The Karonlinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden is ranked among the top 10 institutions globally for medicine - matched only by the best UK (Oxbridge) and top US medical schools. As US "med-schools" are very expensive and do not accept many European applicants, they are often not considered as a realistic option among European applicants. By contrast, the medical Bachelor (and Master) degrees at KI offer an incredibly attractive alternative, as all degrees are entirely free and taught in English. As an additional bonus, KI's students can consider themselves privileged to be a part of the renowned institution that awards the Nobel Prize each year.
However, a key caveat for aspiring medics is that a medicine degree at KI is targeted towards research and does not qualify its graduates to work as doctors. Thus, applicants wishing to practise the medical profession with patients should seek alternative institutions for their degrees, e.g. English language degrees in the UK or Netherlands. For those interested in pursuing the pure research side of medicine, the Bachelor (as well as Master and PhD) at KI offers an excellent opportunity to work at a world-class institution free of tuition charges and gain a footing in one of the world's best medical academic circles.
The deadline for an application to start the Bachelor's degree in the autumn semester is in January of the year you wish to start your degree, i.e. ca. 9 months prior to the beginning of your course. The application involves submitting an application form and supporting documents online. The main documents required of EU and EEA students are scans of:
The document scans are submitted in colour and should include all pages of the requested documents (i.e. including irrelevant parts of the documents), all merged in one file. If you completed a previous degree elsewhere, submit both the certificate and the transcript. Diplomas or transcripts often do not need to be translated if they are in one of the main European languages listed here.
Costs and financing
Studying in Sweden, including at KI and any degree (Bachelor, Master or PhD), is free for EU and EEA citizens. Thus the requirements to prove your citizenship status via copies of your passport, national ID card or similar official documentation in your application, by uploading a scan of your original document in the 'Documents' tab on your account with University Admissions (see above).
Living costs are estimated at SEK 8000 by the university. However, do budget higher expenses, depending on your lifestyle. KI does not offer scholarships for the Bachelor and and there is no support for student living costs in general. Of-course, you can subsidise your studies via scholarships from your home country. Foreign students are also allowed to work in Sweden during their studies without an additional work permit. To work on campus, you can contact university's Education Support Office.
The academic year at KI is divided in two semesters: the Autumn term from late August to mid-January; and the Spring semester from mid-January to early June. The curriculum and online presence of courses is easily accessible on the web; before applying it makes sense to have a look and make sure it fits your interests. Timetables tend to be reasonably full, see this sample timetable from the first semester.
EU/EEA students must arrange their accommodation in Stockholm independently, whereas fee-paying students are guaranteed accommodation with KI housing. There is a shortage of student accommodation, so search early by contacting KI Housing, stating Study counselor Eva Feron (Phone: 08-524 868 65, Organizational unit: Student- och karriärservice, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) as your contact.
You can also register with the municipal accommodation agency. The cost of joining a queue for accommodation is about SEK 250 per year. Waiting times vary from one residential area to another (the inner city, not surprisingly, has the longest waiting times), but generally speaking these times have been decreasing in recent years. They also operate a system called "Bostadssnabben" for flats that are ready for immediate occupancy on a first come, first serve basis.
Furthermore, you can research options to sublet at:
CasaSwap is a free international housing network, where you can similarly rent, sublet and swap accommodation with other members from all over the world.
International students should take care to register their right of residence with the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) no later than three months after entering Sweden. To do so, they should prove they have SEK 8,010 per month for ten months of the year (= ca. €850 per month, exchange rate of 30th Sep 2015).
All students are covered by a personal injury insurance (the general student insurance), through the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet). The insurance applies in Sweden during school hours and during travel to and from the location where school hours are spent.
Students from EU/EEA countries should register with their social insurance office in their home country, in order to obtain the European Health Insurance card (EHIC). With the European Health Insurance card you are entitled to health care in Sweden on the same conditions as Swedish citizens.
You will receive a Swedish personal number and automatically fall under the Swedish healthcare system. You will receive a letter to your place of residence identifying your local healthcare center for check-ups and appointments and of course you can go to the emergency department of a hospital should you need to. With a Swedish personal identity number, you may take out home insurance through any Swedish insurance company.