If you want a unique island experience while you intern abroad, you might aim for a tropical beach, so it might surprise you to learn that Stockholm, Sweden is actually a city of islands—different neighborhoods are literally islands connected by bridges and ferries. Stockholm also boasts unique modern architecture, world-class cuisine from many cultures, and the amazing midnight-sun winters that characterize areas close to the Arctic circle. With all the perks of a thriving business capital, your best choice is to explore an internship in Stockholm.
What you need to know about interning abroad in Stockholm, Sweden
Businesses with locations in Stockholm are often fairly powerful in the Nordic markets, since it is the largest city in any of the Scandinavian countries, with close to a million people in the city proper. From a Stockholm-located-business, you are primed to use your internship experience to leverage a position in many other places.
Popular types of internships in Stockholm. Given that IKEA’s beautiful, hard-to-pronounce furniture has its home here, it is hardly surprising that interning in interior design is popular in Stockholm. Hospitality internships are also available, as well as finance internships—a great fit considering this is a city known for successful business practices! Further, IT students should consider an information technologies internship in what has been dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Europe.”
Short term internships and summer internships vs. long-term internships in Sweden. Summer internships in Stockholm give you the chance to experience the glories of the extremely long, sunshine-filled days and the beautiful scenery of Stockholm’s watery surroundings. At the same time, taking a long-term internship abroad in Stockholm increases your chances of becoming an integral part of a team, so it can be perfect if you are using an internship to start a career in Sweden.
Unpaid vs. paid internships in Stockholm. The standard of living is second to none in Stockholm, but Sweden is one of the more expensive places to live if you are exchanging money into Krona. For this reason, you are better off getting a paid internship or at the least an internship that subsidizes housing in some way. If not, consider negotiating a less than full time unpaid internship and look for opportunities to also get a part time job in retail or the food industry to subsidize your own time in Stockholm. Ultimately, any work experience in Stockholm is worth it’s weight in Krona!
Life in Sweden for International Interns
Stockholm is a city with many universities and other institutions of higher learning, so one way to find affordable housing is to look to see if there is any open housing in a dormitory, especially for summer internships in Stockholm. Otherwise, look for apartment shares or rent a room in a home with a Swedish family; you’ll learn the language faster by living with people who speak it, and that can give you an edge at a business, even if many corporations will also conduct business in English as necessary.
Keep in mind that, while the summers are very bright and beautiful, the winters are cold and rather dark: at the dead of winter, it can be dark at 3pm. To combat this, many creature comforts like warm nights indoors with books, cinnamon rolls, and cozy clothing are employed to make the winter a comfortable hibernation. Make sure to invest in some toasty slippers for the chilly mornings while you intern abroad in Stockholm!
GoAbroad's Inside Scoop for International Interns in Stockholm, Sweden
On your off day, learn more about the history of Sweden and the kinds of dwellings that have dotted the landscape at Stockholm’s park Slussen—one of the largest escalators in the world takes you up into the park and exploring the huts, gardens, cabins, and other locations is a great way to occupy a day off from your busy internship abroad in Stockholm.
The public transit system ensures that by living in either the suburbs or the downtown of Stockholm, you will be able to access your internship easily without needing your own car. The metro is well maintained, as are the buses, and many residents of Stockholm speak English in addition to Swedish, so you will have an option to ask for help if you also speak English.
Take time to go hiking or explore the natural beauty of the nearby Baltic Sea; if you happen to be in Stockholm in December there will also be Christmas markets to browse on the island of Gamla Stan. Even during other months of the year, this historic island has some of the older buildings in the city and is not to be missed.
It’s easy to forget that Sweden has a ton of wide open spaces when in the densely populated season, but make sure that you take time to explore all that the country has to offer; the people of such Northern areas have developed interesting architecture to handle the elements and exploring will give you another view of Sweden, from the ultra-modern to the history of a resilient nation.
Ready for the next stop on the Scandinavian train? Check out our comprehensive guide on interning in Sweden!