What I am talking about is not the language of tuition in Sweden. All study programs in Sweden are held either in English or Swedish (when it comes to master’s level programs almost all of them are held in English). However, if you are looking for information about studies in Sweden you will soon be able to access it in either of the languages above. (For those of you that don’t read/write Chinese, Russian or Arabic — those are the languages above, in respective order.)
A Chinese version of Studyinsweden.se already exists, in the form of Sweden.cn/study. The Russian and Arabic versions of Studyinsweden.se are in the making as I write this, aiming for a launch sometime during the summer. Obviously, if you are going to study at a bachelor’s or master’s level program in Sweden you will need to have a good command of the English language, including proving that you do so through one of the internationally recognized English tests, i.e. TOEFL or IELTS.
So what is the reason for making Chinese, Russian and Arabic language versions of Studyinsweden.se if all students need to know English in order to get accepted to a Swedish university? First of all it gives us an opportunity to tailor the information to the students, since a Chinese, Arabic and Russian student usually have different questions when it comes to what they want to know about Swedish higher education. For example, a Russian student might not have so many questions about the Swedish climate and what kind of food you will find in Sweden due to Russia’s relative proximity to Sweden, but have more questions about the Swedish/European educational system since the Russian system differs quite a bit.
Secondly it also gives the parents and other relatives of the student (that might not speak English) an opportunity to read about Sweden as a study destination. We all know that all parents invest a lot of love (and money) in their children and their children’s education, so it is only fair that they can also form an opinion of Swedish higher education and life in Sweden.
Thirdly, see it as a token of goodwill and respect towards the non-native English speaking part of the world, which Sweden too belongs to. Even though English is the international language above all, it is not the native language of the majority of the world’s population.
I will let you know through this blog when the Arabic and Russian sites are launched. In the meantime, everything you need to know about Swedish higher education (well almost) can be found at Studyinsweden.se (in English). If you just can’t wait to read about Swedish higher education in your own language — well, you’ll just have to settle for Google Translate for now.