Sweden offers plenty of opportunities for international students who wish to pursue a degree or undertake research at a world-class university. Swedish educational institutions are strongly focused on students and their interests; helping you to build skills in your chosen field. Studying in Sweden offers a wide choice of courses and programmes at all levels of study.
Sweden is a prosperous, welcoming country offering many exciting opportunities for education, work and leisure. There are around 30,000 international students in Sweden, which provides an exciting, multicultural environment for all the students.
Swedish institutions are highly ranked and offer plenty of opportunities for study and research. five of the eight swedish universities in the THE World University Rankings made it into the top 200 in 2012, including Lund University (71st place) and Uppsala University (81st place).
Unlike other destinations that may place more emphasis on research output, Swedish universities are strongly focused on their students. All of the courses and programmes encourage group work, innovation and critical thinking. Sweden’s higher education institutions have also adapted to the Bologna Process, as well as conforming to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, meaning that you’ll graduate with a fully-recognised European degree.
One unique aspect of Swedish higher education is the way courses are structured. Instead of studying several modules at once throughout an entire semester, students only study one at a time for a shorter period (several weeks). Examination is performed after a module is completed. For this reason, Swedish semesters consist of a series of these short segments.
Swedish institutions offer several types of degrees you can study for:
Bachelor’s degree – It takes three years of undergraduate studies to obtain this degree.
Degree of Master (One Year) or a Degree of Master (Two Years). They require one or two years of specialised studies, respectively.
There are also two degree types for the advanced studies or research:
Licenciatexamen: It is granted after an additional two years of study.
Doktorsexamen (PhD): Granted after a minimum of four years of additional study or research.
Generally there are two types of institutions of higher education in Sweden: universities and university colleges. The only difference applies to the advanced studies (Licentiate and PhD) and not to the undergraduate or Master’s studies. Universities have the unrestricted right to award Licentiate and PhD degrees, while university colleges don’t, and most of them don’t award PhDs.
Sweden is a beautiful northern European country, bordered by Norway in the west and Finland to the north-east. The largest city and the national capital is Stockholm. The northern parts of the country lie above the Arctic Circle, but the climate is effectively tempered by the Gulf Stream. This gives Sweden a varied climate with cold winters and mild summers.
Although Sweden is perhaps most-famed for its extensive Viking history, the country is also known for its safety and human rights policies, so it is a good place for people from all over the world who wish to study, work and live in a stable and prosperous northern European country.
The top tourist attractions in Sweden include:
Drottningholm Palace. This is the permanent residence of the Swedish royal family. It is also one of the top tourist destinations. It was built in the late 16th century and it is the most well preserved castle in Sweden.
Kalmar Castle. Its history can be traced back for over 800 years. It was first built as a protection against pirates and was named the “Key to the Kingdom”. It played an important role for the country during its long history.
Visby. This is the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia. It dates back to the 12th century.
The Swedish Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm is one of the largest museums in Stockholm and presents more than 10,000 years of country’s history. It’s best known for its Gold Room and an extensive collection of the Viking artifacts.
Boat trips to numerous Swedish islands, as well as cruises along the historic Göta Canal. Sweden has 96,000 lakes and they offer plenty of opportunities for tourists and students who wish to spend some relaxing time or enjoy nature.
Sweden uses the krona as its currency. Education in Sweden is free for Swedish citizens, and this right extends to all EU and Swiss citizens, which means there are many opportunities for European citizens to study for free in Sweden.
However, fees have recently been introduced for students from non-EU countries. All fees and tuition costs are set by the universities, so prices vary depending on the university. The tuition fees usually range between SEK 70,000 and 170,000 per academic year (around EUR 7,000-17,000). The exact price will depend on your program, degree level and the university.
With free tuition for EU citizens and reasonably priced tuition costs for non-EU citizens, Sweden is among the most affordable European countries when it comes to cost of higher education. There are also many scholarships offered by individual universities or by the Swedish Institute (available for students applying to English language programmes, mainly for graduate level studies and research). In addition to this, the Swedish government has set up 2 scholarship programs specially designed for non-EU international students. There are also numerous scholarships offered by other organisations.
Whilst the main tuition costs and fees are among the most affordable in EU, living in Sweden can be expensive. You can expect to spend around SEK 2,000 on food and SEK 3,000 on accommodation per month. Together with other costs, such as travel, Internet, clothing, etc., you can expect to spend around SEK 7,000 per month. However, it all depends on where you live (for example, smaller towns are less expensive than Stockholm), the type of accommodation and your lifestyle.
It’s also important to remember that all students enrolled at a Swedish university or university college can work during the course of their studies, even without a work permit.
Depending on your country of citizenship, you may need a visa or a residence permit if you wish to study in Sweden.
Nordic countries: Citizens of Nordic countries do not need a visa or residence permit to study in Sweden.
EU/EEA citizens: You have the right to reside in Sweden without a residence permit. However, you will need to register with the Migration Board no later than 3 months after entering the country. To register, you will need to show a proof of enrolment in a course or programme (minimum at high school level) and an assurance that you have enough funds for your living expenses.
Citizens of Switzerland must apply for a residence permit.
Non-EU/EEA citizens: If you wish to study in Sweden for more than 3 months, you will need a residence permit before you arrive. You can only be granted a residence permit if you have been admitted to a full-time accredited university course in Sweden meaning you may need to pay the first instalment of your tuition fees beforehand. You also need to prove to the Swedish Migration Board that you will have a guaranteed sum of money throughout the entire period of your studies (SEK 7,300 per month for 10 months of the year). Students who have been awarded a scholarship will also need to supply proof of this..
The national language spoken in Sweden is, unsurprisingly, Swedish. All higher education institutions offer courses and programmes in Swedish. However, there is also a wide choice of English-language courses offered at Swedish universities and other educational institutions. These courses and programmes are aimed at both Swedish citizens and international students.
It’s also worth noting that almost everybody speaks fluent English. Some Swedish companies even use English as their official working language.
Swedish cities, like many in Western Europe, are prosperous and rich in history. The majority of them have at least one university and a strong student population.
Stockholm is the nation’s capital and the largest city in Sweden. It is the home to many prestigious universities, such as the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Dramatic Theatre, and the Karolinska Institute.
The city has a large student and immigrant population, which makes Stockholm a vibrant, multicultural city. The most popular tourist destination is Stockholm’s Old Town as well as Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet), the home to a warship that sank on its first voyage in 1628.
Gothenburg is Sweden’s second largest city. This is the home to two highly ranking universities: University of Gothenburg and the Chalmers University of Technology. Gothenburg is a modern city situated on the west coast of Sweden. It is more affordable than the other large cities in the country and it offers plenty of opportunities for education and fun.
The city is home to the Museum of World Culture and the Gothenburg Opera. The city hosts some of the most famous annual events in Scandinavia, such as the Göteborg International Film Festival. Other popular events include football at the Gothia Cup and the metal music Metaltown Festival.
Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, located on the west shore of Skane. This is where the Øresund Bridge is located, which connects Sweden to Denmark. The city is famous for its university life and numerous public events. It is the home to Malmö University (student population of about 24,000), as well as Malmö Art Academy, Malmö Academy of Music and Malmö Theatre Academy, as well as The Faculty of Medicine (located in both Malmö and Lund).
The city is known as an important cultural center, with many theaters and museums. The oldest building in the city is St Peter’s Church, built in the early 14th century. The city hosts Malmöfestivalen festival every August.
Västerås is a city in central Sweden, located by the Lake Mälaren. It is a home to the Mälardalen University with student population of about 16,000. The city is known for its strong industry and the largest lakeside commercial and recreational port in Scandinavia. One impressive city destination is a famous skyscraper “Skrapan” which hosts Sweden’s highest-located cocktail bar, on the 24th floor of the building.
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