The freedom of choosing yourself where to go and what to study; you can organise studying abroad independently as a freemover student.

Many people have clear ideas and wishes about studying in a particular country, a favourite city, or at a special university. This is why every year around 20,000 Swedes choose to independently organise their overseas studies. Are you one of them?

As a freemover student you will have considerably more freedom of choice than if you study abroad through an exchange programme. You can choose yourself what to study, where to go and how long to be away. The disadvantage is that you have to organise everything yourself. Thorough preparation and planning are necessary if your time studying abroad is to go well. You should therefore be prepared that it can take time – up to a year – to prepare, apply and be admitted.

  • You must arrange the application, translations of grades, any visas, travel and accommodation.
  • You must be thorough when researching both the programme/courses and the university.
  • You need to think carefully about what you want to do when you return to Sweden. This applies regardless of whether you want to continue studying in Sweden or to start working.
  • Be aware that some professions require Swedish authorisation if you are to work in that profession in Sweden, such as doctors.

Remember that the place at which you want to study probably wants you as a student, so don’t hesitate to ask them for help.

Entire education abroad

You can study an entire programme/degree abroad. If you choose to study for a regulated profession and then wish to work in Sweden, it is important that you find out what rules apply. Working in a profession that is regulated in Sweden requires authorisation or certification, such as for lawyers and doctors.

Read more about regulated professions in the article After studying abroad

Part of an overseas education

You can also choose to study abroad for a shorter period of time and then apply to a university or university college in Sweden.

It is the Swedish university or university college at which you continue your education that decides whether you can transfer the credits from your studies abroad. Swedish universities generally only transfer credits from foreign universities that are approved by that country’s authorities. This means it is important that you check in advance what applies to the course you are planning on applying for.

Student grants

You may get a Swedish student grant for independent study abroad, if the course:

  • is full time if you are studying outside the EU,
  • lasts at least three weeks within the EU and 13 weeks outside the EU,
  • ends with an exam or results in a qualification,
  • is approved by the Swedish Council for Higher Education or CSN (Swedish Board for Study Support), i.e. it is an acceptable standard.

Read more about financing your studies abroad

Read more about CSN's requirement for so-called Acceptable standard

Page last updated 2015-07-02