It is important for us that you feel both ready and equipped to embark on your studies. Here we offer some practical information to help you with some basic questions.
Cost of living
The cost of living in the Nordic countries may be slightly higher than in other European countries and countries outside of the EU. One condition that Sweden's Migration Agency (Migrationsverket) looks at before granting you a residence permit for studies is your ability to support yourself financially throughout your entire stay in Sweden.
The Migration Agency decides how much funds you must have available during your study period. In 2016, the sum for each month of the 10-month academic year was 8,000 SEK. (You will require additional funds if you plan to bring family members.)
The Study in Sweden website provides a monthly budget and other tips worth reading to prepare your stay in Sweden.
|Student housing (average, price can vary)||3,300 SEK|
|Hygiene,clothing, leisure etc.||1,500 SEK|
|Cell phone||200 SEK|
|Course literature||800 SEK|
|Local travel||300 SEK|
|Total – around €810 or $940||8,400 SEK|
Like everywhere, living costs in Sweden depend on your personal lifestyle. So, it is important to remember that the above is a minimum recommended monthly budget. For example, student housing for 3,300 SEK is the best student-friendly cost of accommodation, in other words, a lower monthly cost of accommodation cannot be found in Örebro.
Below some examples of prices in Sweden will be presented.
|Prices at the supermarket|
|1 liter milk||15 SEK|
|10 eggs||30 SEK|
|1 package of pasta||15 SEK|
|1 package of butter||40 SEK|
|1 loaf of bread||30 SEK|
|Prices in Örebro downtown|
|1 coffee||25 SEK|
|1 movie ticket||140 SEK|
|1 bus ride||20 SEK|
|1 lunch at the university||80 SEK|
|1 beer at a local pub||70 SEK|
Having access to a Swedish bank account during your stay in Sweden can be convenient for paying bills and receiving incomes, etc. However, depending on the agreement with your bank in your home country, currency exchange fees in Sweden over the period of your stay, might just be less than the costs of a Swedish bank account, bank cards and payment fees. Please note that conditions vary from bank to bank, depending on the length of your stay in Sweden, and whether you have a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer).
If you plan to study 1–2 semesters (less than 12 months) in Sweden, you do not qualify for a Swedish personal identity number. You will get limited services at Swedish banks, e.g. no Swedish bank account. Consider using your national bank account and bank card for money transactions, and to withdraw cash in ATMs if necessary, even if this costs you currency exchange fee. It will likely be cheaper over the time of your stay.
If you plan to study for more than 2 semesters (longer than 12 months) in Sweden, you qualify to apply for a Swedish personal identity number, which is necessary to open a Swedish bank account. Receiving your Swedish personal identity number will take several weeks, so do so before applying for a bank account. A personal identity number allows you also to apply for a Swedish ID card, which simplifies identification at the bank.
What you need to open a bank account
Here is a checklist of what documents you will need to open a bank account. Also bear in in mind that Swedish banks are generally only open weekdays 10–15, but often one evening per week with extended opening hours.
- Passport – only a valid, international standard passport is acceptable as ID
- Residence permit – if applicable
- Proof of admission – showing the duration of studies and a certificate of registration
- Proof of address in Sweden
- Birth certificate (Extract from the Population Register) – if you have a Swedish personal identity number, obtained at the Swedish Tax Agency.
As a bank customer always remember to:
- Inform the bank about changes in your contact information such as address, phone number or email.
- Close your Swedish bank account before you leave Sweden. This should be done at the branch office where you opened your bank account. Plan ahead, since the amount of cash you may withdraw from your account in a single withdrawal is limited.
Sweden's official currency is "kronor" and "öre". 1 krona (kronor = plural) is equal to 100 öre. Prices in kronor may written a number of ways. For example, 10 kronor may be written as 10 kr, 10 sek, 10 SEK and even as 10:-.
Euro is not used in Sweden.
To exchange money, you may do so at Örebro airport, but there are also currency-exchange offices located in the Örebro downtown (across the street from Krämaren shopping mall) and at the shopping mall Marieberg Galleria.
The Mecenat student card is a free discount card that gives students in Sweden access to a number of discounts on certain products and services, many shops and businesses, as well as on trains and buses.
Even certain local businesses offer student discounts: simply ask or look for signs stating Studentrabatt.
Work during your studies
As an international student in Sweden, you are allowed to work alongside your studies. However, it is important that your studies is your first priority, even if you do not have a lot of classroom hours, you are expected to spend the equivalent of a 40–hour work week studying and working on assignments.
Getting work in Sweden, even a part time job, is difficult and most likely employers will require a Swedish personal identity number and that you can speak Swedish. So, do not count on working while studying in Sweden.
Read more about work possibilities on the Study in Sweden website.
What to pack?
There are some things that we recommend you to bring along with you to Sweden.
A mobile phone
On arrival, we will provide you with a Swedish SIM-card and a phone number. The SIM-card is compatible with most mobile phones that are not carrier locked.
It is wise, even if you are a European citizen, to bring your passport for identification.
All student housing have free Internet service, but you need your own network cable in order to connect. Rooms do not have wireless network service.
One set of towels and bed linen
Örebro University provides you with a mattress for your bed, but there are no pillows, covers, bed linen or towels. The University will arrange a trip to IKEA during the Introduction Programme so may can buy those things. But for your first night or so, you need your own bed linen and towels.
If you use prescribed medication, it is very important that you bring enough medicine for the entire duration of your stay. The same medicine may not be available in Sweden.
Temperatures in Sweden differ not only between summer and winter, but the weather may even change quickly från morning to evening. So, what to wear when arriving here depends very much on what time of year you arrive – or even the time of day.