STS High School 14–18 years of age
Welcome to Sweden!

High School in Sweden

Age 15-18

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.

Let's meet

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Swedish music

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.

Quick facts

  • Who can go: 15–18 years on arrival
  • Departure month: January/August/December
  • Language requirements: No previous knowledge required
  • Visa: Yes
  • Prep course: STS Welcome Camp included
  • School year: August–June
  • School day: Usually 08.00 – 16.00
  • Subjects: Compulsory
  • Trips in the country: Weekend in Gothenburg incl. 
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. 

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 discover more during your exchange. We organise several optional trips throughout the year, both in Sweden and possibly in the neighbouring Nordic countries as well. They offer a chance to visit new parts of the country, meet other international students and experience even more during your time abroad. These trips are not included in your programme fee, but all our students in Sweden are welcome to join! Contact your local coordinator for more information on upcoming trips.

STS Welcome Camp in Europe

Your exchange begins with our fun Welcome Camp in Europe! The Welcome Camp gives you the best possible start to your exchange, and is packed with sightseeing, seminars, new friends and lots of fun.

What's included

  • Journey to host family and back
  • Accommodation in a host family
  • Full board in a host family
  • School spot in a local high school 
  • Personal assistance and contact person in both home and host country
  • STS Welcome Camp 
  • Online pre-departure meeting
  • Emergency support 24/7
  • Free interview
  • Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
  • STS bag
  • STS Diploma


Please note that the transport to your destination and back is not included the program fee.

Sales Year
10 months
From 10 350 €
5 months
From 9 350 €
5 months
From 9 350 €
10 months
From 10 350 €
5 months
From 9 350 €


About you/the student