9 tips for international students moving to Sweden

Sweden, just like all the other Nordic countries, is an amazing destination to call home. It is one of the best places in the world in terms of living standards and quality of life. Everything from the health care system to the public transportation system is amazing. 

Is Sweden a good country for International students?

In a nutshell, yes it is good for international students. The best thing about Sweden is that you get to live in one of the places in Europe without having to deal with a lot of prejudice. The people of the country are nice, polite and open minded enough to actually let foreigners adjust themselves in their country. The local population is familiar with English and does not mind speaking it on a regular basis. This is a major important point as countries like Italy, France and Germany are notoriously famous for not speaking in english. This is something Sweden and other Nordic countries are much more easy going about. Another great thing about Sweden is the quality of the educational experience. The local universities offer a great range of academic qualifications and experiences. 

The country is also known for its socialised higher education sector which provides a very affordable rate of education. Of course the competition for this is very high and therefore it is very important to take the entire application process very seriously. 

Of course no matter how nice and open minded the country is, it is still a foreign land. It is still a different culture and a very different lifestyle. You not only need to know how to move there, what to look out for and how to adjust yourself over there. 

Moving to Sweden in steps

  1. Make sure you have valid travel documents which include your passport and visa. 
  2. Make sure you arrange some form of accommodation from here. These could be student dorms, backpacker facilities or air bnbs. 
  3. Make sure you understand the area you plan to go to through google maps. 
  4. Once there make sure to get yourself a bank account as soon as possible so you can start banking and conducting financial transactions. 

Tips to adapt for international students in Sweden

Keep Food Costs Low

Eating out in restaurants or cafés in cities like Stockholm or even in smaller towns can quickly add up and become a burden on your monthly expenses. This is why you should try to save money and try to limit your dine out experiences. In order to save money cooking at home, you can find affordable groceries from local shops and this will enable you to cook healthy and affordable meals as well. 

To keep your grocery costs low for the month you can try shopping at stores like Lidl, Willys and Netto. These stores provide a lot of affordable options on dairy, veggies and some of them also provide hala meat options as well (in some areas only). Compare prices of different items and shop around while keeping an eye out for deals and discounts. This will not only educate you on the cheaper options but also help you plan your expenses in a more effective way.

Of Course if you are unable to cook at home due to a busy schedule or lack of skill then you can check out ready made sandwiches and meals at grocery stores. THese stores offer ready-made meals at an affordable price. Eating out is way more expensive than this so if you plan on saving the cost of food please consider the ready made meals at the grocery stores.

If you do end up eating out, bear in mind that lunch is usually cheaper than dinner. In Swedish culture, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and many restaurants ranging from Swedish and Thai to Indian serve a wide selection of meals and deals which can provide you with a required calorie hit at an affordable or reasonable price. On average a meal like this would cost you around $11 to $13 (USD). Sometimes the deal also includes coffee. A dinner at the same restaurant can easily cost thrice as much. You’ll see a lot of office-goers grab such deals and this will also provide you an opportunity to network with different professionals. Tipping isn’t mandatory, but in cases of exceptional service you can tip around 10% of the bill.

Another option is to eat at food trucks, stalls, and food halls in Stockholm, all of which are cheaper than sit-down restaurants. 

Public Transport For Exploring

If you choose to study abroad in Stockholm, you’ll be able to take advantage of Stockholm’s fantastic system of public transportation of underground metro, trains, buses, and trams. A network of ferries takes you to the many islands in the Stockholm Archipelago that make for great day or weekend trips in summer.

If you’re living in Stockholm, it’s worth getting an SL (Stockholm Public Transport) season ticket such as the 30-day ticket for $92 to the annual pass for $973 with a 90-day option as well. The pass is valid for unlimited travel on the subway, commuter trains, buses, trams, and ferries that are operated by SL.

How much can an international student earn in Sweden?

It is easier to find a job in Sweden since culturally the country and its corporations are not so stringent on the English aspect. Minimum wage per hour adds up to be around $14 USD. This is however the minimum, once you have a bit of experience in a field you might be able to improve your rate and make more money. This level of earning will give you enough to pay for your living expenses while you stay in Sweden. Some students tend to work more and even end up creating a good healthy savings portfolio.

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