Studying and Living for International Students in Sweden
Sweden allures thousands of international students every year and has a long history of welcoming international students from around the world. Studying and living in Sweden can be an exciting experience.Know more about the studying and living in Sweden in this section.
Accommodation for International Students in Sweden
As an international student looking for accommodation, you should first contact university where you’ve taken admission. Most universities do provide accommodation services to international students.
Apart from Universities, there are other housing facilities also available in Sweden. The accessibility of student housing varies substantially from place to place. Getting an accommodation in the larger urban centres, mainly Stockholm and Gothenburg, and in the traditional cities of Lund and Uppsala is difficult. Therefore, you should search for housing in a good time prior to your travel to the country.
There are many accommodation options available in Sweden for students.
Residence Halls and Flats
Student residence hall, also referred as a dormitory, or in a building of student flats are the best and the first choice of every student. Most residence halls have 10 to 15 single rooms in each corridor, usually with a common television room and kitchen. All the facilities, like laundry services, study area and other community facilities are being provided to the students. Student flats have 2-4 bedrooms along with a shared living room, kitchen and bathroom. One-room student flats are also available in Sweden.
Halls of residence or student flats in Sweden are generally managed by organisations or companies independent from the university itself.
Private Market Accommodation
In most cities in Sweden, rental flats are available for students. These rental flats are managed by central housing services that run queue systems. Residents sign up for a queue in their city and are then allowed to apply for flats, which are allotted based on queue time. The most common option for students on private accommodation is a sublet.
The housing office at your university can provide some information on private accommodation in your city. Also, there are many websites on private accommodation managed by the student unions. The following websites provide listings for sublets in Sweden: Blocket, Sokstudentbostad.se, and Jagvillhabostad.nu etc.
Home-stay is where you rent a room with a Sweden family and be a part of the family. This could help you learn Swedish better and also serves as a great opportunity to experience Sweden culture first-hand.
The monthly rent costs vary depending upon the place, facilities ad type of accommodation. For a student room or a room in a flat, monthly rent ranges between SEK 2,500 and SEK 6,500, with smaller towns at the lower end of the range and Stockholm at the high end. On the private market accommodation, costs are generally higher.
Here is a general estimate of the cost of a flat per month:
- Smaller cities – SEK 2,000 to SEK 3,500 for a flat or per room in a larger building.
- Medium-sized cities- SEK 2,300 to SEK 4,300 for a flat or per room in a larger building.
- Larger Cities – SEK 2,500 to SEK 4,500 for a flat or per room in a larger building.
The living expenses in Sweden depend mainly on your individual lifestyle, place and needs. The ballpark figure is:
- Food: SEK 2,000
- Accommodation: SEK 2,500-3,500
- Travelling (locally): SEK 560
- Telephone/internet: SEK 300
- Insurance and medical care: SEK 300
- Leisure, miscellaneous: SEK 1000
The living expense is about SEK 7,300-7,660 per month in Sweden.
No tuition fee is charged for students from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. Students who are not citizens of an EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland are required to pay the application and tuition fees. The tuition fees apply only to first cycle (bachelors) and second cycle (master’s) programmes, while PhD programmes are free of charge. Higher education institutions in Sweden set their own tuition fees and vary depending upon the course and programmes. You can expect to pay between SEK 80,000–140,000 per academic year for most courses. However, programmes and courses in the area of medicine and art have considerably higher fees.
Students applying through universityadmissions.se need to pay an application fee. The application fee for fee-paying students is SEK 900.
- Student Union Fees: Students are required to pay a membership fee for joining the local student union. The fees vary depending on the union. You are required to pay between SEK 50 and SEK 350 per semester for the Union.
- Textbooks Costs: The costs for books vary depending upon the courses. You can expect to pay SEK 750 per month on books per semester. For some courses, like law and natural and environmental sciences, the cost of textbooks is higher. You are required to pay more out of your pocket. Many student unions organizes book sales where students can buy used textbooks at a lower cost.
Working While Studying
As an international student in Sweden, you’re permitted to work alongside your studies if you have your residence permit. There’s no official limitation for how many hours you can work. However, it’s significant to keep your studies as your foremost priority. You’re required to spend the equivalent of a 40-hour work week reading and working on assignments.
You can look for work on campus at your university, or job portals on the internet. Here’s a quick list of job searching resources that you can use while seeking for a part-time work
- Arbetsformedlingen – This is the biggest agency in the country, and serves many Swedes and migrants to get jobs every single year.
- Academic Work – This Swedish agency was set up principally to serve students, both those who are studying overseas and those who are native to Sweden. It also comprises of jobs in which you do not have to speak Swedish.
- The Local – The Local is an online newspaper that offers Swedish news in English format and even has a job ads section that you can check out. The website gives up-to-date information and news that you may want to know while studying and living in Sweden.
- EURES – EURES is a job portal that provides jobs all throughout Europe.
Try finding a work as soon as possible, after you’ve been admitted to your university. The sooner you begin, the more likely you will find a job that will help your stay in Sweden financially.
Transportation in Sweden
You can travel in and around Sweden by public transport-buses, commuter trains, trams and undergrounds.
In Sweden, local transport is constantly associated with regional transport (lanstrafik). You can take the passes to avail the public transport facility in Sweden. Passes are generally valid for unlimited travel on the local network such as local buses, underground (T-bana), and commuter trains.
Stockholm has an extensive underground metro system, and Goteborg and Norrkoping run tram networks. Goteborg also owns a city ferry service.
Getting around by Buses and Tram
You can travel in and around Sweden by buses.
Express buses: You can travel in and around Sweden by Swebus. Swebus Express has the biggest and widespread network of express buses, and only assist the southern half of the country. Svenska Buss and Safflebussen likewise connects several southern urban areas and cities with Stockholm. The Svenska Buss and Safflebussen are low-priced and economical than Swebus Express.
North of Gavle, constant connections with Stockholm are delivered by many smaller operators, including Ybuss which delivers services to Sundsvall, Ostersund and Umea.
You can book the tickets online by visiting their respective websites. You even get student discount.
Regional Networks: The lanstrafik bus networks are combined with the regional train system, having one ticket only that is valid and accepted on any local or regional bus or train. You can get discounts on train fares if advance reservations are made. In distant areas, taxis are integrated with the county council to offer a taxi trip till the final stop at a low-price. These reduced prices are only valid if booking is made in advance.
Travelling In and Around by Car and Motorcycle
Sweden has excellent roadways. You can hire a car or bike and travel in and around Sweden.
To lease a car you must be at least 20 or 25 (at some places) years of age, with a valid license and a credit card. International rental chains like Hertz, Avis, and Europcar are available in Sweden. These rental chains are more costly, but convenient. Visit their respective websites and know more about the rates and other details. A quick look at the rental chains in Sweden:
Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Mabi Hyrbilar, OK-Q8, and Statoil.
Travelling In and Around by Train
Sweden has a huge, extended and well-developed railway network. There are many discounts available if booking is made in advance. Pupils above 26-years old having a Swedish CSN or SFS student card and people below 26-years of age, are given a discount of 30% on the standard adult fare.
Cycling is an excellent and cheapest way to get around Sweden. Most towns in Sweden have separate lanes and traffic signals for bicyclists.
Driving: A foreign driver’s license is valid for a maximum of one year starting the date you register at the local tax office. After one year you are required to get a Swedish driving license.
Health Insurance and Medical Care in Sweden
PhD students must contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (www.forsakringskassan.se/privatperson) or other respective institutions to get more details about the health insurance and medical care facilities.
Health Insurance for Bachelor and Master’s Programme at Sweden Higher Education Institutions
For EU/EEA/Swiss Nationals
Citizens of any of the EU/EEA countries or Switzerland before coming to Sweden are required to register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in their home country. This card enables you to avail medical care facilities care at exactly the same price as Swedes. For more details go to following website https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559
If your stay in Sweden is for more than one year, you should get a personal identity number. And for that you need to register with the Swedish Tax Agency. Once you’ve received your personal identity number, you’ll be allowed to make use of all the health care facilities. For more details see official website https://skatteverket.se/
For Non-EU/EEA Citizens
Stays of one year or more: If your course programme duration is more than a year, you’ve the right to receive the same health and medical benefits as Swedes. To get these benefits you are required to obtain a personal identity number by registering with the Swedish Tax Agency. Once you’ve received your personal identity number, you’re eligible for all the health care facilities and pay Swedish patient fee.
Stays of less than one year: If you hold residence consent or permit legitimate for a stay of not more than one year, in that case, you would not be able to get a personal identity number, which indicates you would not have an automatic admittance to health insurance. Nevertheless, the university in which you've enrolled may offer you the health insurance coverage owing to the Swedish State Insurance Agency’s plan. Contact the university in which you've enrolled to know more about the plan.
Medical Treatment in Sweden
To avail the medical treatment you need to get a prior arrangement for meeting the doctor at the student health centre available at your Institution or visit his local healthcare centre, Vardcentralen. Patient fees may vary, but are generally between SEK 150 and SEK 200.