Studying Abroad in Sweden? A Guide for Canadian Students


Chalmers University of Technology


Studying in Sweden provides a captivating cultural experience and access to globally renowned educational institutions, offering a variety of programs suited to various academic interests and career goals.

Renowned for its progressive values, innovation, and high educational standards, Sweden has emerged as a favored destination for international students, including Canadians. In this blog, we will delve into the advantages and considerations for Canadian students aiming to pursue higher education in Sweden. From tuition fees and available scholarships to the country's rich cultural heritage and academic excellence, studying in Sweden promises a treasure trove of opportunities for personal and intellectual development.

Cost of studying in Sweden as a Canadian student

The cost of studying in Sweden as a Canadian student can vary depending on several factors, including the type of program, the university, the location, and your personal lifestyle choices. 

Tuition fees: Education in Sweden is tuition-free for students hailing from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. However, for Canadian students and other non-EU/EEA students, tuition fees are generally applicable. The exact tuition fees for international students may differ based on the university and the chosen program of study.

Cost of living: Apart from tuition fees, it's crucial to factor in the cost of living in Sweden. The country is known for its relatively higher cost of living compared to some other nations. Major expenses encompass accommodation, food, transportation, health insurance, and personal necessities. However, it's essential to keep in mind that the cost of living can vary based on the city or town you select for your stay.

Scholarships and funding: Swedish universities and the Swedish government offer various scholarships and funding opportunities for international students, including Canadian students. These scholarships can help offset the tuition fees and living expenses. It's advisable to research and explore scholarship options specific to your chosen university and program.

How do Canadian students apply to a university in Sweden?

To apply to a university in Sweden as a Canadian student, you can follow these general steps:

Research universities and programs: Conduct comprehensive research by identifying institutions that align with your academic interests and goals.  Prioritize programs taught in English to ensure a seamless learning experience, especially if you are not fluent in Swedish. 

Eligibility requirements: Review the specific admission requirements for the programs you are interested in. Requirements may include academic transcripts, English language proficiency test scores (such as IELTS or TOEFL), letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Online application: Most Swedish universities accept online applications through a centralized application system called University Admissions. Create an account and complete the application form, providing accurate and relevant information.

Documentation: Gather the necessary supporting documents, such as academic transcripts, proof of English language proficiency, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Make sure to provide certified translations if your documents are in a language other than English.

Application fee: Verify whether the university requires an application fee and promptly make the payment, if applicable.

Scholarships: Explore scholarship opportunities offered by Swedish universities or external funding sources. Check the eligibility criteria and application deadlines for scholarships you wish to apply for.

Submit application: Ensure all necessary documents are compiled and completed before  submitting it online.

Student visas and residence permits: Once your application is approved, you'll be required to apply for a student visa and residence permit. Contact the Swedish embassy or consulate in Canada to learn about the visa application process and requirements. Start this process well in advance to ensure you have all the necessary documents before your intended departure.

Why should Canadian students study in Sweden?

There are several compelling reasons to consider studying in Sweden:

High-quality education: Sweden is known for its excellent education system and high academic standards. Swedish universities are renowned for their research-oriented approach, innovative teaching methods, and emphasis on critical thinking and independent study.

Wide range of English-taught programs: Sweden offers a wide range of bachelor's and master's degree programs taught in English, making it an attractive destination for international students who may not be fluent in Swedish. This provides an opportunity to study in a multicultural and diverse academic environment.

Innovative environment: Sweden is known for its innovation and cutting-edge research in various fields, including technology, engineering, sustainability, and design. Studying in Sweden gives you access to a vibrant and creative environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tuition-free education for EU/EEA students: For students from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland, education in Sweden is tuition-free. This can significantly reduce the financial burden for eligible students.

Scholarships and funding opportunities: Swedish universities and the Swedish government offer a range of scholarships and funding options for international students, including Canadian students. These scholarships can help cover tuition fees and living expenses, making studying in Sweden more affordable.

Work opportunities: Sweden offers post-study work opportunities for international students. You can extend your residence permit and seek employment in Sweden upon graduation. The country has a strong job market and a favorable business environment, providing prospects for career growth.

Top study destinations in Sweden  

Sweden offers several excellent cities and universities that are highly regarded for their educational opportunities. Some of the best places to study in Sweden include:

Stockholm: As the capital and largest city of Sweden, Stockholm is a vibrant hub for education and innovation. It is home to several prestigious universities, including Stockholm University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Karolinska Institute. Stockholm offers a diverse range of programs, cultural attractions, and job opportunities.

Uppsala: Situated north of Stockholm, Uppsala is famous for its ancient university, Uppsala University, founded in 1477. This prestigious institution is renowned for its academic excellence and abundant research prospects. Embracing a blend of rich cultural heritage and lively student life, the city of Uppsala offers a truly enriching academic experience.

Gothenburg: As Sweden's second-largest city, Gothenburg provides a vibrant and multicultural environment, making it an ideal destination for students. The University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology, both highly esteemed institutions, boast exceptional research opportunities and strong industry ties offering students an enriching experience.

Linköping: Linköping, located in southern Sweden, is home to Linköping University, known for its strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and close collaboration with the business sector. The city has a welcoming atmosphere, affordable living costs, and a growing reputation for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Umeå: Situated in northern Sweden, Umeå is a vibrant university town with a strong focus on research and technology. Umeå University is known for its excellence in life sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities.

Top educational institutions in Sweden

Here are some of the top-ranking universities in Sweden based on global universities rankings1:

  • Karolinska Institute
  • Lund University
  • Stockholm University
  • Uppsala University
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Royal Institute of Technology
  • Linkoping University
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Umea University

Paying for your overseas education with the best exchange rates

If you're living and studying in Sweden for a considerable time, finding affordable ways to transfer money internationally is well worth it. For instance, if you want to avoid the above-average fees that your bank will charge, all you have to do is register with MTFX to get the best rates.

The MTFX platform is accessible 24/7 and allows secure, automated payments. You can also enjoy competitive exchange rates of 3-5% lower than the banks. This translates to savings of $1,500 for each $30,000 you move across borders.

Planning to study in Sweden?


MTFX offers the best exchange rates

In case you are interested in pursuing your studies in Sweden, it is important to note that only the Swedish Krona (SEK) currency is accepted there. While banks offer traditional exchange rates, MTFX, on the other hand, offers better exchange rates that come with lower fees and transparent pricing, without any hidden charges.

Open an account today and enjoy competitive exchange rates, low transfer fees, and quick, easy international money transfers.

Study in Sweden as a Canadian – FAQs

What are some things international students are often surprised to learn about Sweden?

International students studying in Sweden are often surprised to learn about the following aspects of the country:

Tuition-free education for EU/EEA students: EU/EEA students, including those from Canada, can study in Sweden for free or at significantly reduced tuition fees. This is due to the Swedish government's commitment to providing accessible education to EU/EEA citizens.

Work-life balance: Sweden emphasizes a healthy work-life balance, with a focus on shorter working hours and ample vacation time. International students may find it refreshing to experience a culture that values leisure time and promotes overall well-being.

Sustainable living: Sweden is recognized as one of the world leaders in sustainability and environmental consciousness. International students often appreciate the country's commitment to renewable energy, waste management systems, and eco-friendly practices.

These aspects of Swedish culture and society contribute to the unique experience that international students often encounter while studying in Sweden.

How can I manage the cost of living in Sweden?

  • Use a foreign exchange service like MTFX to send money from Canada to Sweden and avoid expensive exchange rates and transfer fees.
  • You can work while studying and earn extra money on the side.
  • Explore various scholarship opportunities.

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