If you’re thinking about studying abroad and are considering coming to Sweden to study but not sure where to get the information, look no further. 🙂 Over some years I have gotten questions on how to come and study here from friends abroad and now that I have a blog to share information on I’d like to take that opportunity. So continue reading if you want to know the process and webpages to use when applying as well as some useful information.
You might have heard that studies in Sweden are free, and to some extent it still is. For Swedish people (and those with residenceship without being a citizen) and for citizens living within the European Union it still is totally free. We Swedes even get some money from the government when we study and can take a student loan to survive during the years as a student, pretty sweet deal. It was only a few years ago that the government changed the rules about school fees for students coming from a non-EU country, it used to be free for them as well. Nowadays though all universities have fees which are set according to how much it actually costs for the university. If you are from a country outside EU then there’s still hope about coming to Sweden for studies, even if you don’t have much money, more on that later in the post but don’t give up reading yet.
The first thing you want to do is to check if you’re eligible for the studies that you want to do, and that depends on things like what level you want to apply to (bachelor’s or master’s), special requirements of the university and/or the programme and finally where you completed your previous studies. For example, if you are a student from Nepal who want to apply for a master’s programme here, you will have to have completed a 4 year bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s followed by a master’s. You might also have a chance if you have a 3 year bachelor’s degree with honours, but a normal 3 year bachelor’s isn’t enough. You’ll find more information for specific countries here. There you can also find information about which documents you need to submit.
So now that you know what you can apply for it’s time to start searching for a programme (or course). The site that we use in Sweden is antagning.se but I also found a search function for programmes taught in English at studyinsweden.se. I’m not sure what the difference is but I think the second one seems easier to use. I suggest you try both though, maybe you’ll get some different results.
Most of the programmes start in the autumn, around the end of August or beginning of September. The application round for those programmes are in January and then there’s a second round in April, but it’s always better to go for the earlier deadline since there are more programmes to choose from and you’ll have longer time preparing things like applying for the visa, getting an apartment etc. If you apply in the late round you might not have time to get your visa. For programmes starting in the spring (that means January) the application rounds are in August and October.
If you have searched and looked at different schools you might have noticed that there are two different types of schools, universitet and högskola. Many of the schools write ‘university’ in the english name though so it won’t seem confusing for English-speaking people. The general difference between these two are only that at universities you can obtain a degree at doctoral level whereas at a högskola you can only get a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This is only true to a certain extent because there has been some changes in the rules. Nowadays you can get a degree at doctoral level at some Högskolor as well since they are allowed to have this in a few certain specialized areas. So if you already know that you want to do doctoral studies after a master’s degree be sure to check so your university have both. Otherwise you might want to consider another university since it’s probably easier to stay in one place once you’re here.
When you have found an interesting programme that you want to study go to antagning.se and create an account if you doesn’t have one already. The application can be done online on this site so you don’t need to send any documents by post. On this same site is also an overview over the application process and all information that is needed.
I’m guessing you might be wondering about the scholarships I mentioned in the beginning. To get a scholarship you need to fulfil some requirements and you also need to be accepted at the university where you will be studying already. This means you can’t apply for the scholarship from the beginning and only choose to accept a position in the programme if you get the scholarship. You need to have everything ready before you have a chance on the scholarship. The scholarships are mainly for students on master’s level or doctoral students, you might find for bachelor’s programme as well but you have to search more. More on which scholarships you can apply for on studyinsweden.se.
If you get a scholarship, for example from the Swedish Institute, you’ll get the tuition fees covered as well as 8000 SEK per month for living expenses. This is around the same amount that a Swedish student generally have (student grant + loan), so it will probably be enough to survive on. In general it’s (much!) more expensive to live and more difficult to find an apartment in the bigger cities, especially Stockholm and Göteborg. Every year they write in the media about the crisis for students, that there isn’t enough apartments etc. So because of this it might be a good idea to go to a university in one of the smaller cities, they sometimes can guarantee you an apartment (usually not so far away from the university either).
Finally, if you’re thinking about coming here for studies, I’d like you to consider my university, Mälardalen University. I have had such a great time here and it’s really a wonderful school to study at! The best thing is by far the teachers / professors / lecturers, you get really close with them and they are very helpful. The buildings and surroundings are also very nice, and there are so many interesting courses to take. The master’s programme that I’m studying will change from being in Swedish to being totally in English next time, so if you’re interested in Innovation and Design, check out this specific programme as well.
If there’s anything that’s unclear or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment and I will do my best to answer them. 🙂