European Campus


 Study in Sweden
ABOUT Sweden

STUDY IN  Sweden - About Sweden

General Information    |    Geography    |    Government    |    Communication

General Information

Area: 449,964 sq km (173,732 sq miles).

Population: 8,909,128 (official estimate 2001).

Population Density: 19.8 per sq km

Capital: Stockholm

Ethnicity / Race:

Independence: 6 June 1523 (Gustav VASA elected king)

Language: Swedish. Lapp is spoken by the Sámi population in the north; there are also Finnish-speaking minorities. English is taught as the first foreign language from the age of 9.

Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK) = 100 öre. Notes are in denominations of SEK10,000, 1000, 500, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of SEK10, 5 and 1, and 50 öre.

Religion: Around 86 per cent of the population belong to the Church of Sweden (Evangelical Lutheran), separated from the state in January 2000; other Protestant minorities constitute the majority of the remainder.

Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Electricity: 230 volts, three-phase AC, 50Hz. Two-pin continental plugs are used.

Travelers' Diarrhea - Travelers' Diarrhea, the number one illness in travelers, can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.

Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate - A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in tropical South America or sub-Saharan Africa. (There is no risk for yellow fever in Western Europe.) For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements[on the CDC website].

Tickborne encephalitis - Tickborne encephalitis, a viral infection of the central nervous system, occurs chiefly in Central and Western Europe. Travelers are at risk who visit or work in forested areas during the summer months and who consume unpasteurized dairy products. The vaccine for this disease is not available in the United States at this time. To prevent tickborne encephalitis, as well as Lyme disease, travelers should take precautions to prevent tick bites.

Customs: Sweden is a land of cultural contrast, from the Danish influence of the southwest to the nomadic Laplanders in the wild Arctic north. And while urban Sweden is stylish, modern and sophisticated, the countryside offers many simpler pleasures for those in search of tranquillity.

Sweden’s scenery has a gentler charm than that of neighbouring Norway’s rugged coast. Much of Sweden is swathed in forest, and there are thousands of lakes, notably large stretches of water between Gothenburg and the capital, Stockholm. The lakeside resort of Östersund, in the centre of Sweden, is popular with Scandinavians, but most visitors opt first for the cities and the Baltic islands: the largest island, Gotland, with its array of ruined medieval churches, is a particular highlight. Another major attraction is the so-called ‘Kingdom of Crystal’, a forested area between Malmö and Stockholm boasting many fine glassworks.

The land, as well as its people, has an air of reserved calm, and while best known for its automotive and musical exports – Volvo and Abba are pretty much household names – a strong historical undertone bubbles close beneath the surface. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Stockholm, where dozens of museums deal with all imaginable aspects of the past, and medieval and Baroque edifices housing boutiques and cafes overlook the attractive harbour.

Communications: Telephone system: general assessment: excellent domestic and international facilities; automatic system
domestic: coaxial and multiconductor cables carry most of the voice traffic; parallel microwave radio relay systems carry some additional telephone channels
international: 5 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions); note - Sweden shares the Inmarsat earth station with the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway)



Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway

Geographic coordinates: 62 00 N, 15 00 E

total: 449,964 sq km
Water: 39,030 sq km
Land: 410,934 sq km

Coastline: 3,218 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: agreed boundaries or midlines
territorial sea: 12 NM (adjustments made to return a portion of straits to high seas)

Climate: temperate in south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers; subarctic in north

Terrain: mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands; mountains in west

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Kebnekaise 2,111 m

Natural resources: zinc, iron ore, lead, copper, silver, timber, uranium, hydropower

Natural hazards: ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic

Geography - note: Sweden is bordered by Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast, with a long Baltic coast to the east and south. Approximately half the country is forested and most of the many thousands of lakes are situated in the southern central area. The largest lake is Vänern, with an area of 5540 sq km (2140 sq miles). Swedish Lapland to the north is mountainous and extends into the Arctic Circle.



Sweden Government

Government Structure: Constitutional monarchy. Gained independence from Denmark in 1523. Head of State: King Carl XVI since 1973. Head of Government: Prime Minister Göran Persson since 1996. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the single-chamber 349-member Riksdag (Parliament), which is directly elected for a 3-year term. A prime minister and cabinet are drawn from the largest party or coalition of parties.




Telephone: Full IDD is available. Country code: 46. Outgoing international code: 00. Unlike in other European countries, telephones are not found in post offices but in special ‘Telegraph Offices’. There are three types of payphone: they take cash, phonecards or credit cards. Credit card phones (indicated by a ‘CCC’ sign) are widely available. Phonecards can be bought from newsagents’ shops or kiosks.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900/1800 networks are available. Main network providers include: Comviq (website:, Telia AB (website: and Vodafone (website: Coverage is available across most of the country.

Fax: An excellent service is widely available throughout the country.

Internet: Main ISPs include Dataphone (website:, Net Guide Scandinavia (website: and Svenska Internet Centralen (website: Internet cafes exist in all main urban areas.

Telegram: Telegrams can be sent from most hotels and post offices.

Post: Post offices are open during normal shopping hours (Mon-Fri 0800-2200, Sat 0900-1500). Some branches may be closed Saturday during July. Post boxes are yellow. Stamps and aerograms are on sale at post offices and also at most bookstalls and stationers. Airmail within Europe takes 3 to 4 days. Poste Restante facilities are widely available in post offices.

Press: The provinces have their own newspapers which are widely read in their respective regions; the major dailies are confined largely to the capital and include such titles as Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Expressen and Svenska Dagbladet. Many papers are financed by political parties but independence and freedom of the press is firmly maintained. All papers are in Swedish.

Radio: BBC World Service Website: From time to time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date can be found online.


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