Coming to Sweden
Sweden stretches 1,500 kilometres from white sand beaches in the south to snow-covered mountains in the north. Sweden has the largest population of the Nordic countries. Mountains to the west mark the border with Norway. It shares a border with Finland along the Gulf of Bothnia at the northern end of the Baltic Sea.
The people of Sweden are trendsetters and are quick to embrace international ideas, so its art, music and design industry are vibrant and innovative. Multinational companies such as IKEA and H&M began here and still have their headquarters in Sweden. Sweden exports cars (Saab and Volvo), engineering products, steel, electronic devices, communications equipment and paper products.
Sweden has a rich history dating back to the legendary Vikings, who were one of the first peoples to travel the world. All over Sweden there are remains from this time, including rune stones (engravings) and Viking villages that have been restored so the visitor can gain an impression of what life was like in the Viking era. Sweden remained neutral in both World Wars, so did not suffer the hardship and devastation that occurred elsewhere in Europe. Historical architecture from different eras is well preserved.
The official language of Sweden is Swedish, but everyone studies English from the age of nine and television shows and movies are sub-titled, not dubbed. As a result, Swedes speak very good English and you will manage very well without being able to speak Swedish. If you do want to learn the language, most universities offer language courses for international students.
The Swedish cuisine is known for its Smorgasbord (a buffet of savoury delicacies), Baltic herring, meatballs, pea soup and pancakes.