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.
1. Creativity is central
When you study in Sweden, you’re encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically. You’ll develop your ability to question the status quo by assessing information, seeking new perspectives and coming up with well-informed opinions. You’ll be free to think creatively because of the informal and non-hierarchical nature of Swedish society, where everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas and opinions.
This independence of mind and the fact that everyone can make their voice heard are two of the reasons why Sweden ranks among the world’s most innovative nations. Another is that investment in research is among the highest in the world in relation to GDP.
Sweden’s status as a leader in innovation and a home of trendsetters and early adopters is nothing new: the list of Swedish world-changing inventions is a long one and includes the seatbelt, the pacemaker and the music service Spotify. Which one of your brilliant ideas will Sweden help make reality?
2. Coursework is challenging – in a good way
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. The entire Swedish higher education system is ranked as one of the best in the world, and several Swedish universities are ranked by the Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities as being among the world’s best.
In Sweden you’ll find a strong focus on rationality, reason and applying knowledge so that it makes a real difference. Look no further than the Nobel Prize, the world’s most prestigious academic distinction, for an illustration of the Swedish approach.
As a student here you’ll become part of this tradition of academic excellence. Just don’t expect to passively receive information: you’ll be encouraged and challenged to contribute, speak your mind and take your education into your own hands.
Swedish universities are well-adapted to the needs of international students, and Sweden consistently ranks in the top three in the world for English proficiency. You’ll be able to use English with everyone you meet, from the classroom to city the centre.
3. Sustainability and the environment are in focus
If you’re concerned with sustainable development for a greener future, you’ll feel right at home in Sweden. Environmental issues are high priority here, and Sweden has been named the most sustainable country in the world for its use of renewable energy (it has the highest percentage of renewable energy in the EU).
Environmental thinking and sustainability are a part of all aspects of life here, including education. Studying here will give you the chance to draw on Sweden’s deep environmental experience and apply its sustainable approach to your own chosen field.
And it’s not hard to see why Swedes are so keen to protect the environment: nature here is breathtaking, with huge forests, beautiful beaches and snow-capped mountains. Sweden’s 29 national parks and nearly 4,000 nature reserves offer you the opportunity to ski, hike, fish, swim and mountain bike.
4. Equality and diversity are central to Swedish society
Swedish society is known for its inclusiveness and equality – you may have heard Sweden referred to as the most equal country in the world. It consistently places among the world’s top countries in gender equality, while lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Sweden are regarded as among the most progressive in the world.
The belief that everyone is of equal value contributes to Sweden’s consensus approach to getting things done, where everyone takes part in the decision-making process. During your studies, you’ll learn how to balance different interests, needs and ideas to bring out the best in everyone and solve complex issues as a team – vital skills for your global career, where teamwork across cultures is the norm.
5. You’ll learn skills for a global career
What’s the most important thing you’ll need for success in your career? According to a global study of CEOs, it’s creativity. And creativity is exactly what studying in Sweden will foster, along with other in-demand skills such as how to combine theory and practice, and how to navigate complex situations where there’s no easy solution.
Many degree programmes in Sweden include internships, which are a great way to get real-world experience while you build your professional network. If you’re interested in research, doing a master’s in Sweden can be a great way to make the contacts you’ll need to carry on and do a PhD.
The fact that Sweden is home to the largest number of multinationals per capita of any country in the world and is the birthplace of many world-conquering companies – including IKEA, TetraPak, Volvo, Ericsson, AstraZeneca and H&M – means that getting on the career ladder here can really take you places. Should you receive a job offer while you’re still studying here, you can apply for a work permit and enjoy the work-life balance that Sweden is famous for.
Bonus: life is international student-friendly
So Sweden is green, creative, equal and open. What else should you know before you decide to study here?
Like everywhere, living costs in Sweden depend on your personal lifestyle and where you live. Here’s an average monthly budget:
Food: SEK 2,000
Accommodation: SEK 3,700
Local travel: SEK 550
Phone/internet: SEK 300
Hobby/leisure, miscellaneous: SEK 1,450
Total: SEK 8,000 (around €850 or $1,000).
I have received hundreds of different emails from all around the world asking cost of living in Sweden. As everybody may know, Sweden is a high-income level country with high life standard. I have prepared a cost of living list for prospective friends, based on my own purchases. I hope, this will help you while planning your study finance and seeking for a scholarship.
Instead of actually doing some sort of a research, I just kept all of my receipts for one week. Form sunday to sunday… It wa a pretty normal week for me. I did go out a bit more than I might in a usual week which included a couple of dinners, but take this for what it is. I’ve separated my expenditures into different categories and then added rent, which didn’t actually get paid this week but tends to be a necessity.
|Lunchtime menu in the business district||100||12||11|
|1 liter of whole fat milk||10||1||1|
|1 bottle of red wine, good quality||97||11||10|
|Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.)||70||8||7|
|Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio||8000||932||855|
|1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||850||99||91|
|1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or similar)||970||113||104|
|1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas||14||2||1|
|1 box of antibiotics (12 doses)||110||13||12|
|Visit to private Doctor (30 minutes)||280||33||30|
|Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)||35||4||4|
|Standard men’s haircut in central area of the city||340/td>||40||36|
|2 tickets to the movies||240||28||26|
|1 cocktail drink in downtown club||140||16||15|
|Cappuccino in a local coffee shop||35||4||4|
|1 month of gym membership||470||55||50|
You may check numbeo.com (popular crowdsourcing cost of living website) to compare prices between Sweden and your home country.
Keep in minds that Migrationsverket requires you to prove that you are able to support yourself if you plan to study here in Sweden. They assume you can support yourself for 7300 SEK per month for 10 months out of the year.
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 February 2016:
1 EUR = about 9.5 SEK
1 USD = about 8.5 SEK
10 INR = about 1.25 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 range between SEK 80,000 and 140,000 per academic year for most subjects. Programmes in certain fields may have higher fees. The tuition fees for each programme are listed at Universityadmissions.se and on each programme’s website.
Student union fees
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. Your relevant student union can provide information on membership fees and benefits.
Health insurance guidelines vary depending on your country of citizenship.
Please note that the information on this page only applies for students on bachelor’s and master’s programmes, not for PhD students. PhD students should contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency or their universities for information on health insurance.
If you’re a citizen of any of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you should register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in your home country before coming to Sweden. This card gives you the right to medical care at the same cost as Swedes. The European Commission has developed an EHIC app with more information on the card and how it works.
If you’re not able to receive your EHIC before leaving home due to long waiting times, you can request a temporary certificate from the same office in your home country that issues the EHIC.
If you don’t obtain an EHIC in your home country, you’ll need to arrange your own insurance coverage to cover costs, as medical care without insurance can be very expensive. However, you always have access to emergency care.
If you’ll be staying in Sweden for more than a year, you can register with the Swedish Tax Agency for a personal identity number. Once you’ve received your number, you’ll be entitled to all healthcare and pay Swedish patient fees.
Non-EU/EEA citizens: stays of one year or more
If your degree programme is longer than one year, you’re entitled to the same health benefits as Swedes after registering with the Swedish Tax Agency in order to receive a personal identity number. Once you’ve received your number, you’ll be entitled to all healthcare and pay Swedish patient fees.
Do note that this doesn’t cover your journey to Sweden or the time you spend in the country prior to receiving your personal identity number. To be fully covered for that period, you will need some form of insurance from your home country. You should also check with your university to find out if they provide any additional insurance coverage for international students.
Non-EU/EEA citizens: stays of less than one year
If you have a residence permit valid for a period of less than a year, you won’t be able to obtain a personal identity number, which means you won’t have automatic access to health insurance. However, your university may provide you with health insurance coverage through the Swedish State Insurance Agency’s (Kammarkollegiet) plan. Check with your university to find out if they offer this plan.
Sweden also has reciprocal agreements for medical benefits with a number of countries. To find out whether your country has this kind of agreement with Sweden and to learn about terms and procedures if so, contact the social insurance office in your home country or the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.
Students who aren’t covered by any of these agreements must arrange for their own insurance coverage, as medical treatment can be very expensive without any form of insurance. It’s highly recommended to arrange for health insurance from your home country so that you’re covered during your trip to Sweden and as soon as you arrive. After arriving, you can check if your university or student union has a special agreement with an insurance company to provide insurance at a lower cost.
Medical treatment in Sweden
If you need to consult a doctor, you can either make an appointment at the student health centre at your university or go to the local healthcare centre, vårdcentralen. Patient fees vary but are usually about SEK 150-200 for a consultation. Doctors in Sweden speak good English; interpreters between Swedish and other languages can often also be arranged. Check with the staff at your healthcare centre if you need to arrange for an interpreter to find out what options are available.
If you don’t yet have a Swedish personal identity number or European Health Insurance Card (see the information for EU/EEA citizens above), it may be difficult to make an appointment at a healthcare centre. If you have trouble making an appointment at a healthcare centre or if you need urgent care, it’s usually possible to receive treatment at a local acute care centre (närakut). Your university will be able to advise you on the best course of action for short-term international students.
The official website 1177.se offers extensive advice on healthcare topics in several languages as well as a search function (in Swedish) for nearby healthcare centres.
In case of emergency, always call 112. You can also go directly to A&E, known as Akutmottagningen or Akuten, at your nearest hospital (sjukhus). If you are concerned about a non-emergency healthcare issue, you can also ring 1177 for advice.
Pharmacies and medication
Pharmacies in Sweden (apotek) provide prescription and non-prescription medication as well as basic health and beauty products. Some non-prescription medications like basic pain or fever medication can also be found at some grocery stores.
Dental care is expensive in Sweden, even for Swedes. As such, it’s a good idea to have a thorough check-up at your dentist before leaving for Sweden. Should you still need to consult a dentist here, visit 1177.se to find local listings.
There are no vaccination requirements for any international traveller entering Sweden. However, some universities may require a medical certificate as part of the application to their programmes.
On average, expect to spend about SEK 750 per month on textbooks. 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; it’s also common for students to post notices on campus selling their used copies of previous years’ textbooks. Websites for buying used textbooks are also popular.
The following steps outline the application process for bachelor’s programmes at Swedish universities. Applications are processed through the central application portal Universityadmissions.se.
Please note that for some programmes, mainly within the fine arts, application procedures and deadlines may vary. Always consult the university’s official website for programme-specific application guidelines.
1. Find your programme
The first step to applying for a bachelor’s programme is finding the perfect one. Search programmes for the next application round under Programmes. You can also search for programmes directly at Universityadmissions.se. Programme listings are also offered directly at the websites of specific universities.
You can apply for up to eight programmes per application round.
2. Check entry requirements and deadlines
Each programme is subject to general entry requirements and programme-specific entry requirements. Once you’ve decided on the programmes you’d like to apply for, check both sets of guidelines to determine your eligibility:
If you are currently completing your final year of upper-secondary school (high school), please also see Universityadmissions.se’s information for students in their final year of upper-secondary school.
Also check relevant application dates and deadlines for the upcoming semester. The application deadline for programmes beginning in the autumn semester is usually mid-January.
3. Apply online
Applications are made through the portal Universityadmissions.se, a central application service where you can apply for up to four different programmes at different universities around Sweden with one application.
The application will include the following:
Welcome to the information page for applicants who have completed studies in India, with information about meeting the English requirement, what previous studies meet the basic entry requirements, and any special documentation instructions.
Start with Step 1 - Finding out what I need to submit
There are general instructions for all applicants; it is important that you start with Step 1 and then work your way through the remaining steps in order to submit the right documents in the right way.
Meeting the English requirement - bachelor's and master's level studies
You can meet the English requirement with your upper secondary studies with grades issued from a graduation year of 2000 and later by Andhra Pradesh Board of Intermediate Education with English as the course of instruction..
You can also demonstrate that you meet the English language requirement through certain university studies, or an internationally approved English test. Find out more at the following link:
English language requirements
Students who don’t meet the requirement with upper secondary or university studies must demonstrate their English abilities through an internationally recognised test.
Accepted tests and minimum results required
For English 7: an overall mark of 7.0 and no section below 6
For English 6: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
For English 5: an overall mark of 5.5 and no section below 5.0
Submitting your IELTS test results
You can upload a scan of your original IELTS Academic results using the document uploading function on this website. You can also send a copy of your test results to us via regular post.
Your results will later be verified online, so the copy of your test results is sufficient documentation.
For English 7: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, total score of 600
For English 6: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, total score of 575
For English 5: Score of 4.0 (scale 1-6) in written test, total score of 530
For English 7: Score of 20 (scale 1-30) in written test, total score of 100
For English 6: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, total score of 90
For English 5: Score of 17 (scale 0-30) in written test, total score of 72
Please note: TOEFL Examinee Score Records are not accepted.
Submitting your TOEFL test results
All TOEFL tests must be sent directly from Educational Testing Service (ETS). The institution code for University Admissions in Sweden is "Sweden 3477". You must provide this code in order for your results to be reported. When sending your score, you can choose any school type and department for University Admissions.
It can take several weeks for your test scores to arrive from ETS, so arrange for them to be sent to University Admissions as early as possible if you already have test scores.
Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments
Michigan English Language Assesment Battery (MELAB), for English 6, minimum score of 90
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), for English 5, minimum score of 85
University of Michigan, Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE) for
Submitting your Michigan test results
You can upload a scan of your original test results using the document uploading function on this website. You can also send a copy of your test results to us via regular post.
Pearson PTE Academic
For English 7: Score of 68 (writing 61)
For English 6: Score of 62 (writing 61)
For English 5: Score of 47
Submitting your Pearson results
Please submit a copy of your Test Taker Score Report.
Having your Pearson test results accepted requires the following steps:
Cambridge English Language Assessment
For English 5 - Cambridge English: First (First Certificate in English) grade A, B or
For English 6 - Cambridge English: Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)
For English 7 - Cambridge English: Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
* Please note: the Cambridge English First Certificate no longer fulfils the general entry requirements for studies at the bachelor's level in Sweden.
Submitting your Cambridge English test results
Previous studies that meet the general entry requirements and any special documentation instructionsFor bachelor's level studies:
The following diplomas/certificates meet the criteria:
You must also submit the transcript of grades: Statement of Marks
For master's level studies:
For entry to a Master's study programme, the minimum requirement is a 4-year Bachelor's degree, or a Bachelor's degree followed by a Master's degree. Some, but not all, study programmes require for that first degree to be in a related field.
Consideration will also be given to applicants who have attained a 3-year Bachelor's degree with honours in certain social science or humanities majors.
Students holding only a 3-year Bachelor's degree without honours will not satisfy the entry requirements for a Master's programme.
The following degrees do not satisfy the entry requirements for a master's programme:
Supporting document requirements
4. Wait to receive notification of acceptance
After the deadline passes, your application will undergo a selection procedure determined by the individual university and based on various criteria, such as grades obtained and results of previous courses and degree projects. All of these will influence the outcome of your application.
The decision on whether to accept an applicant rests with the academic institutions themselves.
If you’re accepted, you will need to confirm that you will attend the programme in question by answering yes to your notification. If you’re not a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland you will also be required to pay the first instalment of the tuition fee (often the first semester’s tuition) at this point.
If you’re not a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland you will also be required to pay the first instalment of the tuition fee (often the first semester’s tuition) at this point.
5. Apply for a residence permit
Students who are citizens of countries outside of the EU/EEA planning to study in Sweden for at least three months will need to apply for a residence permit for studies in Sweden. As the application process for residence permits can be lengthy, you should apply as soon as you have received your notification of admission.
See Residence permits and visas for more information on applying for a residence permit for studies in Sweden, as well as information for citizens of EU/EEA/Nordic countries and Switzerland.
6. Come to Sweden!
Once you’ve been accepted to a programme and your residence permit has been processed, check out our guide to living in Sweden for information on how to prepare for your stay. Your university’s international office can also offer tips and advice.
Please note that the Swedish Institute/Studyinsweden.se is not responsible for university applications. If you have questions about your application, or other questions relating to a specific course or programme, please contact the relevant agency or university directly, as we are unable to help with these queries.
In this section, you can find an overview of the application process with specific information about every step along the way.
Sweden is unique in that we have a coordinated admissions system. This means that applicants can apply for courses and programmes at all universities on the same application – and right here at Universityadmissions.se!
Convenient electronic application and process
All of our international applicants apply electronically for courses and programmes. Here on Universityadmissions.se, you can:
Follow the steps in this section to complete your application quickly and correctly.
One set of supporting documents
Students must submit documentation in support of their application. These documents can include upper secondary school transcripts, university transcripts and English test results. The documents you upload or send in to University Admissions in Sweden are scanned into our electronic admissions system. In that way, no matter where an admissions officer is in Sweden, he or she can bring up your record and look at all of your documents and your application information.
Your application will be registered and checked in several steps and by different institutions. Because of the number of applications that we receive, this process can take some time.
Please note that in some cases, the final assessment will not be made until the very last week before selection.
Notification of selection results
Once the selection results have been published, you will receive an email reminder to log in to 'My pages' and check your results.
Your notification will be accessible online as well as in a printable PDF-file. If you are offered a place, read the instructions about applying for a student residence permit and payment of tuition fees (if required), as well as any information about enrollment/registration days or introductory meetings held by the university.
You will be required to reply online to your first Notification of Selection Results. If you fail to reply, or reply after the deadline, you will lose your place. Please be sure to reply on time!
If you have questions, please contact us using the contact form which you can access by clicking on 'Questions/Contact'. Due to the great number of applications, this service is restricted to general questions. Please be patient and await a reply – sending multiple emails will not result in a faster reply.
The admissions process takes several weeks. Your patience is appreciated.
Applicants who have studied at the university level may meet the English requirement for the course or programme they've applied to.
On this page, you'll find a list of previous university studies that meet the criteria.
Can I just send in a certificate or letter from my university?
No, that cannot be accepted with just two exceptions:
Any other certificates or letters will not be accepted
English as language of instruction
English in the edition of the International Handbook of Universities that was current the year the degree was awarded.
English as the main subject
Students with a Bachelor's degree where English is the main subject meet the English requirement.
India and Pakistan
Students from India or Pakistan with a Bachelor's degree (equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen) in Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Applications, Medicine, Pharmacy, Natural Sciences or Technology unless it is documented that the language of instruction for the programme was a language other than English, meet the English requirement.
When can I send in my application, what's the deadline, when will get my admissions decision? These are all very common questions students have regarding admissions.
In this section, you will find key dates and deadlines for your application. It's important to note that applications to bachelor's level courses have slightly different dates and deadlines than applications to master's level programmes.
There are also two admission rounds for you to apply to, with different dates and deadlines.
Choose in the menu the semester or semesters you're applying to.
The following are the key dates for application to the autumn semester. Please note that there are separate dates for master's and bachelor's, and two admissions rounds.
Key dates for autumn semester 2017
Please note that all deadlines are midnight CET (Central European Time) on the date indicated. Also note that all dates are in 2017, unless otherwise noted.
|Master's, First admission round||Bachelor's, First admission round||Bachelor's + Master's Second admission round|
|Online service opens||17 October, 2016||17 October, 2016||15 March|
|Admission application deadline at midnight CET||16 January||16 January||18 April|
|Deadline for receipt of application fee/document you're not required to pay the fee||1 February||1 February||8 May|
|Deadline for receipt of supporting documentation||1 February||1 February||21 June *|
|First Notification of Selection Results||24 March||31 March||13 July|
|Last date to reply to your offer||12 April||19 April||28 July|
|Second Notification of Selection Results (no reply required)||21 April||26 April||3 August|
|Autumn semester starts||September||September||September|
*If you are studying at an upper secondary school in an EU/EEA country or an International or European Baccalaureate programme, and your studies will not be completed until after 21 June, you have until 5 July to submit your upper secondary and IB/EB documentation.
What's an EU/EEA country?
EU stands for European Union and EEA for European Economic Area. Students with citizenship from one of these countries are not required to pay fees and do not need a residence permit to apply for studies in Sweden. Please see List of EU/EEA countries for more information.
Please note that Swiss citizens are not required to pay fees, but must have a residence permit for studies in Sweden.
The following are the key dates for application to the spring semester. Please note that there are separate dates for master's and bachelor's, and two admissions rounds.
Key dates for spring semester 2017
Please note that all deadlines are midnight CET (Central European Time) on the date indicated.
|Master's, First admission round||Bachelor's, First admission round||Bachelor's + Master's Second admission round|
|Online service opens||1 June||1 June||15 September|
|Admission application deadline at midnight CET||15 August||15 August||17 October|
|Deadline for receipt of application fee/document you're not required to pay the fee||1 September||1 September||1 December|
|Deadline for receipt of supporting documentation||1 September||1 September||31 October|
|First Notification of Selection Results||19 October||12 October||8 December|
|Last date to reply to your offer||31 October||21 October||19 December|
|Second Notification of Selection Results (no reply required)||9 November||31 October||22 December|
|Autumn semester starts||January 2017||January 2017||January 2017|