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This country at a glance

Total population.
Colleges that offer programs taught entirely in English.
English-taught bachelor's programs offered.
English-taught master's programs offered.

Best Universities in Sweden for International Students

These universities have been vetted to accepted international students and offer programs that have no foreign language requirements.

Why should I study in Sweden?

Sweden has earned an international reputation for being one of the world’s most progressive countries. It has a cosmopolitan vibe as 1/5 of all Swedes were either born in another country or their parents were. It is Scandinavia’s biggest nation, with a population of 9 million. The nation is perhaps most famous for the pop group Abba and the prestigious Nobel Prize, but it has a whole lot more going for it.

Swedish is the national language, but the majority of Swedes speak perfect English. Although part of the European Union, Sweden is not part of the Euro and has its own currency the SEK. The country is attached to Denmark by a bridge in the south; it borders Norway in the west and Finland in the northeast. The weather in Sweden is similar to the rest of Scandinavia with cold winters and vibrant, long summer days. 

In fact, in summer, the capital, Stockholm, has a maximum of 20 hours of sunlight, and the city is packed with activities. While in winter, it has a minimum of 6 hours of daylight.  The Swedes are known for being active and healthy people who make the most of being outside whatever the weather. Education is a state priority in Sweden, with the education system enjoying one of the highest levels of investment in the world.


The country boasts 5 universities in the top 200 world rankings. Keen to promote their educational system internationally, a range of programs are available in English. They have developed a unique educational style, which is centered around open classroom discussions with an emphasis on collaborative work. Although there are lectures, the majority of classes are seminars. 

During seminars, it is often easy to forget who the professor is as there is no distinct hierarchy between student and professor! This emphasis on equality is sometimes referred to as the ‘Law of the Jante’, which is an informal law that runs throughout Scandinavia. It states that no one individual is more special than another, and you are not to behave as if you are above everybody else.

How to Get Into the Best Unis in Sweden

Sweden uses a centralized admissions process for all higher education programs.  Applicants apply online to the programs they are interested in. No entrance tests are required, as the basic admission criteria is a high school diploma.

In addition, programs may have their own requirements for eligibility.  Another thing to note, for undergraduate studies, students who are in their final year of high school can not apply until after they graduate, since they don't have a diploma.  Given that the application deadline for international students is January 15th, most students will not be able to apply for fall admission directly after high school.

Also of note-no matter how many programs an applicant applies to, they will get only one offer.  Applicants are first evaluated for their first choice school.  If they meet the eligibility requirements they are admitted.  If not, they are evaluated for their second choice school, and so on.

Swedes are known for their organizational skills, so this admissions process could be seen as an expression of that national character. Many schools may require you to get your diploma legalized. If your country is a member of The Hague Conference (and the US is a member), this is a fairly easy process as all you will need is something called an "apostille certificate" affixed to your diploma.

Your Secretary of State office can generally issue this but a full list is provided here. Check here to see if your country is a member of the HCCH.

Proof of means requirements.

In order to get a residence permit, you're required to prove you have access to at least €835 per month for the length applied for. 

Working in Sweden as an International Student

Work hours, while residing on a student visa, are not restricted.

Students can extend their visa by six months after graduating to stay in Sweden while looking for work.

Student Residence Options in Sweden

A visa is not required to enter Sweden for students from the US and other western countries. For stays longer than three months, you'll need to get a residence permit, which must be granted before entering Sweden. You'll start the application process online or at a Swedish embassy.

For a resident permit, you'll need to have a valid passport, be admitted to full-time studies, be able to support yourself for the planned study period, and have a comprehensive health insurance policy if you are admitted to studies for less than one year.

Please note: you cannot obtain a permit for longer than your passport's period of validity.

Health Insurance in Sweden for International Students

If your degree program is longer than 1 year, you're entitled to participate in the Swedish insurance plan and receive the same benefits as a Swede. If your stay is less than a year, your school may still allow you to participate in the insurance plan, so check with the school on this one.

Sweden has reciprocal agreements with 33 countries, so your national insurance may follow you.

Special notes

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English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
English-taught master's programs in our database.
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
Typical savings against in-state tuition in the US.
All inclusive of tuition, living, food, books, health insurance, travel expenses, as well as hidden fees. Compiled with data from students and the official websites from KU Leuven, UNC, and Duke.

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