Moving to Lund, Sweden: What International Students Should Know About the Local Culture

In this blog, we will explore some of the cultural nuances that you should be aware of when moving to Lund, Sweden, and provide you with tips to help you navigate them.

Moving to Lund, Sweden: What International Students Should Know About the Local Culture
Photo by Oliver Schmid

Moving to a new country as an international student can be an exciting and challenging experience. It's a chance to explore a new culture, meet new people, and gain a fresh perspective on life. However, with this adventure comes the need to adapt to a new way of life, which can be overwhelming at times.

If you are an international student moving to Lund, Sweden, you may be wondering what to expect in terms of cultural differences. As with any new country or city, there are bound to be differences that you may not be accustomed to, but by familiarizing yourself with the local culture, you can make your transition smoother and more enjoyable.

In this blog, we will explore some of the cultural nuances that you should be aware of when moving to Lund, Sweden, and provide you with tips to help you navigate them. By understanding and respecting the local culture, you will be able to make a smooth transition and enjoy your time in Lund in Sweden to the fullest.

Personal Space

Swedes tend to value their personal space and privacy. They may not engage in small talk or physical contact with strangers. Therefore, it can be good to respect others' personal space and do not be offended if people seem reserved or distant at first. This is not a sign of unfriendliness, but rather a cultural norm. Swedes are generally polite and respectful, so always use "please" and "thank you" when interacting with others.


Swedes place a high value on punctuality. Being on time for appointments and meetings is always expected. Plan accordingly and arrive on time for your engagements. If you are running late, be sure to notify the other party as soon as possible to avoid causing inconvenience. Even if you are only running 5-10 minutes late it can be considered disrespectful if you don't notify that you are running late.


While many Swedes speak English fluently, it is still important to make an effort to learn the local language, Swedish. This is not typical for Sweden only, but it shows respect for the local culture and makes it easier to navigate everyday situations.

In Lund, there are language courses available for international students, and many universities offer language courses as well. Learning the local language will also make it easier for you to make friends and immerse yourself in the local culture.


Fika is a Swedish tradition of taking a coffee break and enjoying a pastry or snack with friends or colleagues. It is a social event that is deeply ingrained in Swedish culture, so be prepared to partake in this activity regularly.

Fika is a great opportunity to get to know your classmates or roommates and is an important part of Swedish culture. In Lund, there are many cafes and bakeries that offer delicious pastries and coffee for you to enjoy during your fika breaks.


Swedes are generally reserved and may take time to warm up to new people. However, once they do, they are loyal and close friends. It is important to respect boundaries and not push too hard to make friends too quickly.

Joining student organizations or clubs is a great way to meet new people and make friends who share similar interests. There are also many social events held in Lund, such as concerts, festivals, and markets, that provide opportunities for socializing and getting to know the local culture.

Another approach to socializing and meeting new people could be through your roommates, particularly if they're Swedish. Ask them to introduce you to their network, and bring you along to their social events. It's the perfect opportunity to connect with others and learn about the culture at the same time.


Sweden is a country of vast natural beauty, and Swedes love spending time outdoors. Be prepared for long walks, hiking trips, and other outdoor activities that are popular in the country.

Lund is surrounded by beautiful parks and nature reserves, making it a great place to explore. Take advantage of the natural beauty that Lund has to offer by going for walks or picnics in the parks or taking a bike ride through the countryside.


Swedes have a fairly liberal attitude towards alcohol and drinking, but public drunkenness is many times frowned upon. Know your limits and be responsible when consuming alcohol in public. The legal drinking age in Sweden is 18 when being served in a bar, and you may be asked to show identification when you are purchasing alcohol. It is also important to note that alcohol is heavily taxed in Sweden, so prices may be higher than what you are accustomed to.


In conclusion, moving to Lund, Sweden, as an international student can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By familiarizing yourself with the local culture and customs, you can make your transition smoother and enjoy all that Lund has to offer.

We've put together a full guide for Moving to Lund, SwedenWhether you're coming to Lund to study for a semester or pursuing a full degree, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know before arrival, including steps to take for the move, cost of living, ways to find accommodation or roommates, information about student life in Lund and more!

What's the best way to do so, you ask? Live with a Swede! If you're looking for a roommate in Lund, you can learn more about available listings on Hemavi and get matched with a roommate based on your interests and preferences.