Studying abroad in Sweden can be an exciting and life-changing experience for international students. From finding a suitable program to settling into campus life, there are many things to consider and plan for.
Here’s how to study in Sweden as an international student:
1. Find a Study Program
You can find programs in Sweden by visiting official study abroad websites, checking university websites, attending study abroad fairs, seeking advice from education consultants, and asking for recommendations from friends and family.
Study abroad websites like Erudera.com provide comprehensive information about higher education programs in Sweden, allowing students to search for programs based on their preferences and receive personalized recommendations.
Study abroad fairs and education consultants offer valuable advice and insights about studying in Sweden, while recommendations from friends and family can provide a unique perspective on the experience.
Once you’ve identified the study program you want to apply to, submit your application through University Admissions. This typically involves submitting your academic transcripts, language test scores, and other relevant documents. Some programs may require additional documents or a personal statement, so be sure to check the requirements.
Here’s what you need to apply for admission to Sweden universities:
- Academic transcripts. You must provide transcripts from your previous academic studies, including high school and any previous higher education programs.
- Proof of language proficiency. Depending on the language of instruction for the program you are applying to, you may need to provide proof of proficiency in that language. Common language tests include TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge English.
- Personal statement. Some study programs may require a personal statement, where you can discuss your academic and personal background, your goals and objectives, and why you are interested in the program.
- Letters of recommendation. Some programs may require letters of recommendation from previous teachers, professors, or employers. Be sure to check the specific requirements for each program.
- Application fee payment. There is usually an application fee for each program you apply to, which can vary depending on the program and university.
- Passport or ID. You will need a valid passport or ID to travel to Sweden and enroll in your study program.
3. Figure Out Your Finances
Figuring out your finances is critical when it comes to studying abroad in Sweden. Here’s what you should consider:
- Research. Research the costs of studying and living in Sweden, including tuition fees, accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses. Find more information on studying and living costs in Sweden here.
- Plan your budget. Create a budget that outlines your expected expenses and income, including all costs such as rent, utilities, food, transportation, and other expenses.
- Search for funding opportunities. Look for scholarships and grants that are available to international students studying in Sweden. Check the eligibility requirements and application deadlines for each scholarship or grant.
- Consider your options. Consider working part-time while studying to earn extra income to cover expenses. Be aware of the rules and regulations regarding part-time work for international students.
4. Apply for a Student Visa
Students from outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland will generally need a student visa to study in Sweden.
However, students from certain countries, such as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States, do not need a student visa to study in Sweden if their program is less than 90 days.
If you need a visa to study in Sweden, it’s always a good idea to start the visa application process as early as possible to ensure that you have enough time to gather all the necessary documents and submit your application at the Swedish embassy/consulate in your home country.
The documents usually required for a student visa to Sweden are:
- Filled application form. You will need to fill out and submit a visa application form, which can be found on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.
- Passport. A passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of your intended stay in Sweden.
- Letter of acceptance. A letter of acceptance from a Swedish university confirming that you have been accepted to a full-time course of study.
- Proof of tuition fee payment. If you are a non-EU/EEA student, you will be required to pay the tuition fee before you can apply for a student visa. You will need to provide proof of payment of the tuition fee.
- Proof of financial means. You must prove that you have enough financial means to support yourself during your stay in Sweden. This could include bank statements, scholarship award letters, or a guarantee of financial support from a sponsor.
- Proof of health insurance. You will need to provide proof of valid health insurance coverage in Sweden.
5. Find Accommodation
Finding suitable accommodation can be challenging, but it is nothing you can’t do. Here are a few tips to help you find student accommodation in Sweden:
- Check with your university. Many universities in Sweden offer housing services to their students. Contact your university’s international office or student union to see if they can assist you in finding accommodation.
- Use student housing portals. Several student housing portals in Sweden can help you find accommodation. Some popular portals include Boplats, Studentboet, and SSSB.
- Consider private rentals. You can also look for private rentals. But remember that private rentals can be more expensive than student housing options.
- Join Facebook groups. There are several Facebook groups for international students in Sweden where you can find information about available housing options. Joining these groups is a great way to connect with other students and find a roommate.
- Begin early. Accommodation in Sweden can be competitive, so starting your search as early as possible is important. Ideally, you should start looking for accommodation at least 3-6 months before you plan to arrive in Sweden.
- Be flexible. When searching for accommodation, be open to different types of housing options and locations. Consider shared apartments or rooms, and be willing to live outside of the city center if necessary.
6. Arrive and Settle In
Congratulations! You have arrived. There are just a few necessary steps left until you can comfortably begin exploring the country and making new friends! Keep reading!
7. Register with the Swedish Migration Agency
Once you have arrived in Sweden as an international student, you will need to register with the Swedish Migration Agency and get your residence permit. Here are the steps to follow:
- Visit the Swedish Migration Agency website. Visit the Swedish Migration Agency website to get started with your registration.
- Complete the online form. Complete the online form with your personal information, including your name, address, and passport details.
- Upload the required documents. You will need to upload copies of your passport, student visa, and other supporting documents as required.
- Pay the registration fee. You will need to pay a registration fee of SEK 1,500 to complete the registration process.
- Book an appointment. Once you have completed the online registration and paid the fee, you will need to book an appointment with the Swedish Migration Agency to submit your original documents.
- Attend your appointment. Attend your appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency office with all the required original documents. You may also be required to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and a photograph.
After your appointment, you will be issued a residence permit card that will allow you to stay in Sweden for the duration of your studies.
8. Open a Bank Account
Opening a bank account in Sweden as an international student is a straightforward process. Here are the usual steps to follow:
- Choose a bank. Research different banks in Sweden to find one that suits your needs. Some popular banks for international students include Swedbank, Handelsbanken, and Nordea.
- Gather the required documents. You will need to bring the following documents with you when you go to the bank:
- Your passport.
- Your Swedish personal identity number (personnummer).
- Proof of enrollment at a Swedish university or college.
- Proof of address in Sweden (such as a rental agreement).
- Visit the bank. Make an appointment with the bank of your choice and bring all the required documents with you.
- Fill out the application form. Fill out the bank’s application form, providing your personal details and information about your intended use of the account.
- Wait for approval. The bank will review your application and let you know if it has been approved. If approved, you will be provided with a bank account number and other necessary information.
- Activate your account. Once your account has been approved, you must activate it by depositing money.
9. Get Health Insurance
There are two main healthcare providers in Sweden – the public healthcare system and private healthcare providers. The public healthcare system is funded by taxes and is available to all residents of Sweden, while private healthcare providers require payment of a fee.
As an international student, you may be eligible for free or reduced-cost healthcare through the public system. Contact your university’s international office for information on accessing healthcare services.
If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you can obtain an EHIC from your home country before you leave. This card allows you to receive necessary medical treatment in Sweden at a reduced cost or for free.
If you are not eligible for free or reduced-cost healthcare through the public system or do not have an EHIC, you may need to purchase private health insurance. Many insurance providers offer policies specifically designed for international students.
10. Attend Orientation Programs
Attending orientation programs as an international student in Sweden is highly recommended for several reasons. These programs can help students familiarize themselves with the country and its culture and also learn about their university and program of study.
They also provide a great opportunity to meet other international students and build a support system. Orientation programs usually include sessions with university staff who can provide guidance and support on academic, social, and practical matters.
Overall, attending orientation programs can help international students feel more prepared and comfortable in their new environment and can be valuable throughout their studies in Sweden.
11. Begin Exploring
You have so much to explore in Sweden! Here are some places you must visit as an international student in Sweden:
- Stockholm. Sweden’s capital city is a must-see destination for international students. It offers a rich history, beautiful architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene.
- Gothenburg. This city on the west coast of Sweden offers stunning coastal views and a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of cafes, restaurants, and museums to explore.
- Uppsala. This historic university town offers beautiful architecture, scenic parks, and a rich cultural heritage.
- Lund. Another university town, Lund, offers a charming medieval city center, museums, and beautiful gardens.
- Kiruna. For nature lovers, Kiruna in the far north of Sweden offers stunning views of the northern lights and access to the wilderness of Lapland.
- Gotland. This island off the east coast of Sweden offers beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, and a unique cultural heritage.
12. Attend Lectures/Seminars
Although you may get carried away with all the exploring and fun, make sure you attend your lectures and seminars!
Lectures and seminars are crucial to enhance your learning experience. These sessions provide a chance to interact with ideas and theories. They offer valuable insights that are not available in textbooks, thus developing critical thinking skills and promoting intellectual curiosity.
Attending these events can help build networks with people with similar academic interests and stay updated with current trends and knowledge in the field.
13. Join Student Organizations
Joining student organizations is a great way for international students to get involved in campus life and meet new people. These organizations provide opportunities to develop skills, gain experience, and network with other students.
They also offer a chance to learn about Swedish culture and traditions while participating in various activities and events.
14. Participate in Campus Life
Campus life provides opportunities to socialize, engage in activities, and learn about Swedish culture, thus making the transition to a new country easier.