Language courses in Sweden are not popular among foreigners — mainly those who plan to pursue higher education in the country study Swedish. That is why Swedish universities offer long-term preparatory programs aimed at a complete immersion in the new language and cultural environment. On the contrary, language schools are not common and only offer short-term evening courses.

Advantages of language courses in Sweden

  • Preparatory programs. Many universities in Sweden offer long-term preparatory courses where you can improve your Swedish to the desired level and enter a university without taking a language exam.
  • Summer courses. In Sweden, there are several companies that organize summer schools. The duration of such programs is from 2 to 9 weeks. It includes the study of not only language, but also the culture and history of the country. After classes, students go to neighboring cities, hike, and attend master classes and excursions. The price also includes accommodation and meals.
  • Nature. The Swedish landscape is dotted with thousands of lakes, streams, mountains, and hills. Even residents of large cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg can enjoy untouched nature. Just a short boat ride away are the archipelagos where people cycle, fish, and kayak.
  • Happy country. High salaries, a healthy balance between family and work, an active lifestyle, and a progressive healthcare system — these factors rank Sweden as one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world[1].

Disadvantages of language courses in Sweden

  • Small selection. Both at universities and language centers, there are few options for language learning. Only university preparatory programs, general Swedish courses, and summer schools are available.
  • High prices. A program with an intensity of 8-10 hours costs about 154 USD per week. This is quite expensive, especially when compared to other European countries. For about the same price in Germany, France, and Spain, you can attend courses with an intensity of 15-30 hours per week.
  • Widespread English. Swedes are fluent in English. Therefore, they tend to use it when communicating with foreigners[2]. As such, you will not be able to fully practice Swedish.
  • Lack of hostels. Most language schools in Sweden do not have their own residences. There are dormitories at universities, but places in them are quickly occupied.

Cost of language courses in Sweden

UniversityProgramDurationTuition feesCitiesResidence/month
Linköping UniversityQualifying Course in Swedish1-2 semesters5,310 USD/semesterLinköping-
Lund UniversitySwedish as a Foreign Language — Levels 1-41 semester5,310 USD/semesterLund348-502 USD
Swedish as a Foreign Language — Levels 1-81 year10,621 USD/year
Stockholm UniversitySvenska som främmande språk1 semester4,345 USD/semester

Stockholm

-
Behörighetsgivande kurs i svenska1 semester4,345 USD/semester
Linnaeus UniversityBasic Swedish1 semester5,310 USD/semesterVäxjö, Kalmar338-434 USD
Intermediate Swedish1 semester5,310 USD/semester
Qualifying Course1 semester5,310 USD/semester
Beginner's Course 1-43 months1,328 USD/3 months
Enroll in a language course with UniPage

When applying for a language course, a lot of time is spent searching for information and clarifying the nuances of programs and accommodation options in Sweden.
UniPage cooperates only with accredited language schools, which, in addition to quality education and comfortable accommodation, provide our clients with discounts on courses. Our experts will tell you in detail what programs are available at Swedish schools and universities, help you fill out an application, and ultimately save your time.

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Types of language courses in Sweden

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language requirementsAvg. cost per week
General / Level Courses8-1510-12Beginner154 USD
General / Level Courses30-4010-12Beginner5,310 USD/semester
Preparatory / Qualifying Courses / Swedish for Academics30-4010-12Beginner or Intermediate4,345 USD/semester
Summer Courses25-3010-15Beginner1,487 USD/2 weeks
Live and Study in Your Teacher's Home10-301Beginner2,171 USD
Individual lessonsIndividual1Beginner63 USD

General / Level Courses — these are courses by language level. Different names exist for such programs, such as Swedish A1-C2 or Basic / Intermediate Swedish. In the classroom, students learn to read, write, understand speech, develop conversational skills, and practice vocabulary and grammar. These courses are available both at universities and language schools. At universities, they are often offered before preparatory courses for higher education in Sweden.

Preparatory / Qualifying Courses / Swedish for Academics — preparatory courses for studying at a university. Students write essays, read scientific articles, learn to defend their point of view, and make presentations. These courses last 1-2 semesters.

Summer Courses — students combine active recreation with language learning. Typically, the cost of such programs includes accommodation, meals, lessons, and entertainment: excursions, sports, movie nights, and concerts.

Live and Study in Your Teacher's Home — as part of this program, students live and study in their teacher's home, have meals together, and attend various city events. Such an immersion in the language environment calls for a rapid grasp of Swedish.

Features of admission to Swedish language schools

In Sweden, general and preparatory courses at universities are most common. They are focused on university applicants — upon completion of the language course, graduates receive credits and can enter their chosen program without passing a language exam. Therefore, the selection process for both general and preparatory language programs is very competitive.

In order to enroll, students need to meet the minimum university requirements — a high school diploma, high GPA, and sometimes B1-B2 English proficiency[3]. The required level of Swedish depends on the university. Some universities, such as Stockholm or Gothenburg, do not accept students with an A1-A2 level. Lund University, along with the universities of Linneus and Linköping, offer courses for beginners.

Admission deadlines also depend on the university. Most intakes occur once per semester — autumn or spring. Some universities recruit students once per season — in the spring, autumn, winter, and summer. You can view available programs on the University Admissions website. Through this portal, students apply for Swedish bachelor’s, master’s, and preparatory programs.

Admission process for university courses:

  • Check that you meet the minimum university requirements
  • Register on the University Admissions website
  • Choose a university and Swedish course and apply before the deadline
  • Collect the necessary documents (diploma of previous education, language proficiency certificate, passport)
  • Translate and notarize documents into English, Swedish, French, or German
  • Pay the registration fee
  • Send documents to the university email
  • Wait for the admission decision

Admission to language schools and summer courses is easier. It is enough to pass a test that will determine your level of Swedish, complete the application form, and pay the tuition.

When paying for a course, pay attention to the refund policy — it varies from school to school. Some withhold only the registration fee, while for others, the amount depends on when exactly you cancel the application. For example, if you cancel a course a month before the start date, only the registration fee is withheld. If you cancel a week beforehand, you end up losing the full cost of the program. This is an important factor, as you may be denied a visa if you are going to study in the country for language courses or summer programs.

Taking language courses in Sweden

If you intend on taking a university language course, prepare for a full eight-hour work day — the intensity of classes is 30-40 hours a week. Thanks to this approach, students reach the required level of Swedish for university admission within a year. At the end of the course, they receive a certificate that can be used instead of a language exam. Such programs last at least one semester.

You can learn Swedish at language schools and educational organizations like Medborgarskolan and Folkuniversitetet. However, here you will mostly find short-term evening courses. They usually last 4-6 weeks.

Summer courses are the best option if you want to not only get to know the Swedish language and culture, but also have a good vacation. Students study the language in the morning and devote the afternoon to lectures on Swedish culture and history. In the evening, there are excursions, movie screenings, walks, and other activities.

Accommodation options in Sweden

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomAvg. cost per month
DormitoryNone1-4434 USD
ApartmentNone1-2647 USD
HotelOptional1-2543 USD

Despite the fact that some universities have dormitories, accommodation is not guaranteed. Please have an alternate accommodation option available upon admission.

Additional expenses

ExpenseAvg. cost
Consular embassy fee87 USD
Registration fee87 USD
Study materials39 USD

Additional expenses may include medical insurance, delivery of an invitation by express mail, and airport transfers. Specify additional costs on the school website.

UniPage services

Visa for language courses in Sweden

To study in Sweden for courses lasting less than 3 months, you need an entry visa[4]. The term for consideration is about 15 days.

List of documents for a visa:

For long-term courses from 90 days, the student must obtain a residence permit. You must apply for it before leaving for Sweden, but not earlier than 4 months. The terms for issuing a residence permit depend on each specific case. You can check the approximate processing time on the migration agency website.

Residence permits are issued only to full-time students. That is, you must study 30-40 hours a week, and the content of the program must correspond to a minimum of 30 credits per semester.

List of documents:

Working while taking a language course in Sweden
Unlike other countries, there are no labor restrictions in Sweden. You can work as much as you want, so long as you have a residence permit. However, it is important to remember that your main task is to study — you are expected to devote 40 hours a week to studying.
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Most popular language courses in Sweden

Lund University

Lund University is in the top 100 universities in the world according to the QS Ranking[5]. You can learn Swedish in Beginner's Courses (3 months) and Swedish as a Foreign Language 1-4 (semester) or 1-8 (year) programs. If you successfully complete Swedish as a Foreign Language 1-8, you will receive a grade transcript, a certificate, and the opportunity to enter a university without taking a language exam.

For a year of study, you can earn 60 credits that are counted towards admission.

Stockholm University

Stockholm University offers a preparatory program that is divided into two semester courses.

  • Svenska som främmande språk is for students with an Intermediate (B1) level. You practice language skills and close gaps in grammar and vocabulary.
  • Behörighetsgivande kurs i svenska — for those who know Swedish at the Upper-Intermediate (B2) level. Students prepare for university studies: they read scientific texts, write essays, learn how to make presentations, and express their opinions.

Best Cities to Learn Swedish

Stockholm

  • Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden.
  • In 1901, the very first Nobel Prize ceremony was held here.
  • The city's metro is called the longest art gallery in the world — most of its stations are decorated with paintings, sculptures, and mosaics.
  • Every summer, Stockholm hosts the Crayfish Party — a traditional food and drink festival where people eat boiled crayfish.
  • The most famous Swedish band — ABBA — came from Stockholm. In 2013, ABBA the Museum was opened in Stockholm, where visitors can see real costumes from the band's performances, "try on" their virtual copies, and even become the fifth participant and perform on stage with Bjorn, Benny, Anni-Frid, and Agneta.

    LenStockholm
    Population1515017
    Monthly expenses (excluding rent)922 USD

Gothenburg

  • Gothenburg is Sweden's main port and the second largest after Stockholm.
  • The world's only mounted blue whale is on display at Gothenburg’s Natural History Museum. In 1865, the beached whale was killed by local residents. The animal was over 16 meters long and weighed 25 tons. August Wilhelm Malm bought the whale and moved it to the museum.
  • In 1923, the largest amusement park in Europe — Liseberg — opened in Gothenburg. It was especially loved by global stars. For example, Jimi Hendrix gave a concert in the park seven times. Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston both performed at Liseberg in 1988.
  • More than 240 trams run around the city. Most of them are named after famous residents of Gothenburg. Therefore, on the roads you can find trams named after Håkan Hellström, the Swedish musician, or actress Ulla Skoog.
LenVästra Götaland
Population572799
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)833 USD

Malmö

  • Malmö was founded in the 13th century and belonged to Denmark until the 17th century.
  • Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and Malmö are connected by the longest road and rail bridge in Europe — the Øresund Bridge. It is 16 kilometers in length.
  • Lilla Torg — literally translated as "Little Square" — is one of the liveliest places in Malmö at any time of the year. The history of the square began in the 1500s, when a medieval market was founded on this site. Today, it is the best place in Malmö to relax and have a coffee.
  • Malmö is one of the most multinational cities in Sweden. People from 180 countries live here.
LenSkåne
Population301706
Monthly expenses (excluding rent)825 USD
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