New in Sweden
For you to be ready to embark on your studies we offer some practical information about the most important fundaments for living in Sweden.
Here you find information about health services, insurance, finances, personal identity numbers and other important issues to make your everyday life easier.
New in Sweden - what you should know:
Students from outside of the EU/EEA are encouraged to contact the Swedish Migration Agency in order to start the application process for the VISA & residence permit. Student staying for longer than three months must make sure that they have a residence permit. Please note that you probably need to apply for both VISA and residence permit well in advance. You can read more about the requirements and documentation needed on the Swedish Migration Agency's website. You will probably need to submit documents such as acceptance letters and more.
Students will probably need to renew their residence permit on a yearly basis. Please find more information on how to extend your residence permit.
Apply for a Swedish personal number
The Swedish personal number (personnummer in Swedish) is an identity number that is widely used throughout daily life in Sweden, whether it is for memberships and subscriptions to opening a bank account or whether you communicate with governmental authorities. The closest comparison to other countries' systems might be the social security number system which is uniquely connected to you. There are specific requirements when applying for the Swedish Personal Number and you do so through Skatteverket, the Swedish Tax Agency.
Circumstances for having a Swedish Personal Number is closely tied to the registration to the Swedish Population Register. People who are not currently - and have never been - registered at an address in Sweden, are identified with a Coordination Number instead. You can apply for one by visiting one of the Swedish Tax Agency service centers. If you are going to stay in Sweden for one year or more, you must notify the Swedish Tax Agency of your move to Sweden. You will then be issued with a personal identity number. The Swedish Tax Agency has a guide for moving to Sweden that can be helpful and preparatory when applying to or visiting their service center.
BankID is an e-ID that you use when you need to prove your identity online. The application is widely used in Sweden for identification before authorities, banks and also for online shopping.
The Bank-ID exist in several forms:
- BankID on file
- The BankID card
- Mobile BankID
To order a BankID, you must have a Swedish personal identity number. There are also requirements set by individual banks, such as a minimum age limit or registering in the Swedish Population Register.
If you do not already have a BankID, the easiest way to open a bank account is to visit or contact a bank branch. To open a bank account, you will most likely need to verify your address. Bring your letter of admission and registration certificate from the University as well as accepted forms of identification (passport, driver’s licence, etc.). At some banks, a Swedish personal identity number is requested, however, this is not a legal requirement.
In many cases, the personal identity number is needed to access commonly used banking services like BankID. Banks always do a background check on individuals in accordance with anti-money laundering laws and other controls to ensure that there are no obstacles to offering service. More detailed information about what a bank requires when opening an account can be found on the bank’s own website.
Some of the major banks in Sweden:
SEB – Nordea – Handelsbanken – Swedbank – Danske Bank
It may take a little extra to find student housing in Stockholm. Follow the link below for a selection of websites for accommodation and some tips to help you along the way:
Public Transportation in Stockholm
Public transport in Stockholm County is collectively referred to as “SL”. www.sl.se is the website used most frequently by Stockholmers and visitors to the city to find their way around Stockholm. If you do not know the name of the station or stop, search the street address of your destination. You can also get a visual itinerary using the SL website’s map service. You can find schedule and buy tickets via an app, either the app "SL– reseplanerare och biljetter" or "Res i STHLM".
Cost of Living and Finances
The cost of living in the Nordic countries can be slightly higher than in other European countries. One criterion that Sweden's Migration Board (Migrationsverket) looks at before granting you a residence permit for studies is your ability to support yourself financially throughout your stay in Sweden.
The Migration Board decides how much you must have available for your study period. In 2016, the sum for each month of the ten-month academic year was 8 000 sek. (You require more if you are bringing family members.)
Your monthly rent will probably cost between SEK 2500 – 6500, or even more.
The Study in Sweden website provides a monthly budget by way of example.
Use the emergency number 112 when there is a risk to life, property or the environment. An emergency situation is when you urgently need help from an ambulance, emergency services, police, air-sea-mountain rescue, on-call clergy or poison information. You can call the emergency number 112, anytime from a landline or mobile phone wherever you are in Sweden. Your call is answered by an SOS operator who will ask questions to gain the information necessary for providing help as quickly as possible. SOS operators speak Swedish and English and have access to interpreters if language mediation is needed. You can find information about 112 and SOS alarms in a number of languages.
If your call is not urgent, use the following numbers instead:
- call the police at 114 14
- healthcare advice at 1177
- information number for major accidents or crises 113 13
As a student with SEDU, we offer student health services through a partnership with Stockholm University. The Stockholm Student Health Services provides nurse and counselor services, groups, workshops and other activities. All visits are free of charge. In case you need to see a doctor, please visit your closest healthcare clinic . You can find the nearest one through Health Care Guide.
As a student at a Swedish university or university college, a personal injury insurance is available that covers your time at school and your journey to and from school. This insurance is free for all students. Your student health insurance is offered by the Swedish Defence University through Kammarkollegiet (The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency).
The Swedish Defence University is offering admitted international students a beginner's course in Swedish. The language course is a non-credit optional course and is paid for by the Swedish Defence University and therefore free of charge for students. More information about the offered course will be made available for admitted students in June.
The student union is a democratic and nonprofit association of students. We monitor and participate in the development of education and the conditions for studies at the Swedish Defence University. The student union safeguards the right to influence, the work environment, equal treatment and freedom from discrimination. The student union has representatives in most of the Swedish Defence University's management and decision-making bodies. More information about the student union