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School vacation in Sweden Posted by on Oct 31, 2011 in education

Different countries have different standards for when their students get time off from their studies to take a drive to the beach, go hiking in the mountains, or simply take it easy and veg out for a week. Sweden’s school vacation schedule looks like this:

First, you go to school for about two months, and it’s all hard work until the week-long höstlovet (autumn vacation) that begins around Halloween time (which, by the way, is not an important holiday in Sweden), or 31 October for those of you who don’t know. This year’s autumn vacation in Uppsala, for example, began today.

After that, you go to school for about a month and a half, and then it’s jullovet (Christmas vacation). Most schools get out several days before Christmas Eve and start again around 10-12 January. (Keep in mind that Christmas Eve is the big day in most of Europe, not Christmas Day.)

After that long, relaxing (if you can call it that) Christmas vacation, school starts again and you have to keep your thinking cap on until the end of February, when you’re expected to tire yourself even more (except this time physically) during sportlovet (sport vacation). Actually you’re not expected to do anything in particular, but many Swedes head to the mountains at this time for a full week of skiing (and much less commonly snowboarding).

As if you’re not already tired enough after skiing the whole week, school starts up again for another two months, all the way until Easter. This vacation is called påsklovet, or Easter vacation. It traditionally falls on whatever week Easter happens to be on.

And finally, the home stretch! School gets out for the summer about two months later, usually after the first full week in June. Now you have about a month and a half to spend doing summery things until school starts again around 20 August. Everyone loves sommarlovet (summer vacation)!

And there you have it, all of the time off your favorite Swede has ever had every year in primary and secondary school. When you get to university level, though, you generally don’t get any vacations other than Christmas and summer vacation, which separate semesters. But being a student is definitely worth the while! 😉

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About the Author: Stephen Maconi

Stephen Maconi has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2010. Wielding a Bachelor's Degree in Swedish and Nordic Linguistics from Uppsala University in Sweden, Stephen is an expert on Swedish language and culture.


  1. Karen:

    So nine months of school. This is like the U.S. but I like the way Sweden does breaks better.