Very few of the EU expats I speak with know that they can get student aid money (bursaries/grants) from the Swedish government when they study courses…even part time courses.
CSN (Centrala studiestödsnämnden / Student Loans Company in the UK) is responsible for ensuring that all students in Sweden have access to financial resources to be able to study here. They are the body that deals with student loans, bursaries, and financial aid for all eligible students in Sweden.
To be eligible for student aid, you need to:
- Be from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland OR on a visa for at least 2 years
- Studying in a college, university, adult secondary education course
- For full details on your access to student aid as a foreign citizen, check here
SFI is not included. For other courses, ask your school what level they are teaching at so you can apply to CSN. There are more details on what constitutes an eligible course here.
Also, you are not entitled to receive this aid if you moved to Sweden to study (as your main reason). If you’ve moved here for love/work/other and then are thinking about studying something on the side, then you are able to claim student aid.
How to get student aid
First up, head to the CSN Calculator and have your school documents ready. I’m going to walk you through the steps I took when applying for my grant when studying “Svenska som andraspråk – grundläggande” at Komvux. This calculator is pretty old-fashioned and about 3 pages long. Plus it does not save as you progress so make sure you do it in one go.
First up, enter your birth year, the country you want to study in, the level you are studying at, and when your course starts (spring, autumn, etc). If you are unsure about the level you are studying at, ask your school or course tutor. They will let you know and will have all the information you will need for your CSN application.
Here you need to give more details about the course you are attending. The key things here are:
- How many terms and weeks your course will be
- If you have extra needs with children, private schools, etc
- If you want to take a loan in addition to the grant (for no loan, set to “Inget lån”, otherwise, pick the number of weeks you want to take a loan for)
This is also the part when you add your pre-tax income for the given period. Once you are done, click “Nästa”
Here is the key page you are looking for. The thing to remember here is this is a basic calculation and not a 100% accurate reflection. There is a chance that the amount you will get may be different.
Either way, this page gives you an idea of how much you could get from the government in free grants.
So there we go. I hope that gives you a chance to get some study grants or an extra drive to go and study when you are in Sweden. Bear in mind that if you take a loan, you will need to pay this back. If you set no loan (as in my example above), then this is the student aid you could receive for free.
You can apply to CSN at any time in the year, but you can only backdate student aid for the past 4 weeks from the date they receive your application.
For more details about CSN, take a look at their website in English (and other languages).