Reaching the Arctic Circle, Sweden is mostly covered by forest and with the longest coastline in Europe. Sweden’s landscape and nature offers dramatic contrasts – mountains and glaciers in the north, dense forests and thousands of lakes and rivers in the central parts, and fertile farmlands in the south. A unique treat in the summer is the midnattsol (the midnight sun) when the sun is visible 24 hours a day for almost two months. Swedes are committed to sustainability, making them a global leader in organic agriculture, recycling and renewable energy.

Most teens in Sweden concerts, movies and small gatherings. It’s quite common for a bicycle to be your main form of transportation. After school and on weekends, you can meet your friends at youth centers, called fritidsgård, to play games and hang out. Sports lovers will have a great time in Sweden playing soccer, tennis, ice hockey or skiing.

People & Community

Most Swedes live in small rural towns, and while the cities are populous and modern, they retain their ancient charm with pockets of medieval streets and architecture. You could be placed throughout Sweden, though most host families live in the countryside or in small towns. Mutual respect between children and adults is nurtured from an early age. The Swedes prize personal freedom and accountability, so your responsibilities at home and school will reflect those values. Household chores are usually equally divided among family members, in small and tidy houses.


School in Sweden begins in mid-August and goes until mid-June, from 8 am to 3 or 4 pm, though the class schedule varies between programs. Your school schedule will be determined by your interests and the classes you’ve already taken. Swedish schools offer a variety of tracks but sciences and humanities are the priorities for many. No matter what you focus on, expect to take Swedish, English and math.


Swedes speak Swedish, though almost 90% also speak English, as it has been a required subject in schools since 1849. Many Swedes speak a 3rd or 4th language as well. You don’t have to know Swedish before starting your exchange, but some basics will certainly be helpful. AFS will support you in learning the language before and during the exchange by providing materials, links and language lessons.


Common Swedish meals include potatoes, cheese, seafood, meat, fresh vegetables, salads, and open-faced sandwiches. Smorgasbord, a bountiful buffet, is common for special occasions. Meatballs, lingonberries, and smoked salmon are popular delicacies.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Year Exchange PROGRAM

Program Date: August 17, 2018 – July 1, 2019
Birth Date Range: August 17, 2000 – December 17, 2001

You could be placed throughout Sweden, though most host families live in the countryside or in small towns. Swedes tend be fairly patriotic and your host family may be excited to talk to you about their country’s achievements. One of the most notable aspects of the Swedish value system is their respect for the environment and commitment to sustainability.

Program dates may vary and are meant to help with general scheduling only.
All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and programs are filled first-come, first-serve.

Apply Now!