Frequently Asked Questions
Fear not! Sweden has an extremely generous system for this. Once you are registered at an address in Sweden you can contact your municipality (kommun) and sign up for SFI studies (Svenska För Invandrare, Swedish for immigrants). Usually, you can start studying SFI almost immediately. After finishing SFI, you will be at a high enough Swedish level to continue with something called SVA grund (also provided for free within your municipality) and study all the way up to SVA 3, the level you need to be fully proficient in Swedish and also be eligible for university studies in Swedish. Another option after SFI is to study Swedish at a university.
For specific questions about this, contact us for individual guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to start studying on your own, we recommend this online course.
The short answer is: Nej. If you speak English, you will be able to work and study in Sweden. However, that will definitely limit your options. Also, learning the language is usually a way to also get deeper into the Swedish culture. But no, your life does not have to be on pause while you are learning Swedish.
There are a few different ways of doing this. Looking for job ads at arbetsformedlingen.se and using keywords such as English or Multilingual (be creative here!) instead of a specific profession will show you job ads where your language skills are wanted. Also, this might give you an idea of the type of work you could find in English and show you companies that value multilingual or English speaking staff. There are also a few recruitment companies focusing specifically on job hunters who do not primarily speak Swedish.
Linkedin can also be a great place to network in the Swedish context.We have a longer article about advice on how to search actively for a job in Sweden here. For more input and individual guidance, contact us!
The easiest way to find courses and programs at Swedish universities is to have a look here: universityadmissions.se. Most academic opportunities in english will be at Master’s level or Phd level, but there are some Bachelor level classes and programs to be found as well.
There is also something in Sweden called Yrkeshögskolan, which is higher vocational education. This is also higher level studies but instead of an academic focus, these programs combine theoretical and practical studies and has a close connection to employers and the industry. In fact, all educational programs that Yrkeshögskolan offers are fields of work with an explicit demand for competence. That also means that close to everyone graduating from Yrkeshögskolan will find a job within their field as soon as they finish their program. Most programs are given in Swedish but a few programs are offered in English.
If you need to reach a higher level of English to be able to study in English, you can study English for free within you municipality (komvux), the same place you sign up for SFI studies (mentioned above!).
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a program or not, please contact us for individual guidance. A lot of the time you will need to contact the school where you want to study to find out, but we will do our best to help you!
Your personnummer will be your personal identification number in Sweden and it is required for a lot of different things. There is a really useful checklist here, providing information about how to obtain one. While you are waiting for a personnummer, you will be given temporary identification numbers that you can use for some purposes, like studying for instance. So, yes, you can still go on with your life while you are waiting for your personnummer!
The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) has a great service, where you can send in your foreign qualifications and receive an official document stating what your foreign degree is equivalent to in the Swedish educational system. This can help you when you are looking for a job, but also when you want to plan your studies.
Some professions are regulated in Sweden and you will need to contact a specific authority to find out what steps you need to take to work in Sweden.
We understand this is one of the main issues for you when making the move. Our expertise is work and study in Sweden, so we are just going to go ahead and give you some useful links here!
The English website for applying to programs and courses as an international student is universityadmissions.se, however don’t forget to check out the national admissions round too at antagning.se. The tricky thing is that the information is in Swedish, but here is a link where we have filtered the search field so it only shows you courses and programs offered in English. For more individual guidance and help, e-mail us!
informationsverige.se is a website run by the County Administrative Boards that contains information about Sweden for people who have recently been granted a residence permit. This website is trustworthy and contains loads of useful information and advice and is available in several languages.
arbetsförmedlingen.se is the official website for the Swedish Public Empoyment Services. You can find information about your rights and obligations as an employee in Sweden, but also information regarding benefits. It is a good idea to register as unemployed here when you have moved to Sweden. Before moving, you can look for job ads on this site. It is the biggest database of job ads in Sweden and you can both apply to jobs as well as get an idea of what type of jobs are out there!
sweden.se is the official site of Sweden! Run by the Swedish Institute and offering an insight to the culture and society of this beautiful country.
thenewbieguide.se pretty much a guide to everything you would want to know about being a newbie in Sweden. Run by other expats, this site has a real expat perspective and gives you the opportunity to network and share your own experiences.
thelocal.se Swedish news in English! Also, useful notice board, job listings and apartment listings.
The Swedish Tax Agency the place where you can get registered as living in Sweden and find out information about personal income tax, corporate tax, VAT and excise tax.
Health care in Sweden information, advice and contact info. Stay healthy!
Social insurance in Sweden information and guidance concerning benefits, and regulations regarding the social insurance system in Sweden.
Swedish Migration Agency information and application for residence permits and other ways to live in Sweden.
Missing anything? Comment below and we will do the research for you to sort out the bad seeds and add more useful links here!
You can find loads of good information on this site run by organizations helping people to start companies in Sweden as well as the Swedish Public Employment Office and The Swedish Tax Agency. You can trust the information here and find events and seminars to learn all you need to start your own business. Send us an e-mail if you need more help regarding this!
Well good thing you have already started by visiting this website!
The next step can be getting yourself a warm coat. Also, have a look at our interviews with expats for some first hand advice. Even though most things are taken care of by the authorities in Sweden, having a network is never a bad idea. Have a look at our useful links to get started! We have not only collected links for places to network and meet other expats, but also links to some of the most important authorities that you should probably familiarize yourself with.