Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finlandto the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.4 million has a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in general very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers. Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, which is also the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the governmentchaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Situated in Northern Europe, Sweden lies west of the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia, providing a long coastline, and forms the eastern part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. To the west is the Scandinavian mountain chain (Skanderna), a range that separates Sweden from Norway. Finland is located to its north-east. It has maritime borders with Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and it is also linked to Denmark (south-west) by the Öresund Bridge. Its border with Norway (1,619 km long) is the longest uninterrupted border within Europe.
About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, with increasing forest coverage northward. Around 65% of Sweden’s total land area is covered with forests. The highest population density is in the Öresund Region in southern Sweden, along the western coast up to central Bohuslän, and in the valley of lake Mälaren and Stockholm. Gotland and Öland are Sweden’s largest islands; Vänern and Vättern are its largest lakes. Vänern is the third largest in Europe, after Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega in Russia. Combined with the third and fourth largest lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren, these lakes take up a significant part of the southern Sweden’s area. Sweden’s extensive waterway availability throughout the south was exploited with the building of the Göta Canal in the 19th century, shortening the potential distance between the Baltic Sea south of Norrköpingand Gothenburg by using the lake and river network to facilitate the canal.
Many students choose to live in a student residence hall, also known as a dormitory, or in a building of student flats. This is usually a fun experience that gives you the chance to get to know corridormates from around the world.
Most residence halls have 10-15 single rooms in each corridor, often with a shared television room and kitchen. In some cases, rooms will have en-suite toilets, while others may have shared facilities for the corridor. Female and male students live in the same corridor.
Student flats usually include two to four bedrooms along with a shared living room, kitchen and toilet. Studio (one-room) student flats are also often available.
Both residence halls and student flats usually offer shared laundry facilities for the building. Sometimes a small fee will be charged for laundry, but in most cases laundry is free of charge for residents.
If you’re not able to find housing through your university, or if the options available don’t suit you, then you can look for room or flat on the private market.
In most cities in Sweden, most rental flats are managed by central housing services that operate queue systems for so-called ‘first-hand’ rental contracts, or contracts directly between the tenant and the owner of the property. Residents sign up for a queue in their city and are then able to apply for flats, which are allocated based on queue time. In large and medium-sized cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Uppsala or Lund, queue times for a flat can be several years. As such, on the private market the most common solution for students is finding a sublet.
Through a sublet, or ‘second-hand’ contract, you sign a contract to let a flat or a room in a flat from the current tenant. The contract terms depend on what you agree on with the person letting the flat, but usually cover the length of the rental, the monthly rent and what is included in the rent (e.g. internet, electricity and heating).
The housing office at your university should be able to offer general advice on finding private accommodation in your city, and may have information on available flats. Many student unions also have websites that help new students find available rooms.