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Sweden

About Country

Sweden has the largest population of the Nordic countries. It is separated in the west from Norway by a range of mountains and shares the Gulf of Bothnia to the north of the Baltic Sea with Finland.

The southern part of the country is chiefly agricultural, with forests covering an increasing percentage of the land the further north one goes. Population density is also higher in southern Sweden, with many people living in the valley of Lake Mälaren and the Öresund region.

In 1971 the Riksdag became a single-chamber Parliament. Its 349 members are elected on the basis of proportional representation for a four-year term.

The country has at least 17 000 indigenous Samis among its population - a community that derives most of its income from reindeer. Sweden is also home to a small number of ethnic Finns.

Sweden exports cars, engineering products, steel, electronic devices, communications equipment and paper products.

Swedes played a pioneering role of the early days of cinema. Leading the way were Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. Later on, directors like Ingmar Bergman and actresses such as Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Anita Ekberg made careers abroad. Swedish music is in many minds synonymous with the '70s pop group ABBA.

Why Study in Sweden

When you study in Sweden, you're encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically. At Swedish universities, the emphasis is firmly on developing your ability to question the status quo by assessing information, seeking new perspectives and coming up with well-informed opinions. You'll be free to think creatively because of the informal and non-hierarchical nature of Swedish society, where everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas and opinions. Expect to have an open and informal relationship with your professors.

Sweden has a long and proud history of academic excellence and despite its relatively small population, it's home to some of the world's best universities. In 2013 the Swedish higher education system was ranked number two in the world. Several Swedish universities are ranked by the Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) as being among the world's top seats of learning.

If you're concerned with sustainable development for a greener future, you'll find many kindred spirits here in Sweden. Environmental issues are high priority here, and Sweden has been named the most sustainable country in the world for its use of renewable energy and low carbon dioxide emissions (it has the highest percentage of renewable energy in the EU). The overall aim of environmental policy in Sweden is highly ambitious: to pass on to the next generation a society in which all the major environmental problems have been solved.

Swedish society is known for its inclusiveness and egalitarianism. You may have heard Sweden referred to as the most equal country in the world. It consistently places among the world's top countries in gender equality, while lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Sweden are regarded as among the most progressive in the world.

What is the most important characteristic you'll need for success in your career? According to a global study of CEOs, it's creativity. And creativity is exactly what studying in Sweden will encourage, along with other in-demand skills such as how to combine theory and practice, and how to navigate complex situations where there's no easy solution.