Sweden, - the country of IKEA, Astrid Lindgren and where the northern lights can be seen. Short, my knowledge about Sweden was quite limited before I ended up deciding to do an internship at Tyska Turistybyrån, which is a foreign marketing office of the Germany National Tourism Board.
From the first day, Sweden made me fall in love with its wide, green landscape, its characteristic capital which consists of multiple islands and its open-minded society. Here are five reasons why you also should choose Sweden as your internship destination:
Surrounded by the sea, Sweden’s big cities Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, are all Hanseatic. Especially Stockholm is characterized by the water since the capital consists of 14 islands and therefore, when walking through the city, the sea is always present. Furthermore, Sweden’s nature has a really unique charm to it, with its endless widths, countless pine and leaf forests, along with the limitless lakes in the south and its mountains in the north. All in all, it provides perfect conditions for hiking trips!
The Swedish culture has many nice traditions to offer which you shouldn’t miss out! My most favourite one is Fika, which describes a moment to slow down, having a good conversation, while enjoying coffee and pastry. This tradition is highly celebrated in Sweden and can happen multiple times per day! My favourite fika pastry is the Kardemummabullar which is a fancy version of a cinnamon bun but with cardamom instead of cinnamon. It literally tastes like heaven! Here is a fun fact about the Swedish culture: As a German, you are usually stereotyped as the unsocial, as well as, unfriendly one. However, if you are in Sweden, people will associate you with an outgoing personality and friendliness! But to be completely honest, the Swedes that I have met are all super nice and are fun to hang out with.
3. Language (English, funny Swedish words)
Moving to Sweden won´t be a linguistic challenge, especially if you are able to speak both English and German. No matter which age or education, all Swedes are perfectly fluent in English. However, as it is always nice to know at least the basics of the native language, a German background will make it super easy for you to study Swedish, since the written form is super similar and even some of the words are alike e.g. God morgon, jag heter Anna-Sopie och kommer fran Tyskland. Furthermore, the Swedish language has some really nice words, as for instance, my favourite word is “Lagom”. It describes “just the right amount", "in balance", "perfect-simple", and "suitable".
Style Internships are often associated with only being assigned with meaningless tasks and having the duty to provide coffee for colleges. This is not at all the case in Sweden. The ruling leadership style is characterized by “Primus inter pares” which means in Latin “first among equals”. Meaning, no matter which position, everyone is equal and treated accordingly. It took me some time to understand that my boss is actually interested in my opinion and even included me in decision making. Moreover, I realised that, even though Swedes take their work seriously, they don’t live in order to work, rather they work in order to live. Therefore, the Swedish key to success is a democratic working style which is based on trust, teamwork and empowerment, which is the best foundation for a great internship!
Last but not the least, Sweden as a country of the European Union, is a part of the Erasmus+ Program and therefore, a monthly amount of 400€ will help you to cover your bills and enjoy your stay even more! So to sum up, Sweden provides a perfect framework in order to gain some valuable work experience and also to enjoy the time of your life!
Anna-Sophie is an adventurer who loves slow travelling in order to truly connect and get to know other cultures. Therefore, she started to pursue her passion for travelling with the study programme International Tourism Management, after not receiving a Hogwarts letter by her 20th birthday.