years-experience access-alumni-network airfare airport-pick-up assistance-with-application-process community-service-placement continuous-support cultural-trips domestic-transport emergency-support field-trips global-competence-certificate grade-transcripts host-family-placement housing individual-contact-person internship-placement language-instruction meals medical-insurance orientations-during-your-time-abroad other pre-departure-orientation product-materials re-entry-orientation school-dipolma school-materials school-placement school-transport school-uniform stipend teaching-materials vaccinations visa-and-passport-fees visa-application-assistance world-wide-presence

The home of IKEA, ABBA and salty liquorice, Sweden has a lot to offer. You may find some aspects of the culture very different – from mustard and mayonnaise in tubes to the national Eurovision obsession – but the friendly people, beautiful surroundings and modern cities make Sweden an ideal exchange destination.

It’s no secret that Sweden’s location in the Arctic Circle makes it prone to cold, dark winters – but you’ll be rewarded during summer, with lots of sunshine making Sweden one of the most beautiful places to be. It’s the third largest country in Western Europe, and the most sparsely populated, meaning there are thousands of kilometres of forests, mountains, lakes and rivers untouched by humans to explore – though you’ll have to share them with the 400,000 wild moose who roam the woods!

85 per cent of Swedes live in one of Sweden’s modern cities – Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Uppsala, to name a few. If you have the opportunity, Sweden is a wonderful place to go on exchange.

Eligibility Requirements

You must be 16, 17 or 18
Enrolled in a NZ school
Getting ‘achieved’ or more in your school work
Language requirements: English, basic Swedish recommended

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Housing
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support
  • Worldwide Presence
  • 70 Years Experience

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • School Uniform
Canva – Fish Church Rose Grove Gothenburg_edited

Host family and culture

Most Swedes live in small rural towns, and while the cities are populous and modern, they retain their ancient charm with pockets of medieval streets and architecture. You could be placed throughout Sweden, though most host families live in the countryside or in small towns. Mutual respect between children and adults is nurtured from an early age. The Swedes prize personal freedom and accountability, so your responsibilities at home and school will reflect those values. Household chores are usually equally divided among family members, in small and tidy houses.

Common Swedish meals include potatoes, cheese, seafood, meat, fresh vegetables, salads, and open-faced sandwiches. Smorgasbord, a bountiful buffet, is common for special occasions. Meatballs, lingonberries, and smoked salmon are popular delicacies.

Canva – Books in the Library_edited

Language and school

Swedes speak Swedish. although almost 90% also speak English, as it has been a required subject in schools since 1849. Many Swedes speak a third language as well. You don’t have to know Swedish before starting your exchange, but some basics will certainly be helpful. AFS will support you in larning the language before and during the exchange by providing materials, links and language lessons.

School in Sweden begins in mid-August and goes until mid-June, from 8am to 3 or 4pm, though the class schedule varies bewtween programmes. Your school schedule will be determined by your interests and the classes you’ve already taken. Swedish schools offer a variety of subjects but sciences and humanities are the priorities for many. No matter what you focus on, expect to take Swedish, English and math.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.

Find out more