A Guide to Studying and Living at Stockholm University for International Students

Embark on your Stockholm University journey with our guide! Get essential tips on studying, living, and thriving in Stockholm as an international student. Dive into campus life, local culture, and find your perfect student community in this vibrant city.

A Guide to Studying and Living at Stockholm University for International Students
Photo by Sören Andersson

In a world where the pursuit of higher education knows no borders, Stockholm University emerges as a shining example of a university that blends academic rigor with a welcoming environment for international students.

This blog delves into the heart of what makes Stockholm not just a place of learning, but a home away from home for students hailing from diverse backgrounds. From its wide array of academic programs to its multicultural campus life, we uncover the aspects that contribute to its growing popularity among the international student community.

As we explore Stockholm University's appeal, it's essential to address a key aspect of the international student experience - living in Stockholm. Finding the right accommodation is a crucial step in the transition to university life. The city offers a range of housing options, from shared apartments to private rentals, catering to different preferences and budgets. Navigating this part of the student journey can be challenging, yet it's an integral part of embracing life in a new city.

Moving to Stockholm for your studies? Hemavi can help you find suitable shared accommodation and introduce you to roommates whose lifestyle preferences align with yours!

Stockholm University: A Global Campus

Stockholm University (SU) stands out as a prime destination for international students, thanks to several key factors. The university boasts a diverse range of programs, including specialized courses in literature, law, medicine, health, natural sciences, and mathematics, catering to a broad spectrum of academic interests. This wide array of study options ensures that students from various backgrounds can find courses that align with their academic and career goals​​.

One of the most striking features of Stockholm University is its international environment. The university has the highest total number of international students in Stockholm, with 3,796 students from various countries. This diversity is reflected in the student body's composition, with the largest groups hailing from Finland, Germany, and China. In the academic year 2017/2018, Stockholm saw an 18% increase in Chinese students, reaching 826, while students from India also showed a significant increase of 16%, totaling 385 students​​.

In recent years, Stockholm has experienced a 26% increase in its international student population, illustrating the city's growing appeal as an educational hub. The Stockholm School of Economics, for instance, has the highest proportion of international students among the city's universities. This growth in international students contributes to a vibrant, multicultural campus environment that enriches the educational experience​​.

Living in Stockholm for International Students

Student life at Stockholm University offers a dynamic and enriching experience for international students, characterized by a blend of academic rigor and cultural exploration. Stockholm, ranked as one of the best student cities globally, provides a vibrant setting with numerous activities and events tailored specifically for international students. There are several student networks, such as the Erasmus Student Network and the Stockholm University Student Union, which facilitate social connections and provide support throughout their time in the city.

Cultural activities are an integral part of student life in Stockholm. The city is home to various museums and attractions like the Vasa Museum, Fotografiska (The Swedish Museum of Photography), and Skansen, an open-air museum and zoo, offering rich cultural experiences.

Stockholm’s efficient and eco-friendly public transportation system is a boon for students. Discounted monthly travel cards are available, making it easier for students to explore the city and commute to the university. Additionally, the city offers numerous libraries and study spaces like the Stockholm University Library and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology Library, which are excellent resources for students.

Challenges Faced by International Students Moving to Stockholm

International students moving to Stockholm may face a range of challenges, some of which are common to the experience of studying abroad in general, while others are more specific to Stockholm and Sweden:

  • Climate and Daylight Variations: Stockholm's northern location means that it experiences significant variations in daylight hours between summer and winter. Winters can be long and dark, with short daylight hours, which can be a challenge for students from sunnier climates. The cold weather and snow may also be a new experience for many​​.
  • Language Barrier: Although English is widely spoken in Stockholm and most university courses are offered in English, not knowing Swedish can be a barrier in certain social and professional contexts. This may affect students' ability to fully integrate into Swedish society or find part-time jobs. However, most Swedes speak English fluently, so basic communication is generally not a problem​​.
  • Social Connections: Building a new social network can be tough, especially in a new country. International students may initially struggle to make friends and establish connections, particularly with local students​​.
  • Cost of Living: Stockholm is known for its high cost of living. Accommodation, in particular, can be expensive, and finding affordable housing can be challenging. Students need to budget carefully for rent, food, transportation, and other living expenses​​​​.
  • Finding Accommodation: The housing market in Stockholm can be competitive, and it may be difficult for international students to find suitable accommodation. It's important to start the search early and explore various options such as student dormitories, shared apartments, or private rentals​​.

These challenges, while significant, are part of the enriching experience of studying abroad. Most universities, including Stockholm University, offer various support services to help international students navigate these challenges and make the most of their time in Sweden.

Finding Accommodation in Stockholm for International Students

Finding suitable accommodation in Stockholm, especially for students, can be a significant challenge, given the city's competitive housing market.

The journey to finding housing in Stockholm should ideally begin several months before your intended start date. Many students utilize online platforms and university housing services as starting points. Stockholm University, for example, offers resources and links to various housing options for its students. It's also advisable to tap into social networks, both online and through university communities, for leads and advice.

Understanding the Housing Market in Stockholm

Stockholm's housing market is known for its limited availability and high demand, which makes finding accommodation in Stockholm for students a task that requires early planning and persistence. One of the first steps is to understand the types of accommodation available, which typically range from university dormitories to private rentals and shared apartments.

  • University Dormitories (Studentbostad): Often managed by universities or student unions, these dormitories offer affordable housing options. They're convenient for students as they're usually located near campus or have good transport connections.
  • Private Student Housing: These are buildings or complexes dedicated to student accommodation, managed by private companies. They might offer additional amenities like gyms, study rooms, and communal areas.
  • Shared Apartments (Kollektiv): Popular among students, shared apartments involve renting a single room in a larger apartment with shared common spaces like the kitchen and living room.
  • Private Rentals: Renting an apartment or a studio is an option, though it tends to be more expensive. These offer more privacy and are available through real estate agents or online rental platforms.
  • Sublets: Often a temporary solution, subletting involves renting from someone who holds the primary lease to the property. This option can be more flexible but less stable in the long term.
  • Homestay: Living with a local family can be an option for international students. This provides a more immersive cultural experience and might include meals and other amenities.

Each type of accommodation comes with its own set of pros and cons, and the best choice depends on individual preferences, budget, and study location in Stockholm.

Budgeting for Accommodation in Stockholm for Students

Budgeting is crucial when looking for accommodation in Stockholm. Students need to consider not only the rent but also other living expenses like utilities, internet, and transportation. The average rent varies greatly depending on the area and type of housing. Areas like Kungsholmen and Östermalm are known for higher rent due to their central locations and amenities​​.

The Importance of Location

When considering accommodation in Stockholm for students, the location is key. Proximity to the university, access to public transportation, and local amenities should all be factored into your decision. Some students prefer living in central areas for ease of access, while others might opt for suburbs like Solna, which are slightly outside the city center but offer a balance of affordability and quality of life​​

Understanding the lease terms and tenant rights in Sweden is crucial when finding housing in Stockholm. Ensure that you inspect the property in person or virtually and agree on all terms before signing any contract. It’s also important to be aware of your rights as a tenant in Sweden to avoid any potential issues later on.

Roommates and Shared Accommodation

Many students opt for shared accommodation as a cost-effective solution. Finding compatible roommates is an essential aspect of this. Platforms like Hemavi offer services to match students with potential roommates, ensuring compatibility in living habits and preferences​​.


Stockholm University, a beacon of higher education in Sweden's capital, has become a magnet for international students seeking a blend of robust academic offerings and a multicultural campus life. With a rich catalogue spanning literature, law, medicine, and the sciences, the university caters to a broad spectrum of academic curiosities and career aspirations​​.

As you embark on your journey to find the perfect accommodation in Stockholm, remember that the process can be as exciting as it is challenging. To ease your search and ensure you find a living space that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle, consider exploring Hemavi. We offer a tailored service that matches you with compatible roommates and accommodation options that suit your needs.