Guide: study in Sweden
There are many good reasons for studying at university. It gives you the chance to study a subject at depth for a longer period. You learn how to sort large quantities of information, which gives you tools for tackling challenges in working life in a new way.
It also gives a good basis for studying abroad. It is a merit on your CV, and can be a way in to an educational programme you would not have taken in your home country. It is also a a fun and exciting experience where you can expand your language skills, see a new culture, and experience a new country.
Before you throw yourself into an education in Sweden, you probably have some questions about how to apply, what educational programmes are available, and practical matters such as registration in the Population Register, what to do if you become ill, or how to find accommodation. Info Norden has compiled this guide, which we hope will help you on the way to your dream education in Sweden.
Can foreign citizens study in Sweden?
Yes, foreign citizens can study in Sweden, but there are slightly different regulations depending on which country you come from. You therefore do not need to be a Swedish citizen or resident in Sweden to study at a Swedish university, and there is no upper age limit for studying at a university in Sweden.
The Nordic countries give students from the Nordic region equal opportunity to study at higher education establishments throughout the Nordic region. This is through the Nordic Agreement on Admission to Higher Education.
EU citizens also have the right to study in Sweden without needing to apply for a residence permit. If you work, study or have your own means to support yourself, as an EU/EEA citizen you automatically have the right of residence in Sweden and therefore do not need to apply for a residence permit or contact the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationsverket).
If you are a citizen of a third country and will be studying for more than three months at a university, college, vocational college or folk high school at post-secondary level in Sweden, you must apply for a residence permit for higher education. The permit must be received before you travel to Sweden.
Can you study free of charge in Sweden?
If you are a citizen of a Nordic country, an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, or if you have a permanent or temporary residence permit (not for studies) in Sweden, you do not have to pay tuition fees in Sweden.
If you are a citizen of a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you must pay registration and tuition fees for studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Read more about fees on Antagning.se.
Can you receive student finance while studying in Sweden?
Most students from Nordic countries receive student funding from the country in which they are citizens. However, if you are a citizen of another Nordic country, in some cases you may receive student finance from Sweden, CSN. This can be, for example, if you have lived in Sweden for a long time, or if you have worked in Sweden.
Start by contacting the student finance authority in your home country to see if the educational programme you wish to study in Sweden is approved for student finance, and whether you are eligible for student finance.
Where do you find information about studying in Sweden?
You can read more about higher education on the Info Norden pages. Here you can read about the different types of education, such as university education, vocational education, and undergraduate degrees for a profession.
On the website Utbildningsguiden you can find current and relevant information in Swedish about all publicly recognised education programmes in Sweden, i.e. upper secondary education, higher education, and adult and further education.
On the website Studera.nu, you can find information about university education in Sweden.
The website Studyinsweden.se is aimed at foreign students, and contains information about educational opportunities and general information about studying in Sweden.
How do you get admitted to a university educational programme in Sweden?
You apply for a university education programme in Sweden on the website Antagning.se. On that website you can also find detailed information about whether you meet the entry requirements needed to apply. If you meet the entry requirements, you are qualified for university education.
Can you study on an exchange programme in Sweden?
If you are studying in another Nordic country, you can ask whether your educational institution arranges exchanges with Sweden. Swedish universities and university colleges often have their own agreements with institutions in other countries. There are also exchange programmes such as Erasmus+ and Nordplus.
Can you use your Swedish educational qualification abroad?
As a rule, you can use a higher education qualification from Sweden throughout the Nordic region, but some programmes are tailored to the labour market or the regulations in Sweden. Each of the Nordic countries also have a number of professions regulated by law that require authorisation. This applies in particular to healthcare and professional qualifications.
You should therefore always check the rules for recognition of educational qualifications and authorisation in the country or countries you are considering working in when you have completed your education.
Do you need to register in the Population Register when you are studying in Sweden?
It is not common to report a permanent move to Sweden if you are studying for a short period in Sweden.
However, if you are planning to stay in Sweden for more than twelve months, you should check whether you need to notify the authorities of your relocation.
Where will you be covered by social insurance when you are studying in Sweden?
Check with the social insurance authority in your home country or in Sweden whether you will be covered by social insurance during your stay in Sweden. This depends, for example, on how long you will be away and whether you will be working while you study.
What happens if you become sick during the course of your studies in Sweden?
Nordic citizens and citizens in the EU/EEA or Switzerland are always entitled to necessary health care in Sweden. This applies regardless of whether or not you are registered in the Swedish Population Register. You must bring your EU health insurance card in case become ill while studying in Sweden.
If you are listed in the Population Register in Sweden, you are also entitled to health care benefits and receive planned health care in Sweden.
Are you covered by your private insurance when you are studying in Sweden?
Contact your insurance company and check whether your insurance covers you while you are studying in Sweden or whether you must switch to a Swedish insurance company.
It can be a good idea to have travel insurance and possibly contents or damage insurance for your home.
Do you need a bank account if you are a student i Sweden?
Contact your bank in your home country and make sure that the bank meets your needs while you are studying in Sweden. Remember to keep all your PIN codes and other relevant codes in order so that you can access the websites of relevant authorities in your home country.
If you are staying legally in Sweden or an EU/EEA country, and can show proof of identity in a way that enables the bank to check your identity, you are entitled to open an account in a bank in Sweden if you need one. The bank cannot demand that you have a Swedish personal identity number or an address in Sweden.
Must you have a student identity card in Sweden?
It is a good idea to have a valid student identity card in case you want to make use of student discounts. ISIC is an international student identity card that also gives many discounts all over the world.
Do you want your post sent to Sweden?
If you are going to be away for a long time, it is a good idea to get your post forwarded to your new address in Sweden.
How do you find accommodation when you are studying in Sweden?
Check out the accommodation options in the town or city where you will be studying. Ask your educational institution if they know anything about accommodation options, and check whether they have a reception system for new students.
Who can you contact if you are planning to study in Sweden?.
Contact the educational institution at which you want to study for more information. You can also contact antagning.se or the Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet, UHR) if you have specific questions about admissions, entry requirements, or assessment of foreign educational qualifications.
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.