More Swedes study abroad
The number of Swedes studying abroad continues to increase, and never before have so many taken that chance. It’s become easier to study abroad because of changes in Erasmus, the European Union’s student exchange program that was established in 1987. While before the possibility to study abroad was limited to one occasion, it is now determined by months. You can study up to 12 months abroad during a Bachelor’s program, and 12 months during a Master’s program. ”The flexibility increases with the new system. It will also become easier to do interships during summer. The connection between studies and work is great,” says Hans Grönlund, deputy director at the Higher Education Council. The academic year 2012-13 saw 28,300 Swedish students abroad, according to statistics from Universitetskanslersämbetet (the Swedish Higher Education Authority), an increase of 2 percent from the previous academic year. The most popular country to study in for Swedes was England.

Difficult to prove bullying
Nearly one in ten Swedes feels bullied at work, and more choose to file a report to Arbetsmiljöverket (the Work Environment Authority). But the possibility for the victims to get compensation is small; only two cases have been tried in court, and now a new legislation is demanded. ”Being bullied at work during a long time can lead to injuries similar to those a victim of war suffers,” explains Per Borgå, senior psychiatrist. In general, the reports are both complex and difficult to investigate, according to Torsten Heinberg, behaviorist at Arbetsmiljöverket: ”There is rarely any clear evidence that bullying has taken place. Word is often against word, and there are no witnesses.” When recently two directors were sentenced for safety violations after an emloyee committed suicide as a result of feeling harassed at work, it was unique. Never before had an employer been convicted of health and safety offenses for psycho-social reasons, and there is just one more case that has led to prosecution. The trade unions TCO (tjänstemännens centralorganisation or the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees), LO (Landsorganisationen i Sverige or the Swedish Trade Union Confederation), and Saco (Sveriges akademikers centralorganisation or the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations), believe that a new labor law is needed against harassment in the workplace. ”Today we lack a tool for those who are victims but don’t belong to one of the groups protected by the law of disrimination,” says Carola Löfstrand, ombudsman at Vision, also a trade union.