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Swedish culture: what should you know about?

Hej everyone! I will share some thoughts about Swedish culture and a few things you should know before starting your best years in Sweden!

stockholm view city centre water buildings

Queuing

I think the British invented queueing as a phenomenon, but people are also queueing everywhere in Sweden! The Swedish are so patient and polite and will never cut the queue! Even to call to book a doctor’s appointment, people “queue on the line”. Fair and square!

Recycling

Sorting waste is a Swedish habit that everyone should follow! It almost feels like Swedish people are born with it (because they are so good at it and no questions asked!). Student accommodations have small shed-like structures to recycle waste properly. I think the government is doing a great job handling waste. You will be surprised by how incredibly clean the streets are in Stockholm!

“Early birds”

People tend to start their day early! Early morning light fills you with energy and sets you up for the day! The earlier you start, the sooner you finish, right? Don’t worry, bars and restaurants are open till late (10-11 am, depending on the weekday, Fridays till 2-3 am)! I guess that’s where you could spend your time if you finish your work early! Another great thing: trains run ALL NIGHT on Fridays and Saturdays. Every week. You could probably imagine: summer nights, trains are filled with cheerful young people…

art museum stockholm rooftop
The colorful city center of Stockholm

Humbleness

Humbleness is the most admired character in Swedish people for me! Mostly, they make communication so easy and flowy. Also, they don’t take credit for their absolutely fantastic work, including tutors at KTH!

In many ways, Swedes are excellent listeners as opposed to ensuring their voice is heard too. Well makes sense!

Equality and Individualism

Swedish culture and society is based on equality and individualism. Due to Sweden’s strong leaning towards egalitarianism, competition is not encouraged, and children are raised to believe they are as good as others in their unique way. This view is very much applied in education at KTH as well! I will tell you more about it in my next blog.

Work-life balance

Swedes often use the word – Lagom. What is Lagom? Lagom literally means not too much, not too little, the right amount, and is a philosophy that aims to balance in every area and juncture of everyday life. Lagom is the secret that explains a lifestyle based on social awareness, moderation, and sustainability. So, this work-life balance is very much a cultural thing here!

If you are interested in the perks of education at KTH, you could check out Lorenzo’s post about it! Also, do you feel like forgetting something for the application? Peek at Raygo’s checklist for the application.

See you!

//Martyna

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