Sweden is well known for being one of the best places in the world to study, due to the fact that it has both a fantastic educational system, as well as the fact that it offers some of the highest quality of living in the western world. This is why so many students every year choose to up roots and head to Sweden to pursue their educational dreams – with a huge majority of them coming from within the EU or from the various states within the USA.
Perhaps the biggest advantage for many though is that Sweden currently has over 500 different university courses that are taught in English – meaning that the Swedish educational system is accessible to almost everyone. Granted, most countries in the EU don’t have English as their first language, but it is widely taught and the majority of young Europeans have an excellent grasp of the language. This is proved by the fact that there are currently students from 82 different countries studying just for PhDs alone, with a huge amount more studying regular degree courses in everything from politics through to engineering.
So what is the first step to studying in Sweden, regardless of the country that you come from? Well, that’s an easy question to answer – you need to get the grades! As with every other country, colleges in Sweden offer courses based on how well someone has done at school, so it is important to gain good grades in order to be accepted by one of the better Swedish universities. As long as this is done, then the only other tasks are to get a visa (if coming from outside the EU) and to decide whether you think that attending one of the colleges in Sweden is the correct decision for you.
Studying in Sweden as an EU Citizen
EU students can simply report to Swedish Migration when they arrive in Sweden. As for tuition, it is completely free for EU citizens.
Studying in Sweden as an American (or non EU Citizen)
Getting a visa is not a tough process and the Swedish administrative system is an extremely efficient one. This means that waiting times are kept to a minimum and that you will not be kept wondering whether that dream course at one of the Swedish universities is out of reach. If your course is going to be more than 3 months long – which the vast majority of them are – then non-EU students will have to apply for a residency visa.
There are various documents that need to be supplied should you be from outside the EU and want to obtain a Swedish residency visa. These include, but are not limited to:
- a copy of your passport,
- proof of the fact that you are enrolled in full time education,
- a certificate proving that you have health insurance
- proof of having the necessary amount of money to support yourself.
While this might sound like a lot of documentation, this is the same in virtually every country in the world. If you are from the United States but want to study abroad, you will go through this process everywhere. The application may change depending on what type of studying you want to do in Sweden, so read the Swedish embassy page for more information about visas.
For many foreign students, the question of money is the biggest concern – a concern that often means that they don’t pursue their goal of attending one of the colleges in Sweden. Tuition can cost up to 140,000 SEK or $20,000 per year (which is still quite affordable compared to some American universities). If you can’t afford this right out, do not worry, as there are a number of different scholarships that can be taken up. These will obviously ease the financial burden and therefore make the goal more attainable.
There is no need to apply for residency in the country to take advantage of the many jobs that can be found there, which means that many people never actually return home to live in their own country! For American students, getting a degree from one of Sweden’s universities can also lead to employment there, although a visa will have to be gained in this instance (something that is easy with a job offer in hand).
Work while Studying
Another way to support yourself in Sweden – whether you are an EU citizen or a non-EU citizen – is to work while you study. A number of countries don’t allow foreign students to work while studying, but Sweden isn’t one of them. As long as you have a residency visa (or are an EU citizen), you are free to take work to support yourself. Obviously when your visa runs out though, you will have to stop working and apply for a new one. The good news though is that if you have a job offer when your studies at one of the Swedish universities ends, you will be allowed to stay in the country indefinitely.
So, what is stopping you from studying in Sweden? The process is simpler here than in almost any other country, and with the fact that it is easy to build a future after studying, Sweden surely is the ultimate place to go to university – regardless of where you come from! For more information, all of the colleges in Sweden have websites and they can be easily contacted either by phone or via email.