Sweden is known for its openness toward the international community – and its education system is no exception. International students from all over the world study in Sweden, where there are over 1,000 degree programs taught entirely in English. Unlike many countries, Sweden gives their international students the right to work in Sweden during their studies. If you’re interested in working in Sweden – the innovation capital of Europe – after you complete your studies, you can apply for time to search for employment even if you’re not from an EU/EEA country. Read on through this Study in Sweden guide to learn the practicalities of how to study in Sweden as well as get a glimpse into student life.
Sweden – Facts & Figures
August – June
Swedish Kronor (SEK)
In order to study in Sweden, you’ll need to meet general entry requirements in addition to program-specific entry requirements. You can find specific requirements for different academic programs in Sweden on university websites. When you’re ready to apply, you’ll use universityadmissions.se to submit the necessary paperwork according to both sets of guidelines.
General Entry Requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements for bachelor’s level studies, all students must:
- have successfully completed their upper secondary (high school) education (post-16).
- be able to demonstrate proficiency in English. The entry requirement for studies at the bachelor’s level in Sweden is the equivalent of the Swedish upper secondary course English 6/English B. See English Language Requirements.
For students who received their final school grades after 31 December 2009, there is an additional entry requirement for mathematics as follows:
- The student must have successfully completed courses in mathematics to reach the level of the Swedish courses Mathematics 1a, 1b or 1c / Mathematics A (approximately 10 years of mathematics studies).
To meet the entry requirements for master’s level (second cycle or graduate) studies, you must:
- have been awarded a Bachelor’s degree (equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen) from an internationally recognized university.
- be able to demonstrate proficiency in English. You can do this by means of an internationally recognized test, such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc. Previous upper secondary studies or university studies completed in some countries can also meet the requirement. Check the website of the university where you would like to study for more information about language requirements as they determine what level is required for Master’s course and program.
How expensive is it to study in Sweden? Yearly higher education costs in Sweden vary depending on the university and program. Tuition fees in Sweden range from approximately SEK 80,000 per year (approximately 8,300 EUR or 9,200 USD as of Oct, 2016) to SEK 130,000 (or approximately 13,000 EUR or $14,600 USD as of Oct, 2016).
All students in Sweden need to buy their own textbooks and on average spend 750 SEK/month for this purpose.
Other costs of studying
Students usually join the local student union for a small membership fee. This gives you access to various student activities and student discounts. Fees range from SEK 50-350 per semester, depending on the union.
Living costs depend on the location of study (bigger cities are generally more expensive) but are approximately 8000 SEK per month including rent or 925 USD/830 EUR as of October, 2016.
The cost of healthcare for international students varies depending on whether you are an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen or not as well as the duration of your studies in Sweden.
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Planning your budget is an important part of preparing to study in Sweden. Here’s an overview of the different costs you should include in your budget. In Sweden, the currency used is the Swedish krona (SEK). We’ve given costs in SEK; use a currency converter like Google or xe.com to find up-to-date exchange rates. In January 2019:
1 EUR = about 10.2 SEK
1 USD = about 9.0 SEK
10 INR = about 1.3 SEK
Application and tuition fees
Application and tuition fees apply for students who are not citizens of an EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland studying at the bachelor’s or master’s level.
The application fee is SEK 900. This fee is paid as part of your online application at Universityadmissions.se.
Tuition fees in Sweden vary depending upon the subject. The average fee for a master’s programme is SEK 129,000/year; bachelor’s programmes are generally less expensive.
A standard range of tuition fees for various subjects is shown below (the exact level may vary).
Social sciences and humanities SEK 80,000 – 110,000/year
Technical programmes and natural sciences SEK 120,000 – 145,000/year
Architecture and design SEK 190,000 – 270,000 /year
Tuition fees for each programme are listed at Universityadmissions.se and on each programme’s website.
Read more about tuition fees and figure out if you’re required to pay fees at Universityadmissions.se.
An average monthly student budget is about SEK 8,370 per month. Of course, your costs will vary depending on where you live and your personal preferences. Read more at Cost of living and on the student blog.
If you’re considering studying in Sweden, you’ll be relieved to know that Sweden has a clear easy-to-follow process to apply for studies in Sweden. One great benefit of being granted a residence permit for studies in Sweden is that you have the right to work in Sweden while you study! Sweden is also interested in retaining foreign talent so you’ll be able to stay in Sweden 6 months after graduation to apply for jobs in Sweden.
Do I need a student visa to study in Sweden?
In Sweden, students apply for a residence permit for studies and the paperwork that you need to complete to study in Sweden varies depending on whether you are an EU/EEA/Nordic citizen, citizen of Switzerland, or not. The length of time – less than or more than three months – you’ll be studying in Sweden can also have an affect on whether or not you’ll need to apply for a visa or register with the Swedish Migration Board.
How to apply for a residence permit
If you’ve determined that you’ll need to apply for a residence permit for studies, read a step-by-step guide to applying for a the permit or registering with the Swedish Migration Board. Learn about the paperwork and documentation you’ll need, and the official government websites to submit your application.