Preparing for studies as a freemover
A great deal of preparation needs to be done when you apply to a course or programme abroad.
A great place to start is to find out as much as you can about the courses/programmes and the universities in which you're interested. Compare the lengths of the courses, entry requirements and costs. Always contact the university for information about entry requirements and the admissions process.
Ploteus, the European education database, has information about higher education in Europe.
Can I use my foreign studies in Sweden?
Education systems are different in other countries. Therefore, not all studies at foreign universities compare to university studies in Sweden. Are you planing on continuing your studies after your studies abroad? Then it's important to contact the university you're planning on attending when you return - before you decide to travel abroad to study - to find out if you'll be able to transfer the foreign courses and credits.
If you're planning on studying an entire education programme abroad, it can be difficult to find out what it's worth in Sweden. The Swedish Council for Higher Education's (UHR) evaluation service can help you with that.
Regulated professions require a specific licence or authorisation from a public authority in order to be able to practice in Sweden. A few examples are medical doctor, nurse, lawyer and psychologist. Contact the responsible authority in advance to find out if the foreign qualification provides eligibility to practice in that profession in Sweden.
Find out about costs
Overseas universities often charge tuition fees. Contact the relevant university for more information. If you're studying abroad, it's possible to apply for extra student funding for tuition fees, provided that the course/programme is approved by the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN).
Find out what's required to apply
Contact the overseas university at which you're interested in studying and ask for application documents and instructions, including deadlines. Some countries have a central admissions authority. In others, you send your application straight to the university.
Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility
In order to be admitted to a foreign university, it's almost always necessary for you to have general eligibility for higher education in Sweden. The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) can provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility.
Take a language test
For most courses, you must have passed a language test. There are various tests – the overseas university to which you are applying will have more information about what's needed to study there. Remember to plan well in advance, as tests are only offered on specific dates and it may take time before the results arrive.
The most common language tests can be taken in Sweden.
- Cambridge exams
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL is a common test prior to studying in the USA.
EU citizens no longer need to take a language test before applying to universities in France. However, a pass in these tests is recommended:
- Diplôme d´Etudes en Langue Française (DELF)
- Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française
- Test de Connaissance Français (TCF)
More information about these tests is available from L´Institut français de Suède website (information at the link in Swedish).
Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) is Spain's official language certificate. The Instituto Cervantes is responsible for the test in Sweden.
When you register at a German university you take a language test called Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber (DSH).
You can also apply if you've passed one of the following language tests from the Goethe-Institut:
- Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom, (KDS), tests reading comprehension, writing and speaking. The diploma is valid in all German-speaking countries as a certification that you have adequate skills for higher education.
- Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom, (GDS), demands fluent spoken and written German.
- Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung, (ZOP), is at the same level as KDS.
Translation of grades
Upper secondary grades
You often need to translate your upper-secondary grades to the country’s language. This also applies to other grades that show you fulfil the entry requirements. The requirements for the translation can vary; sometimes you can do your own translation or the school who issued your grades can do it. Always contact the university to find out which rules apply.
Kammarkollegiet’s website has a searchable register of authorised translators.
It may be necessary to have official confirmation that your grades and documents are genuine and correct. In most cases they should be certified by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, but sometimes it's also necessary to have an apostille from a notarius publicus (a lawyer appointed by the county administrative board).
Translation of grades from higher education
If you want to translate grades from higher education, you should contact the relevant department at your university.