Study abroad Sweden

Sweden has a long and proud history of academic excellence and despite its relatively small population, it’s home to some of the world’s best universities. In 2013 the Swedish higher education system was ranked number two in the world. Several Swedish universities are ranked by the Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) as being among the world’s top seats of learning.

8 ways to prepare for your studies in Sweden:

1. Accept your offer

The very first thing you need to do is accept your offer. The deadline for the first selection round was 10 April. If you missed the deadline but are still interested in the programme, contact your university directly to find out what you can do.

If you receive an offer during the second round, you don’t need to reply to your offer. See for more details.

2. Pay your first tuition fee instalment

In order to apply for your residence permit, you’ll need to have paid your first tuition fee instalment (this only applies to students who are required to pay fees – see Am I required to pay? at for details). Your university will provide you with information on how to pay.

3. Apply for a visa and residence permit

If you’re from a country outside of the European Union, it’s high time to get started applying for your residence permit for studies. See Residence permits and visas for the basics, and head to the Swedish Migration Board’s website to apply.

4. Find housing

Depending on where in Sweden you’ll be living, various housing options will be available to you – see Accommodation for an overview of Swedish student housing. After reading through the basics, your first point of contact should be the housing office at your university. They’ll give you the details on the housing situation in your city and how you can go about finding a home there.

In some cities, particularly larger cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö and university towns like Uppsala and Lund, finding housing can be a challenge, so it’s a good idea to start your search as early as you can.

5. Arrange for practicalities

Health insurance is important to arrange before leaving home – see Health insurance and medical care for an outline of what applies for students from different countries. It’s also a good idea to look over your finances and consider if you want to look for a part-time job during your studies. And don’t forget to read through our Practical advice so you’re prepared for day-to-day life in Sweden.

6. Connect with your future classmates

Making contact with other students on your programme is a great way to make friends before you arrive on campus and discuss common questions. A good start is to check for postings on your university’s Facebook page or to search for a Facebook group for your programme. You can also check social media or message boards popular in your country for groups of students heading to Sweden. If you don’t find a pre-existing group, why not start one yourself?

7. Read up on Swedish culture and your new city

There’s lots to learn about Swedish culture and what you’ll have to look forward to in your free time. Get started by reading about your future home city and starting to follow the news from Sweden via sites like The Local. You can learn all about Swedish traditions, culture and society at Another great way to get into a Swedish state of mind is to start practicing your svenska (Swedish) via an online course.

Don’t forget to follow your university on social media to get in the loop on what’s happening on campus! Most Swedish universities have Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages, and many are also active on Instagram, Sina Weibo, Renren and others.

8. Come to Sweden!

In late August, it’s time to pack your bags and get on the plane, train or boat to Sweden. Your university will provide you with details on orientation for new international students. Make sure to arrive in time to get settled (and maybe visit a certain Swedish blue and yellow furniture store for basic home furnishings and a plate of meatballs) before orientation starts.

Application and tuition fees

Application and tuition fees apply for students who are not citizens of an EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland. The fees apply only to bachelor’s and master’s programmes and courses, while PhD programmes are tuition-free. Universities set their own tuition fees, and these vary between SEK 80,000–140,000 per academic year for most subjects. However, programmes in the fields of medicine and art have notably higher fees.

The application fee for fee-paying students is SEK 900.

Scholarships are also available for studies in Sweden. The Swedish Institute (publisher of administers several of these. More information is available in the section Scholarships. Additionally, Swedish universities themselves also offer scholarships directly to non-EU/EEA students.

Please note that the above fees only apply to citizens of countries outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, and if these students are not part of a bilateral agreement or exchange between universities.

If you are a fee-paying student (see above), the university to which you are accepted may provide you with free insurance during your time as a student. Furthermore, if your programme is longer than one year, you are entitled to the same health benefits as Swedes. See Health insurance and medical care for more information.
Student union fees

Students usually join the local student union and pay a membership fee. Fees range from SEK 50-350 per semester, depending on the union.

Literature and textbooks

Required reading is often extensive and students usually have to buy their own books, as library copies are limited. Teachers also prepare and hand out their own compendiums.

On average, students can expect to spend SEK 750 per month on books per semester. In some subjects, like law and natural sciences, this figure is likely to be higher. Many student unions organise book sales where students can buy used textbooks cheaply.
Living expenses

In addition to university fees, you will need to cover your living expenses during your study period, which amount to approximately SEK 7,300 per month. This is a requirement for acquiring a residence permit.

For further information regarding study in Sweden and admission, Please contact:

M.Com, MBA
CEO, Global Education Counseling Center
Founder Member, Khilgaon Ideal School and College.
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