A great deal of preparation needs to be done when you apply to a course or programme abroad.

Compare courses

Find out as much as you can about the courses/programmes and the universities in which you are interested. Compare the lengths of the courses, entry requirements and costs. Always contact the university for information about entry requirements and the admissions process.

Ploteus, the European education database, has information about higher education in Europe.

Ploteus, the European education database

Can I use my foreign studies in Sweden?

Education systems are different in other countries. Therefore, not all studies at foreign universities compare to university studies in Sweden. Are you planing on continuing your studies after your studies abroad? Then it's important to contact the university you're planning on attending when you return - before you decide to travel abroad to study - to find out if you'll be able to transfer the foreign courses and credits.

If you're planning on studying an entire education programme abroad, it can difficult to find out what it's worth in Sweden. The Swedish Council for Higher Education's (UHR) evaluation service can help you with that. 

UHR's evaluation service (only available in Swedish)

Regulated professions

Regulated professions require a specific licence or authorisation from a public authority in order to be able to practice in Sweden. A few examples are medical doctor, nurse, lawyer and psychologist. Contact the responsible authority in advance to find out if the foreign qualification provides eligibility to practice in that profession in Sweden. 

Find out more about regulated professions at Uhr.se

Find out about costs

Overseas universities often charge tuition fees. Contact the relevant university for more information. If you are studying abroad, it is possible to apply for extra student funding for tuition fees, provided that the course/programme is approved by the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN).

Read more about financing your overseas studies

Find out what is required to apply

Contact the overseas university at which you are interested in studying and ask for application documents and instructions, including deadlines. Some countries have a central admissions authority. In others you send your application straight to the university.

Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility

In order to be admitted to a foreign university, it is almost always necessary for you to have basic eligibility for higher education in Sweden. The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) can provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility.

Information about certificates for overseas studies on UHR’s website (in Swedish)

Take a language test

For most courses, you must have passed a language test. There are various tests – the overseas university to which you are applying will have more information about what is needed to study there. Remember to plan well in advance, as tests are only offered on specific dates and it make take time before the results arrive.

The most common language tests can be taken in Sweden.

English

Folkuniversitetet has information about:

  • Cambridge exams
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The Educational Testing Service (ETS) website has information about:

 

French

EU citizens no longer need to take a language test before applying to universities in France. However, a pass in these tests is recommended:

  • Diplôme d´Etudes en Langue Française (DELF)
  • Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française (DALF)
  • Test de Connaissance Français (TCF)

More information about these tests is available from L´Institut français de Suède (information at the link in Swedish).

Spanish

Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) is Spain's official language certificate. The Instituto Cervantes (information in Swedish) is responsible for the test in Sweden.

German

When you register at a German university you take a language test called Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber (DSH).

You can also apply if you've passed one of the following language tests from the Goethe-Institut:

  • Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom, (KDS), tests reading comprehension, writing and speaking. The diploma is valid in all German-speaking countries as a certification that you have adequate skills for higher education.
  • Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom, (GDS), demands fluent spoken and written German.
  • Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung, (ZOP), is at the same level as KDS.

Information about language tests in German on the Goethe-institut’s website (in Swedish)

Translation of grades

Upper secondary grades

You often need to translate your upper-secondary grades to the country’s language. This also applies to other grades that show you fulfil the entry requirements. The requirements for the translation can vary; sometimes you can do your own translation or the school who issued your grades can do it. Always contact the university to find out which rules apply.

Kammarkollegiet’s website has a searchable register of authorised translators.

Authorised translators on Kammarkollegiet’s website

It may be necessary to have official confirmation that your grades and documents are genuine and correct. In most cases they should be certified by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, but sometimes it's also necessary to have an apostille from a notarius publicus (a lawyer appointed by the county administrative board).

Information from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on certification and apostille (in Swedish)

Translation of grades from higher education

If you want to translate grades from higher education, you should contact the relevant department at your university.

Page last updated 2020-02-07