Do I need a residence permit? How do I get student aid? Do I need extra health insurance in case I become ill? These are common questions about studying abroad. If you travel as an exchange student, you'll receive a lot of help with them.

Financing your overseas studies

Studying abroad is often more expensive than studying in Sweden. In addition to accommodation costs, there are expenses for travel, phone calls, insurance, different fees arising from the application and possibly tuition fees. You can get student financing from CSN (Swedish Board of Student Finance) for studying abroad.

Tuition fees

Foreign universities often charge tuition fees. This amount is different from university to university. Be sure to find out what assistance you're eligible for.

If you receive a place as an exchange student through a Swedish university, you won't pay tuition fees to study abroad.

Financial aid

You can get student financing from CSN for studying abroad. You have the right to the same amount of financial aid as you would receive in Sweden regardless of what country you study in. If you are independently studying an entire programme abroad you can take an extra loan for the tuition fees. However, you cannot receive student financing for overseas studies if the same programme does not provide eligibility for student financing in Sweden.

CSN has requirements for student financing

The course/programme must:

  • be full-time if you are studying outside the EU,
  • last at least three weeks within the EU and 13 weeks outside the EU,
  • end with an exam or result in a qualification,
  • be approved by the Swedish Council for Higher Education or CSN, i.e. it is an acceptable standard.

Acceptable standard

One of CSN’s requirements for eligibility for student financing is that the course is of an acceptable standard. The foreign course must therefore fulfil certain requirements.

Read more about acceptable standard for studies abroad

Additional costs loan and borrowing for tuition fees

In order for it not to be more difficult to study in a country where living costs are high, an additional costs loan is available. Study abroad students can receive regular financial aid plus an additional costs loan. 

You can also borrow money for tuition fees and study fees. There's a maximum amount you can borrow per week, and a maximum for how much you can borrow for the entire study period. 

Sometimes the foreign university will want to know that you can finance your education. If so, CSN can issue a certificate that shows that the course generally provides eligibility for student financing. 

More on student financing at CSN

Distance education

You can also receive student financing for distance education in the EU and EEA. You can only receive student financing for studies in the rest of the world if there are exceptional circumstances.

Student financing for language studies

You can receive student financing for language studies that meet certain requirements.

More on student financing at CSN

Preparatory language courses

You often need to study a preparatory language course abroad in order to manage studying in another country. These can be approved if

CSN's information on financial aid for languages studies abroad

Scholarships and grants

There are scholarships and grants available for many different purposes. Some can offer help with financing overseas studies. Some are open for general applications, but most have special terms and requirements.

Scholarships and grants linked to a particular region

Municipalities and county councils have lists of scholarships and grants linked to the region. The applicant should often have been born there, or live, work or study in the county/municipality. Information about scholarships and grants is also available from parishes, associations, foundations and schools. The library has scholarship handbooks that list grants and scholarships.

Scholarships and grants linked to a particular university

You can also ask the university to which you are applying whether they have scholarships or grants for overseas students.

Scholarships and grants linked to a particular country

Institutes and organisations may also offer scholarships or grants. Most of the scholarships that are offered through the following organisations are for Master’s or doctoral studies:

Search for scholarships for studies in Great Britain at the website Education UK

Fulbright Commission – scholarships for studies in the USA

Italian Culture Institute (In Swedish) 

Swedish Institute's information about scholarships

The Sweden-American Foundation - scholarships for research and higher education in the USA and Canada

Scholarships in Taiwan

More suggestions

There are a number of scholarship consultants that, for a fee, can provide suggestions for suitable funds. Search on the internet to find such a consultant.

Svensk stipendieförmedling (a Swedish scholarship agency) issues a book called "Fonder & stipendier i Sverige" (Funds and Scholarships in Sweden – in Swedish). It is usually available at the library.

Information on foundations in länsstyrelserna's coordinated database (in Swedish) 

Grants and scholarships links at University of Gothenburg

Insurance

When you are studying abroad you must have good insurance.

Insurance for studies or placements as an exchange student

Sometimes, students on exchange programmes are covered by a general personal injury insurance policy called Student UT. If so, your university has taken out this insurance with Kammarkollegiet (the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency). Contact your university for more information.

Information on student insurance from Kammarkollegiet

Medical care within the EU

If you are studying in an EU/EEA country you are entitled to that country's healthcare benefits. However, you must have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This can be ordered from Försäkringskassan. Försäkringskassan also has information from the countries with which Sweden has healthcare agreements.

Försäkringskassan's information on studies abroad

Private health insurance may be required in other countries

If you are going to study in a country outside the EU/EEA, healthcare is not paid for by Försäkringskassan – instead you must have private health insurance. Contact an insurance company for more information about overseas insurance. If a Swedish insurance company does not fulfil the requirements, you must take out insurance in the host country.

Check your home insurance

Check whether your home insurance is valid for the possessions you take abroad with you. You should also check whether travel insurance is included in your home insurance and for what period of time overseas it is valid.

If an accident happens

If you fall ill when studying abroad or have an accident, you must register this with CSN (the Swedish Board of Student Finance) and send a doctor’s certificate. If you are insured, you can get help from SOS International in Copenhagen.

SOS International can help you when you're abroad

Additional information about insurance

Contact the overseas university at which you will be studying for more information about what insurance you should have.

Resident permits and visas

For studies within the EU

If you are a Swedish citizen and are going to study in another EU member state for no more than three months, you do not need a visa or residence permit. You must, however, have a valid passport; a Swedish ID card is not enough.

In some EU member states you must register with the local authorities.

If you are going to study in an EU member state for more than three months, you are entitled to a residence permit if you

  • are registered on a course that is approved for Swedish student financing.
  • have comprehensive medical insurance and enough money to avoid using the country’s social insurance system.

The permit is issued by the competent authority in that country.

For studies outside the EU

If you are going to study in a country outside the EU you must have a visa. Contact the country’s embassy for information about costs and administration time. The government website has a list of addresses for embassies and consulates.

The Stockholm Diplomatic List

Foreign housing

Most foreign universities help international students to find accommodation. Some universities help with accommodation via host families. The university at which you are going to study can provide more information about its housing service.

Population registration abroad

If you're planning on studying abroad for more than a year, you must contact The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and inform then of your move. The same is true if your plan was to more for a short period of time but decide to stay for longer than a year. If you are moving to another Nordic country, that country’s regulations decide if and when you will be registered there.

Skatteverket's information on registration when studying abroad (in Swedish)

Page last updated 2020-02-07