Study in Sweden, with the help of our guide, and you will find yourself in a nation which has always punched well above its weight.
From being the center of an empire in the 17th century, to being the home and birthplace of the Nobel Prize, its influence has long spread well beyond its borders, despite having a total population no bigger than a large city. Swedish businesses such as Ikea and Volvo are known around the world, and in bouffant-haired 70s pop aristocrats ABBA and director Ingmar Bergman, for example, it has contributed greatly to the world of popular culture.
The modern nation is known for its sense of social justice and fairness: is has the highest level of wealth equality in the world, publically funded healthcare is available for all, homosexual couples enjoy the same rights as heterosexual ones, and it enjoys one the world’s lowest gender pay gaps.
Add on striking northern European beauty, and free tuition for EU students (fees for non-EU students were introduced recently) and you have a pretty h6 case for studying in Sweden! But what are the universities like?
As you’d expect from a nation whose economy is driven by science and technology, the answer is very good! Five of its eight ranked institutions make the top 200 of the 2012/13 QS World University Rankings, led by Lund University and Uppsala University at 71 and 81. Beyond the ranked institutions, the Karolinska Institute, a specialist medical school, and the Stockholm School of Economics are both highly regarded in their fields.
Fact of Study in Sweden:
- Constitutional monarchy, currently headed (ceremonially) by King Carl XVI Gustaf
- Democracy, with unicameral legislature (Riksdag)
- Head of government is prime minister (current incumbent is Fredrik Reinfeldt)
- Historical nation with its roots in the Middle Ages, breaking from the Hanseatic league in the 16th century to become Sweden proper
- Population of 9,103,788 and total landmass of 173,745 square miles make it one of the most sparsely populated nations in the world
- Member state of the European Union
- Last involved in an armed conflict in 1814
- Official language is Swedish (Svensk); many Swedes speak English as a second language
- Capital and largest city is Stockholm
- As well as the famous meatballs, Swedish cuisine includes such delicacies as licorice ice cream and pickled herrings
- Currency is Swedish Krona, symbol: SEK, SEK1 = US$0.15
- Internal dialing code is +46
- Uses Central European Time (UTC+1), switching to Central European Summer Time in summer (UCT+2)
Life Style in Sweden Major Cities:
Home to nearly a quarter of Sweden’s population, Stockholm is very much the country’s beating heart. Many of the nation’s most prestigious universities can be found within its borders, including the Royal Institute of Technology (142), Stockholm University (ranked 171) and the Karolinska Institute.
A large student and immigrant population make this famously attractive city a vibrant and cosmopolitan place. It isn’t, however, famous for its nightlife – partially due to it being rather pricey – but if you’re into a more chilled out way of life, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing…
See where Stockholm ranks in the latest QS Best Student Cities >
Lund is a small city, which dates back to the 10th century, and is known as something of a hub for high-tech companies. The city’s position at the southern tip of Sweden means that it offers plenty of opportunities for travel, but, if you find yourself in Lund, it will only be for one reason: its university.
The second oldest university in Sweden, Lund University, at 71, is also the country’s highest ranking institution. If you choose to study here, don’t expect a crazy nightlife – though there are plenty of bars around to cater for the large student population.
Home to Sweden’s oldest and second highest ranking institution, the University of Uppsala (81), Sweden’s fourth biggest city is a small leafy canal-lined town which boasts its very own castle.
Like many of the other cities here, it’s a rather quiet, and reserved, and may well suit those who are more focused on their degrees than their social life. However, that said, there are plenty of students around, so there’s still scope to let your hair down when you need to! It’s located towards the east of the country so is well placed for trips to Eastern Europe.
Sweden’s second biggest city is home to two highly ranking universities: the University of Gothenburg (193) and the Chalmers University of Technology (223). To those who are not drawn to the quiet, historical, leafy cities in which you’ll find many of Sweden’s universities, Gothenburg is something of a godsend.
It’s more affordable than many other Swedish cities, and has plenty of pubs and bars. The port town is also renowned for its continental feel and its friendly locals, and has a charming historical district of its own, so you needn’t feel like you’re missing out.
Umeå is by far the most northerly of these cities, an ideal base from which lovers of the wilderness can strike out and enjoy the stark beauty of northern Sweden. If you’re feeling brave, it is a mere 400km outside the Arctic Circle.
Though it is a small, remote town (Umeå University comes in at 297 in the QS World University Rankings), Umeå is no backwater. It is known for being something of research hub, and boasts a respectable nightlife and enough culture to have earned this fast-growing city the title of European Capital of Culture 2014.
Sweden Important Fact:
- Admission, entry and visa requirements
- Education, Swedish policymakers have decided, is a common good, and therefore university is free for Swedish citizens. This right extends to EU and Swiss citizens. A desire to stay competitive, though, means that fees have been introduced for non-EU citizens. These are set by the universities; you can expect to pay somewhere between SEK80,000 and 180,000 (around US$12,000-27,000) depending on your degree.
- To apply to university in Sweden, you should use the centralized University Admissions application portal. Visa regulations will differ depending on whether or not you are from an EU nation.
- EU and Swiss nationals:
International Students always required Study Permit for study in Sweden:
You will require a residence permit in order to study in Sweden, which you can get from your local Swedish embassy.
In order to obtain a study permit you will need to prove you have been admitted onto a course, that you have comprehensive health insurance and that you can support yourself for the duration of your course. At present, you are required to have SEK7,300 (around US$1,100) a month for at least ten months out of every year of your stay, on top of your fees (the first installment of which must be paid before you’ll receive your permit). You must have enough money for the whole period of study the first time you apply. This sum is reduced if you are receiving free lodging or food, or if you have a scholarship.
You will have to renew your permit annually.
LIST OF UNIVERSITIES IN SWEDEN:
- Chalmers University of Technology
- Göteborg University
- Halmstad University
- Högskolan på Gotland
- Jönköping International Business School
- Jönköping University
- Karolinska Institutet
- Kristianstad University
- Kungl Tekniska Högskolan
- Linkoping University
- Lulea University
- Lund Institute of Technology
- Lund University
- Malardalens University
- Mid Sweden University
- Örebro University
- Royal Institute of Technology
- Stockholm School of Economics
- Stockholm University
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- Umeå University
- University College of Örebro
- University College of Gävle/Sandviken
- University College of Kalmar
- University of Boras
- University of Falun/Borlänge
- University of Karlskrona/Ronneby
- University of Karlstad
- University of Kristianstad
- University of Skövde
- Uppsala Universitet
- Växjö University