International students are warmly welcomed at Swedish Folk High Schools (folkhögskola). Although, please notice that many courses are taught in Swedish language! On this page we've gathered answers to the five most common questions international students usually ask.
1. How do I apply to the Folk High School and what does it cost to study there?
Anyone wanting to take part in a course should ask that specific Folk High School for information about courses, board and lodging, fees etc. Each school has their own application form. All tuition is free of charge at the Folk High Schools. You pay for literature, material, food and beverages.
If the school offers on-campus housing, room and board cost approximately 4 500 SEK per month. Students (Swedish students and non-Swedish nationals who have been living in Sweden for some years) can apply for a grant from the government to cover part of the costs.
2. Can I live at the Folk High School?
Yes, many of the Folk High Schools offer an on-campus housing with rooms to rent. Studying and living at school creates a sense of community, gives possibilities of close companionship and the chance to exchange experiences during free time. This element is an important part in many of the folk high schools. But some of the Folk High Schools are just commuter campuses, especially in the big cities, and can not offer any possibilities for room and board.
Many schools offer cultural activities (e.g. concerts, theatre, films) and extracurricular activities (e.g. team sports and athletics) alongside the studies.
3. Can I study Swedish at the Folk High School?
Some Folk High Schools offer Swedish language courses. It varies between schools which level that is offered. These courses are often called Invandrarkurser (courses for Immigrants) and most of them are primarily intended for those who have lived and settled in Sweden and have studied SFI (Swedish for immigrants on basic level) before they come to the Folk High School.
4a. As an EU/EEA citizen, do I need a residence permit?
Staying 3 months or less: When entering Sweden, citizens of EU/EEA countries only require a valid passport or a National Identity Card .
If you intend to stay in Sweden for more than 3 months: You only need to have a valid passport or an identity card showing your nationality. As a student and an EU/EEA citizen who has sufficient funds to support yourself, you are permitted to stay in Sweden for more than three months without a residence permit. More information can be found on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.
4b. As a non EU/EEA citizen, do I need a residence permit?
Staying 3 months or less: No residence permit is required. However, in certain cases, some foreign nationals must have visas in order to enter Sweden. To find out which countries, check the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Staying more than 3 months: You'll need a residence permit. Your permit must be entered in your passport before your arrival in Sweden.
How to apply for the residence permit: You may apply for a residence permit at the nearest Swedish embassy or consulate in your country. To obtain a residence permit for studies at a Folk High School in Sweden, you must show that you:
- have a valid passport
- have been accepted to a full-time course at a Folk High School
- can support yourself for the entirety of the planned period of study. From January 1 2019, that amount is set to a minimum of SEK 8 370 per month (source: the Swedish Migration Agency).
Normally, the permit will be granted for one year at a time. Please note that a residence permit for study purposes is time-limited. Even if the period spent in the country has extended several years, this does not normally lead to a permanent residency in Sweden. For more information about rules for visiting students, see the Swedish Migration Agency.
5. How do I finance my studies?
Visiting students must be able to support themselves, either with scholarships grants or loans from their home country or by means of personal funds. Check the Swedish Migration Agency website for the current minimum amount.
Swedish study support for non-Swedish nationals: You can only be granted basic entitlement if you have been granted residency in Sweden for some other reason than that of obtaining an education. You must also be a registered resident and must intend to remain in Sweden. The main rule is that basic entitlement to support can be granted if you have lived and worked in Sweden for at least two years. Another condition is that you must have been granted permission to settle here - that is, you must have a permanent residence permit or a five year EU/EEA permit issued by the Immigration Board.
More information about study allowances: www.csn.se (The Swedish Board of Student Finance).