Student financial support in Sweden? Prices in Sweden are affordable!
Student support in Sweden. What are the main costs of a student abroad – in Sweden?
Like any of the Scandinavian countries, the standard of living in Sweden is extremely high. This means that your costs will probably be much higher than in your home country. However, you should know that your income will also exceed much more that which you have or would have in your home country. So, don’t be in a hurry to worry. Sweden has more than 10 million inhabitants and few of them would change their country when referring to finances. Of course, we need to be prepared for the reality that awaits us so that we can properly plan our successful start in Stockholm, Malmö, Lund or anywhere else in the country.
The best news about the education in Sweden, in addition to being at an extremely high level, is that it is completely free for the residents of the European Union. And if in your country you will have to pay from 100 to 1000 or more EUR per semester / year for your chosen specialty at university in your country, then here you will be able to invest these amounts in whatever you want. Every public university in Sweden is free, and this leads to highly educated professionals in every field. What could be better than getting a chance to learn what we want without having to take out loans to pay our tuition fees?!
Providing accommodation is a top priority for every international student in Sweden. Unfortunately, finding accommodation (at reasonable prices) is a problem for every newly admitted student. We will, of course, help you submit documents for student dormitories, which will guarantee you the best conditions at the most reasonable prices! The different accommodations in different cities vary, but you should expect a cost of around 4,000 Swedish kronor per month. In some housing, bills are included within the rent – electricity, heating, water, but not everywhere. You should expect higher prices if you have decided to study in the capital Stockholm. If you decide that you do not need to apply for dormitories earlier, then you should plan a much larger budget to be able to rent a room in the city. By no means do we recommend that you ignore applying early for accommodation unless you have good friends who live in the city where you plan to move to.
If we are talking about the food expenditures outside Stockholm, then it is good to have about 3000 kronor a month. We guess you are aware that this is a budget for shopping from supermarkets and cooking at home. If you want to eat at Swedish restaurants, 3000 SEK will not be enough for you at all. If you smoke and love the taste of wine or whiskey, then you will also need to prepare a little more money to cover your monthly needs in Sweden. We strongly advise you is to pay attention to the discounts in the stores. Very often you will come across food, but also any other goods that are reduced by up to 90%! One of the cheapest supermarkets is Netto and Lidl. ICA, Hemköp and Coop are also good alternatives. However, we advise you to avoid smaller shops, especially in the city center, where the prices are higher. Like in Denmark, here the restaurant staff (waiters) receive high (normal) salaries, which means that leaving a tip is not mandatory, but if you are satisfied with the service, it is still a good practice to reward your waiter with 10-20 kronor (or as much as you decide), for example.
The transport in Sweden is at an extremely advanced level. Bullet trains cross the country through its unique nature, which mostly serve as intercity connections. If we look at city transport, then here you will ride buses, trams, subways and water transport, in different cities in the country. You can expect very good infrastructure and punctual schedules. The logistics is also complemented by digital services that allow you to see exactly where your bus is, when it will arrive and whether it is in going faster or being delayed, to decide when exactly to leave home to get to the stop on time. Of course, all this comes at a price and it is not low at all. The ticket price varies from 30 to 37 Swedish kronor. Taxis or car rentals are not recommended, especially if you have just set foot in the country and have a limited budget. If you do have to use them, be aware that you will be charged between 300 and 400 SEK for a 15-minute ride. To rent a car, you will need to prepare between 400 and 600 Swedish kronor for one day. Alternatively, you can still use UBER in Sweden, especially in larger cities.
Cycling is also very common and completely free. The infrastructure of the bike lanes is extremely well defined and that is why hundreds of thousands of Swedes prefer riding a bike. To buy your bike in Sweden, it is a good idea to prepare at least 500 Swedish kronor if you go for a used bike. Our advice is to invest a little more in your bike, because it will serve you every day for years ahead. An interesting detail is that the public transport controllers are required by law to wear white hats, which makes them easily recognizable by passengers. Look for them and if you notice them, be sure to get a ticket if you do not want to part with a hefty fine. If you have to use public transport every day, then it is a good idea to get a monthly card to travel around your city. The value of the card for the capital Stockholm is about 930 Swedish kronor for one month.
To be completely comprehensive, if you need an urgent trip, SAS and Norwegian airlines operate intercity flights in Sweden!
Textbooks and teaching materials
Like everything else in Sweden, textbooks that are highly recommended to get (to make sense of the education you have chosen) will not be cheap. The good news here is that upper course students will be happy to sell them to you at half price! So do not rush to buy them brand new from bookstores or online stores. We know from experience that the slightly older ones (if the book was not published a few months ago) can be found completely free on the Internet, as long as you know the tricks to look for them.
Most books are also available from your university library completely free of charge. For this purpose, however, you will have to stay ahead of the rest of your course! The inconvenience here is that you will be able to keep the textbook with you for a limited period of time. The good thing is that you are completely allowed to copy parts of these books (copying / printing whole books / textbooks is not allowed).
When you start at a Swedish university, you usually get your student card, which will allow you to access the printers at the university with free credit. If you need more, you will need to charge it with the required number of copies you want to make. However, you will get more information about exactly how this system works in the first days of university.