Living costs

All students must be able to cover their personal living expenses while in Sweden, regardless of whether you are also required to pay application and tuition fees or not.

Student budget

Like everywhere else, the cost of living in Sweden depends on your lifestyle and where you live. Here at Linköping University (LiU) in East Sweden costs are not as high as the larger cities in Sweden which is a plus for students. Here is an average monthly budget for students in Swedish kronor (SEK):

Food

 2,300

Student accommodation

 3,900

Local travel

 500

Phone/internet

 300

Hobby/leisure, miscellaneous

 1,500

Total

SEK 8,500 (around €800 or $900)

This is the minimum amount that you will require. This amount does not include expenses for course literature, household furnishings, extensive medical treatment or travel within or outside of Sweden (which many students want to do during the university study breaks).

Sufficient means

When applying for a residence permit, you must prove to the Swedish Migration Agency that you can support yourself financially during your studies. The maintenance requirement is currently set at SEK 8,514 per month for single households. Fee-paying students must be able to show documentation that they have funds for the entire residence permit period.

Additional means are required for the upkeep of family members who accompany you to Sweden. EU/EEA students are not required to submit such proof but must guarantee that they have sufficient means to support themselves. Read more information about sufficient means: 

Swedish Migration Agency: Studying at universities or university college

Common questions

Can I work while I study?

Working and studying at the same time can be quite challenging, as full-time studies at LiU require 40 hours per week and classes are scheduled during the day. Most jobs require knowledge of Swedish, and part-time work is limited. So, while it is not impossible, we recommend that students do not count on finding work to support their cost of living while studying.  

How do you pay for things in Sweden?

You will need an international debit or credit card. Swedish kronor (SEK) is the local currency; US dollars and Euro are not accepted in Sweden. If possible, do not bring too much cash with you due to the risk of theft during travel. Bank cards (Visa or Mastercard) and mobile apps are the most common way of paying in Sweden; many places are going cash-free and will not accept cash. Please note that payment apps and mobile services from your home country will not work in Sweden.

How to pay rent and bills?

Whether you live in a corridor room or apartment, rent in Sweden is usually paid once a month, in advance for the month to come. If you pay your invoices by an international transaction, make sure to add about a week for the payment to come through. It is important to pay your rent on time to fulfil your part of the contract.

If you want to pay bills from Sweden but have no bank account here, you can take your bills and passport/ID with you and pay at a bank (some convenience stores also offer this service). This will cost you a fee of around 75-150 SEK per invoice. If you have a Swedish bank account, you can pay your bills via internet banking or mobile apps.

Useful links

Study in Sweden: Cost of Living

Sweden.se: Cashless society

Tips for living on a student's budget in Sweden
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Eating out in cafés and restaurants and drinking alcohol can quickly add up in Sweden. Many students are very budget conscious and inventive in stretching their money, here are some tips for Swedish student life:

  • Cook at home and take your own lunch and snacks to campus. Microwave ovens are available on all campuses.
  • Buy a second-hand bicycle and ride everywhere. Bonus: you will also be exercising and helping the environment.
  • Purchase clothes and furniture second-hand. This is very popular and mainstream in Sweden.
  • Keep your empty cans and bottles and cash them in for a refund. Many supermarkets in Sweden have a recycling ‘’vending machine’’ that will process your old cans and bottles and print you a receipt for the deposit amount which you can then use in the same store.
  • Borrow textbooks rather than purchasing or share the cost with other students in your courses and then share the resource.
  • Sign-up for student discount cards and look for student discounts. Discounts are available in multiple restaurants and stores as well as for public transport, insurance and mobile subscriptions, among others.