Did you know that Sweden is a 1 574 kilometer long country with nearly 100 000 lakes? Pretty impressive. The country has great coastlines and lots of vast forests. But also charming cities, both big and small, from Malmö in the south to Kiruna in the north. Stockholm, the Swedish capital, is a lively city located in the most amazing archipelago.
It is a beautiful country with great wildlife and plenty of wide open spaces. If you're lucky you'll see the King of Sweden, or at least the king of the forest, the famous moose. Come join us for a genuine experience!
High School Classic
High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we find you a suitable host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in Sweden, from the vast and beautiful countryside to the culturally fascinating cities! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.
High School 2-in-1
Experience two new countries in one year! The new High School 2-in-1 programme gives you the unique opportunity to spend each semester of your high school exchange in a different country. You can learn an extra language, gain insight into yet another culture and make even more international friends.
Order our brochure now and read all about STS High School, our destinations and a very special period abroad that could be the adventure of your life!
Right now you will get the Christmas edition of our inspiring brochure, complete with printable STS Christmas cards!
Sweden is the birthplace of storyteller Astrid Lindgren, the Nobel Prize, IKEA, Volvo and artists like ABBA, Roxette, Ace of Base, Robyn and Swedish House Mafia. Sweden is actually the world’s number one exporter of chart music in relation to its GDP. The producer and songwriter Max Martin has the third-most number one singles on the Billboard chart, behind only Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Surely something to be proud of!
If you’re into music, bring your own instrument and immerse yourself in the Swedish music industry during your exchange year.
Population: 9,9 million Area: 450 000 km2 Government: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy Capital: Stockholm (910 000 in city) Currency: Swedish krona (SEK) Country code: +46
School life in Sweden
A friendly atmosphere. Open and informal contact between teachers and students. Teaching methods where you get a lot of freedom, searching for information on your own. Being a high school student in Sweden is a wonderful time and a life changing experience. Come and see for yourself!
The Swedish school system
School in Sweden is compulsory for all children between 7 and 16 years of age. You attend high school, called gymnasium, between the age of 16 to 19. This is voluntary but almost all Swedish young people choose to attend. Swedish students can choose from a variety of high school programmes, such as economics, social sciences, natural sciences and aesthetics. Exchange students are usually placed in the first or second grade in high school.
No previous knowledge of the Swedish language is required in order to participate in our exchange programme here. However, we do recommend that you take a language course after school.
School start and holidays
The Swedish school year is divided into two semesters. Fall semester begins in August and ends in mid-December. Spring semester is from early January to mid-June. During the school year, everyone has a fall break for one week in October, two weeks of Christmas holidays, one week winter break (often referred to a sports break) in February and one week off around Easter.
You will attend school Monday through Friday. Class usually begins between 8 to 9 am and ends around 3 or 4 pm, with a break for lunch, which you will have in the school canteen.
Your Swedish host family
Our Swedish host families live all across the country. In Swedish households, both adults usually work full time and most families have a packed weekly schedule. However, they care a lot about making time for family and will be curious to get to know you and your culture. Your host parents will treat you like their own son or daughter, doing everything to make you feel at home.
Responsibility and support
Swedish teenagers have a lot of freedom, but their parents are careful to make sure that they follow the set rules. This obviously also applies for you as an exchange student in the family. This mindset will make you grow as a person with the full support from your host family.
Helping out at home
In Sweden, the whole family helps out with the housework. Swedish youngsters are naturally expected to help with all the chores in the home, like washing or operating the dishwasher, keeping the house clean and tidy and shopping and cooking. As an exchange student you are naturally expected to help out, just like everyone else in the family, by making your bed and cleaning your room.
Ask if you can help out in the kitchen too and learn to cook some Swedish specialties, like the famous meatballs or the delicious cinnamon roll, or kanelbulle as it’s called in Swedish.
Who can go: 16–18 years on arrival
Departure month: January/August/December
Language requirements: No previous knowledge required
Choice of destination: No
Prep course: STS Welcome Camp included
School year: August–June
School day: Usually 08.00 – 15.30
Trips in the country: Day trips and outings. Additional cost
For me, being on exchange was sometimes like having an out of body experience, because it would be so incredible that I could not believe it was actually happening to me. / Madeline Heal
Free time in Sweden
Green and beautiful in summer, cold and snowy in winter. Excitement in the air in spring and beautiful coloured trees and cozy indoor activities in fall. Sweden has four clear seasons to be proud of. If you love the sea and appreciate nature, Sweden is the ideal choice.
The mountains in the northern part of the country offer great skiing in the winter, both downhill and cross-country. In summer you can go sailing, fishing, hiking or exploring Swedish nature in other ways. You will probably have lots of traditional fika, meaning having a cup of coffee and often something sweet.
Find a sports team
Many of your Swedish friends will be into sports. Ask your host family for help to find a team for you. Popular sports include soccer, hockey, handball, sailing, golf, tennis and the Swedish classic called floorball. If you’re not looking for a team but still want to stay in shape, join your friends when they go running or go to the gym.
Bring your instrument
The Swedish music scene is well known, with a long list of famous artists in both pop, opera and classical music. Many world-famous artists hold concerts in different parts of Sweden; summer especially is the time for major music festivals. If you play a musical instrument, bring it with you. It is an ideal way to both have fun and make new friends.
Trips in Scandinavia
Take the chance to see more of Scandinavia. We invite all our exchange students in the Nordic countries to join us for three exciting trips. In March/April, we will go skiing in Lillehammer and Hafjell in Norway. There is also an optional day in Norway’s capital Oslo during this trip. In May, you can follow us to visit Denmark’s biggest indoor waterpark Lalandia and also the famous theme park Legoland.
December is the ideal time to visit the official hometown of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is located in the Finnish Lapland north of the Arctic Circle. A really cool experience. All trips are an additional cost. Your local contact person will give you more detailed information.
STS Welcome Camp in Paris
Your exchange begins with our fun Welcome Camp in Paris! The Welcome Camp gives you the best possible start to your exchange, and is packed with sightseeing, seminars, new friends and lots of fun.
Air fares to host family and back
Accommodation in an approved host family
Full board in a host family
School spot in a public high school
Personal assistance and contact person from home country and host country
STS Welcome Camp
Pre-departure orientation in your home country
Emergency support 24/7
Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
STS bag and t-shirt
STS Ambassador Club
High School Classic
Don’t forget to check out our Video Scholarship Challenge. Send us a video explaining why you would be a great exchange student and get the chance to receive a scholarship for your high school exchange. Find all information and instructions here
Yes, no matter where you go, we have a local representative at your location. It is the local area representative who works to approve our host families, have contact with schools and will be your supporter and advisor during your exchange year.
The easiest way to apply is to visit the page of your favourite destination and click the "Apply now" button. Your application is not binding, and you make your final decision once you have been accepted.