Studying in Sweden? A Guide for Canadian Students

Studying in Sweden? A Guide for Canadian Students
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Last Updated: 30 May 2024

Are you heading off to study in Sweden? You’re in for an incredible ride! This country isn't just about breathtaking landscapes and cozy fika breaks; it's a place where innovation meets tradition, and sustainability is a way of life. Imagine diving into your studies surrounded by forests and lakes in a society that champions equality and innovation. Sounds pretty great, right?

As you pack your bags and set your sights on this adventure, let's chat about one of those not-so-fun topics: managing your money while studying abroad. Managing international payments and foreign exchange rates can feel overwhelming, especially when trying to get your bearings in a new academic and cultural scene.

But don't worry, we've got your back! This guide breaks down those financial hurdles, giving you handy tips and insights to make your money work smarter, not more complex, while you're soaking up all that Sweden offers.

Why study in Sweden as a Canadian?

Choosing to study in Sweden means more than just earning a degree; it's about a journey of personal and academic discovery while enjoying a quality of life that's hard to beat. It's not just about textbooks and exams; it's about growing as a person, challenging yourself, and thinking outside the box. Here’s why Sweden should be at the top of your list for your study-abroad adventure:

Innovative education: Swedish universities are all about creativity and critical thinking. You won’t just be memorizing facts but applying what you learn in real-world situations. Group work and informal teacher-student relationships mean you can freely express your ideas and dive into your subjects.

Sustainability and environmental care: If you’re passionate about the environment, you’ll feel right at home in Sweden. This country is a leader in sustainability and green living, and these values are deeply integrated into the curriculum of many study programs.

English, everywhere: No need to stress about a language barrier here. Swedes speak excellent English, and many programs are offered entirely in English. It’s the perfect setup for easing into a new culture without the language hiccups.

A global hub: Sweden attracts students and professionals from all over the globe. This melting pot of cultures creates a dynamic and inclusive environment where you can build a global network of friends and contacts.

Work-life balance: Swedes are big on balance. The study culture here emphasizes the importance of downtime and self-care, ensuring you have plenty of time to explore, relax, and enjoy the Swedish lifestyle.

Innovation and research: Known for its cutting-edge research and innovation, Sweden is home to some of the world’s top tech companies and startups. It’s a playground for the curious and ambitious, offering countless opportunities to participate in exciting projects and research.

Cost of living in Sweden as a Canadian student

Sweden, known for its high quality of life, also comes with a cost of living that reflects this standard. Accommodation will likely be your most significant expense. While more budget-friendly than private rentals, student housing can vary in cost depending on the city and proximity to your university. Sharing an apartment with other students can also be cost-effective, offering companionship and shared living expenses.

Regarding eating, embracing the local habit of 'fika' (a coffee and snack break) is a must, but frequently dining out can add up. Many students choose to cook at home to save money, taking advantage of well-stocked supermarkets and local markets for fresh produce. Sweden's efficient public transport system offers student discounts, making it a practical choice for daily commutes and exploring your new home. Cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg are bike-friendly, offering an economical and healthy alternative.

Healthcare in Sweden is accessible to students through the Swedish healthcare system once you're registered. However, it's wise to have comprehensive health insurance coverage to ensure all your bases are covered. Don't forget to budget for textbooks and course materials, which can be pricey but manageable with second-hand options and university libraries. Leisure activities and exploring Sweden's rich cultural and natural landscapes are essential to the experience, so setting aside some funds for travel and entertainment is a good idea.

How can you apply to a university in Sweden?

The Swedish education system values independence, critical thinking, and creativity, making it an excellent choice for students seeking an enriching study abroad experience. With careful planning and attention to detail during the application process, you'll be on your way to an unforgettable adventure in Sweden.

Choose your program and university: Start by exploring your options. Sweden offers a wide range of programs and universities known for their innovative and research-oriented education. Whether you're interested in engineering, environmental sciences, design, or something else, there's a Swedish university that offers it.

Check program requirements: After zeroing in on a program, carefully review its specific requirements. These can vary significantly from program to program and may include specific high school courses, grades, and standardized test scores. For programs taught in English, you'll likely need to prove your English proficiency through tests like TOEFL or IELTS.

Prepare your application: Swedish universities generally require a set of standard documents for your application. This typically includes your academic transcripts, proof of language proficiency, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and possibly a portfolio for specific creative programs.

Apply online: Sweden has made the application process convenient for international students through a centralized application portal, Here, you can apply to multiple universities and programs with one application, making the process streamlined and efficient.

Pay the application fee: There's an application fee for students from outside the European Union, which includes Canadians. Make sure to pay this fee to ensure your application is processed.

Submit your application: Double-check that all your documents are in order and submit your application before the deadline. Deadlines can vary, but there are generally two main admission rounds for each academic year.

Wait for the admission results: Once your application is submitted, the hardest part is waiting for the results. Use this time to learn more about living in Sweden and plan your next steps.

Apply for your residence permit: After receiving your acceptance, you'll need to apply for a residence permit for studies in Sweden. This involves proving you have the means to support yourself during your studies and that you have a comprehensive health insurance plan.

Prepare for your move: Once your residence permit is granted, it's time to start planning your move! Look into housing options, familiarize yourself with Swedish culture, and start packing.

Best places to study in Sweden as a Canadian

Each of the following cities provides excellent educational opportunities and enriches your study experience with its unique Swedish culture, lifestyle, and natural beauty. Whether you're drawn to the bustling streets of Stockholm, the historic charm of Lund, or the coastal vibe of Gothenburg, Sweden offers a perfect backdrop for your academic and personal growth.


Stockholm, the capital city, is an epicentre of innovation, culture, and history. It's home to prestigious institutions like Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), which offer a wide range of programs. The city's vibrant startup scene, alongside beautiful archipelagos and green spaces, provides a stimulating environment for students.


Lund is known for its world-renowned university, Lund University, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious universities. This small, charming city is steeped in history and offers a tight-knit academic community, making it an ideal environment for immersive studies and research, especially in the sciences and humanities.


As Sweden's second-largest city, Gothenburg offers a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with a strong maritime heritage. The University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology are well-regarded institutions, mainly known for their sustainability, marine sciences, and engineering research. The city's cultural scene and proximity to the coast make it a desirable place for students.


Uppsala, home to the oldest university in Scandinavia - Uppsala University, is renowned for its vibrant student life and historical significance. The city offers a blend of old-world charm and modern research facilities, particularly in life sciences, biotechnology, and physics. The student nations, unique to Uppsala, provide various social and cultural activities.


Known for its high-tech industry and innovative spirit, Linköping is home to Linköping University, which has vital engineering, computer science, environmental studies, and aerospace programs. The city offers a dynamic, young environment with plenty of hands-on research and industry collaboration opportunities.


Umeå, in northern Sweden, is known for its vibrant cultural scene and progressive outlook. Umeå University is solid in medical and health sciences, human-computer interaction, and fine arts. The city's commitment to sustainability and community makes it a welcoming place for international students.

Top universities in Sweden

Sweden boasts several world-class universities popular among international students, including those from Canada. Here's a list of top Swedish universities that offer a diverse range of programs, innovative research opportunities, and a vibrant campus life:

Lund University: Renowned for its comprehensive research and a wide array of disciplines, Lund University is one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious universities, offering a truly international campus environment.

University of Stockholm: Situated in Sweden's capital, Stockholm University is known for its strong programs in the natural sciences and humanities and for providing students with abundant research opportunities in a dynamic urban setting.

Uppsala University: The oldest university in Sweden, Uppsala University combines rich historical traditions with cutting-edge research. It is particularly noted for its contributions to medicine and pharmacy.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology: KTH is one of the leading technical and engineering universities in Europe. It offers an extensive range of STEM programs and is at the forefront of innovation and technology.

Chalmers University of Technology: Located in Gothenburg, Chalmers is highly regarded for its education and research in engineering, technology, and natural sciences, with a strong focus on sustainability and innovation.

University of Gothenburg: With a broad and versatile academic portfolio, the University of Gothenburg is known for its faculties in arts, humanities, science, and health sciences, providing a vibrant and creative learning environment.

Linköping University: Renowned for its interdisciplinary research and innovative educational approach, Linköping University offers vital programs in engineering, computer sciences, environmental studies, and life sciences.

Umeå University: Known for its research in medical sciences, human-computer interaction, and design, Umeå University offers a dynamic campus life in the scenic northern part of Sweden.

Karolinska Institutet: Specializing in medical and health sciences, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm is one of the world's foremost medical universities. It is known for its Nobel Assembly, which selects Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU): SLU is unique in its focus on the biological natural resource base, offering specialized programs in agriculture, forestry, environmental sciences, and veterinary medicine.

Choosing the right tuition payment method - Banks vs MTFX

Choosing the right tuition payment method can make all the difference when funding your Swedish studies. While traditional banks have long been the go-to for international transactions, innovative solutions like MTFX are increasingly becoming the preferred choice for savvy students. Here's why MTFX stands out as the superior option for managing your tuition payments:

Get more out of your money

One of the most compelling reasons to opt for MTFX over traditional banks is the significant cost savings. MTFX offers highly competitive exchange rates, which means more of your Canadian dollars are converted into Swedish Krona, stretching your funds further. Additionally, MTFX's lower transaction fees mean you're not losing much of your money to hefty bank charges.

Ensure on-time payments

Time is of the essence, especially when dealing with tuition deadlines. MTFX offers a streamlined and efficient transaction process, ensuring that your payments reach your university swiftly. Unlike the sometimes lengthy processing times associated with banks, MTFX's quick transfer ensures peace of mind, knowing your tuition is paid on time.

Keep the process simple

Managing international payments can be daunting, but MTFX simplifies the process. With an easy-to-use online platform, you can manage your payments with clarity and ease without worrying about hidden fees or complicated procedures often encountered by banks.

Get dedicated support

Personalized service sets MTFX apart. Instead of dealing with the impersonal service of large banking institutions, MTFX provides dedicated support, offering expert advice and assistance tailored to your needs as an international student.



Focus on your education and let MTFX worry about payments

Stepping into your Swedish educational journey should be an exciting chapter filled with discoveries, learning, and growth, not bogged down by the complexities of managing international payments. That's where MTFX steps in – a solution designed to ease the financial side of your study abroad experience, letting you concentrate fully on what truly matters: your education. With MTFX, the hassle of managing exchange rates, dealing with high transaction fees, and worrying about payment timelines becomes a thing of the past. MTFX offers a cost-effective and efficient solution for your tuition payments and ensures that your financial transactions are secure, transparent, and straightforward.

So, as you embark on this incredible journey of education and exploration in Sweden, remember that with MTFX, your tuition payments are in capable hands. Focus on maximizing your academic pursuits, broadening your horizons, and building lifelong memories in Sweden. Let MTFX worry about the payments so you can concentrate on what you're there for – to learn, grow, and thrive in your chosen field.

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

Copyright © 2024 MTFX Group