Monday, February 22, 2010

International Students, Tuition, and Swedish Education

The big news amongst the international student community in Sweden the past few days, aside from the snow, has been the decision to charge tuition. Beginning in the fall of 2011, students coming to Sweden from non-EU countries (like the US for example) will no longer be doing so on the Swedish tax-payers krona.

The idea is that the tuition charged should cover the cost of the education which, as of right now, has not been defined. It is thought to be between 60,000 and 80,000 SEK per year (depending on which source you want to use The Local or SVD) but the individual universities will have the final say. To help pick up a bit of the slack, two different scholarship funds have been formed.

I’m pumped. I have never understood the Swedish attitude towards foreign students. Students who come to this country, work for an education, then leave. Let’s me start off by saying that I know school in Sweden isn’t free. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or a free education. There is rent to pay, books to buy, student fees. There is no tuition though, and that makes the education damn appealing. Instead, Swedish taxes pay for it. I’m not a fan of the high taxes in this country (Sweden had the second highest tax burden in the world just a couple of years ago), but if I get to choose where my tax money goes, education is at the top of the list.

That being said, I also believe there is a sort of social contract that goes along with that education. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, international students receiving their education are often not allowed to fulfill that social contract.

Sweden is notorious for making it difficult to get a job for international students after they graduate. Recent legislation has attempted to ease the restrictions, but a quick look at any Swedish newspaper for the past six months will reveal the continued difficulties for international students looking for work in Sweden.

It’s a shame; students make a choice to come here, to study here, to live here. It only stands that some of them might actually want to work here. Let them. They have the same education offered to Swedes; they might have even managed to get a MVG without a re-test. But so it goes. Which is what makes the current system so asinine.

A system which is tuition free due to tax-payer monies forcing the beneficiaries of those monies to leave the country. Never getting a single öre of ROI. The move to charging tuition is one way of solving this problem. Now, the risk the Swedish government takes by paying for these students is minimized. Paying for the education of others, who never get the chance to put that education to use in this country, is not economically feasible. It just isn’t.

Some people are arguing that this will hurt the Swedish school system. Which to be honest, seems to speak quite poorly of the system as it stands suggesting that the only reason people come to study here is because it is free. They argue that with required tuition, qualified students will go elsewhere and that quality will suffer. You know, like other university systems that charge tuition. Like the US for example. Worthless universities in that country.

While I’m sure there will be a drop in applications in the short-term (the education minister said as much), I’m also sure that the international reputation of Swedish innovation will continue to attract students despite the tuition. I would also argue that charging tuition will raise the standard of students and the quality of student life in general as suddenly those who are applying will be those who truly want to be in the country.

All that being said, if you’re thinking of studying here, get your ass in gear. You have until the fall of 2011. Hurry up. Seriously. If you start your program before the fall of 2011 you will be grandfathered in.

The three big universities are Lund, Stockholm, and Uppsala. Also, check out Study in Sweden, a great website that has already put together a clear and concise FAQ about tuition in Swedish universities.

Welcome to Sweden. And tuition.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden

59 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this info Hairy. And I agree with you, "foreigners" should pay for their education here.

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  2. Being an international student myself, I think this sucks. Doesn't make it wrong though. I think charging international students tuition is fair. But no student in their right mind would pay for a crappy education when they can pay the same amount, maybe less, for a better program somewhere else..
    I guess it's a matter of which country you can study.

    for me, I can study anywhere since I have the grades to back me up, the only reason I decided to stay here was because of my family. otherwise, I wouldn't even bother.

    sorry. The education system here really frustrates me. It's just too lax.

    If they want students to pay, they better bring up the level of teaching with it. fair is fair.

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  3. As an American studying at KTH I'm conflicted. I really envy the European model of education (esp Erasmus) and wish we had it in the US. I have way to many friends that have come out of school with 50k dollars or more of debt. I have been lucky to have a program that is financially very supportive, thanks to the federal government. .

    But at the same point I completely understand the frustration that comes with such a lax structure. My university is a public school but foreign exchange students still pay close to 50K year. I guess in some ways that makes Sweden's fees look like chump change.

    (FYI for any masters/PhD students in civil engineering, urban planning or architecture looking for a fellowship in the US check out the Valle Exchange. It is a two way exchange)

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  4. Oj, trodde inte det skulle bli sådana priser! Det är ju som i USA ...

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  5. You forgot The University Gothenburg :(

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  6. Mrr. That's the year I'm set to go to Uppsala.

    It doesn't effect me much, though, considering I'm doing an exchange program, so I'd be paying my university tuition anyway.

    I guess I don't really feel too bad for those students, since I have to pay tuition in my own country. It kind of baffles me that tuition isn't charged in Sweden, but maybe that's my American mindset kicking in.

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  7. I do agree with you, although I am still very thankful that I am here now and don't have to pay anything! With the current exchange program at my campus, I still have to pay home university fees... so I wonder if they will continue to make California State University exchange students coming to Uppsala pay home university fees ... AND fees for being an exchange student to Sweden? That would be ridiculous, but I really think that is what they will do. Which means no exchange students from California will be coming to Uppsala anymore. Anyway, that is the hot topic between the Californians here. Obviously, I think that starting Autumn 2011 Swedish exchange students should have to pay California fees, since we will have to pay fees to Sweden. But then, would Swedish exchange students want to come to California?

    Hmmmmmmmmm.

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  8. Okay, so forget my last comment. I just read the FAQ and learned that exchange students are exempt from the fees. :)

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  9. @SwedishJenn – no problem

    @Lost – and that’s what this is going to come down to, but it will force Swedish education to compete for the best, and hopefully improve because of it.

    @Adam – good point, the tuition is still relatively inexpensive when looking at US fees. And good tip on the Valle Exchange.

    @Sandra – well, its getting closer, but there is still a ways to go before international students will be paying American prices

    @Foilman – can I beg for your forgiveness?

    @Vikki – yeah exchange students don’t have to pay the fee.

    @Jess – good questions though and something the universities will have to be sure to communicate if they hope to keep those exchange students rolling in.

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  10. Just a quick note on applying...many schools have a January 15 deadline for non-Swede applications, so it is likely too late to get accepted for fall 2010. That leaves Spring 2011 to start school without fees, but I am not sure if most have rolling admissions like that. So in some cases, it may be too late for one to be grandfathered in.

    I am an American who takes advantage of the no-tuition situation at Stockholm University, but would absolutely stay in Sweden to work after the degree (if jobs can be found and Swedish can be learned.) The degree from a Swedish school *means* much more in Sweden than it does in the US or anywhere else.

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  11. I live in Australia and I just came back from spending a semester on exchange in Sweden and honestly I think it's a great idea to bring in tuition fees.

    Back in the 80s Australia had free university for all and we changed that and everyone has to pay tuition fees (based on what type of degree your studying) except we have a system calls HECS now called HELP where the government pays the tuition fees of Australian citizens even when studying abroad on exchange. Even though international students have to pay tuition and usually at a high rate, and we still receive billions each year from international students. If they want to come they will come regardless of fees.

    Also I wish someone had told me before I decided to go to Sweden that courses are taught in a 1 month period and not over an entire semester and that you do 1 course at a time. I was trying to figure out how people do because I was enrolled in 3 courses at the same time and that was ridiculous.

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  12. Nothing is free, and especially not our education, it costs billions of dollars every year. We pay 50% of our taxes so our healthcare and school are supposed to be so called "free". Then it's just fair that the international students pay some for their education aswell.

    @LostInTranslation: I'm sorry you don't like it here but I think it kinda depends on where in Sweden, on what college/university you choose to study and what program you choose to take. But the education here is adepted for the Swedish labor market, and I guess you've experienced the notorious "grupparbeten" like a million times by now! Oh, and everyone should be able to speak their mind everytime about everything so you don't get that much done. I'm a Swede and I can find that abit frustrating aswell sometimes..

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  13. @LostInTraslation

    Well, if you feel like this, I don't really understand why are you still here...maybe it's not too late to find a "better" country for your studies. Sweden universities won't cry when you leave, believe me.

    I am from an EU country (Hungary) so I won't have to pay anyway, but after reading a few hundred comments on this topic I am just tired of people who think that Sweden owes them anything.

    I am really happy that I have the opportunity to study here, I appreciate the quality of the Högskola and I feel that it really makes a difference in my life. And of course I study Swedish intensively because I simply need it in this contry to get a job. International students studying on English only are surprised that even for a postman job you are required to talk Swedish. Oh yes, this is Sweden and not some English or American country, even if you get that impression :-)

    I think that international students should think twice about what they say or write about the host country and its system...you are simply not educated enough about the Swedish system to criticise it so negatively.

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  14. @ anonumous, I agree with you, it totally depends on the schools as well. but the impression i got from a lot of my friends who go to completely different schools is not a huge improvement from my own opinion.

    @ emoke
    I think sweden owes ALL its students the best education it can provide. negative or not, I was saying what I believe and your comment will not change that. I think it's great that you appreciate the education system here; for me it's different, I've studied in many different countries and many different schools,so I'm rather " educated enough" to collect a non-bias opinion about the teaching standards here, and I find the swedish education system lacking greatly, being free does not make it okay to have such a lax system.

    I unfortunately decided to study here out of interest and being close to my family is the only thing keeping me here.

    Some of us are not able to fly around all over the world as we please. I made a decision, and I intend to hold my responsibilities to it. Its university, not high school, when you start something, you finish it.

    BTW, of course you need swedish to work in Sweden, what kind of idiot would assume otherwise??

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  15. @LostInTraslation

    You wrote:

    >> I've studied in many different countries and many different schools,so I'm rather " educated enough" to collect a non-bias opinion about the teaching standards here <<

    --- and then ---

    >> Some of us are not able to fly around all over the world as we please. <<

    Well, the 2nd sentence applies to me as well ;)

    But why would I fly around all over the world when I am satisfied with the Swedish Högskola? (O.k., this is not a question.)

    However the education in Sweden is preparing you for the Swedish life and that's a very good thing. Of course it is not the same as Oxford or Canada, why should it be?

    So having so many experiences from _other countries_ still don't entitle you to criticise the Swedish system. Although you are free to say what you want, it won't help you a bit, you are just getting more and more pessimistic...

    >> BTW, of course you need swedish to work in Sweden, what kind of idiot would assume otherwise?? <<

    Believe me, there are thousands and thousands... There are such people everywhere having false ideas on Sweden and I personally get such e-mails every week. But it's good that you know.

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  16. @ emoke.
    I'm not being pessimistic, I'm being realistic.
    Sweden should prepare it's students enough for them to be able to work a job related to their field any where in the world; not just for Sweden. Be it, it IS a good thing they are preparing their international students for the swedish way of life,but that shouldn't mean dumbing down the standards. Especially when Hairy himself said that it's harder for international students to get jobs. Shouldn't the government then raise up the the standards of teaching? So students who couldn't get jobs in Sweden look for jobs somewhere else and not become a 'burden' on their government?
    no one who graduated with a engineering degree is going to settle being a McDonald worker or an assistant; thus they are going to look elsewhere.
    I hope you don't see this as an attack, I'm just discussing the topic. :D
    and I'm feel bad that you had to converse with people stupid enough to believe that getting a job without learning swedish is abnormal. :)

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  17. @ emoke.

    and I'm feel bad that you had to converse with people stupid enough to believe that getting a job without learning swedish is normal. :)

    whoops :D

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  18. @Lostintranslation

    Sweden have great education. If you really expected it to be great at a högskola then you are kind of spoiled and naive really. Uppsala, Lund, Stockholm are all good schools. Medical school, handels, law, architecture etc are the best programs. By the way, don't you see that the education is tax financed? That means that the government want you to stay in Sweden and work here and pay taxes. That way you can pay off your otherwise free education.

    I seriously think you should just leave Sweden. You're just biting the hand that feeds you. You should be grateful.

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  19. @Anne – a good point. Time is of the essence when it comes to applying.

    @That Girl Possessed – it is an interesting system with the rolling classes. I actually ended up with a period where I had class only twice a week. It was incredible. I didn’t know what to do with all of my time. Luckily, as an exchange student, it was never hard to find someone to go out drinking with.

    @anonymous – absolutely agree.

    @Emőke – I agree with a little bit of what you say, but I also disagree with a few things. The opportunity to study here and to throw yourself into the culture and language is absolutely important. But I also think being able to criticize the system is an important part of the process. To find what you like and don’t like and to speak openly about it. Being a part of the system as a student gives you a lot of insight into the system.

    @anonymous – you seem like an agreeable person. I like that.

    @Lost – I think just about every country owes the best education within the framework of the system. And with the Swedish system, it sometimes seems that the fact that there is no tuition is expected to carry the day.

    @Emőke – just throwing myself into this discussion, but am curious as to what does qualify a person to criticize the system?

    @Lost – if Sweden hopes to truly be an international player in academia it most definitely needs to offer an education that will provide people with the skills and knowledge to work anywhere.

    @R – I don’t agree with the government wanting you to stay. Not as an international student. Until the recent legislation, which is still a long ways from making it easy to stay here, international students struggle horribly to find jobs in this country after graduating.

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  20. Comp.Sci.-student @ KTHFebruary 24, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    @LostInTranslation
    All isn't bad with the swedish higher education apparently (well, the Computer Science part at least, but after a bit of e-stalking on your blog I draw the conclusion that you are some-what disappointed with your CS-program at Kristianstad's Högskola) since there isn't a single American and/or Canadian university which placed in the top-20 in the ACM/ICPC-competition.
    http://cm.baylor.edu/ICPCFinalResults2010

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  21. Comp.Sci.-student @ KTHFebruary 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    EDIT: Oh, counted the ranking of MIT a bit wrong. They made it into the top 20.

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  22. I dont even know what the ACM/ICPC competition is. But it already sounds way over my head. But well done KTH.

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  23. @compsciguy.

    Meh, I'm not in a serious mood enough to discuss it.
    all I gotta say dude is that my province got honourable mention! BOOOOYAH!! hahahahaha

    Kristianstad is trying to build its own army for this competition.... Me Don't Want To!!!

    Hairy : it's okay *pets*

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  24. @R

    You don't have to call me spoiled and naive. I'm saying what I see. no need to attack me dear.

    Like I said, I think its great that school is free. as an international student, I still have to pay for everything else from my own money. which is obviously still awesome. But I'm not going to grovel and praise it for anything else.
    I love my teachers, they are fantastic--as people-- but schools need to reconsider who they hire-- and the material they teach.
    I'm sure Lund, Stockholm uni, etc are great schools, unfortunately I didn't apply becuase I was told my program didn't come in English.

    all in all, I may not tickle anyones fancy, but that's okay by me :)

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  25. "Utbildning är inte att fylla ett kärl utan att tända en eld."

    (William Butler Yeats)

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  26. ^ I have to agree with you. ultimately, it's all in the hands of the student. :) if i understood that quote correctly. (not good at swedish yet) :D

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  27. @LostinTranslation

    Ah! You're from Alberta! I am too! No wonder you feel the system is so lax, Alberta has the most rigorous high school curriculum in Canada so it would be quite a change.

    However, I don't think the schools in Canada are fair either. It's already difficult for immigrants because of the high English standards needed for schooling here, not to mention the extreme difficulty for most non-Caucasians to get high positions in society without being a doctor, engineer or nurse (aka science-y jobs). I know I've missed out on a lot of interviews (especially from clothing stores) because of my ethnicity. I have as qualified as a resume compared to Caucasian friends but they always get the interview. So yes, it is hard everywhere for international students to get jobs.

    Canadians are lucky because we are a multicultural society based on exports to survive. Without knowledge to work in other counties, Canada won't survive. My home country's university curriculum is very lax and focused on their own country as well. I don't think its just Sweden.

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  28. @anon

    That's the one thing that bugs me about Canada. Even though its such an amazing diverse society it still has issues, just like any other country, just like Sweden.
    Totally agree with you, in Canada, if you're an immigrant), and your degree is from another country who's education system is "THOUGHT" to be worse, there is no way you're going to get a job that you are capable of doing. esp if your English is not very strong.
    My mom is chemical and bio engineer, graduated first in all of iraq, they even sent her to Spain and china ; but in Canada that wasn't good enough, she had to take another bachelors degree in oil or something until she started getting job offers she deserved. My father was just as accomplished, oil refining and bio chemistry degrees, also graduated first in all of iraq, also travelled; and didn't get a job he deserves until he worked overseas in Libya, London, Austria and THEN came back to canada to find a job.

    so I know what you mean.

    I also noticed that alot of students that came to my high school from other provinces had a hard time catching up. I always saw the material as fair and challenging which it was supposed to be in my books, so I never complained. I guess not everyone works better with a challenge. I'm the kind of person that thrives under pressure.


    @ HAIRY: sorryfor discussing unrelated issues on here :(

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  29. I go to a "good" school here in Stockholm. And I have to agree with Lost, the education that they provide us is sub par. I would never recommend a friend to study at my school, at least not in my program. EVER. (although I would recommend people to come to Sweden!)

    Now I am also hoping that the tuition fees will cause the program leaders to reevaluate their program (which they are already doing) and make it more competitive within its category (which they are already trying to find ways to do so). But changes will be made long after my time there and still doesn't solve the problem of the education I'm receiving NOW.

    The thing that really sucks is that I'm here to learn a masters level education, and so far we are learning at a high school level. There's only so much you can teach yourself, the rest has to be supported by the administration and professors. Its really too bad about this program, it has so much potential.

    I would gladly pay tuition fees to a good program! Even here in Sweden. I would not, however, pay tuition for the program I'm in right now, but I guess you gathered that from how 'highly' I'm talking about it.

    Sorry for the rant, this is a sensitive topic at the moment.

    END RANT.

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  30. Wow! So glad I came back to check this post. I didn't realize the level of education offered in Sweden was considered by some to be "sub par". Though I am not, nor do I plan to, be a student in Sweden anytime soon, this discussion has been informative and eye-opening and quite obviously a very sensitive subject.

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  31. @ swedishJenn
    tell me about it!! hahaha i got flamed for being honest and discussing an issue. I quickly became the " spoiled, naive, uneducated" Canadian chick....

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  32. There are good and less good educations everywhere. This might be an interesting read: http://www.urank.se/ranking.html

    On the other hand, it's meaningless to compare universities. Karolinska is second from the top but the best medical education is given in Linköping (according to Läkarförbundet). Karolinska is more and less all about the medical but they are still not the best in their field, despite the ranking of the universities. Point is, you should compare disciplines instead, I'd like to find a list on that.

    Lost, I'm sorry you're not happy with your education but it kind of hurts when someone criticizes Swedish education, ie my own education, based on experiences from högskolan i Kristianstad. It's a högskola, not a university and it is not known for being outstanding in any way.

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  33. @ Emma

    You're right. I didn't think of how blanketing my criticism of Swedish schools was when I really just meant my own program. That was really an unfair statement on my part. And I certainly let my bad mood dictate my comment instead of waiting for a day when I was more of a rational thinker. My apologies for that, and any other person that I offended. I didn't mean to say that any of your education is invalid or not acceptable.

    Just to prove your point further, my husband got his engineering degree here in Sweden. He went on an exchange in Canada and laughed at how easy our school was there. So i guess we are quick to judge that which is not familiar to us.

    I do think that there are some really good schools here in Sweden, and some top notch education. I hope that through the fees the universities will be forced to become even better and continue to improve.

    There are lots of departments and programs at Harvard and other famous schools that are less than top in their field. Its up to the students to investigate and decide for themselves. Should they decide to go to a school where their program is not rated very highly, it is not up to be to be dismissive of their education. They are the ones that will have to have their degree related knowledge in the end, and shouldn't affect me one way or the other. Therefore, blanketed criticism stopped :)

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  34. @ emma.
    I like how rationally you commented. Thank you, everyone else picked up their pitch forks and aimed. I agree wtih you, kristianstad is crap. but my assumption was collected from different people complaining about the schools in Sweden, not just me. I presume the biggest schools in Sweden had to be the best, thus, they are no where as crappy as kristianstad. but shouldn't all the univ/colleges be at least be of acceptable standards to the international students and their swedish students?

    thanks again for discussing it with out thinking I'm insulting you or Sweden as a whole....

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  35. Comp.Sci.-student @ KTHFebruary 27, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    @LostInTranslation
    That would be lika saying all Canadian universities have exactly the same level, on each and every program possible. And I wouldn't believe that for a second.

    There will always be SOME schools at least which will be sub-par in some area/areas. Many smaller universities in Sweden are sadly located in this category.

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  36. @both of you or anybody who cares ;)

    It's hard to say what's good enough when you haven't been there yourself, but of course the ideal is for all students to be satisfied and I do believe some classes out there are way too easy. Emöke has a good point though, it is up to the student in the end. I'm taking a French class right now and I could easily pass without much effort (by strategically learning the words and grammar that are likely to show up at the tests) but then my French wouldn't be of much use for me anyway. Still, if it sucks I hope you let kåren know about it, it should really show in the evaluations.

    Big and old schools have a head start of course, they have years of experience and well developed departments, not saying newer schools can't be good too. I also like my university to have a good mix of locally and remotely recruited students (sorry, that phrase sounds idiotic) because I think it says something about an education if people are willing to move to get it. In that respect I believe KTH and Handels does far better than Stockholm University. (Of course, also moving students sometimes pick the town first and the classes later. But still, if i% of the people feel like taking a class at their local university just for fun, that affects Stockholm University more than it does högskolan i Kristianstad, right?) If the education is not given everywhere, that's probably a good sign too.

    I met a Chinese exchange student once who thought her education here was ridiculously easy and I'm sure it was compared to Chinese standards. That's not to say I'm convinced the Chinese system is better. I read in Forskning & Framsteg about cheating in research being a growing problem over there due to the pressure. The government want a certain amount of Nobel prizes and whatnot, I've never heard of Sweden having goals of that kind and I believe we're doing kind of good compared to other nations, considering how small a country Sweden is. There need to be some kind of balance. Four hours of lessons each week is too little and mainly an economic thing (iirc, a class in arts ("humaniora") is funded by two prisbasbelopp ("basic amounts of money"?), a tech class four, med/chem class eight, fine arts ("konst") 32 or something so there you go) but also a way of making time for the student to read, reflect and hopefully work on some paper that is to be handed in later. As for myself, I'm thinking about digging up some French exchange student for coffee and conversation; that would do wonders for both of us and I'm glad I have enough time off schedule to do it.

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  37. @everyone - I managed to take myself out of this conversation. and to no ones surprise, it is flourishing. very good discussion and fun to read.

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  38. I thought the level of education was good during my semester in Sweden. I studied at Göteborg Universitet in Handelshögskolan and in the global studies department. I thought Handels was excellent and much better than the business department in my home university here in Australia and for me the work was harder. The global studies was a bit of a joke though, too airy fairy tree hugging I love peace people for me. So it really depends in what faculty you are in I guess.

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  39. Let me first start by saying that the swedish tertiary education has two issues.

    One: everything is free: creating a huge free rider problem.

    Two: International students are not encouraged to stay in sweden after they graduate.

    That said, I think a lot of the negative things said here about the swedish education system is misunderstood.

    Some of you say that you are not challenged by your education, or that it's inferior. In my limited experience I find the Swedish system to be very customizable. I attend the Stockholm School of Economics (Handelshögskolan i Stockholm), the supposedly best economics/business education in the country. Some parts of it I find laughably easy. But the people who attend it are ambitious and keen scholars, so they find ways to challenge or give themselves an edge in the marketplace. I know plenty of people at SSE who are simultaneously pursuing a second degree from KI, KTH or Stockholm University. Some even pursue a third (I know someone who is studying Economics at SSE, medicine at KI and law at SU). If you find that your course load is too easy, it is usually very easy to take another class at your university (or at another one). Most educational degrees can be improved (both to your understanding of it, and when searching for jobs) by picking up a few statistics courses by example (if basic statistics courses are part of the curriculum, then take further ones :P ). On occasion you can take advanced courses at the same time as you take the basic ones (many times, in my experience, the rules about course requirements are not enforced at registration).

    And if all that fails, then do something else. If classes are too easy, engage yourself in extracurricular activities or get a job on the side. A friend of mine started working on the side, while he was pursuing his Bachelor's and now his degree is a mere formality and far from the most important part of his resume.

    Good luck to you ambitious students out there!

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  40. @That Girl – it definitely does depend on so many different factors, some schools are just better than others

    @J.B. – agreed. Both problems are critical, and I think play big roles in the perception of Swedish education of those foreign students studying here.

    I think you hit it on the head though, there are always ways to challenge yourself further.

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  41. Hey,
    Does anyone know if you will still be charged tuition if you are a permanent resident of Sweden, but not a citizen?

    Thanks.

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  42. I would guess no, but don't know for sure anyone else have an answer?

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  43. I did some research with the help of Twitter. In response to the question about permanent residents paying tuition:

    StudyInSweden @HairySwede No, permanent residents are exempted from tuition fees. Search for "permanent" on http://bit.ly/alzgyG

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  44. Can any one tell me about Mid Sweden University and its Busness Department? Would i be able to find a Job there after Master Degree?
    I m admitted there for fall 2010 session but still dont know whther to go r to refus it?

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  45. anyone have any help for Kaleem? I've got nothing Im afriad...

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  46. I have also been accepted to study in Sweden for fall 2010.
    But still thinking of going or not, it seems like a great opportunity, and Sweden seems like a great country to study. But wondering about the chances of finding a job in Europe afterwards as a non-EU citizen.

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  47. finding work can be very difficult, although the government has been instituting new laws in hopes of making it a bit easier, but if youre not from an EU country its hard. that being said, I always think its a good idea to to grab a chance to live abroad and study.

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  48. Still way cheaper than American colleges, lol

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  49. true. unless youre paying those taxes and never going to college.

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  50. Excellent post. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read
    more on that blog soon.Thanks for sharing with us ...



    history

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  51. I stumbled upon this blog while looking for some American perspectives on living in Sweden. The idea of moving there and pursuing my Master’s (in either Business/Economics/Marketing) has been implanted in my mind for a long time. My sister lives in Finland and is a sort of “mentor” for this process, but other advice is always welcome!

    My dilemma is that this new tuition law (while I understand it) will mean a buttload of money since I am an American citizen. However, I also have dual EU citizenship since I was born in Eastern Europe.

    My question is, since I have EU citizenship couldn’t I use this regardless of the fact that I have my Bachelor’s degree from an American university?

    I realize this may be seen by some as “cheating”, but I do plan on staying in Sweden and (hopefully) finding a job following a Master’s degree.

    Any advice is very appreciated!

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  52. thats not cheating at all. go for it. take advantage. use whatever you have at your disposal.

    I went to Sweden using my Swedish passport. It made my life so much easier. Having both means I can float back and forth between the US and the EU without trouble. Its amazing.

    Definitely go for the EU passport. They arent concerned with where you got your education in terms of the tuition.

    Check out studyinsweden.se for lots of good information. hopefully that helps!

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  53. A prospective exchange studentNovember 10, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Hi, I found your blog recently because I plan to go to Sweden for exchange studies and was looking for personal experiences people can offer. (Corporal websites just seem too general) I'm planning to go beginning of 2012, which is just about the time they're going to implement tuition fees. Hopefully this won't affect me since I'm already paying fees to my home university.

    That being said, I'm very curious as to how "lax" the education system is. Other commenters (particularly the Canadian ones, since I am Canadian as well) have mentioned that the system is sub par to what we have here. Does that mean there is less quality in the teaching, or just that the pace is more relaxed? It's a very new idea to me that you learn one course at a time as opposed to having an average of 5 courses taught per term (3-4 months) simultaneously, which is what we have here in Canada. It would be great if I can get some opinions/advice in this category.

    Btw I plan to do my exchange at Lund university, and possibly a clinical rotation in Karolinska in the future :3 If anyone here are from/have been to these schools, I'd love to hear about your experiences! =D

    *sorry for the extremely long post*

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  54. @Lostintranslation...literally

    Well, LOL at you Canadian-Iraqi-something girl. You *literally* seem be completely lost here as you don't seem to be able to conduct the simplest analyze. For real. My school at least taught
    me the basics, I wonder if your's ever did. Your nick couldn't fit you more.

    Now. I hardly think there aren't any "crappy" educations in Canada, because you can find those everywhere in the world, Sweden is no exception. However, from your point of view it's all very biased and subjective and you can't speak for everyone else attending the same education. It doesn't tell anything either about your personal or everyone's else perception about the general education quality, if there is one at all, because you haven't been everywhere and you haven't talked to every student, only a few. Also, one should remember that one system simply doesn't fit all. However, to get a more interesting picture it's much more relevant to look at results and statistics for the actual outcome by comparing programs or courses between different schools than judging a whole school or system due to a program or few courses within a field at only one or two schools. But people who are querulous and narrow minded like yourself tend to search for their peers to justify their bad conclusions and discontent.

    From what I've heard and seen as a student for many years, the international students from all over the world I met were very pleased with their educations where I studied (Lund university and Lunds tekniska högskola). I remember I had a friend there who was actually a Canadian (surprise!) from Vancouver and he had no complaints whatsoever, rather the very opposite. One thing that can be held for true more often though, is that students at the university level in Sweden are held much more responible for their own studies in a larger extent than, for example in the US and perhaps Canada as well. It means less lectures in average but much more individual studying/reading (thicker and more textbooks) and by that, time for reflection, analysis and deeper learning. It's also quite common that students defend their work in front other critically opposing students as a way to train their analysing skills and critical thinking on both sides. The exams are also very varied with the common denominator to test the students how they apply their knowledge and skills on real world problems.
    Students here don't expect their teachers to stuff them with ready facts that they're only supposed to regurgitate, but rather train their analytical skills to be applied for the real world. From what I've read, college students in North America are more controlled with "ready" facts by having more lectures, assignments, homework etc which means they don't get the time to reflect and analyze critically in the same extent as here. It all tends to become very fragmented to me, rather than giving the big picture so to speak. It actually reminds me more about swedish gymnasium level than college. But all in all, I can't speak for all schools there, far from, and so shouldn't you about the education here. It's just ridiculous and makes you look like a fool.

    My conclusion is that it could be yourself that's the actual problem that depend too much on the teachers all the time, as you may be used to such a system from home. Perhaps they don't train the students in high school to actually think critically and to become responsible there, what do I know.

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  55. To end my previous post..

    ..I don't get it how you can waste your time on an education that you apparantly are so dissatisfied with for the sole reason that you want to be with your family?! .. It re-enforced my thought that you're a very dependant person that doesn't seem to be able to plan on your own very well. I mean, you're whining about it for the reason how important education is for you, but still you don't seem want to do anything about it because your family is more important? .. If I were you I'd drop out immediately and start looking around for something else to do. Complaining about it here will hardly solve or change anything.

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  56. "HairySwede said...

    @R – I don’t agree with the government wanting you to stay. Not as an international student. Until the recent legislation, which is still a long ways from making it easy to stay here, international students struggle horribly to find jobs in this country after graduating."

    Well, international students aren't the only students that struggle with jobs in this country. We're many native ones as well.

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  57. unemployment for young people in this country who have a college degree is incredibly high. it's really too bad.

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