- In your search for a free scholarship, the next series of posts/steps is going to focus on specific options that I feel are the best ones to start with. There are still many more listings on our site but let me walk you through these options first.
- Before we look at our first great option, however, let me mention one very crucial thing. This should be understood, but many people forget it – Apply only if you are eligible.
- Read all the scholarship requirements and regulations carefully, and make sure that you are eligible before you send in your application. Your application will not be considered if you are not qualified to apply. Do not count on the mercy of the school to give you special favor – they will not. They merely discard the applications that do not meet their qualifications.
- Let me repeat it, if you do not qualify for a scholarship, do not apply. Submitting such an application is a waste of your time. It also indicates you have not done your homework and do not respect the application guidelines, instructions, and requirements.
That said, let us move onto our first great option!
Tuition Free Scholarships in Sweden
- Sweden, the home, and birthplace of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers a conducive learning environment for students of all levels. Swedish universities offer free tuition for EU students and scholarships for Non-EU students.
- You can access tuition-free scholarships in Sweden in two ways.
- Directly through the University
- Swedish universities offer a wide range of scholarship programs for international students. These scholarships help to cover tuition fees, and living costs, depending on the university. The exact types of scholarship differ between the universities.
- The following universities offer tuition-free scholarships to international students.
Blekinge Institute of Technology Chalmers University of Technology
Dalarna University Halmstad University
Jönköping University Karlstad University
Karolinska Institutet Kristianstad University
KTH Royal Institute of Technology Linköping University
Linnaeus University University of Gälve
University West Luleå University of Technology
Lund University Malmö University
Mid Sweden University Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Stockholm School of Economics Södertörn University
Stockholm University Umeå University
University of Borås University of Gothenburg
University of Gävle University of Skövde
University West Uppsala University
- To find out what scholarships are available and how to apply, visit the website of your university of choice.
- Through the Swedish Institute
- The Swedish Institute Scholarship Program provides a number of full scholarships for Master’s programs in Sweden. These scholarships are open to citizens of countries on the OECD/DAC list of countries.
- This scholarship program offers a unique opportunity for future leaders to develop professionally and academically, to experience Swedish culture and build lasting relationships with fellow students.
- Other Swedish Institute scholarships include:
- SI Scholarships for Western Balkans
- SI Scholarships for South African students
- Swedish-Turkish Program for Master’s Level Studies
- Before you apply for a scholarship in Sweden, however, go through the steps below, so that you are well acquainted with the process.
Steps to Studying in Sweden
- Read about the different programs and universities
- Get all the information you need about the Swedish education system and the various study options available. Also, get to know which university will suit you best and if there are any scholarship options available.
- The three levels of study include:
- Bachelors programs – last 3 years (180 ECTS credits)
- Masters (Graduate) programs – last 1 to 2 years. (60 or 120 ECTS credits)
- Ph.D. (Doctoral/Research programs) – the duration and setup of these programs depends on the university
Note: The ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credit system is a student-centered system that is based on the individual student’s workload required to achieve the objectives of the study program.
- The academic calendar runs as follows:
- Autumn semester – begins at the end of August and lasts until the middle of January
- Spring Semester – begins in mid-January and runs to the beginning of June.
- There is a short break at the end of December.
- Select a Study Program
- Visit the official University Admissions Website to search through the over 1,000 programs offered in English at undergraduate and graduate levels.
- You can choose to apply for up to 8 bachelor’s programs and 4 master’s programs in each application round.
- Most universities post their study programs from October of every year.
- Prepare your documents
- A record of completed upper secondary (high school) education
- University records (if any)
- Authorized translations of all documents into English or Swedish, if they are in any language apart from English, French, Swedish, German, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian and Spanish
- Proof of proficiency in English – IELTS or TOEFL results
- An identification document – a copy of the page in your passport that has your personal data and photo, or a similar identification document.
- A signed cover sheet if you choose to submit your documents through regular post
- Change of name documentation (where applicable)
- Certificates and diplomas of your completed degree from an internationally recognized and accredited higher education institution (university college or university)
- Transcripts of completed courses and grades (include certified translations where applicable)
- Proof of proficiency in the English language (IELTS or TOEFL)
- Proof that you meet the specific entry requirements for the course you want to apply for
- A copy of the page in your passport that has your personal data and photo, or another identification document
- Some universities may also require:
- A dissertation or essay
- Essay summaries
- A letter of recommendation
- Letters of intent
- Change of name documentation
- Read about the scholarships available
- Investigate all the possible options before you hand in your application.
- Check out the finer details of each scholarship, like the specific programs they apply to, the application requirements, and the deadlines.
- Many organizations and universities offer scholarship opportunities for international students. Find out what opportunity suits you best.
- Submit your online application by 15th January
- The general application deadline for programs starting in the autumn semester is January 15 of the same year.
- Hand in your application a few days earlier to avoid the last-minute rush.
- The application fee (or proof of exemption) and supporting documents should be submitted by February 1.
- Apply for the Swedish Institute Scholarships (if you choose not to apply to the university directly)
- Swedish Institute scholarships are available for Master’s students from developing countries. A 2-step application process must be completed by January 15.
- Wait for the results
- The results of scholarship applications are released by April of every year.
As you can see, the application process for Swedish scholarships is straightforward. Below we will look at three examples of scholarships that you can apply for.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
- The website for this university is clear, easy to navigate and contains all the details about the scholarships on offer.
- Payment of tuition and application fees vary depending on the citizenship of the applicant, and the program applied for. In most cases, non-EU/EEA and Swiss citizens pay application and tuition fees.
- The scholarships offered by this institute are:
- KTH Scholarship
- KTH One-Year Scholarship
- KTH Joint Program Scholarship
- This scholarship is granted to applicants who display academic excellence and covers the tuition fee only.
- To qualify for this scholarship, you must be a tuition-fee paying student and already have applied to a Master’s program at KTH (and indicated that KTH is your chosen university).
- The nomination process is usually undertaken alongside the selection process for admission to the study program. Note however that you must meet the full eligibility criteria for the study program to be considered for the scholarship.
- What happens next? After each applicant has been assessed according to the selection process of the study program, an overall assessment of all recommended applicants for the scholarship is carried out based on the following criteria:
- The applicant’s grades- either GPA grades or their equivalent
- The ranking of the university where the applicant did their bachelors degree
- The selection process, and the final recommendation of the director of the applied master’s programs
- The applicant’s motivation, work experience and involvement in extra-curricular activities
- As I went through this website, I found that all the instructions were explained clearly, and in English (no need to search for translations). I also noted that work experience, motivation, and involvement in extra-curricular activities are an asset to your application.
- Next, I visited the Lund University website, to find out about the scholarships on offer. The site is quite user-friendly, and all the information is presented clearly, in English. Below are the key points I noted after a quick perusal of the scholarships available.
- Lund University is ranked in the top 0.4% of the world’s universities. In 2016 alone, over SEK 17 million (US$2 million) was awarded in scholarship grants to deserving students. Because of its popularity and ranking, this university attracts high achieving students from all over the world.
Lund University Global Scholarship Program
- This competitive scholarship is purely merit-based and seeks to recognize high achievers by awarding them academic excellence grants. Recipients must, therefore, have a record of high academic achievement in their previous studies.
- The scholarship grants cover 25%, 50%, 75% and up to 100% of the tuition fee. The percentage awarded, however, depends on the amount of money made available to the faculty/program, not the student’s academic performance. This grant only covers tuition fees, and not living costs. Recipients must also prove that they can cover their living costs.
- To qualify, you must be a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and be required to pay tuition fees. You should also have made an application for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at Lund University in a regular application round for a minimum of one semester of study (30 ECTS). Any applicant who ranks the programs at Lund as their first choice in their application to the University Admissions website will get priority during the selection process.
- How does the application process look? Just like other programs in Swedish universities, you first apply to the school through the University Admissions website. Note that you can only apply when the application period is open. Applications open in early February for programs beginning in autumn of the same year.
- After you apply for a degree program of a minimum of 30 ECTS credits and pay the application fee, you can apply for the scholarship.
- All the details about the Global Scholarship program are readily available on the site. You will, therefore, have no problems applying for this scholarship.
Swedish Institute Study Scholarships
- Lastly, I looked at the SI Study scholarship website. I found this site to be the most detailed of the three that I visited, with each step outlined clearly.
- These scholarships provide an opportunity for individuals from countries on the OECD/DAC list. Recipients get to grow professionally, academically and to build relationships and networks in Sweden and around the world.
- The SI Scholarships are only applicable to full-time master’s programs that begin in the autumn semester. Though there are around 180 scholarships available every year, only 1-2% of the applicants are able to secure slots. This fact should however not discourage you from trying your luck.
- Unlike other scholarships on offer in Sweden, the SI scholarships cover living expenses of SEK 9,000 per month and a one-time travel grant of SEK 15,000. Tuition fees are also covered and are usually paid directly to the university.
- How do you qualify for this scholarship? Apart from being a citizen of one of the 140 eligible countries, you must be admitted to one of the eligible master’s programs, have leadership experience, and at least 3000 hours of employment, internship, or voluntary work.
- What is the application procedure? First, you need to apply (between October and January) and be accepted into a master’s program. The eligible programs are listed on the SI website.
- Next, apply for the SI study scholarship between 2nd and 9th February. After this, sometime in April, you will receive a notification as to whether you have been admitted or conditionally admitted into a master’s program. If admitted, you will automatically be considered for the SI scholarship.
- Lastly, the 180 lucky recipients will be announced on the SI website, after which each one will get an email from SI asking that they accept/decline the offer before a given date.
As I said earlier, the SI website is much more detailed and user-friendly than the others, and the SI scholarship covers living costs! You can, however, still apply to any university that you choose, as long as you can cover your living costs. Most importantly, do your research well so that you select the right program and the right school.