As a student in Sweden, you will come to learn pretty quickly that the attitude and the entire system is built upon the principle that being a student is akin to being employed at a full-time job. Those of us who have made an almost career out of being a full-time student in multiple countries know that this is indeed a slippery slope. One person's full-time job is another person's walk in the park. But what does this full-time job mean?
In the Swedish system, currently, I believe a full course load is 30 points (they have changed this since I was a student, so bear with me). These 30 points should equal 40 work hours a week. The average Swedish student gets a grant and a loan to pay for living expenses incurred during these 40 hours a week because one should not be required to work while studying. The theory being – do you work a job on top of your 40 hour a week job? In Sweden, the answer to that would be 'no.'
Here they seem to take the 40 hour rule pretty seriously. I have a friend who was a professor who was chastised when he implied that students might have to do some homework over the weekend since they were having trouble finding time during the work week. But I have to admit, I am hard pressed to find a student here who hasn't done quite a bit of studying on the weekends – especially right before a big exam.
In my experience as a humanities student – and my Swede vehemently disagrees , I found the work week calculation to be based on what the slowest student in the class was capable of completing. And by slowest person, I am not quite sure who they were aiming for – remember I was studying in a foreign country in a foreign language – I was very slow. I ended up going out and getting a job because I had nothing to do all day.
When I asked Swedes about this conundrum, I was often given one of the following answers: You are studying humanities, you are studying at a hogskola – not a University, you are studying a program which is known for being ridiculously easy. Never once did they commend me for my sheer brilliance at being too smart for the system.