Studying at Karolinska Institutet: A Guide for International Students

Embarking on your journey at Karolinska Institutet? Nestled in Stockholm, KI offers a blend of cutting-edge research, diverse community, and a chance to forge lifelong connections. One thing to keep in mind -- finding suitable housing!

Studying at Karolinska Institutet: A Guide for International Students
Photo from Study in Sweden

Congratulations! You've just embarked on one of the most exhilarating chapters of your life. Being accepted into Karolinska Institutet (KI), one of the world's premier medical universities, is no small feat. This institution, nestled in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden, is not just a place for academic excellence; it's a gateway to a transformative journey that will mold you into a global healthcare leader.

As an international student, you are about to dive into a vibrant, diverse community that is as eager to learn from you as you are from it. Karolinska Institutet is more than its cutting-edge research and world-renowned education; it's a place where cultures blend, ideas flourish, and lifelong friendships are forged.

In this blog, we'll explore all there is to know about Karolinska Institutet for international students, from the school's rich history, to life in Stockholm, and finding accommodation in this world-class metropolitan city. Welcome to Karolinska Institutet!

From cozy corners to bustling neighborhoods, Hemavi has the perfect spot for every student embarking on their new journey in Stockholm. Start your search now and find a place that feels like home.

A Look Into Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institutet (KI) is one of the world's leading medical universities, located in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 1810, its primary mission is to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education. KI is exclusively focused on the medical and health sciences, including basic science, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing. The school offers a range of undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs, designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the medical field, as well as hands-on research experience.

The institute is known for its cutting-edge research within various fields of biomedicine. It ranks as one of the top universities in the world in medical and health sciences research. The institute is involved in various global health initiatives, aiming to address health challenges worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

KI actively collaborates with universities, research institutes, and healthcare organizations worldwide. These partnerships enhance its global impact, fostering international research projects and student exchange programs.

One key fact about Karolinska Institutet: It has a unique role in the world of science as the institution responsible for selecting the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine! This prestigious responsibility underscores KI's leading position in medical research.

Student Life in Stockholm and at Karolinska Institutet

Academic Environment at Karolinska Institutet

  • Collaborative and Supportive: KI fosters a collaborative environment where students and faculty work closely on research projects and academic pursuits. There's a strong sense of community, with support systems in place for both academic and personal development.
  • Hands-On Learning: Students at KI have opportunities for hands-on learning through lab work, clinical rotations (for medical students), and research projects, providing practical experience alongside theoretical knowledge.

Campus Life at Karolinska Institutet

  • Student Organizations: There are numerous student organizations and clubs at KI, catering to a wide range of interests from academic clubs to sports, arts, and cultural activities. These organizations are great for making friends, learning new skills, and engaging with the community.
  • Health and Wellness: KI emphasizes the importance of health and well-being, offering sports facilities, fitness classes, and wellness activities to keep students physically and mentally fit.
  • Support for International Students: KI offers various support services for international students, including orientation programs, Swedish language courses, and counseling services, to help students adjust to life in Sweden and succeed in their studies.

Social Life and Networking at Karolinska Institutet

  • International Community: With students from around the globe, KI's international community is a melting pot of cultures, providing a global perspective and opportunities to learn about different cultures and languages.
  • Networking Opportunities: KI's connections with leading hospitals, research institutes, and the biomedical industry in Stockholm and globally provide students with ample networking opportunities, internships, and potential career paths.

The Stockholm Housing Market for Students

Karolinska Institutet Student Housing

KI Housing offers various accommodations specifically for international students and researchers, including furnished apartments and rooms in several areas of Stockholm. These are designed to be the first place to stay upon arrival, with the maximum rental time being limited, emphasizing KI Housing as a temporary solution to ease the transition to Stockholm.

  • KI Residence Flemingsberg: Offers 84 apartments with prices starting from SEK 4959 per month.
  • KI Residence Solna: Features 316 apartments, with rental prices beginning at SEK 6483 per month.
  • Pax: Provides 71 dorm rooms ensuite starting from SEK 4317 per month, and Strix offers 12 dorm rooms at SEK 4284 per month.

Fee-paying students (non-EU citizens) are guaranteed housing during their first year, provided they apply within the deadline. Non-fee-paying students, including those from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, need to find housing on their own, which can be challenging due to the competitive nature of Stockholm's housing market.

Private Housing Options for International Students

  • Private rooms for rent in shared apartments are a popular choice among students due to their affordability and opportunities for socializing. Prices for private rooms start from around SEK 4,500 (approximately €400) per month, with the average cost ranging up to SEK 6,500 or more for central locations​​​​.
  • Studios and apartments offer more privacy and space but are priced higher. Monthly rents can vary significantly based on location, size, and amenities. A studio apartment's rent might start from around SEK 10,000 (€895) in residential neighborhoods farther from the city center, with prices increasing for locations closer to university campuses or central Stockholm​​.

Resources to Find Accommodation Nearby Karolinska Institutet

  • Stockholm Student Housing Foundation (SSSB): Register with SSSB, the largest provider of student housing in Sweden, as soon as possible. You need to accumulate queue days to apply for housing, and being registered does not guarantee accommodation but increases your options over time.
  • University Noticeboards and Forums: KTH and other educational institutions have online noticeboards and forums where housing offers are sometimes posted.
  • Facebook Groups: Join Facebook groups for KTH students or Stockholm housing. These can be excellent resources for finding available rooms or apartments and networking with potential roommates.
  • Use Online Marketplaces: Websites like Hemavi are popular platforms for finding accommodation. Make sure you act quickly when opportunities arise!


As you stand on the brink of starting your journey at Karolinska Institutet (KI), it's important to reflect on the incredible adventure that awaits. Embarking on this academic path is not just about pursuing excellence in health and medicine; it's about becoming part of a global community committed to making a difference. KI is not just a place to study; it's a place where future medical professionals and researchers are nurtured, where innovation meets tradition, and where you'll be challenged and supported to reach your full potential.

Navigating life in Stockholm will be part of your transformative experience. From finding accommodation to integrating into Swedish culture, each step will be an opportunity for growth and learning. Remember, the journey may seem daunting at first, with the competitive housing market and the adjustment to a new educational system. However, the city's vibrant culture, combined with KI's supportive environment and the camaraderie you'll find among your peers, will make this transition an enriching phase of your life.

Moving to Sweden to study at KI? Find a space that supports your academic goals and personal preferences through Hemavi!