Navigating the Maze of Student Accommodation in Stockholm: A Guide for International Students

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Navigating the Maze of Student Accommodation in Stockholm: A Guide for International Students
Photo by Jan Löf

Welcome to Stockholm, the vibrant heart of Scandinavia, known for its stunning archipelago, rich cultural history, and pioneering educational institutions. As an international student gearing up to embark on your academic journey at Stockholm University, you're stepping into a city teeming with opportunities and experiences. But before you dive into the world of lectures, libraries, and late-night study sessions, there's a crucial step to navigate – finding your home away from home in this bustling metropolis.

Finding accommodation in Stockholm can feel like venturing through a labyrinth, especially for international students. With its competitive housing market and unique Nordic nuances, securing a place that suits your needs and budget requires insight, preparation, and a touch of resilience. Whether you're dreaming of a cozy dormitory room, a shared apartment buzzing with multicultural exchanges, or a quiet studio overseeing the city's serene landscapes, this guide is your compass to find the right path in Stockholm's housing maze.

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Understanding the Stockholm Housing Market

As you prepare to start your academic journey here, it's essential to understand the unique dynamics of the Stockholm housing market. This knowledge will be your key to finding a comfortable and suitable place to live during your studies.

  • Competitive and Fast-Paced: Stockholm's housing market is known for being highly competitive. Due to a growing population and limited housing supply, finding accommodation can be challenging, especially in central areas. Be prepared to act quickly when you find a suitable option.
  • Types of Accommodations: The city offers various types of housing, including student dormitories, shared apartments (often referred to as 'kollektiv'), and private apartments. Student dorms are a popular choice for their affordability and opportunities to socialize, but they're in high demand.
  • Location Matters: While living in central Stockholm might be appealing, it's often more expensive and competitive. Consider neighborhoods slightly outside the city center, which are typically more affordable and well-connected by public transport.
  • The 'Second-Hand' Rental Market: A significant portion of the rental market in Stockholm is 'second-hand' leases. These are typically short-term contracts where tenants sublet from the primary leaseholder. While more accessible, they often come with higher rents and less stability.
  • Budget Accordingly: Living expenses in Stockholm can be high. When budgeting for rent, remember to include utilities, internet, and public transportation costs. Prices vary widely based on location and the type of accommodation.
  • Scam Awareness: Unfortunately, the high demand for housing has led to an increase in rental scams. Always be cautious, never pay a deposit before signing a contract, and try to arrange viewings in person whenever possible.

Finding Housing near Stockholm University

Finding student accommodation for international students enrolling at Stockholm University involves several steps and considerations. The first thing to keep in mind is that you need to start your housing search as early as possible – preferably as soon as you receive your admission letter. The demand for student housing in Stockholm is high, and the earlier you start, the better your chances.

University Housing vs. Private Rentals

Stockholm University provides a variety of housing options for international students, though these are limited and highly sought after. The university’s Housing Office manages furnished rooms and apartments, primarily for single occupancy. The accommodations are not owned by the university but are specifically designated for students. Eligibility for these housing options is typically restricted to certain categories of students, such as international exchange students, tuition fee-paying students, and doctoral exchange students. Priority is often given to master students receiving scholarships from the Stockholm University Scholarship Scheme and exchange students.

The housing options available through Stockholm University include:

  • Albano: A new residential area on campus offering a mix of studio apartments and one- and two-bedroom accommodations.
  • Kungshamra: Located north of the university campus, it provides corridor rooms.
  • Kräftriket (Hovbeslag): Situated within walking distance of the campus, offering shared accommodations.
  • Lappis (Lappkärrsberget): Also within walking distance from the campus, this area has corridor rooms.
  • Nora Torg: Located in the northern part of the city, offering studio apartments.

The application process for these accommodations is straightforward. Eligible students will receive an email with instructions on how to apply, typically about three months before the start of the semester. The application period is time-sensitive, and the allocation of accommodations is not influenced by the timing of the application. Accommodation offers, including details about the housing contract and rent payments, are sent via email.

Due to the limited availability of university housing, many students also turn to the private rental market in Stockholm. Private rentals offer a wider variety of housing options, from apartments to shared houses. This option allows for more independence and the opportunity to choose specific locations, types of accommodation, and whom you live with. In the private rental market, it's important to be cautious of potential scams and frauds. Students should look for warning signs like requests for advance payments to foreign bank accounts or landlords who are abroad and cannot show the accommodation.

Private rentals in Stockholm can be expensive, and students are usually responsible for additional costs like utilities, internet, and sometimes even furniture. There's also the responsibility of dealing with landlords and understanding rental agreements. However, living in a private rental can offer more opportunities to integrate with local residents and experience the city more authentically, as opposed to the more student-centered environment of university housing.

Public transportation in Stockholm is excellent, so considering housing options that are a bit further from the university but near good transportation routes can be a practical approach. This can increase the chances of finding suitable housing.

For more comprehensive and personalized assistance, students can also seek help from services specialized in matching roommates (such as Hemavi) and finding student housing in Stockholm.

Resources to Find Accommodation close to Stockholm University

  • Stockholm University Housing Office: This should be your first point of contact. The university provides limited housing options for international students, mainly for exchange students, tuition fee-paying students, and doctoral students. Their website offers detailed information about the application process, eligibility, and the types of housing available.
  • Private Accommodation: If university housing is unavailable or unsuitable, you can look for private accommodation. Websites like Hemavi and SSSB (Stockholm Student Housing Foundation) are popular platforms in Sweden for finding apartments or shared housing.
  • Networking and Social Media: Utilize social networks and university forums to find accommodation. Current students or alumni often share leads on available housing. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to housing in Stockholm. Groups like "Lappis Market Stockholm" or "Housing in Stockholm" can be helpful for finding room shares or apartments.
  • Local Real Estate Agents: Some students opt to use the services of local real estate agents who can help in finding suitable accommodation, though this might come with additional fees.
  • University Forums and Networks: Engaging with existing students through university forums, alumni networks, or student unions can provide valuable leads and advice on finding accommodation.
  • Temporary Accommodation: If you can't find long-term housing immediately, consider temporary options like hostels or short-term rentals while you continue your search.

Remember, each student's needs and preferences are different, so consider what factors (like distance from campus, room size, shared or private facilities) are most important to you. Also, keep in mind that the housing situation in Stockholm can be quite competitive, so patience and persistence are key.


Remember, whether you opt for the convenience of university housing or the diversity of private rentals, each choice comes with its own set of experiences and opportunities. Embrace the challenge of navigating Stockholm's competitive housing market, and consider it a primer for the problem-solving and resilience you'll develop as an international student.

Stockholm, with its blend of historic charm and modern vibrancy, not only offers a top-tier educational experience but also a chance to immerse yourself in a city rich in culture, innovation, and natural beauty. From the practicality of efficient public transport to the joy of discovering cozy cafes and lush parks, your time in Stockholm is bound to be memorable.

Whether you're looking for a cozy corner in the heart of the city or a serene spot in a quieter neighborhood, Hemavi has you covered. With hundreds of options to choose from, and a unique matching system that pairs you with like-minded roommates based on your preferences, finding your next home has never been easier.