Want to study further? Discover what it is like to study in Sweden.
By: Adriana Galán
Deciding to study abroad, especially in the northern Country called Sweden, is an excellent choice because of different facts:
In Sweden, education is free for Swedish for the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland citizens, as most universities and university colleges are state-run and financed by tax revenue. And for non-Swedish citizens, the government offers different scholarships that allow the students to pay for the tuition fees, such as the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Council for Higher Education.
Some universities offer preparatory courses to help international students meet the requirements to enter a bachelor´s or master´s degree program.
Swedish universities are highly ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Students can access grants and loans while they are studying at a university. This loan also applies to resident foreigners. The loan amount depends on the time of learning (part-time or full-time), the length of time in weeks, and the size of your income. The maximum interest rate is 2% per year. The following table from csn exemplifies the grants and students loans 2022 amounts:
1 week, SEK
4 week, SEK
20 week, SEK
Table from csn:https://www.csn.se/languages/english/student-grants-and-loans-for-studies-in-sweden.html#expand:svid10_6a02f90f175ae6d7c395b3
Sweden offers over 1,000 degree programs in English: more than 100 bachelor’s and more than 900 master’s programs.
Most people in Sweden can speak English proficiently, so you don´t have to worry if you don´t know the country's first language: Swedish. And while you are studying there, you can learn the Swedish language, as the university offers the course.
Sweden is an egalitarian country, meaning anyone is welcome to study at the university of their choice regardless of race, religion, home country, or socioeconomic status. This allows classrooms to be an interesting multicultural mix where students can learn from each other despite the background of anyone.
The buildings of the Swedish Universities are built with innovative architectural designs and interior design, using furniture that develops the student's creativity.
The academic year is divided into two semesters; the autumn semester begins from August till December, with a short break in the last weeks of December, and the spring semester starts mid-January till June.
The education program is the Swedish way...freedom with responsibility, which means education is less formal. The lecturers can be called by their first name and treated as equals, without titles. A classroom is where the students are responsible for their learning, developing their thoughts and reflections, encouraging them to think outside the box, question everything, and make statements and arguments.
Students are free to choose their courses, seminars, and schedules. In Sweden, a student is expected to study for 40 hours, but this doesn´t mean spending all the time in a classroom; it implies being in discussion groups, searching and analyzing books, and doing the work assigned by the lectures. Nor does it mean that several courses will be held in the same period; that is, you can choose a course that lasts a few weeks, and at the end, there will be an exam or the delivery of a research essay; and then you can commence another course. Dedicate time to a chosen course to highlight the knowledge acquired.
Teamwork is highly valued in Swedish education, as it allows students to interact with their classmates by arguing points of view and listening respectfully to consolidate problem-solving skills that will prepare them for future careers and workplaces.
Many colleges and universities complement their courses with extracurricular activities for students through the education department or student union. Some organized activities include an open house event where students can learn more about the extended offer of the university and a welcome dinner for international students; there is also a Swedish student who welcomes you and shows you around the university and can be a good tour guide. Trips within the country are also organized, such as traveling by train to Kiruna and visiting the ice hotel Jukkasjärvi, admiring the northern lights, or trips to another European country. Bonfires are organized to share a good time, meetings, parties, and games; there are sports or other cultural activities. They make international students feel welcome and included in society.
Studying in Sweden allows you to balance school work and social life due to the choice of schedule and courses and the extracurricular activities offered by each university.
Studying engineering in Sweden is an excellent option because it combines innovation, sustainability, life balance, and gender equality. It offers a well-resourced environment to make the study more dynamic, impressive, and fun. It is less stressful as they do not focus so much on grades, but on knowledge acquired, teamwork, and collaboration between students. In the last thesis year, during the summer break, the students have the opportunity to collaborate with companies to obtain professional experience as an internship to develop skills and knowledge, gain exposure to the work environment, and build a professional network. In the end, you can get a job within that company or some other to be able to work permanently.
“The greatest thing about studying abroad at the Jönköping University was creating deep friendships/connections with people from completely different cultures. The travel adventures I got to do changed my outlook on life and how the world works. I’ll never forget those amazing experiences - Germany and Kiruna were incredible and made me feel confident, empowered, and sure of myself and the way I want to live in this world. I loved the engineering classes that I took, there were only 6 to 10 people in those classes with me, and the format was more discussion based rather than working page by page through a textbook which was much more interesting and engaging”. (Marie G. from Canada).
You will love studying in Sweden and discovering the beauty of the place. Decide to take your professional career to another level.