Budgeting for Student Accommodation: A Guide for International Students in Sweden

Explore our guide on budgeting for student accommodation in Sweden. Covering rent, utilities, food, transport, and more, it’s designed to help international students plan effectively for their stay. Embrace the Swedish experience with confidence and financial savvy!

Budgeting for Student Accommodation: A Guide for International Students in Sweden
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Welcome to the exciting world of studying in Sweden! As an international student, you're embarking on a journey filled with learning, cultural immersion, and new experiences. Sweden's appeal as a study destination goes beyond its world-class universities; it extends to its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and a society that champions sustainability and equality. However, these benefits come with a cost. Sweden is known for its relatively high living expenses compared to other countries, making financial planning an essential part of your preparation.

Planning your finances wisely will ensure a smooth transition and a comfortable stay. From the bustling streets of Stockholm to the quaint towns dotting the countryside, understanding and budgeting for your housing costs is key to ensuring a comfortable and stress-free stay. We will explore various accommodation options, city-specific rent variations, and additional expenses like utilities, food, and transportation.

If you're an international student moving to Sweden and looking for accommodation, check out our listings on Hemavi.

Understanding Rent Costs

Rent is one of the major expenses for international students in Sweden. The cost varies based on several factors, including the city, location within the city, size, and type of housing. Generally, larger cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg tend to have higher rental costs compared to smaller or medium-sized cities.

City Rates

  • Large Cities (Stockholm, Gothenburg): In these cities, the demand for student housing is exceptionally high. Consequently, the rental costs are on the higher end of the spectrum. Students can expect to pay between SEK 2,500 to SEK 6,500 or even more per month for accommodation in these cities​​.
  • Medium-sized Cities (e.g., Uppsala, Lund): These traditional student cities also see high demand, but the rent can be slightly more affordable compared to the larger cities. The range here typically falls between SEK 2,300 to SEK 4,300 per month for a flat or a room in a larger building​​.
  • Smaller Cities and Towns: In smaller towns, students can find more budget-friendly options. The cost of renting a flat or a room in these areas can range from SEK 2,000 to SEK 3,500 per month​​.

Type of Accommodation

  • Student Dormitories: These are usually the most budget-friendly options, with prices ranging from SEK 2,500 to SEK 5,000 per month.
  • Shared Apartments: Sharing an apartment can reduce costs, with prices ranging from SEK 3,000 to SEK 6,000 per month.
  • Studio or One-Bedroom Apartments: For more privacy, students might opt for a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, which generally costs between SEK 5,000 to SEK 9,000 for a studio and SEK 8,000 to SEK 12,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Other Factors

  • Proximity to University: Accommodations closer to the university campus or city center tend to be more expensive.
  • Amenities and Facilities: The cost can also vary based on the amenities provided, such as furnishings, utilities, and internet connectivity.

Budgeting for Utilities

While some student accommodations in Sweden include utilities in the rent, many do not, meaning you'll need to budget for these separately. Here's a breakdown of what to expect:

  • Electricity: Average costs can range from SEK 400 to SEK 800 per month. This can vary based on usage, the size of your accommodation, and the time of year, as Swedish winters may require more heating.
  • Water: Typically, water costs about SEK 200 to SEK 300 per month. Some accommodations include this in the rent, so it's worth checking.
  • Gas: If your accommodation uses gas for heating or cooking, expect to pay around SEK 300 to SEK 600 per month.
  • Internet: Given the importance of connectivity for studies, budget SEK 300 to SEK 500 per month for a reliable internet connection.
  • Mobile Phone: A mobile phone plan, which is essential for staying in touch and navigating around, can cost between SEK 100 to SEK 300 per month​.
  • Home Items: When moving into your accommodation, especially if it's unfurnished, you might need to purchase some basic items such as furniture, appliances, kitchenware, bedding, linens and other household items.

Groceries, Transportation and Other Costs


Food is a significant part of a student's monthly budget. In Sweden, international students should expect to spend around SEK 2,500 per month on groceries. This can vary based on individual eating habits and dietary preferences.

Eating out in Sweden can be expensive, so cooking at home is a cost-effective option. Budget for occasional dining out experiences to enjoy Sweden’s culinary scene. Additionally, many universities have student canteens offering meals at reduced prices, which can be a budget-friendly alternative to cooking.


Depending on your university’s location and your accommodation, budget SEK 700 to SEK 1,000 per month for transportation​​. This includes costs for buses, trams, or metro tickets. Students often get discounts on public transport. Check with local transport services for student passes which offer unlimited travel at a fixed monthly rate.

It's worth it to consider purchasing a bike, since many Swedish cities are bike-friendly. Investing in a bicycle can be a one-time cost that saves on daily travel expenses.

Insurance and Personal Expenses

  • Health and Home Insurance: While health insurance might be covered for EU/EEA students, others should budget for this. Home insurance (hemförsäkring) for your accommodation can range from SEK 1,000 to SEK 2,000 per month​​.
  • Personal Expenses: Budget for personal expenses, including clothing, entertainment, and leisure activities. A reasonable estimate is around SEK 1,500 to SEK 2,500 per month​​.
  • Gym Memberships and Sports: If you’re interested in gym memberships or sports activities, include this in your budget. Many universities offer sports facilities at discounted rates for students.
  • Social and Cultural Activities: Part of the study abroad experience is exploring the local culture. Budget for activities like museum visits, cinema trips, and social events.

Tips for Budgeting

An overall monthly budget, including rent, utilities, groceries, transport, and other expenses, can range from approximately SEK 5,000 to SEK 10,000, depending on your lifestyle and the city of study. Remember, these are estimated costs and can vary based on individual lifestyle choices and the city of study. It's always a good idea to have a financial buffer for unexpected expenses or opportunities that arise during your stay.

Planning and budgeting for these aspects of daily life in Sweden will ensure that you can focus on your studies and enjoy your time as an international student, free from financial worries. A few quick tips:

  • Early Savings: Start saving as early as possible to build a financial buffer for your initial months in Sweden.
  • Expense Tracking: Keep track of your spending to understand where you can cut costs if needed.
  • Student Discounts: Make use of student discounts available in transportation, cultural activities, and some eateries.


Budgeting for student accommodation in Sweden requires careful planning and consideration of various costs. By understanding the average expenses and planning accordingly, you can ensure a financially stable and enjoyable experience as an international student in Sweden.

Remember, your time studying abroad is not just about education; it's an opportunity to explore, grow, and create lifelong memories in one of the world's most student-friendly countries.

If you're searching for student housing or shared accommodation in Sweden, check out our listings on Hemavi. There are new listings added everyday!