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With vast areas of untouched countryside, fiercely-protected green spaces, and world-leading recycling rates, Sweden’s reputation as a green country is justified in every sense of the word. However, there’s much more to this vast European nation than environmental initiatives. It has a proud history of protecting the rights of its citizens, making free healthcare available to all and producing a number of world-famous companies such as Spotify, H&M, and IKEA. The quality of life in Sweden commonly ranks at the top of global indicators, with its free healthcare, political stability, and strong job market.
It is free to study in Sweden if you are a citizen of the EU/EEA. Although students from the rest of the world have to pay tuition, the fees are in line with, if not cheaper than, its European neighbors. Sweden is home to several corporations that are always on the lookout for talented graduates. Government initiatives also make starting your own business an achievable goal. Choose to pursue a Master in Sweden means you’re choosing one of the top study destinations in the world.
Sweden is undoubtedly one of the more expensive places to live in Europe. You can expect to pay anywhere in the region of SEK2,500-6,500 (US$250-$650) for your monthly accommodation, with rent in larger cities such as Gothenburg and Stockholm at the top end of that range. Day-to-day living costs are also generally considered to be above the European average. Study in Sweden estimates the minimum average monthly student budget at around SEK8,694 (US$874 and EUR€827).
Master programs start at around EUR€20,000 and go up to €50,000 at the most prestigious business schools.
EU and EEA citizens do not require a visa to study in Sweden, though individuals staying for more than one year must register for a Swedish personal identity number. Citizens from select countries (here is the full list of countries) require a visa to enter Sweden and must apply for a residence permit if they are staying for more than three months. Citizens from countries not mentioned on this list do not need a visa to enter Sweden but they do need to apply for a residence permit for stays of more than three months.
Sweden punches well above its weight when it comes to higher education. It has two schools in the global top 100, while the Stockholm School of Economics is one of the top business schools in Sweden and Europe.
Whether you want to start your own business or join the ranks of one of Sweden’s most famous companies, there are plenty of job opportunities for talented graduates in Sweden. It has a strong and diversified economy with a typically low level of unemployment. It is also renowned for its protection of worker’s rights, with annual leave, maternity leave, and paternity leave among the most generous in Europe.
With free tuition for some and affordable tuition for all, Sweden has long been a popular international study destination. The number of international students in Sweden has been rising steadily in recent years and there are currently around 40,000 studying in the country. A quarter of those international students are based in the capital Stockholm.
EU and EEA citizens do not require a visa to study in Sweden, though individuals staying for more than one year must register for a Swedish personal identity number. You will need to provide your university acceptance letter and your passport.
Citizens from select countries – including Indonesia, Kenya, Qatar, South Africa, and Vietnam (here is the full list of countries) – require a visa to enter Sweden and must apply for a residence permit if they are staying for more than three months. Citizens from countries not mentioned on this list do not need a visa to enter Sweden but they do need to apply for a residence permit for stays of more than three months.
You can apply for a student visa online or at the Swedish embassy or consulate in your country. The processing time is faster if you apply online. It is recommended that you apply for your student visa or residence permit three months before you arrive in Sweden.
Banks in Sweden offer all international students the possibility to open a bank account, as well as access to bank cards and internet banking (depending on the length of your studies). The four major banks in Sweden are Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB, and Swedbank.
The required documents for opening a bank account in Sweden include a valid passport or ID, a residence permit, a letter of acceptance from your university, and proof of address in Sweden. For non-EU/EEA citizens, further documents are required, including an employment contract and a Swedish ID card.
The healthcare system in Sweden is one of the best in the world. If you plan to live in Sweden for less than one year, you do not need to register for health insurance in Sweden. If you plan to study in Sweden for longer than one year, you need to register in the Swedish Population Register and contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, Försäkringskassan, to find out whether you are covered by Swedish health insurance. Students from the EU/EEA region need to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before traveling to Sweden.
Healthcare in Sweden is not free, but it is certainly affordable for international students. Public healthcare in Sweden covers basic outpatient services, prescription medication, dental care, prescription medication, hospitalization, and rehabilitation services.
For international students completing a Master in Sweden, a range of accommodation options is available. Some universities provide student housing in the form of “corridor rooms” in student residence halls or student flats. Due to limited availability, you might need to join a queue system for student housing.
You can also search for a rental apartment or studio with other housing services. Monthly rent in Sweden ranges between SEK2,500-6,500 (US$250-$650). Rent tends to be higher in larger cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Public transportation in Sweden includes buses, commuter trains, ferries, metros, and taxis. Students can buy a student travel card, allowing them to travel at reduced fares. You can also choose to travel by bike or simply by walking when traveling within the city. Rental bikes are available in areas all around the city. For a small fee, you can use the bikes on a daily basis. Study in Sweden recommends students budget SEK550 per month for travel.
The Big Mac Index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity (PPP) between two currencies. The price of a Big Mac in Sweden costs SEK54 (equivalent to approximately US$5, EUR€5, and JP¥690). For US$50, you can buy 10 Big Macs.
The cost of living in Sweden is high compared to other countries in Europe. Study in Sweden estimates the minimum average monthly student budget at around SEK8,694 (US$874 and EUR€827). Most of your budget will be spent on accommodation and food. There are plenty of student discounts available for leisure activities, like shopping, restaurants, travel, and sports facilities.