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No matter how far afield they may find themselves, Swedish families living abroad often remain strongly connected to their roots. They want to pass on the cultural values that make Sweden one of the best places to live. It’s why co-educational boarding school Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket (SSHL) is the number-one choice for families such as Erik’s.
After 14 years of international schools in Dubai, Erik and his family agreed it was time for him to return home to complete his schooling. “Because I wanted the best of both worlds,” he says, “I chose a school that can provide an international and a Swedish education.”
SSHL includes present-day King Carl Gustaf XVI among its alumni, but it doesn’t require celebrity alumni to attract pupils. It enjoys a strong academic reputation and is known for its commitment to pupil welfare. “Our number-one goal is to give each pupil an outstanding start in life,” says Vice Principal and Head of Boarding Eddy Johansson. “What makes SSHL such a wonderful place to live and study is the safe, nurturing environment we’ve fostered for our young people.”
SSHL is the country’s longest-running IB school and caters for both day-pupils and boarders aged 13 to 18. It has a long tradition of international education, welcoming pupils from around the world to its international programmes.
Recent graduate Sofia, whose father is Swedish and who spent many years in France, found boarding to be an important part of her life at SSHL. “Everyone’s made very welcome, no matter where they’re from,” she says. “I learned a lot and made friends for life in my close-knit boarding home. I also feel prepared for university.”
The school’s campus overlooks the spectacular Lake Mälaren, and pupils have access to a wide-range of extracurricular activities, including football, rugby, theatre, music and art, to name just a few. The blend of schooling and recreational fun is one that appeals to Erik. “Rowing is a new favourite that I started at the SSHL,” he says. “I am out on the lake two or three times a week.”
SSHL plays a big part in its local community, and its diverse range of day-students participate in almost all aspects of school life. With just a year left before graduation, Erik is happy with his choice of school. “I’m so glad I made the move,” he says, “to come back to Sweden and to SSHL.”