sweden without a permit.

Citizens of some non-EU countries are permitted to work in Sweden without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay - see the 'Get in' section above for more information.

Working Holiday visas are available for Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and South Korean citizens aged between 18-30, permitting the holder to work for one year.

Citizens of other countries need a work permit, and getting one can be quite a hassle. Swedes, foreign citizens already living in Sweden, and EU/EEA citizens have preference over others in obtaining work in Sweden. Also, if the offer of work is for more than three months, you will also require a Swedish residency permit. More information about the paperwork required is found on the government website swedenabroad.com (http://www.swedenabroad.com/).

As for finding a job, you could try the public "Arbetsförmedlingen" 'Public Employment Service' and give it a try. However, you can also buy a lottery ticket, you will have roughly the same chance to get an income that way. Usually jobs are better provided by certain knowledges and luck. Sweden has an official unemployment rate of about 7.1% Nov 2010. Salaries range from 15,000 to 70,000 SEK $2200-$10300/€1600-€7700 per month 2008, but the average salary is around 30 000 SEK, April 2011 $4500/€3100, and are typically paid only once per month.

the year in sweden

Swedish weather is best during summer late May to early September. If you like snow, go to Norrland or Dalarna in January to April.

Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Stockholm, the sun sets at 3 PM in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and Arctic night. However, even at Stockholm's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July.

The major holidays are Easter, Midsummer celebrated from the eve of the Friday between June 19 - 25, Christmas Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays, and the "industrial vacation" throughout July. Expect closed establishments, heavy traffic for the holidays and crowded tourist resorts for July.

Note that most Swedish holidays are celebrated on the day before Midsummer's Eve, Christmas Eve etc, while Swedish people do hardly anything on the holiday proper.