An international student’s primary worry when thinking of applying for studies at a foreign University is the tally of expenses. Therefore, a thorough planning must be done accompanied by right and updated information. In recent times, affordability of education has been becoming an alien concept to most prestigious Universities. In Sweden, as far as yearly tuition fees are concerned University charges begin at almost 82,000 SEK (6,00,000 INR) and may go up to 1,36,725 SEK (10,00,000 INR).
The cost of living is also an important factor to consider. This may vary a lot depending on your personal preference and standard of living. The things that may be included as absolute essentials—the cannot-do-withouts—and which you must include in your calculations are food, accommodation and commute. The internet charges cannot be ignored, either. It is unimaginable for a student to go without the use of internet in the current times. You can then go ahead and sort things like shopping for the latest trends, drinking, tourism, and other luxury items under the not-necessary label. Unless you are willing to splurge, that is.
In Sweden, as far as yearly tuition fees are concerned University charges begin at almost 6,00,000 INR and may go up to 10,00,000 INR. This burden is removed from the shoulders of students who are citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or just about any Nordic country including Denmark, Finland and Iceland, etc. While the application fee typically falls around 6,550 INR the tuition fees may change according to the subject you decide to do your bachelors/masters in. A good idea would be check the current charges for the programme you desire to enrol in at the outset from a reliable website such as University Admission - official website for international students who wish to apply for studies in Sweden. However, on a basic level the average amount you might need to set aside for tuition could be about 12,50,000.
One of the downsides could be that you would have to purchase your own books and stationery—which does not come cheap—which is an added expense.
Accommodation costs will more often than not be affected by the city you choose to live in or find yourself in. Some popular cities are Gothenburg, Stockholm (two of the larger cities), Linkoping, Umea and Lund and Uppsala (the latter two considered to be traditional student cities). The monthly rent can be starting from 20,000 INR and can go as high as 1,82,000 INR depending upon the city, location and the number of rooms in your flat.
However, these avenues are pretty expensive to invest in. It is always a better idea to get in touch with the University you are enrolling in. A lot of Universities have proper systems in place for granting accommodation to international students. Chances are you may find accommodation in the University campus itself. Dormitories or hostels are fun to live in. Washrooms, messes, laundry facilities are some things which would be used on a shared basis in such places. If rooms are not available, the University could still prove to be very helpful in giving you directions for the next best, viable option. There are better chances of you finding options with lesser rent after inquiring with your University. The pros and cons of student accommodation versus private accommodation must be understood before making a decision.
Social life in Sweden
The social life in Sweden is pretty amazing. It would do one good to know some generic but essential facts about the place and local population before making the move. Language will probably not be a big problem but it might be a challenge to connect easily. If you manage your purse strings properly then you might be able to adjust “chilling at happening places” into your schedule, too. Depending on your tastes, and how much you are willing to cut down on your costs you can set the budget. For example, you can choose to prepare your own meals, commute through cheaper and environment-friendly ways, work to keep healthy, hide your credit card pin where you cannot find it easily. Maybe not the last one, but you get the general idea. But take care that you do not overspend. If you naturally tend to do that then perhaps it’s best that you limit your monthly budget from the outset itself.
Getting scholarships can be a blessing for any student. With your education already being taken care of through your scholarship fund the load is considerably lightened. In Sweden, the government offers scholarships through Institute scholarships specially for the benefit of international students and research applicants. Other scholarships funded by organizations over the world are also available in Sweden beside University scholarships provided by specific universities. For example, Stockholm University offers scholarships specially for qualified international students from outside the EU/Nordic countries/EEA/Switzerland to help them pay their tuition fees.
Medical Insurance and Health Care
You should also be prepared for any exigencies or emergencies and therefore health care and insurance must be included in your budget planning. It differs according to the length of your stay, and whether you are an international tuition-paying student or an exchange student. The University of Gothenburg, for example, has an FAS policy in place for fee-paying students. The agency dealing with insurance for students, Kammarkollegeit, covers the Personal Injury Insurance for Students. The “Guide to Student Insurance” covers the many different policies available according to the stages of study of a student (Higher Studies, Bachelor's, Master’s, Doctrinal, etc.).
Student Unions are a big deal in Sweden. They can be found at nearly every University in Sweden. Joining will open doors to a completely different social life with amazing nightlife and exciting opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities. Joining fees might vary differently with different Universities.
Looking at the right place and looking smart might prove to be very useful. After all, Sweden is counted as the second most costly country in the EU. For example, the average cost for food is around 14,660 INR, for accomodation is nearly 30,000 INR, travel and leisure is around 4000 INR and 10,630 INR, respectively. It would be more prudent to understand your requirements and plan accordingly. Primary resources are best to understand the student life in any foreign country. Start connecting, or dig up alumni from your dream University.