Vocational Training in Sweden

By | May 8, 2021

Sweden is not many kilometers from Denmark, but still offers completely different experiences and opportunities for jobs and education. You can take both your youth education or a higher education in Sweden.

The Swedish business sector is particularly strong in knowledge-heavy industries such as information and communication technology and biomedicine. The level of education is generally high in Sweden, and all education in the public education system is free. You can read more about the Swedish education system on Sweden’s official website.

There is a large Finnish-speaking minority (approx. 300,000) in Sweden. In total, about 15 percent of the Swedish population is of foreign origin, many of them from the Balkans and the Middle East.

As a country starting with letter S listed on COUNTRYAAH, Sweden became a member of the EU in 1995 and, like Denmark, has chosen not to adopt the euro, but to preserve the Swedish krona. The Swedish economy is generally doing well, and since the 1990s, Sweden has experienced higher economic growth rates than several EU countries.

Worth knowing

Vocational training in Sweden

  • Upper secondary education from vocational preparation program: In Sweden, no distinction is made between upper secondary education and vocational education. Both directions are collectively called High School Education (High School Education). In the Swedish upper secondary educations within the vocational areas, the internship part is much smaller than in the Danish ones.The upper secondary educations are divided into 18 three-year lines (national program). 12 of the 18 lines contain vocational subjects and must accommodate 15 weeks of internship at a company. The 12 lines are aimed at employment in the business world after 3 years, but can also provide basic qualifications, ie. that they provide general access to higher education in Sweden. It is possible to take the vocational programs as an apprenticeship, where at least half of the training takes place in a company.
  • Polytechnic educations. There is also a post-secondary vocational education, Polytechnic degree and Qualified polytechnic degree. The education has approx. 680 educations within a broad register of industries in Sweden. The majority are found in engineering and production, nursing, IT and finance. The educations are organized in close collaboration with the business community, and they are flexible, with ample opportunity for the establishment of individual courses. One third of the education takes place as an internship in a company. The duration of the education depends on the individual student’s prerequisites and lasts 1 to 3 years. The education can be offered by universities, colleges, municipalities, county councils and private providers.

Denmark has entered into a co-operation agreement with the other Nordic countries on youth education. The agreement means that with a Danish primary and lower secondary school diploma (9th grade final exam) you can freely apply for admission to a youth education in another country in the Nordic region, including Sweden.

If you are already in the process of a youth education, and you want to continue your education in Sweden, you can apply to have your exams and internships transferred to your new school.


If you are thinking of taking all or part of your own internship abroad, read the section on internships abroad for vocational education under the section Primary school and upper secondary education.

Practical conditions

Folk high schools

Sweden has about 150 folk high schools, which by and large can be compared with the Danish ones. However, a number of Swedish folk high schools differ from the Danish ones by offering Competence-giving courses (general courses) at primary and secondary school level. Some Swedish folk high schools are free day schools.

In many cases, the Nordic Council of Ministers provides financial support for folk high school stays in other Nordic countries.

You can find out more about Swedish folk high schools at TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA.


There is no central housing directive in Sweden. You can often get help at the local tourist offices. If you want a more permanent home, you can contact the municipality you are going to live in. The waiting times for housing are often very long.

If you are a student in a higher education, you can get help with housing search at the educational institution. There are often dormitories (student housing) attached to the educational institutions.

Bostad Direkt arranges rental housing.

Opportunities in Scania

By studying in Scania, you can gain experience abroad and at the same time stay living in Denmark.

In less than an hour you can commute from Copenhagen to Lund University and Malmö University, both of which are recognized universities in Sweden. You can get Danish SU for most educations and get a discount on your transport expenses. Read more about SU and transport discount here.

Experience abroad three days a week

There are many opportunities to take an education in Scania:

  • Some educations are easier to get into, e.g. biomedicine and public health science.
  • There are many different educations to choose from in Scania. You can e.g. read a master’s degree in personnel and working life issues at Lund University or a bachelor’s degree in crimonology at Malmö University (university). See more examples here.
  • You can take independent courses (electives) and compose your own education, read more here. You must put together an entire education to get SU for independent courses.
  • You must submit assignments in Danish or English. In Scania, people are used to hearing Danish and many educations take place only in English.

With a Skåne education, you get an international profile that shows that you are flexible and mobile. You will be attractive to both Danish and Swedish employers, and have the opportunity to create a network on both sides of the strait.

In this video you can meet Ann-Sophie, who studies sociology at Lund University. You can meet more Danes studying in Scania here.

Lund University and Malmö University would like more Danes to apply for their educations, and you can always contact their study guides here: Malmö University study guide and Lund University study guide.

Here you can see how to get started with your application: Jobs and Education in the Øresund region.

Study in Sweden