Being the capital of Sweden, according to Countryaah.com, Stockholm is the largest city in the country and also the largest in number of universities. Most students are concentrated in one of the four major universities in the city: the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the University of Stockholm, the Karolinska Institute and the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE). Each of them has its own focus and specialties. The Karolinska Institute, for example, is one of the world leaders in Health Sciences, while SSE leads in the Business field.
Outside the classroom, Stockholm offers all the cultural experiences you would expect to find in a large European city, but with an especially Swedish twist. Whether through its stunning architecture or the countless cafes that can be enjoyed during breaks between classes and on weekends, Stockholm will offer you the best essence of Sweden and serve as a great base for exploring the rest of the country or even the continent, as the local airport has several options for cheap flights to other European countries.
In the southern part of Sweden (and a short 11-minute train ride from neighboring Malmö, the country’s third largest city), Lund is a quintessential Swedish university city. Almost half of the city’s population is made up of students from Lund University, which has more than 300 study programs and more than 2,000 courses!
Lund also has its advantages beyond the academic world. By train, it is just a 52-minute drive to Copenhagen, Denmark. For Stockholm and Gothenburg, the distances are 4 and 2 hours, respectively. That is, from Lund you can easily explore some of the largest cities in this region of Scandinavia and use Copenhagen as a starting point to discover the rest of Europe on weekend trips.
It may be that when you arrive in Gothenburg you get a little confused. Due to its numerous channels, it is not difficult to think that the city looks more like a Dutch city. And there is an explanation for that: the city was originally a Dutch colony!
Over the centuries, however, Gothenburg has attracted settlers from across Europe, including Germans and Scots. The mixture of these cultures with traditional Swedish culture has created an ethnic melting pot that will make you feel like you are in one of the largest cities in Europe.
In the field of education, the two main educational institutions are the University of Gothenburg and the Chalmers Institute of Technology, both with several options for undergraduate and graduate courses.
Another important fact is that, being the largest port city in the Nordic region, Gothenburg also attracts important businesses and companies in the region, such as the automotive manufacturer Volvo and AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company. That is, opportunities for internships are not lacking there.
Among the Swedish cities on that list, Umeå is the most northerly, just 400 km from the Arctic Circle. It is the perfect city in Sweden to admire the beauty of the northern lights and, even with less than 130 thousand inhabitants, it is home to two important universities: the University of Umeå and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Together, these two institutions attract around 40,000 students every year, giving a unique vibe to the region. Like Lund, it is a university city par excellence.
Umeå was also named European Capital of Culture in 2014 (along with Riga, Latvia), so there are many opportunities to experience Swedish culture between classes and on weekends. When it comes to exploring the rest of the country and the continent, you can opt for a low-cost flight to Stockholm and plan your trips from there. It is also possible to fly from Umeå airport to Kiruna, in the far north of the country.
Also in the north of Sweden, Uppsala is the fourth largest city in the country and a popular destination for students. There you will find the largest cathedral in Scandinavia and the oldest university in Sweden, the University of Uppsala, founded in 1477 and which today is one of the best in the country and particularly strong in the fields of Natural Sciences. A curiosity is that many of the traditions of Swedish higher education have emerged in the city.