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Study in Sweden

If you want your opinions to he heard, you like taking initiative and a little snow doesn’t scare you off, then the go-to country for your studies must be Sweden.

Long-time ago a country of barbaric Vikings, nowadays Sweden, has polished its manners, and nothing proves it more than the fact that the Swedish higher education system ranks second in the world. Did we mention cutting-edge research and real-world challenges in multicultural academic communities?

To get a better picture about what’s like studying in Sweden, you need to know that the education here is more about self-development through student groups and independent studies, than about listening to the typical teacher lecture. Let’s try and see the details behind this big picture.

Study in Sweden for free: What you need to know

Studying in Sweden does not have to be expensive: If you look in the right places you will find that studying abroad could be very easy, and in some cases even free of charge! Unfortunately, not every student can study for free in Sweden, but in this article you will find out if it is possible for you to study for free, or what the tuition fees may be.

Who can study in Sweden for free?

If you have a passport from a country of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you are eligible to study in Swedenfor free! If you are a passport holder from any other country, unfortunately the cost is a bit higher: The Swedish government introduced tuition fees for students from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland, starting in the autumn semester 2011. That made Sweden one of the more expensive European destinations for international students. Today, tuition costs range from 80,000 SEK (around 8,000 euros) a year to 190,000 SEK (around 19,000 euros) a year based on the program in which you are studying, and the university that you wish to attend. Bachelor programs are generally a much lower cost than the average master’s program. Although this may be an expensive choice to some, students that choose to come to Sweden to study will obtain a high class education which will open up doors worldwide for exciting career opportunities upon graduation.

How can I receive a scholarship to study in Sweden?

There are many different ways that students can obtain a scholarship to study in Sweden. The opportunity to study in Sweden may be right in front of you with multiple scholarship opportunities. The Swedish Institute (SI) lists a large variety of scholarships that are available based on the subject you wish to study as well as your nationality.

Can I study in Sweden for free if I am from Asia, Africa or elsewhere outside Europe?

Yes, you can! Although you will likely have to pay tuition fees for full degree programs, there is a way to avoid the tuition fees: If you are enrolled in a school that is a partner university to universities in Sweden, you can take part in their study abroad exchange programs. For example, Lund University has more than 600 partner universities in 70 countries worldwide. If you are studying at a university already, and wish to study in Sweden, check with the internationals office at your university!

How expensive is it to live in Sweden?

The cost of living in Sweden varies based on where you are living. If you are studying at one of the schools in the country’s capital, Stockholm, you should be prepared to pay much more than if you are studying in a smaller city like Borås. Around the country, the monthly expenses are on average about 8,000 SEK (800 euros). The hardest part of studying in one of the big cities is finding housing. In some of the bigger cities, there are not enough student housing options; however, there are websites available in which people are willing to open their homes and apartments to share with other students within the same city. Finding these opportunities is very important if you wish to save money while studying at a university in Sweden. When applying for a Bachelors or Masters programme in Sweden, you will need to prove to the migration authorities that you will be able to successfully finance yourself during the time that you will be living in the country.

How easy is it to communicate with the locals?

Children in Sweden begin learning English at a very young age, in some cities as young as 7 years old. And all foreign movies and shows are shown in their original language with Swedish subtitles, meaning that Swedes get exposure to English every day. Due to this, almost everyone that you encounter will be able to speak English. However, if you wish to fully engage in the society, it is recommended that you take Swedish courses while studying if possible. You can study in these courses for free if you have obtained residency for the duration of your studies.

If you wish to study in Sweden, you should do your research first, start saving, and begin the hunt for an apartment as soon as you have the approval to relocate!

Practical Information

How to apply to universities in Sweden

In Sweden, applications for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes are processed through a central application service, Universityadmissions.se. Still, you can also apply directly through the university and program websites. The general application documents required are:

  • Identification document;
  • Record of completed upper secondary education (translated into English);
  • University records (translated into English);
  • Proof of language proficiency.

Additionally, most universities also tend to ask for:

  • Motivation letter;
  • CV;
  • Sample of academic writing;
  • Recommendation letters from professors and employers.

Do you need to know or speak any Swedish?

No, you don’t need to! Swedish people are among the most proficient English-speakers in Europe: If you speak English, you will have absolutely no trouble communicating with locals in Sweden. In fact, many Swedes will be delighted if they can try their English on you. You can even find a job after graduation without speaking Swedish, especially in large cities like Stockholm or Gothenburg. That said, Swedish is a relatively easy language to learn, and if you spend a year or more in the country, you should give it a try!

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Swiss university

  • Take Preparation Courses: These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programme. Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice;
  • Improve your English through an English-language prep course: If you’re attending a degree programme in Sweden, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures; some schools will require Swedish, while others will require strong English skills. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

English is a must-have in Sweden, seeing how many Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes are taught in this language. Swedish universities accept as proof of your language skills:

  • High school studies taught in English/Swedish;
  • Previous university studies taught in English /Swedish;
  • English-language certificates: TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson PTE Academic, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency.
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