There is something unique about Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden’s second-largest city. At a population of 560,000, Gothenburg is about a fourth the size of Stockholm. With its flat, unique architecture and its laid-back charm, Gothenburg offers a worthwhile down-to-earth alternative to the pomp of the country’s capital.
There are two universities in Gothenburg, and both of them rank among the best in the world - making the city a particularly popular destination for those seeking to study in Sweden.
The University of Gothenburg (Göteborgs universitet) with 37,000 students is Sweden’s third-oldest university. Founded in 1891, it has long since developed in one of the region’s most important hubs for research and education. Its most notable alumni include former ABB chairman Percy Barnevik, nobel prize laureate Arvid Carlsson (for medicine), and bestselling author Jonas Jonasson (“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”).
The city’s second-largest institution, Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers tekniska högskola), focuses on technology, natural sciences, related management disciplines. Its 11,000 students came for the world-class education in engineering and computer science. Chalmers also spawned numerous notable alumni, such as nobel laureate Gustaf Dalén, Ludvig Strigeus (the original developer behind Spotify), and one of Sweden’s most famous college dropouts, YouTube star Felix Kjellberg (also known as “PewDiePie”).
As anywhere if you study in Sweden, quality of life in Gothenburg ranks remarkably high. If you like living near water, you won’t be disappointed: The city is located right on Sweden’s west coast; its river, the Göta älv, flows into the Kattegatt (the area of water between North and Baltic Sea). This convenient location allowed its harbour to grow into Scandinavia’s largest. But beware of the seagulls: On bad days, the birds can be a real menace and will fight you for your ice cream cone; a lesson many an international student has had to learn when they went to study in Gothenburg unprepared for the danger from above.
Gothenburg’s streetcars offer a convenient way to get around the city and form an important part of the unique cityscape. There is also a dense and reliable network of buses.
Train and bus lines connect the city to the rest of Sweden and the region. Gothenburg is connected to dozens of international destinations via Göteborg Landvetter Airport, some 20 minutes from the city center. The smaller but closer Göteborg City Airport was closed to commercial traffic in 2015.