Study in Sweden
Stand out from the crowd with a degree from a Swedish university. Nearly 900 degree programmes at the bachelor’s and master’s level are taught entirely in English in Sweden, across the spectrum of academic disciplines and often in ground-breaking interdisciplinary fields.
In Sweden, you’ll be challenged to find your own voice and critically evaluate the world around you. Project work will teach you to apply cutting-edge research to real-world challenges as part of an intercultural team. And some of the world’s most exciting companies – and a new generation of startups – have their home in Sweden, making a degree in Sweden the first step to a global career.
When you choose to study in Sweden, you don’t just pick a place – you pick a future.
Why Study in Sweden?
- Be challenged and inspired by almost 1000 degree programmes taught in English at over 35 universities.
- Creativity is central. When you study in Sweden, you’re encouraged to think independently, creatively and critically.
- Informality. Students are on a first name with their professors and encouraged to question and contribute.
- Explore an open and progressive society that has pioneered social equality and eco-conscious living.
- Enjoy life. Sweden is a safe, clean, and beautiful country with one of the highest standards of living in the world.
- Everyone speaks English. Sweden regularly ranks as one of the top countries in the world for non-native speakers of English.
- Experience university culture dating back 500, 50 or 5 years – historical and new universities combine the best of tradition and innovation.
Universities in Sweden
Sweden is home to over 35 universities and university colleges. Many of these are large, comprehensive research institutions, while others are smaller in size and more focused in scope. All Swedish universities and university colleges offer rigorous degree programmes according to the standard European system of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Visit studyinsweden.se to browse universities based on subject area and location or start with a programme search to find just the right programme for you.
Study English language preparation courses in Sweeden
- The Swedish university system is ranked first in the world in relation to GDP, and second in the world overall, by the U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems.
- Five Swedish universities are ranked within the world’s top 125 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- Three Swedish universities are ranked within the world’s top 100 and eight in the top 300 by the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities
How to apply
Applications for bachelor’s and master’s programmes are made through a central application service, Universityadmissions.se. Visit Universityadmissions.se for eligibility requirements and application guidelines for upcoming semesters.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for students who are citizens of countries outside of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland range between SEK 80,000–140,000 per academic year for most subjects.
Scholarships are offered to high-achieving students both on the national level and by individual universities. Visit studyinsweden.se/scholarships for an overview of the scholarship programmes available and how to apply.
Students who are citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland do not pay tuition fees.
Read more at studyinsweden.se.
Rules for visas and residence permits for international students in Sweden vary depending on country of citizenship. Visit the Swedish Migration Agency’s website for more information.
Research & Careers in Sweden
Swedish research is wide-ranging and well respected internationally. Swedish researchers are especially prominent in the fields of natural science, medicine and technology. Most publicly funded research is carried out at universities. Many teachers are involved in both teaching and research, while also supervising PhD students. However, even the private sector invests a great amount of resources in research and development.
Several of these R&D-intensive companies are grouped in clusters throughout Sweden. Examples of these clusters are Kista Science City (Stockholm) with focus on ICT, life sciences in “Medicon Valley” (Skåne) and Biotech Umeå, and space research around Kiruna. Some of the most prominent Swedish companies with large research divisions are Electrolux, Ericsson, SCA, and Volvo. Sweden is the EU’s “Innovation Leader” according to the latest Innovation Union Scoreboard, and has defended this position since 2006.
Some 19,000 Ph.D. students are currently enrolled in Sweden. Research in Sweden has an international approach, and exchange is seen as an integral part of the system. About 39% of all new Ph.D. students have a non-Swedish background. Ph.D. students are usually fully funded by a research salary from their university, and can apply for grants and scholarships for additional funding or international research trips.
Career & Working in Sweden
Sweden is home to more multinational companies per capita than anywhere else in the world, and innovative companies like IKEA, Ericsson, H&M, AstraZeneca, ABB, Skanska, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group and Electrolux have their roots here. As an international student with a degree from a Swedish university, you’ll be competitively positioned to launch your career in Sweden or anywhere in the world.
International students who have completed at least two semesters of full-time study in Sweden can apply for an extended residence permit to stay in Sweden for six months after completing their studies to search for a job in Sweden or establish a business. Once you’ve received a job offer meeting certain basic conditions, you can apply for a work permit. These regulations are some of the most liberal in the world.
To learn more about finding a job in Sweden and applying for a work permit, visit work.sweden.se/international-students.
Pictures by Jan-Olof Yxell / Sofia Sabel, imagebank.sweden.se
Living 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. Throughout the country, you’ll enjoy a high standard of living and modern university facilities, including comprehensive libraries and well-equipped labs.
Popular student pastimes include team sports, cultural societies and enjoying Sweden’s great outdoors. Sweden is one of the world’s top consumers of coffee, and one of the first words every student learns is fika – a coffee or tea break complete with cinnamon buns or other sweet treats. There’s also no lack of nightlife, with clubs and bars dotting Sweden’s cities and student unions offering a relaxed environment for evenings out.
Cost of living
Living costs in Sweden depend largely on your lifestyle and will vary between cities; larger cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg will be more expensive than smaller towns. A sample monthly budget is as follows:
Food: SEK 2,000
Accommodation: SEK 3,500
Local travel: SEK 560
Telephone/internet: SEK 300
Insurance, medical care and hygiene: SEK 300
Hobby/leisure, miscellaneous: SEK 1000
Total: SEK 7,660
Swedish universities offer a variety of housing options to international students, often including flatshares, studio flats and corridor rooms. Read more at studyinsweden.se.
It’s easy to get to and from Sweden via plane, train or boat, with Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö as major transport hubs, with direct and connecting flights reaching throughout Europe around the world. A modern train network, complemented by a large offering of long-distance coaches, connects you to the rest of Sweden and Scandinavia. Sweden’s cities offer robust public transport systems, with most offering buses, trams, subways or a combination.
Read more about life in Sweden at studyinsweden.se.
Pictures by Susanne Walström / Tina Stafren / Göran Assner, imagebank.sweden.se
9 things to know about Sweden
- Sweden’s capital is Stockholm, located on the country’s east coast. Other cities with over 100,000 inhabitants include Gothenburg, Malmö, Västerås, Uppsala, Örebro and Linköping.
- The oldest Swedish university, Uppsala University, was founded in 1477. The newest, Linnaeus University, was founded in 2010.
- Despite its northerly location, the Gulf Stream makes the climate in Sweden temperate. During the summer months (June-August), temperatures often reach the high 20s or low 30s Celsius. Winters are usually snowy – but Swedish engineering means you’re always warm indoors!
- Sweden is one of the largest countries in the European Union in terms of land mass. If you were to rotate Sweden by its southern point, it would reach to Naples, Italy!
- Mountains, forests, islands and open fields: Sweden offers beautiful, largely untouched nature that’s always just a short trip away. The Right of Public Access means you can roam freely through nature to hike, camp or just pick berries and mushrooms.
- The Nobel Prize is given each year in Sweden for extraordinary achievements in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and economic sciences. Students in Sweden can enter a drawing to 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.
- The world’s largest underground iron ore mine is located in Kiruna, in the north of Sweden. Northern Sweden is also home to Facebook’s European data center, powered with renewable hydropower; a sophisticated space research center; and one of the automotive industry’s main testing sites, where the latest models are primed for the market.
- Sweden is one of the world’s most eco-friendly countries – just 1% of household waste ends up in a dump, with the rest being recycled or turned into biofuel. 48% of energy used in Sweden is renewable, with a large proportion coming from hydropower and biofuels and an increasing amount coming from wind power.
Learn more about Sweden
Want to learn more about Sweden’s vibrant culture, traditions, geography and people? Visit sweden.se for facts and stories on everything from Avicii to pickled herring.
Images by Ola Ericson / Cecilia Larsson Lantz, imagebank.sweden.se