Friends and relationships

Meeting new friends is a great way to start your new life in Sweden. It’s fun to hang out with friends and they can also be a good support for you when you are new to Sweden. Through friends, you gain a community in your new country and the place where you live. It is also a good way to practice your Swedish language skills.

How to make new friends

Making new friends in a new country can feel a bit difficult at first. Once place where you can make new friends is at school, where you will spend time with your new classmates and other pupils every day. In Sweden, it is common to continue socialising even after the end of the school day, at each other’s homes, at a youth recreation centre, or through various activities. In Sweden, children and young people socialise with each other regardless of their gender, religion or country of origin.

Many kids meet friends through shared interests and hobbies. Examples of such hobbies include sports, music, film, and reading. There are sports clubs that you can join and various other meeting places for people with shared interests and hobbies.

Young woman playing computer games.

Photo: Scandinav/

Online friends

People in Sweden are used to using technology and the internet in their everyday lives. Friends usually connect with each other by calling, texting, and meeting in other common forums on the internet. Some friends spend time together in real life and online, while others only socialise online. Playing games online is a common way to make friends.

Keep in mind

While it’s fun to make new friends and talk to people online, there are a few simple rules that everyone should follow.

  • Images and messages: Not everyone online is who they claim to be. Therefore, it is important that you think twice before sharing images and texts. Be mindful that once you have shared an image, you can’t control how it is used by others.
  • Passwords: Never reveal your passwords. If your password has been shared with someone, change your password.
  • Be careful when meeting someone you’ve never met before. You can never be sure that the person is who they say they are on the internet.
  • Be careful how you express yourself in text and what you write about others. Text can be interpreted in different ways by different people. Sometimes what you say may be hurtful, even if you didn’t mean for it to be.
Seven teenagers of different genders standing together.

Photo: Sofia Sabel/

Friends and relationships in Sweden

People of different genders and backgrounds often hang out together in Sweden. Friendships can take different forms. All friendships are based on kindness and interest in each other.

In some cases, being friendly and showing interest can mean that someone is interested in having a romantic relationship, but it can also just mean they want to be friends. Therefore, if you feel unsure about the relationship that you and a friend have, it is important that you talk to the friend.

Consent is key

If you are starting a romantic relationship with another person, it is important to respect that person’s will, as well as your own. Consent means that both people in a relationship should want to do what they do together, for example, a sexual activity. If one of the people is unwilling, the other person has to accept it.

Read more about consent (in swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Read about sex, body and health External link, opens in new window.


Bullying can be both physical and psychological and can happen at school, during leisure time, and on the internet. Bullying is when someone hits or hurts someone else, says mean things, or spreads rumours. It can also mean making someone feel unwelcome or like an outcast.

If you or someone you know are being bullied, talk to a teacher, school counsellor, parent, or another adult you trust and tell them about what has happened.

Questions to think about and discuss:

  • Do you have any hobbies? How can you find like-minded people with whom to share your hobby?
  • Are there any differences between how relationships work in Sweden, compared to what you are used to?

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