Sweden is one of the most developed and happiest nations on the planet. While the country might be known for their Northern Lights, breath-taking natural landscapes and IKEA stores around the world, Sweden is a country that values education and literacy. Studying at any of Sweden’s world-class universities is a great choice for personal growth and job-readiness. In this article, we will be looking at ways to study in Sweden for free.
What does tertiary education in Sweden look like? The higher education system of the Bologna Process is similar to the system used by other European nations. It is divided into three cycles, basic (bachelors degrees), advanced (masters degrees) and doctoral (PhDs). Universities in Sweden do not have tuition fees for citizens.
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What are the minimum requirements to study at a Swedish university?
International students need to demonstrate some proficiency in Swedish and English. The Test of English as a Foreign Language or the Cambridge First Certificate English exam are used to test proficiency in English. The bulk of Swedish people speak English, as it is a compulsory language in schools, and university classes are often offered in English.
How much does studying in Sweden cost?
Tertiary education is free for students from the European Union (EU) states, members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. So, if you are from those countries, you can automatically study in Sweden for free. Tertiary education was previously free until 2011 when the Swedish government introduced tuition fees for international students. However, Swedish education is considered to be one of the best systems in the world and a degree from a Swedish university will open up many avenues in the future.
For students outside the aforementioned states, application fees start at SEK 900 and tuition fees depend on the field of study. Bachelor’s degrees are less expensive and the standard tuition fees range from SEK 80 000 – 270 000 per year.
How can I study for free in Sweden?
A scholarship would be the ideal method to study for free in Sweden. There are multiple scholarships available for students across the world. It should be noted that not all scholarships pay for living expenses so that would need to be budgeted for. An average monthly budget of SEK 8370 (approximately $925) is required for food, accommodation, transport and internet. This is also dependent on your personal lifestyle and where you live in Sweden. More scholarships are offered for Master’s degrees compared to Bachelors and applicants are expected to have excellent results and some level of work experience before applying.
1. Make a List of Universities in Sweden that you want to study in
You need to make a list of universities in Sweden that you want to study in. However, in order to study in Sweden for free, universities need to give scholarships to international students. You can find the list below!
2. Apply for Scholarships
- Swedish Institute Scholarships (further information)
Your first port of call when searching for scholarships is the Swedish Institute (SI). It is a government agency that offers scholarships to international students and a handy search engine is available to see what scholarships are offered for your country.
- Swedish Institute Scholarships for Global Professionals (further information)
This scholarship is aimed at students from developing countries such as Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya and Zimbabwe (amongst others). This scholarship is specifically for Masters programmes and requires specific experience in leadership and a minimum amount of work hours before one is eligible.
Application process: One should begin with applying for a Masters programme at a Swedish university and once accepted, apply for the SI scholarship.
- Visby Programme Scholarships (further information)
This scholarship offers Masters programmes to citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. It includes all university fees and a monthly grant of SEK 10 000. The Visby Programme is looking for students who play a positive role in their home countries and who display intellectual ability.
Application process: Students should apply for and be admitted into an eligible master’s programme. Only specific programmes are offered, primarily within the architectural, engineering, business and biomedical fields.
There are also university-specific scholarships offered as well. These can only be accessed by applying to and getting accepted to that particular university. In some cases, only a portion of the tuition fees are covered (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%) and these scholarships do not include living expenses. However, it can be a great way for you to study in Sweden for free.
- Karlstad University Global Scholarship Programme (further information)
This scholarship is aimed at top academic students who have applied and been accepted to the university. There is no stipend to pay for living costs. This scholarship pays between 25%-100% of the tuition fees and is stated on the notification of scholarship once the applicant is successful.
Application process: Supporting documents and a printed and signed application for should be sent to Karlstad University Student and Executive Services Office.
- Lund University Global Scholarship Programme (further information)
Lund University is ranked in the top 0.4% of universities in the world and has high expectations from prospective students. Applicants have to show that they achieved consistently high grades in their previous studies. The scholarship does not pay for living costs and pays between 25%-100% of tuition fees. This is dependent on the budget of the department and not on individual students’ capabilities.
Application process: Applicants need to ensure that they have enough funding to cover living costs and they apply for Lund University as their first choice for a Bachelors or Masters programme.
- Uppsala University Scholarships (further information)
Uppsala University offers a range of scholarships, to both bachelors and masters programmes. These scholarships are available to a range of countries, with specific scholarships for citizens from the USA, China, Hong Kong and a changing list of nationalities eligible for the King Carl Gustaf Scholarship. To be eligible, students need to choose Uppsala University as their first choice when applying, have excellent academic results and have applied for a Bachelors or Masters programme at the university. All scholarships only cover tuition and not living expenses.
There are a lot of options to study in Sweden for free but the bulk of them are for people who have completed their bachelor’s degree. Sweden is a beautiful country with some of the best universities in the world. Since universities offer a mix of study and practical work, they prepare students for a competitive job market and ensure that they have the right skills to succeed. So what are you waiting for?
I hope that this article on how to study in Sweden for free was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Category!