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Sweden

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Sweden is situated in the north of Europe, it is also known as one of the Scandinavian or Nordic countries.

With an area of around 500.000 km2 (3rd largest country in Europe) and a population of over 9.000.000 people, it is a low density country. 84 percent of the population lives in urban areas, which take up only 1.3 percent of the total land area. So be prepared for large spaces!

Language: The main language is Swedish. However, thanks to good foreign language schooling, international media and the possibility of going abroad for studies, most people speak at least English fluently and/or another foreign language.

Coming to Sweden to learn Swedish as a native English-speaker can be tricky. Most Swedes view this as an opportunity to improve their English, rather than to help you with your Swedish. Furthermore, due to their common sense of humility, Swedes find it odd that anyone would care to learn their small language. Don't give up though, you just have to be a bit stubborn!

A note for travelers, or those planning to stay for a few months - the Swedish language is very direct, and Swedes tend to use English as directly as possible. This can sometimes result in perceived rudeness - ie, the word 'please' (snälla in Swedish) is not as commonly used in Swedish as it is in English.

Government: Constitutional Monarchy, Member of the European Union

Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)

Weather: The weather is one of the greatest conversation topics in Sweden, to keep track of the weather and have something to say when bonding with Swedes: SMHI

Contents

Sweden in CouchSurfing

The Sweden Group

The Sweden group currently consists of 840 members, and it continues to grow. The group is currently working hard to create a strong and welcoming community

The Sweden CS Organization Group

Is a group created to strengthen the communication and collaboration between local CS communities around Sweden. This through discussions on how to improve the CS community, through arranging meetings, inspiring each other and giving support. The group consists of all the Swedish Ambassadors, all the moderators of all the Swedish groups and other devoted members.

Cities/Regions & Ambassadors

Dalarna

One of Sweden's 25 historical regions situated in the middle of the country.

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel
Borlänge

Largest city in Dalarna and its most important for industry and trading.

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Gnosjö

Göteborg

The second largest city in Sweden. Also known in English as Gothenburg.

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Göteborg to Strömstad

The Swedish northern west coast with its archipelago and islands.

Linköping

The fifth largest city in Sweden. Linköping is the capital of Östergötland county. 3 describing words: Air craft museum, students & university.

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Kiruna / Jukkasjärvi

No ambassadors

Lund

Another big student town

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Malmö

The third largest city and Swedish door to the continent.

No ambassadors

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Nyköping

Cozy small town with the third largest airport (Skavsta) located just outside the city

No ambassadors

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Stockholm

Sweden's capital and largest city.

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Sundsvall

Umeå

Uppsala

The fourth largest city in Sweden. Religious center of Sweden since 1164. Big university town and plenty of history

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Värmland

The home county of famous writers and artists.

Västerås

  • City Ambassadors
    • None

Örebro

The 7th largest municipality in Sweden.

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Being a Guest in Sweden

  • In Swedish homes everybody takes off their shoes at the door.
  • Swedes tend to be practical and to the point, do not mistake that for rudeness.
  • But it happens also that Swedes disapprove behaviour and will not tell. Be attentive to non-verbal notations.
  • The custom in Sweden is that everyone pays for exactly what they have ordered in a restaurant or a bar. However it is never bad to pay for someone if one cares to do a nice gesture.
  • Because of the high price of alcohol, when invited to a party everybody brings their own alcohol, some share it but most don't. If you are not offered a drink, assume the bottle is off limits.
  • Smoking inside homes is very uncommon, even smokers go outside from their own apartment to smoke.
  • You can drink the tap water.
  • In the Summer people swim in most lakes and bodies of water. This can seem strange to those who come from areas there the water is too polluted to swim in. If the Swedes are not in doubt, you should probably not be either.

Sweden Threads

Tips on things to avoid doing while visiting Sweden

Language

BBC Languages Quick Fix Swedish - Essential holiday phrases. Now with mp3 downloads.

Language Kompis - A language exchange community.

Lexin - Online dictionary from various languages to Swedish (and reverse).

Tyda - Online Swedish-English dictionary, just started with English-Swedish too.

Svenska utifrån - A book in Swedish to learn Swedish.

Digitala Spåret - Exercises for different levels and plenty of valuable links to train Swedish reading and listening

Mål 1 - Exercises to a course book called Mål 1

Safir -Exercises for spoken language

8 sidor -Listen to and read news in Easy Swedish

Lättläst Texts in Easy Swedish

Useful Words

Lagom - word that lacks a counterpart in most languages. It basically means "not too much, not too little, but just the right amount." This explains the Swedish desire to live a normal, pleasant life, without standing out from the crowd too much.

Tack - the very handy equivilant of 'thanks!'

CouchSurfing in Swedish Media

Work

Links About Sweden

Wikipedia

Lonely Planet

Visit Sweden - Sweden's official travel site

The Swedish Tourist Organization

Other useful links

Swedish train website

CS group: Rideshare in Sweden

The Right of Public Access

Collection of links for learning language and facts about Sweden

Links: CS Group | Wikipedia | Wikitravel
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