Studying and living in Sweden
Free courses, educational programs adapted to the current requirements of the labour market, high standard of living, modern infrastructure and large after graduation employment opportunities – this is how the advantages of studying in Sweden can be briefly presented. Disadvantages? Studies are demanding, and the cost of living can cause a headache.
The Study and Higher Education System in Sweden
There are currently 48 universities in Sweden, which can undoubtedly be included in most modern in Europe. Leading Swedish universities have also been at the forefront of world ranks for many years. It is not a surprise- excellent infrastructure, high requirements for students and a wide range of courses are factors that always have a positive impact on the development of higher education and economy.
Students of Swedish universities have a great deal of freedom in choosing the subjects they want to learn – only a small part of them is in the obligatory sector, others are voluntary or only recommended by universities. Finally, a piece of shocking information for people who associate studying mainly with party events and wild nightlife: classes at Swedish universities take about 40 hours a week!
Sweden is, obviously, a participant in the Bologna Process, so students are obliged to transfer ECTS credits, and the academic study is divided into three separate stages:
- First-cycle studies in two variants: two-year studies completed with the högskoleexamen exam or three-year undergraduate studies, the graduation from which entitles students to start the second-cycle studies.
- Second-cycle studies: one or two-year MA studies
- Third-cycle studies: two- or four-year doctoral studies – only the second option allows you to obtain a doctoral degree.
Recruitment Process and Formal Requirements
To get to one of the Swedish universities, you must possess secondary school-leaving examination certificate and document the knowledge of the lecture language (Swedish and/or English) Recruitment is centralized and takes place via the website www.studera.nu.
The recruitment Schedule is stated individually by each university. Still, in 90% of cases, it looks as follows: applications for the summer semester should be submitted maximum until mid-April, and for the spring semester, to mid-October. Recruitment results are usually published in July and December.
Candidates for majors with lectures in Swedish must have a TISUS certificate. However, if you do not have it, you can use special language programs (organized by the largest universities), which then allow you to pass the language exam. However, if you intend to choose one of the faculties with the English language, then you must hold one of the following certificates:
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language),
- IELTS (International English Language Testing Service),
- MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery).
The Costs of Living in Sweden
In the beginning, good news: an academic study in Sweden is entirely free, so students are not required to pay tuition fees. And now it is time for bad information: the cost of living in Sweden is quite high. It is estimated that the monthly expenses of an average student amount to about 7,500 Swedish crowns.
In total, all costs include accommodation, food, transport, telephone and internet, compulsory student contributions, health insurance, etc. You can save a lot of entertainment, thanks to the many discounts that students are entitled to.
Apartments or rooms are most comfortable to look for by university student accommodation offices – they have the most significant number of offers and help in completing all formalities. You can also look for accommodation on your own, but then you have to reckon with higher costs.
Do you expect all-night parties and rivers of beer? Do you loathe getting up early and claim not to be obliged to attend lectures? Ok., then it means studying in Sweden is not for you.
Lecturers require a lot from students, but at the same time, they remain in partnership with them, so basically with any problem or dilemma, one can turn to the teacher. We do not recommend taking exams and plagiarizing – Swedish universities are not very lenient, so in this case, you should expect being immediately expelled from the university.
Well, you always have something for the hardships of studying, which is the perfect infrastructure that allows you to explore this picturesque country.