You can study abroad as an exchange student from a university in Sweden. You can also apply on your own to a foreign university as a freemover. Find out the difference between the two.

Being an exchange student means that you study abroad as part of your Swedish education programme. Most Swedish universities have partnerships with overseas universities through various exchange programmes. As an exchange student, you receive help from your department with preparations. You don't need to pay tuition fees for your studies abroad.

When you travel as a freemover, you choose yourself where you'd like to study. You're responsible for the application process and paying the tuition fee. Be aware that it can take up to a year to coordinate everything necessary for your studies abroad as a freemover. 

The benefits of being an exchange student

To participate in an exchange programme you must have been admitted to a Swedish university. Studying as part of an exchange programme is counted as part of your Swedish education and you receive Swedish credits. In general, you must study a certain number of credits at your Swedish university or university college before you can travel abroad. You are limited to choose from the courses and universities that have partnerships with your Swedish university.

Some of the advantages of an exchange programme are:

  • Your university provides a lot of help, with the application permit, visa, housing, etc.
  • The credits often can be counted towards your Swedish degree.
  • You don’t need to pay a tuition fee to the overseas university.
  • Most often, you receive a scholarship or grant in addition to funding from the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN).

The opportunity to study abroad is open to all students. You don't need to have top grades which is a typical misunderstanding. 

Traveling as an exchange student

Studying as a freemover

Entire education abroad

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

Read more about regulated professions

Part of an overseas education

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

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.

How do I find a university in another country?

Embassies can provide information on their country's universities. Contact the embassy here in Sweden for the country in which you'd like to study. 

Page last updated 2020-02-07