This page aims to provide candidates who are going to be moving to Sweden with basic helpful information. Essential information, Culture and Education in Sweden are provided below:

Essential info

  • Population: About 9.4 million
  • Major religions: Christianity (Lutheran)
  • Capital city: Stockholm (also largest city)
  • Legal system: Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary representative democracy
  • Main languages: Swedish (official)and it is generally easy to communicate in English as well.
  • Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October.)
  • Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz. Standard European two-pin plugs are used.
  • Currency: The Swedish Krona (SEK), divided into 100 ore.
  • Tipping: Although service charges are built into restaurant bills, an extra tip of 7 to 10 percent is expected for dinners. It is normal to round up the fare when paying for a taxi. While not expected, tips are appreciated for good service in hotels.
  • International dialling code: +46. City/area codes are in use, e.g. 08 for Stockholm.
  • Emergency numbers: 112
  • Internet TLD: .se
  • Drives on the: Right



Expats moving to Sweden are likely to enter with some degree of comfort. Sweden is, after all, very Western and is similar to its modern counterparts worldwide. It’s fairly easy to find most products, but if not, there will be an equivalent to get by with. However, there will inevitably be bumps in the road that any non-native will encounter. The country definitely has its quirks but expats who make the most of them get by just fine without suffering too much culture shock in Sweden. Expats must remember to take their shoes off. The first faux pas people often make is entering a Swedish home without doing removing their shoes. Shoe removal is key to making a good impression in Sweden. In the business context, Swedes tend to be formal, egalitarian and have little concern for status. They tend to maintain strict boundaries between work and private life, so being invited to the home of a business colleague is very rare. Small talk is not really done, and gift giving is not acceptable practice. Compromise, negotiated solutions and total honesty are considered to be important values in all business dealings.

For further info on culture in Sweden click here: Culture



Public education in Sweden is compulsory and free for all children between the ages of seven and 16. In addition to the public schools system, expat parents also have the option of sending their children to a private or international school in Sweden.

The academic year starts in mid-August and runs to the beginning of June the following year, and is divided into two semesters; the autumn term and the spring term. There are several mid-term holidays during the school year – höstlov in October, the Christmas holidays (jullov), sportlov in February, påsklov around Easter, and then three months for summer vacation (sommarlov).

Children in Sweden start school when they are seven years old. Primary school is divided into three stages, consisting of elementary school (Grades 1 to 3), middle school (Grades 4 to 6) and high school (Grades 7 to 9). Primary school is followed by upper secondary school (gymnasieskola) which is not compulsory. However, most children do fulfill secondary education to be able to get good jobs in the future.

For further info on education in Sweden click here: Education & Schools


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