Wilderness, wildlife, and friendly people await you in Sweden. While it is one of the largest countries in Europe, Sweden is also one of the least densely populated, with only 9.4 million people. Most locals live in large cities in southern Sweden, specifically Stockholm. Sweden’s native people, the Sami, are known for a nomadic existence of herding reindeer and living with nature. Some of the Sami have moved north to continue their lifestyle, while others have modernized and moved to cities. Two-thirds of Sweden is covered by ancient forests, crystal-clear rivers and mountain ranges, including the mountains that form the border with Norway. Nature is of utmost importance to most Swedes, and urban areas always include green parks, major recycling programs and serious environmental protection laws. There is a lot to see in this beautiful, remote world, and volunteers find a people and a zest for the untouched outdoors like none they’ve experienced before.
United Planet is the US and Canadian partner of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in Sweden, you will be hosted by PeaceWorks Sweden, ICYE’s Swedish partner organization. The focus of their work is to add meaning to the lives of their volunteers through community involvement and education.
Work with physically and mentally disabled individuals in local support centers. Volunteer tasks depend on the focus of each center and the needs of the community. In general, volunteers assist with schoolwork and everyday activities. In some projects, residents live in a community village together with the staff and work together on handicrafts, farming, and more.
Volunteers work with elderly individuals who live in special homes or centers with full-time staff, assisting them in their daily activities. Volunteer tasks are likely to include supporting the residents in a range of daily activities and providing a helping hand for the staff. It is important that volunteers make an effort to learn some Swedish, since not all of the residents speak other languages.
Volunteers work on ecologically sustainable farms in Sweden. Tasks may include feeding and taking care of animals, planting and harvesting, and everything in between. There may also be opportunities for administrative work and organizing environmental education courses for the public.
Room Escape is a live game that challenges small groups of 2-5 people to work together and use their combined knowledge to solve a mystery. The best part about this attraction is that you are locked in a room with your group until you solve the mystery or until your hour is up. Take the opportunity to experience one of the most exciting and fun attractions that is becoming popular in many countries around the world.
Stockholm was founded in this area in 1252 and has expanded from this point ever since. Gain a better understanding of Swedish culture by visiting one of the museums in Old Town. Walk down Vasterlanggatan, a popular street in Old Town that is full of shops and performing musicians. Another popular attraction is the royal palace where visitors often go to watch the changing of the guard.
December 13 is the festival of ‘the queen of light’, Saint Lucia, is celebrated. Church concerts and processions are used to celebrate this 400-year old tradition. Young girls dressed in white gowns each hold a candle and have a wreath with glowing candles in their hair. Make sure to take the opportunity to witness and be a part of this historical tradition.
In Sweden, there are specific calendar days that celebrate individual sweets, such as Cinnamon Bun Day on October 4th. Another day that is known for its sweets is November 6. Many people enjoy eating marzipan silhouettes of King Gustav II Adolf. On this day in 1632, the monarch was killed during the battle of Lutzen. Of course you can enjoy these pastries anytime you want while you are in Sweden, but why miss out on an opportunity to celebrate while indulging your sweet tooth?
United Planet Quests are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide you everything you’ll need to succeed. The program elements allow you to engage fully with a new culture, forge strong relationships, and challenge yourself. Most importantly, we partner with the community to ensure your experience will be important, relevant and helpful to the community you serve.
|Start Date||6 month fee||1 year fee||Early Bird Deposit Deadline||Regular Deposit Deadline|
|August 2016||$10,195||$13,495||Monday, March 21, 2016||Monday, May 23, 2016|
|January 2017||$10,195||$13,495||Friday, August 12, 2016||Friday, September 16, 2016|
We want you to succeed. That means having in place the support our volunteers need. We don’t just drop you in country and hope for the best. We provide training before you leave … language exposure … 24/7 in-country support … support for your host family … accommodations, meals and airport transportation … activities and excursions. The whole idea is to make the experience successful and productive for you and the host community, and we have found that these things are crucial. Remember that we are a non-profit, mission-driven organization – we wouldn’t spend money on something that wasn’t important.