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Your Identity in Sweden

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your Education Abroad experience. We know it’s not possible to encompass all of your intersecting identities into one page, but we hope the resources listed can serve as a helpful starting point. You are your own best expert. We invite you to meet with your Program Manager or contact our Access and Inclusion Coordinator at to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.


Disability Accommodations

Individuals with disabilities can and do participate in Education Abroad programs, but you may find accessibility and accommodation in different locations to be very different from the United States. For example, in Sweden, anticipate being a pedestrian and/or taking public transport more frequently than you may be accustomed to at CU. Most public transport is accessible, though city buses may only accommodate one wheelchair user at a time. Accessibility on buses may be challenging during poor winter weather when the demand for buses can exceed capacity. Students may find that sidewalks are uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult in some areas. While every student’s experience is unique, check out our Disability or Different Abilities while Abroad page for general information, questions to consider, and next steps for studying abroad with a disability and click through the list below for resources relevant to Sweden and your host university. 

Resources for Sweden

External Resources


Uppsala University Resources
Uppsala's Disability Support: Uppsala University offers a number of disability support services available to all students, such as text-to-speech tools and spelling support. Other reasonable accommodations or supports, such as note taking support, adjusted examinations, and more need to be applied for. Students will need to provide a letter from CU's Disability Services and then have a consultation with one of Uppsala's disability coordinators. See also information regarding accessibility on Uppsala University premises (only available in Swedish but the information can be translated to English by right clicking and selecting "translate to English" on Google Chrome or by copy-pasting information into an online translation service).
  1. Before You Leave
    • To begin arranging accommodations, submit the Health & Wellness Worksheet in your MyCUAbroad checklist and a get letter from CU’s Disability Services that documents your condition and needs and the support that they provide for you.
    • Complete Uppsala's Apply for Targeted Study Support Steps

Gender & Gender Identity

Gender equality is of significant concern to Swedes; since it began collecting data in 2006, Sweden has never ranked lower than fifth on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Index, which tracks not only economic equality but also several other measures of wellbeing. In 1972, Sweden became the first country to formalize an option for individuals to legally change their sex, though doing so still requires a medical diagnosis. Sweden has recently rolled back access to gender-affirming healthcare for minors, but access to such care is still available to adults 18 years old and older. While non-binary identities are not legally recognized, Swedes are increasingly embracing the gender-neutral pronoun "hen" as an alternative to masculine or feminine singular pronouns. Overall, transgender and gender non-conforming students can generally expect their identity to be respected in Sweden. Gender neutral bathrooms (both single and multi-stall) are prevalent throughout the Uppsala University campus and in several of the student nations. 

It's essential to seek local resources and support networks that cater to your specific needs and location. Check out our Gender & Gender Identity resource page, which provides a list of questions, tips, and general resources. Additionally, you can find specific resources related to Sweden and your host university by clicking through the list below.

Resources for Sweden

External Resources

Sexual Orientation

Sweden consistently ranks among the top most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world, and many Swedes pride themselves on their culture of acceptance. Same sex marriage has been legal in Sweden since 2009, and the country has robust anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people. While everyone’s experience is unique to them, check out our Sexual Orientation & Sexuality resource page for a list of questions, tips, and general resources to explore. Click through the list below for resources specific to Sweden.

Resources for Sweden

External Resources Uppsala University Resources

Racial & Ethnic Identity

While Sweden is generally known for its progressive values and inclusive society, students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter certain challenges while living in Sweden. Sweden's population is predominantly of European descent, which can lead to a lack of representation and awareness about other experiences and cultures. This can sometimes result in feelings of isolation or being othered. As in many places, degrees of racial prejudice do exist in Sweden, and students of color may encounter microaggressions such as assumptions about language proficiency, questions about their origin, or other insensitive comments. That being said, most students of color have overall positive experiences in Sweden. Uppsala University itself is a very international university with students coming from all over the world, which means the student population in Uppsala tends to be more diverse than in other parts of the country. Uppsala has very active student groups, including their international student group, student union, and 13 student nations, and past students have found strong communities and support networks within these groups.

While everyone has different experiences, our Racial & Ethnic Identities Abroad page provides general resources to help you prepare for your time abroad. Check it out in addition to the resources below, specific to studying in Sweden.

Resources for Sweden

External Resources
 Uppsala University Resources

Socioeconomic Status

U.S. students are generally perceived as coming from wealth, which is due to how Americans are typically portrayed in media. If you do not feel that this perception matches your identity, this may be a jarring experience at first. A good resource for you will be friends & local program staff who can help you navigate this process and provide tips on the typical cost of goods where you are studying. See the Budgeting page of our Accepted Student Guide for tips on lowering your personal expenses while abroad.

Resources for Sweden

Resources for Families

Do your parents, family, or support systems have concerns about you studying abroad? Have them contact our office to speak to a Program Manager, who can provide further information, address concerns, connect them with additional resources, and refer them to our Diversity & Identity Abroad page.

Education Abroad is committed to serving a culturally diverse community of students and is dedicated to providing inclusive international experiences for students from all backgrounds. Please contact our Access and Inclusion Coordinator at with any questions or concerns.

Last Updated June 2024