Cost of Studying in Sweden

When it comes to the cost of studying in Sweden or in the Scandinavian countries in general, many people immediately think of high expenses – which is not entirely wrong, at least with regard to the cost of living. But the tuition fees hold a surprise in store.

Tuition fee

EU citizens do not have to pay tuition fees in Sweden, as in the other Scandinavian countries. However, Sweden was one of the first countries to introduce tuition fees for non-EU citizens in 2011 – and most of them are extremely high. But for such cases special scholarship programs have been set up so that students receive financial support when they perform well.

State universities are generally not allowed to charge EU citizens for studying in Sweden because they are subsidized by the state. Only a few private universities without subsidies take tuition fees from students.

Cost of living

The costs of studying in Sweden for German students therefore mainly consist of the cost of living. As in all Scandinavian countries, the expenses for daily life are relatively large, as the VAT rates are set quite high. Students should budget at least 800 to 900 euros for their monthly livelihood.

Tips for lower costs

Students have to pay most of their monthly budget for rent. But you can save a lot of money if you don’t move directly to the city center, but to a peripheral area. They can even share an apartment there with other students in order to minimize rental expenses.

However, the costs for local public transport, which they then have to use more often, are usually far higher than in Germany. It is therefore worthwhile to get a bike, at least for the days when the weather is nice. With this, the students kill several birds with one stone: They see something of their new place of study, do something for their health and save money.

Another cost factor is nutrition, because unfortunately there is generally no cafeteria at Swedish universities. Here, too, you can save a lot of money if you don’t go to the restaurant too often but cook yourself. A lack of knowledge is not a disadvantage, after all, there are now a number of cookbooks that deal with an inexpensive student kitchen.

In the evening, preparing the food quickly turns into a small party when you invite friends over and work together in the kitchen – and nobody regrets the missed pub or club visit.

Financing options

There are various options available to students for financing their studies or a semester abroad in Sweden, a country located in Europe according to thefreegeography.

Foreign BAföG

The application for BAföG abroad is promising: Even those who do not receive BAföG in Germany because their parents earn too much, for example, may have a chance of success this time due to other assessment limits.

The amount of funding varies from person to person. The assessment depends on various factors such as the housing situation, health insurance and much more. Tuition and travel expenses can be covered, as can rent and living expenses.


As EU citizens, students in Sweden can easily take up a job – no matter how extensive the job is or how much they earn from it. It is of course assumed that the study is always in the foreground and does not suffer from the work.

Scholarships or student loans

Various organizations offer scholarships for studying in Sweden. These include, for example, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), whose funding is always in great demand, or the Svenska Institutet, which awards a limited number of scholarships.

An alternative are student loans, which the students then have to repay. The granted amount is usually paid out in monthly installments.

Holidays, festivals and traditions

The main celebrations in the Swedish calendar are Christmas and Midsummer. The whole country stands still on these dates, because everyone enjoys socializing, eating and drinking together and enjoying life. The Christmas season ends with the tjugondag knut on January 13th. Some Swedes invite you to loot a Christmas tree on this day.

Easter ( påsk ) is also celebrated extensively in Sweden. To welcome spring, there is the valborgsmässoafton on April 30th with a campfire and spring songs. The opportunity to celebrate is particularly popular in student cities.

June 6th should be a special day for all of Sweden, because then the national holiday ( svenska flaggans dag ) is celebrated. But although it is a public holiday, it is perceived by the Swedes as rather insignificant.

At the end of June there is the midsummer festival ( midsommarfest ), which is celebrated heavily. This tradition goes back for ages to the summer solstice celebrations. The whole country is in a state of emergency.

When the first fresh crabs are sold in August, a crab festival ( strengskiva ) is held in many places. There is no fixed date for this.

The last festival before Christmas is the Lucia festival on December 13th. On this day, the eldest daughter of the family puts on a white dress and wears a wreath of lights on her head. She serves breakfast to the family. Lucia trains are on the move across the country. They consist of young people who sing traditional pre-Christmas songs. This custom also includes eating yeast biscuits colored yellow with saffron ( lussekatter ).

Cost of Studying in Sweden