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.
Why study in Sweden?
1. It's free for most European students
That's right! If you come from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), you don't have to pay any tuition fees to study at public universities in Sweden. And this is great news because you can use the money you save to cover living costs, which are above the European average.
2. Freedom, equality, and sustainability
These are the three core values of the Swedish society and citizens. These values are reflected in all aspects of life, including work, education, the natural environment, and so on.
Swedes will do as much they can to provide you with the support and resources you need to achieve your academic, professional, personal, or any other goal.
3. Sweden is the best example of eco-friendliness
If you're environmentally conscious, you'll love living here. Sweden has been investing in the wellbeing and preservation of nature for a long time now.
It represents an example of what any nation can do through involvement and commitment. For instance, by 2040, Sweden aims to achieve 100% renewable energy production.
4. Open and progressive mentality
Sweden is one of those wonderful places where you don't have to worry about being different or not fitting it. They embrace everybody regardless of their personal choices or background. Stockholm, for example, is often considered as one of the most open cities in the world.
5. English is widely spoken
Over 80% of Swedes speak English, which makes it super easy to interact with them whenever you need help or simply want to enjoy a small chit-chat.
Still, we recommend learning at least the basics of Swedish, the most common words, for those rare cases when you meet someone who doesn't speak the English language.
Which universities and colleges to attend in Sweden?
Sweden is home to over 35 universities and university colleges, and they all offer degree programmes according to European standards.
Start your search for a dream Swedish university with one of these universities we recommend:
- University West
- Mälardalen University
- Linnaeus University
- Jönköping University
- University of Boras
- World Maritime University
- Uppsala University
What is it like to study in Sweden?
Studying in Sweden is likely to make you feel relaxed. Yes, students need to work hard, and expectations are high, but the higher education system is also very flexible and informal.
Popular student pastimes include team sports, cultural societies, and outdoor activities (performed very well dressed). There’s also a great nightlife, with clubs and bars dotting Sweden’s cities, and student unions organising evenings out.
What to study in Sweden?
Swedes are great with cars, great with IT, and great with the environment. So, it’s not hard to guess which are some of the most popular study areas in Sweden. These are:
- Computer Science degrees in Sweden
- Engineering degrees in Sweden
- Arts degrees in Sweden
- Environmental Studies in Sweden
- Cultural Studies in Sweden
Where to study in Sweden?
Sweden is a great place to live and study. From buzzing larger cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö, to cosy university towns like Uppsala and Lund, there’s a place for every taste in Sweden.
Whether you end up close to the Arctic Circle in Luleå or bumping shoulders with continental Europe in Malmö, you’ll find accessible towns with extensive public transport and bustling student scenes. So, check and pick one of the Swedish cities below, like:
How to apply
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
- Sample of academic writing
- Recommendation letters from professors and employers
Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Swedish 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 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:
Living in Sweden
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living expenses in Sweden:
Tuition fees in Sweden
In Sweden, students from the EU/EEA, Switzerland, or other Nordic countries do not have to pay tuition, but only an application fee of around 100 EUR.
Students from non-EU/EEA countries pay tuition fees of 7,500–25,500 EUR per year. Some Business degrees can cost over 30,000 EUR per year.
Naturally, fees vary depending programme and degree type, so be sure to check them when looking for study options in Sweden.
Accommodation, housing, food and other expenses
Living costs in Sweden are not exactly a bargain, but in this country, paying more really means getting more in return, in terms of quality of life. The monthly student budget here is around 700–1,200 EUR/month, out of which some of the most common expenses are:
- Monthly rent: 250–700 EUR
- Utilities: 90–130 EUR
- Monthly shopping cart (groceries): 210 EUR
- A meal at an affordable restaurant: 10 EUR
- A beer: 6 EUR
- Monthly transport pass: 80 EUR
Interesting facts about Sweden
From Abba to Avicii, Sweden is a great music exporter. But don’t let that fool you! Sweden isn’t only about pop culture.
In fact, the country prides itself with a great tradition of monarchy and one the highest gender equality rates in the world. Ready for some more facts that will make you smile while reading? Here they are:
- The Nobel Prize is given each year in Sweden for extraordinary achievements in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Economic Sciences. But did you know that students in Sweden can attend the Nobel Banquet and mingle alongside the Laureates?
- You might already know that companies like IKEA, H&M, Volvo, and Ericsson are Swedish. But did you know that Sweden is also a hub for software and game development? Spotify, Skype, Minecraft, Battlefield, and Candy Crush – amongst many others – are Swedish innovations.
- All employees (graduate students included) receive 5 weeks of paid leave per year.
- Learning Swedish will help you understand some Norwegian and Danish, as well, as all three languages evolved from the same dialect.
- Sweden doesn’t compromise when it comes to protecting the environment. You’ll discover an excellent recycling system and hear about all kinds of initiatives to reduce pollution.
But, on a lighter note, you should also know that, in Sweden:
- You can take sick leave during your holiday if you are ill.
- You’ll find elk fences along large roads to prevent elks from jamming traffic.
- Swedish children put on witch costumes and go trick-or-treating… on Easter.
- 20% of police stations are closed during the summer, because everyone is off on vacation.
Universities, colleges and schools in Sweden
- Dalarna University (4 PhDs)
- Blekinge Institute of Technology (9 PhDs)
- Karlstad University (22 PhDs)
- Linköping University (37 PhDs)
- Luleå University of Technology (65 PhDs)
- Lund University (76 PhDs)
- Umea University (45 PhDs)
- Uppsala University (76 PhDs)
- Mid Sweden University (1 PhD)
Interested in scholarships for Sweden? Check out our scholarship search page.
How to Apply to a Master's in Sweden
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Sweden, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in Sweden?
To apply to a university in Sweden you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
- birth certificate;
- recent photos;
- your passport or national identity card;
- one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
- copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
- academic transcripts;
- letter of intent;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Sweden so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Prove your English skills
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
Application deadlines for Sweden
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Sweden are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.