Sweden has a monarch as head of the state but the government is a democratic parliament called as Riksdag and the members are elected every four years. Sweden is a member of the European Union and has its own currency called the Swedish Crown or Swedish Krone. The country is divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. Sweden ranks highly for national performance metrics of quality of life, health, education, prosperity, human development. The government provides health care and tertiary education for all its citizens.
Sweden is a multicultural country. The capital Stockholm, the largest city in the country with a population of 850000. The other main cities are Gothenburg, Malmo, Uppsala and Lund. The official language is Swedish, but English is spoken by many people. Did you know that Sweden has got 625 medals till date in the Olympics? Also, Abba- the fourth bestselling musical in the world and several great pop bands and singers have all come from Sweden?
Admission Process in Sweden
Sweden has a global reputation for research and innovation and is a well-known study abroad destination. The country is a highly developed, international society with emphasis on equal access and openness. Most programs are taught in English making is convenient for international students to study in Sweden. The quality of education is evident from the fact that many universities in Sweden are listed in QS World University Rankings. These are:
Lund University, Uppsala University, Royal Institute of Technology, University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, Linkoping University, Karolinska Institute, Chalmers University of Technology. The relationship between faculty and students in most universities is informal. International students flock to various Swedish universities for studies for Bachelor’s, Masters and doctoral degrees. The cities namely Stockholm, Lund, Uppsala, Gothenburg, Umea have been included in the QS World Best Student Cities Ranking.
How to apply
If you are interested in studying in Sweden for your Bachelor’s or Master’s program then you can apply directly as a student, which is called a freemover or you can apply through an exchange program. The admission for PhD is handled individually by each university.
Most students opt through the first option, directly as a student. So how can a student start the research for a suitable university and program in Sweden? The first step is to research as to which universities are suitable for your requirement in terms of the degree and the programs offered. For admission to the Bachelor’s degree programs in Sweden, you can apply through a central admission portal for a fee of SEK 900. However, you can also check the university admission portal. You can apply to four programs in one round of application but check the eligibility criteria and entry requirements. The semesters start in the autumn while the application needs to be completed by mid-January depending on the university you are applying to. The admission notices are announced in March for the autumn semester) and in November for the spring semester.
The application includes the following:Online application duly filled Eligibility documents Proof of English proficiency Program specific documentation
Process of acceptance
Once the deadline is over, the forms are sent to the respective university. The university acceptance is based on grades, previous scores, degree qualifications, all other documentation required by the university. The admission results are called as Notification of Selection results and are available on the University Admission website. Confirm the admission if you wish to attend the program. At this step, a non-EU/EEA/ Swiss student needs to pay first-semester tuition fees. The next step is to secure funding and also proceed to gather information about the visa/ residence permit and immigration process. The visa often takes time so it is better to apply once you have accepted the admission.
The procedure for PhD admissions is different since it is handled by each university separately. Check university websites which mention the openings for PhD and deadlines for admission process.Check list for PhD programUniversity bachelor’s degree in the intended field of study University master’s degree in the intended field of studyGood command of English language
In case you are applying for a specific exchange program, then you need to check out the specific university where such programs are offered, apply and then proceed to find information about the visa and immigration process.
Studying in Sweden is not cheap since the currency is SEK. You can work with a student visa and this makes Sweden a financially viable study abroad destination. Most students from India lookout for sources of funding while applying. The major sources of funding in Sweden are the Swedish Institute and individual Universities where you are admitted. The Swedish Institute: It is a government agency and is focused on encouraging international students, and thereby increasing internationalisation and diversity in the student community. This diversity expands creativity and innovation among the group. The application form needs to be filled between 3-11 February of the year for the coming autumn or spring term. The scholarship is for full-time Master's degree in Sweden and includes tuition fees and living cost for the entire program. The funding ratio is different for each country depending on their development and is specified in the countries OED/ DAC list: http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/documentupload/DAC%20List%20of%20ODA%20Recipients%202014%20final.pdf). India included in the list of lower middle-income countries and territories and programs University scholarships: All Universities provide scholarships to international students. You will need to check the specific university website for the scholarship eligibility, amount etc.
Student Visa Application Process
Since Indians belong to non-EU/EEA countries, they are required to apply for a Visa for study in Sweden. Show possession or earning power of 73000 SEK for ten months of stay in Sweden and should have paid the first tuition fee instalment.
An international student needs a residence permit if the stay is longer than 3 months. You need to apply for the residence permit prior to coming to Sweden. It takes a little more than three months to get a residence permit. There are two conditions for becoming eligible for a residence permit: have admission to a full time accredited Swedish university and have already paid the first instalment of tuition fees. Checklist for visa permit: Supporting documentation Online application Pay application fee
The application form needs to be submitted with one original and one copy to the Embassy. The checklist of documents which are required to be enclosed with the application form are: 3 most recent passport size photos2 copies of passport with visa expiry date specified as post-completion 6 monthsUniversity acceptance letter2 copies of educational degrees: university/ college/ high school, duly attested by foreign MinistryConfirmation letter from study sponsor2 copies of bank statements indicating an amount of at least 7300 SEK a month for at least 10 months for the complete study period and a certificate from the bank indicating this amount in US dollar/ UK pound/Euro/SEK.Health insurance is studied duration is less than a year Financial proof like scholarship, loan, grant, or any other supportive financial aid
Visa permit needs to be renewed every year. This can be done by the Swedish Migration Board. The visa and immigration rules are different for EU/ EEA, Swiss and non-EU/EEA citizens (European Union and the European Economic Area).
The culture of Sweden is based on equality, fairness and openness. You will find fathers pushing prams, and even staying at home to raise children. Did you know that homosexuals were made legal way back in 1944 and the freedom of the press was declared in 1766, being the first in the world? The country is a secular state and people of all religions Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are welcome.
Swedish people enjoy concerts, gigs, musicals, exhibitions and concerts. They are willing to stand in a queue and use a ticketing system and thus exhibit patience. Typically all stores close around 5 pm. You never know that soon you will find food squeezed out of toothpaste tubes. If you get an opportunity to visit a Swedish family be careful to take off shoes. Be on time since the Swedish value their time are expecting guests to be punctual.
Cost of Living for Students
As a student planning to study abroad, you would like to know the cost of living so that you can prepared for the future. The currency in Sweden is SEK Swedish Krona. Typically the per month tentative expenditure is:food: 2000 SEKaccommodation: 2000 to 4500 SEKmedical facility: 250 SEKleisure and travel: 1200- 1500 SEKutilities (if applicable) 500 -800 SEK depending on the living area
It is easy to find accommodation in Sweden because it is known for high quality and reasonable education and is a haven for international students. If you want to rent an accommodation, then you will need to submit proof of acceptance or visa for signing the lease. You can take help of student union for finding accommodation in the following categories: Dormitories: It can be a single seater or on sharing basis and may cost 4000SEK + per semester. The dormitory will have a community kitchen, study area and other community facilities. Flats: The cost depends on the location in the city or town. A flat or a room in a large building gives independence and the student gets privacy. The rent in small towns is in the range of 200 to 3500 SEK, in medium-sized town is in the range of 2500 to 4500SEK and in big cities ranges between 2500 to 5000sEK on a monthly basis. While you are negotiating for the cost also check out the cost per month and what other costs are included in the rent. These could be electricity and water, furnishing, in which area and how far from the university. Get your questions resolved before signing the lease. Homestay: you can rent a room with a family and enjoy Swedish culture.
Choose the one which suits your living style and pocket.