Welcome to Sweden, the land of lush forests and crystal clear freshwater lakes.
Sweden is one of the most industrialized countries in Europe. Major industries include timber, iron, vehicles (those Saabs and Volvos you see on the road are made with Swedish pride), and communications. Popular IKEA furniture is another successful export.
The government of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy. Real power lies with the Riksdag (parliament), led by an elected prime minister.
The official language of Sweden is Swedish, but many other languages, including English, are spoken.
Most Swedish teenagers are used to having both parents working. Consequently, they know how to care for themselves and be independent. Many teenagers work during school breaks in order to earn extra pocket money.
Sweden is not a very religious country. Almost all Swedes belong to the Lutheran church, but attendance is low. Movies are popular ways to pass the time.
A daily diet in Sweden might include a cup of hot tea and two open-faced sandwiches for breakfast, a cooked meal at school for lunch, and a dinner of lamb chops with potatoes, salad, and a glass of milk.
Education is considered very important in Sweden. All education is free in Sweden and one free meal is provided each day. Although compulsory education ends at age sixteen, there are a number of vocational and academic opportunities for continued education.
The Swedish gymnasium (high school) offers only theoretical subjects and few extra-curricular activities.
Sweden boasts over thirty institutions of higher education, and tuition is free. Loans are even available for living expenses.
Many Swedish teenagers have been away from home before. They may have attended a language camp for a month in England, Spain, France, or Germany. They are accustomed to a large degree of independence.
As for dating, Swedish teenagers do much the same things as American teenagers. They start to date when they are about 15-16 years old.