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If you are thinking of studying abroad, you should include Sweden as one of your options. In Sweden, you can find a number of different programs, taught at Bachelor’s and Master’s, as well as Doctoral level. What is more interesting is that if you have a European citizenship you can most probably study for free. Here is some information about the overall process and the most important sites to have a look at if you’re planning on continuing your studies in Sweden:

Bachelor’s and Master’s programs

The first thing you have to do is to find the program that you want to pursue. You can do this either by using Universityadmissions or through a website called Study in Sweden, under the Programmes section. You can also browse through different programs and locations by looking at individual universities. You can do this here. Differently to the UK, where you can apply only to five programs each time, in Sweden you can apply to up to 8 for Bachelor’s and 4 for Master’s.

Entry Requirements

As with all the universities worldwide, each program and university in Sweden asks for different requirements. However, there are some requirements which are applicable to all students.

For a Bachelor’s program:

– All students must have completed an upper-secondary education

– Must be able to show fluency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper-secondary course English 6/English B

– Students who have completed high school after 31 December 2009 must be able to show that they have completed mathematics courses equivalent to the Swedish mathematic courses- in particular, Mathematics 1a, 1b or 1c / Mathematics A

These requirements may vary according to the specific program. For example, someone who wishes to study Engineering might be required to have a higher grade in mathematics along with other subjects. It is highly advisable to check the requirements of each program before applying.

For a Master’s program:

– Proficiency in English must be demonstrated through an internationally acclaimed test such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc.

– In most cases, an upper-secondary education or previous university studies are required

– For each program the level of language required may vary.

As with Bachelor studies, each program will ask for different requirements and achievements. Students who have just completed, or are going to complete their upper-secondary education now, are highly advised to read through this information.

Deadlines

In Sweden, there are two rounds of applications. The deadline for the first admission round regarding Bachelor and Master Studies is the 15th of January. You can start applying on the 16th of October. The second admission round usually starts on the 15th of March and the deadline for applications is the 16th of April. For the first round, you are usually notified in April and for the second in July. All courses start end of August. For more information about the process, have a look at this link.

Application

In order to apply to a program in Sweden, you have to do it through the Universityadmissions.se website. There, you must submit all the required documents (such as a copy of your EU passport to avoid paying a fee, cover letters, a CV, copies of degrees and certifications etc.). If you are not a European citizen you will have to pay 900 SEK along with your application. You will also receive an answer from the universities of whether you are eligible through the same platform. If you are not a European citizen you will also be required to apply for a residence permit for studies in Sweden three months before your arrival. For more information about resident permits have a look here.

PhD Studies

For PhD studies, it is the same procedure as with most other countries. Vacancies are listed on the university’s website or some universities have ongoing PhD programs judging whether the applicant meets the required entry criteria. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD you will have to look at each university individually.

Funding

If you are looking for a way to finance your studies in Sweden you can apply to one of the Swedish Institute Scholarships through the Swedish Institute’s website. The application period for this year regarding Master’s studies will be 2-9 February, 2018. Other scholarships can be found here.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees in Sweden range from approximately SEK 80,000 per year (approximately 8,300 EUR) to SEK 130,000 (or approximately 13,000 EUR). However, if you are a European citizen, in most cases education is for free. If you require more information about the fees, have a look here.

So, should you go for it?

According to my own experience, I can say that studying in Sweden has both positive and negative sides. The positives are that you can study for free and save a lot of money. When education, for example, in the UK costs around 9 to 10 thousand pounds on average per year, Sweden is an excellent choice as it offers quality and an abundance of different programs you can specialize in. What is more, in Sweden diversity and inclusion are highly valued, thus you can enjoy a multicultural environment and meet people from all around the world. It is also quite flexible, as you can study individual courses without doing the whole program. In regards to student life, in cities such as Uppsala and Lund you can find nations (the equivalent of US fraternities), where each student is encouraged to become a member. These nations offer a lot of activities where you can meet people, find a part-time job, and even help with accommodation).

However, depending on the size of the department, there might not be enough administrative staff, which can cause problems and a lot of hassle. Another downside is that there are usually not enough books in the libraries to borrow (and not enough libraries) which means you will have to buy them most of the time. Finally, the most important of all is that it is quite hard to find accommodation in main cities such as Stockholm and Uppsala if you are not an international student, so be prepared to search in advance.

To conclude, if I had to choose again whether to pursue a degree in Sweden or not, I wouldn’t hesitate to go for it again – it has been and still is one of the best experiences of my life.

This article was written by Maria P – our English and Greek teacher in Stockholm.


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