Sjölunden Blog

Thank you for visiting the blog for Sjölunden, the Swedish Language Village. Subscribe here to receive notification of blog updates by email. 

Grattis, studenter!

Published: May 25, 2018

Grattis, studenter! Congratulations, graduates!


While some American students are graduating, most in Sweden are still studying away. Swedish schools tend to continue until mid-June at the earliest. When it finally comes, though, graduation is greeted with celebrations that seem super-sized even in the States.

Two-week participants greet graduating students with posters
Two-week participants at Sjölunden greet graduating students with posters, as per Swedish tradition

Graduates tend to start the morning of their graduation with a glass of champagne. In the afternoon, their families greet them at school with posters featuring pictures of the graduates as babies, along with a message of congratulations.

Graduating Sjölunden students parade through camp
Graduating Sjölunden students dressed in white parade through camp

Graduates then march through the city, dressed all in white. Their procession ends when they reach a parking lot full of old flat-bed trucks that the graduates themselves have decorated with tree branches and cloth banners. Graduates climb up into the truck beds and ride around town blaring music from the trucks and dancing. A town with several gymnasium (upper-secondary schools) can be subjected to this blaring music every day for a week.

Graduates in Sweden celebrate from the back of a truck
Swedish graduates celebrate from the back of a truck, all proudly wearing their studentmössar (graduate hats)

After all the riding around, Swedish graduates come home to grad parties that tend to be more modest in size than their American counterparts, in part because all classmates celebrate on the same night. Even so, there’s no beating the all-day experience that is a Swedish graduation.