With 39 universities and over 100 programs to choose from, Sweden is one of the best places for studying abroad. It is unique from other countries as it boasts of an open climate that zones in on group work. In Sweden, you get to work on your academic strengths – rather than focus on having high grades.

Swedish universities are highly recognized for their excellence in teaching and research. The research works and graduates of these Swedish universities are globally acknowledged. As you study here, you’ll surely get the most out of your education.

However, studying here comes with a price. Sweden has gained the notoriety of being an expensive place to live in. Compared to other European countries, Sweden has a high cost of living, burdening many international students.

But still, you can study in Sweden for free. There are some ways to do that. In this article, we listed down some tips on how you can study in Sweden for free. Make sure to read more!

Are There Free Education in Sweden for International Students?

It depends on the academic degree and level. For bachelor’s and master’s degrees, sadly, there is no free tuition fee. Swedish universities only give free education to their local students and neighboring countries (EU/EEA). But for doctorate degrees, tuition is free to all, regardless of your nationality.

Now, even if you don’t get a tuition-free education in Sweden, there are a lot of scholarships available for you that you can apply for. You can even get a fully-funded scholarship! In the article below, we listed some scholarships per Swedish university that you can consider.

Check Also: Available Programs in Europe for International Students

How to Study in Sweden for Free

1. Prepare an Excellent Admissions Application

Foreign students are advised to apply early through the University Admissions website. The ideal time is mid-January since most English-taught programs start during August. However, if you want to start in Spring, then you need to complete your requirements by mid-August.

These required documents include proof that you meet the standards for the program – and an exam of English proficiency.

On the admissions website, undergraduate applicants can write as many as 8 choices. Masters’ students, on the other hand, are only limited to 4 options.

In this phase of your planning, make sure to present high grades, certificates proving your excellence, and involvement in some academic activities. Having these things will make your application outstanding.

2. Get Some Scholarships in Sweden

International students can apply for university or institute scholarships, specifically the bursaries handed out by the Swedish universities to study in Sweden for free. Apart from that, there are bursaries funded by private organizations and foundations as well. As an international student here, you’ll have a lot of choices for scholarships and awards.

Scholarships will be a big help in financing your education. It will lessen your burden in paying tuition fees, accommodation, and other fees. If you’ll apply for a scholarship, make sure to have a good academic standing and prepare to present a set of documents.

3. Apply to Cheap Universities in Sweden

The tuition fee in Swedish universities ranges from $9,500 to $32,500. Although this range is markedly high, some institutions have cheap tuition fees. At Malmö University, for example, you only need to pay $25,000 for the entire course of studies. Essentially, this will only cost you about $6,250 a year.

Cheap universities don’t mean that you’ll receive a cheap quality of education. You’ll also get a quality education in these universities and combined with scholarships, you can truly study in Sweden for free!

Study Undergraduate Programs in Sweden for Free

Get your undergraduate education in Sweden for free by applying for any of these scholarship programs:

Uppsala University

Uppsala University, which was founded in the year 1477, is the oldest continuously-operating institution in Sweden and all of the Nordic countries. It is also recognized as one of the top 100 universities in the entire world.

Undergraduateships scholarships at Uppsala University are usually exclusive to certain nationalities. One example is the Anders Wall’s Scholarship Program, which shoulders 100% of the tuition fees. This is open to Chinese students who have chosen the university as his/her first priority.

The Scholarship Foundation of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, on the other hand, is only open to Hong Kong SAR residents. Again, recipients should have Uppsala University as their first choice to be qualified.

American students may receive a full scholarship as well via the Scholarship Foundation of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York. International students can study in Sweden for free by getting a scholarship at Uppsala University.

Lund University

Lund University, which is based in Scania, Sweden, is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious institutions. Founded in the year 1666, it was established on the grounds of the old studium generale near Lund Cathedral.

Home to 9 faculties, the university offers a Global Scholarship Program that is open to all brilliant students residing outside the EU or EEA. Some recipients can receive a 100% fee reduction, while some might have discounts ranging from 25% to 75%.

Apart from submitting the usual application documents, eligible students need to forward a 600-word scholarship motivation letter as well.

Selection is based according to academic performance, program fit, and commitment/desire to study at Lund University. Since this bursary is merit-based, financial need is not considered in the process.

Karlstad University

Karlstad University is a state institute that started as a branch of the University of Gothenburg. It became an independent university college in 1977, before being awarded full university status in 1999.

Karlstad University, which offers 40 educational programs, also offers a Global Scholarship Program. Again, this is open to fee-paying students outside the EU or EEA. However, students coming from 12 countries may not be eligible for this bursary.

The scholarship can cover 100% of tuition costs, so international students will be able to study in Sweden for free. You should note that some may receive tuition discounts as well.

Eligible applicants should have Karlstad as the primary choice for their studies. They should also enter Karlstad during the fall term.

University of Gävle

Founded in 1977, the University of Gävle is an institute with 3 academies and 9 departments.

Scholarships for undergraduate students are usually based on nationality and the degree program being taken. One such example is the scholarship for African students who are studying Social Work, Green Social Work, Eco-Social Work, or Development Studies. Funded by the Iyabo Theresa Ogionwo Memorial Foundation, it requires the following from African applicants:

  • Admission notice
  • Secondary education grades
  • Motivation letter
  • Interview

Jönköping University

Jönköping University is a private institution located in Småland, Sweden.

Although most of Jönköping University’s scholarships are intended for Master’s students, there is one for bachelor’s students. This is the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program, which is only open to Saudi nationals. This covers full tuition, as well as a monthly stipend, book allowance, conference costs, fees for scientific trips, and medical insurance. It covers support for the student’s dependents as well.

Study Master’s in Sweden for Free

Get to complete your Master’s degree for free in Sweden at any of these organizations/universities:

Swedish Institute

The Swedish Institute (SI) is a public organization in Stockholm that offers 2 scholarships. One is the SI Scholarships for Global Professionals, which is open to students (coming from 42 nations) who will commence schooling during the fall semester.

The scholarship covers full tuition for one to two years of study. You can study for your Master’s for free in Sweden because this scholarship also includes a SEK 10,000 ($1,218) in monthly living expenses, insurance, and a travel grant.

SI also offers a scholarship exclusively for South African Master’s students. This includes tuition, a living allowance of SEK 10,000 ($1,218), and travel expenses.

Stockholm University

Stockholm University, which was founded in 1878, offers a variety of Masters degree scholarships through the Swedish Institute. It also hosts two scholarships for students who are currently enrolled in the Master in International Commercial Arbitration Law program. Open to students living outside the EU and EEA, it only covers tuition fees and does not cover living costs.

Chalmers University of Technology

Based in Gothenburg, Chalmers offers several scholarship programs for Master’s students so that international students can study in Sweden for free. One is the Sievert Larsson Scholarship Fund, which is exclusive to Thai students taking up Engineering postgraduate programs.

The US Friends of Chalmers Group, on the other hand, awards a full scholarship to MS Engineering students regardless of nationality.

Another option is the Volvo Group Scholarship program, which is available to Chinese and Indian students. Apart from a full tuition waiver, the recipients are also entitled to a summer internship, mentorship, and possible employment at the Volvo Group.

Swedish University of Agricultural Science

SUAS offers two kinds of scholarships for foreign Masters students. One is offered by the university itself. Priority is given to applicants who have the school as their top choice for Masters studies. Those who are eligible will be given a full tuition waiver for the entire duration of his/her studies.

Masters scholarships funded by the Swedish Institute are also accommodated at SUAS.

Study Ph.D. in Sweden for Free

Earn an ever-elusive doctorate at these Swedish institutions for free:

Stockholm University

Stockholm University scholarships for Ph.D. students usually come from donor funds. This is open to all students from the Faculties of Law, Humanities, Social Science, or Science.

One option is the W. Bagge and Rhodin funds, while the other is the Siljeströms fund. Regardless of the source, applicants need to submit two payment forms for their bursaries to get through the university.

Swedish University of Agricultural Science

Based in Uppsala, the Swedish University of Agricultural Science offers a Ph.D. scholarship in Forestry. It is open to African students with Masters degrees, though priority is placed on citizens from Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Ethiopia. Requirements from the applicants are as follows:

  • 2,000-word research concept note
  • Certificates and academic transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two academic referrals


We hope that this article on how to study in Sweden for free was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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