One of the most fascinating aspects of traveling in Scandinavia is learning about their unique systems of welfare, education, and government that contrast greatly from the United States. Along with engaging scenery, you can definitely spark a lively conversation on politics and population management. To prep yourself for any roadside debates you might have, I suggest you follow this link to a video posted by the New York Times Op-Ed.
“Sweden’s Choice” highlights the school voucher program that has seen success in Sweden and suggests it may be a useful approach to education in the United States. Instead of money being filtered down into school districts, such as in the United States, funding for education is given directly to each individual kid. With this voucher in hand, kids are no longer forced to go to their local public school - they have the power to choose. This power to choose then causes area schools to step up their services and competition.
“Education is so important that you cannot just leave it to one producer,” Per Unckel, Governor of Stockholm and Former Prime Minister of Education explains. Granted, as you can see by the photo comparison to the UK, Sweden spends a lot more on education than other countries, but their dedication pays off. Most Swedes will tell you the system is a success.
The Nordic Company is not endorsing any particular style of government, we promote travel , but we do encourage you to ask questions. One of the best parts about an experience abroad is seeing your own country through the lens of someone else. Extend yourself to the locals and you’ll be surprised what you’ll learn and how willing they are to share.
As a side note: Our apologies for not keeping up with the blog for a month. Summer is the high travel season and you better believe our phones were ringing off the hook. We’ll do our best to pepper you with weekly Scandinavian anecdotes from here on out. Thanks for your patience!