Cost Of Living In Sweden For International Students

Last Updated on August 4, 2022

For international students who are thinking about studying abroad in Sweden, this article is a useful guide for costs of living in Sweden, tuition fees and other factors that students need to consider before they study abroad. We can also help you see what life is like as a student studying in Sweden.

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Tuition Fees & Study Costs in Sweden

sweden living cost per month

Live in Sweden can be very expensive, however, if you are well prepared, living in Sweden can also be very affordable. The prices for various items may surprise you.

Higher education in Sweden is among the best in the world. The Nordic country has an excellent system, which places more emphasis on group and independent study rather than lectures. Freedom and responsibility are the key values that support the development of students.

The number of international students enrolled at Swedish universities and colleges is constantly growing, and the percentage of those who are admitted is above half. If you want to be one of those students, you should first know more about the costs of studying and living in Sweden.

tuition fees in Sweden for international students

Accommodation & budget

Tuition for EU/EEA students

In Swedish public universities, students who are citizens of the EU/EEA, other Nordic countries, and Switzerland do not have to pay any tuition for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. PhD courses are free for all international students, regardless of their country of origin.

Tuition for non-EU/EEA students

Students from non-EU/EEA countries pay tuition fees. The costs range between 7,500 – 25,500 EUR/year depending on the study programme and university. Business and Architecture are some of the most expensive courses.

Non-EU/EEA citizens also have to pay a university application fee, which is around 90 EUR and may vary depending on the institution.

Cost Of Living In Sweden For International Students

Average student living cost in Sweden

Living costs for students in Sweden are above the European average. You should expect to spend between 700 – 1,200 EUR/month.

Check the average living costs for these student cities in Sweden:

  • Gothenburg and Stockholm: around 1,250 EUR/month
  • Linkoping and Lund: around 850 EUR/month
  • Uppsala: between 750 and 1,200 EUR/month

Accommodation costs

The best place to start looking for accommodation is your university. It often provides useful information or helps you get in touch with the organisations that manage student residence halls (or dormitories).

Dormitories are great because you get to meet both local and other international students. It’s easy to make friends and find people with similar interests. Prices range between 240 – 620 EUR/month.

The second option is renting or sharing an apartment. You can pay anywhere between 350 and 700 EUR/month. Although it is more expensive than a student room, you can choose where you live, and you can share a large apartment with other students. This is a great way to reduce your expenses and avoid feeling lonely, especially if it’s your first time living abroad.

See what former students had to say about living and studying in Sweden:

Study in Sweden | Universities, Colleges, Cost & Visa Process

Food costs

What about food costs in Sweden? Expect to pay around 200 EUR for food every month. This depends on your eating habits, whether you cook or not, and so on. You can reduce your expenses if you buy groceries from affordable supermarkets, like Lidl, Willy’s, or stores from the city suburbs.

Eating in a Swedish restaurant will cost you 8 – 10 EUR. A three-course meal for two, in an average restaurant, costs around 45 – 65 EUR. A light drink in a bar with your colleagues will cost 6 EUR.

Transportation costs

In Sweden, public transport in highly appreciated among students; around 40% of them use it to get to university and other locations in the city. Public transportation fares for students cost around 40 – 55 EUR/month.

You can also choose a bicycle for transport and pay around 110 EUR for it. Around 27% of students in Sweden use bicycles to travel in the city.

Extra costs

  • Books and other study materials: 80 EUR/month
  • Social activities and entertainment: 70 – 100 EUR/month
  • Health insurance: rates start at 30 EUR/month
Top Universities to Study in Sweden - 2021 HelpToStudy.com 2022

Accommodation

Swedish universities are prevented by law from organising EU student accommodation. The student union of your university may be able to help you in some cases, but are not obliged to do so. Finding accommodation in larger cities such as Lund and Stockholm can also be particularly difficult. Students are advised to contact student housing agencies where they can opt to rent a private or shared flat. The Swedish rental market is highly regulated, and rental prices differ little across cities. On average, for a room rented as part of a 2-3 bedroom shared flat with a shared kitchen and bathroom, you can expect to pay around SEK 710 in rent per week. Prices do vary depending on size and how close to the city centre you are: for a room in a shared house in surrounding areas of Lund you might pay around SEK 2000-SEK 4000 per month, but in the city you might pay up to SEK 5,2000.

If you are a non EU/EEA national however, your university can provide you with accommodation. The University of Lund offers a limited number of rooms and flats to international students that are rented for the full academic semester. Costs vary depending on the area and type of room, but range from SEK 13,000-SEK 20,000 per semester. Students living in a residence hall often also pay a ‘corridor fee’ of about SEK 200 for communal supplies. You will also need to pay a fixed deposit before you move in that is refunded when you leave.

All non EU/EEA students will need to have a residence permit to study in Sweden that must be applied for a received before making the move. Students requiring a permit must also prove they have at least SEK 3700 per month for 10 months to support themselves whilst they study. The application fee for the permit is about SEK 2000.

Living expenses in Sweden for International students

What do your budget and lifestyle will allow you to spend an average month? This is something you need to decide before coming to Sweden. Here below we’ve broken down the essentials and living costs of the main Swedish cities in an attempt to provide a general idea on how much things will cost you.

On top of rent, food and warm winter goods, you’ll need to factor in these unavoidable living costs. Here’s a rough guide to what you might look to pay:

  • Utilities (if not included in rent), monthly…SEK 812
  • Internet, 8MB, monthly…SEK 206
  • 1 minute pre-paid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans), …SEK 1.20

Transport

All Swedish cities have reliable public transport systems. Most major hubs offer travel card options that allow unlimited travel for a set period of time. Stockholm enjoys a comprehensive network of trains, metro lines, trams and buses, all accessible via an SL Travel Card. You can also travel on a discount via a student travel card in most major cities, provided you have a Swedish Student ID. 

  • SL Travel card, Stockholm, 24 hours…SEK 115
  • SL Travel card, Stockholm, 1 month…SEK 790
  • Student discount, travel card, Stockholm, 1 month…SEK 560
  • Skåne card, Lund and Skåne county, 24 hours…SEK 195
  • Student discount, Skåne card, Lund and Skåne county, all zones, 1 month… SEK 840
  • Taxi normal tariff, per km (excluding start tariff), …SEK 12

Food

Food costs in Sweden are generally quite high, but vary depending on the area, type of shop and even between supermarket chains. Coop and smaller ICA chains are considered mid-range shopping options, where buying food in bulk and preparing meals at home doesn’t necessarily come so dear. Some basic mid-range grocery prices might be around:

  • Milk, 1L…SEK 9,40
  • Loaf of white sandwich bread, 775g…SEK 24,90
  • Chicken breast fillet, 800g…SEK 89
  • Spaghetti, 1kg…SEK 17,90
  • Coca-cola, 1.5L…SEK 17,90
  • White rice, 2kg…SEK 28,90
  • Eggs, 12pk…SEK 40,90
  • Olive oil, 500ml…SEK 49,90
  • Big Mac…SEK 33

Miscellaneous Costs

There’s no real way around entertainment costs in Sweden except to be smart with your budget. On average, you’re looking at paying the following to cover the basics of student social life:

  • Pint of beer at a restaurant or bar…SEK 57
  • Cappuccino… SEK 34
  • Bottle of water, 330ml…SEK 17.10
  • Eating out, mid-range restaurant, three courses…SEK 600
  • Bottle of wine in a mid-range restaurant … SEK 250
  • Movie ticket, without student discount…SEK 107-*
Live and learn the Swedish way - Study a master's degree in Sweden | Study  Abroad Advice | Viva-Mundo

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