Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, but there are also many things to think about: visa and permits, health insurance and healthcare, student housing, personal identity number as well as practicalities and your social life as a student.
Visa and permits
Depending on the country you come from and the length of your studies, you may need to apply for a residence permit and/or an entry visa before you leave for Sweden.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens
As a citizen of a country within the EU/EEA, you have the right to reside and study in Sweden without a residence permit.
Students from Switzerland who are staying for longer than three months have to apply for a residence permit.
International and exchange students from outside the EU/EEA who are admitted for studies longer than three months must apply for a residence permit. For studies shorter than three months, an entry visa is required for citizens from certain countries.
For studies longer than three months, students must apply for and have been granted a residence permit before they enter Sweden. In order to get a residence permit in time for the start of the semester, it is essential that you apply no later than 2–3 months before departure.
To be granted a residence permit you must:
be admitted to full-time studies requiring full-time attendance (distance courses or programmes do not fulfil the requirements);
have paid your tuition fee in due time (not applicable if you are an exchange student);
have a valid passport;
prove that you are able to financially support yourself throughout the planned study period; and
have, or have applied for, a comprehensive insurance policy.
Students admitted to Malmö University are insured through The Swedish State’s Insurance for Fee-Paying Students. The Notification of Selection Result from University Admissions is sufficient as proof that you are insured.
Apply for a residence permit on the Migration Agency's website or at the nearest Swedish embassy or consulate.
Applications for residence permits are processed by the Swedish Migration Agency, not the University. The application for a residence permit is your personal responsibility. For questions and more information regarding individual applications contact the Swedish Migration Agency.
Admitted students with a residence permit for studies are allowed to work in Sweden during their period of study. No additional work permit is needed. However, be aware that it may be difficult to find a part-time job, especially if you do not speak Swedish.
We kindly remind you that university studies are full-time and may be difficult to combine with work.
Having a good insurance is very important. Most students are covered by the Swedish social insurance or a European social insurance. Some students have additional insurance through the University.
Please note, the insurances mentioned on this webpage do not provide a complete coverage and we recommend all students to make sure they have sufficient coverage. It is the responsibility of every student to make sure to have adequate insurance.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens
If you are an EU-citizen, you should get the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your local authorities before leaving for Sweden. The EHIC card is a free card that gives you the right to immediate medical treatment equal to Swedish citizens and at a regular patient fee. If you do not bring this card, you risk having to pay full costs.
Starting autumn semester 2020 all non-EU/EEA citizens who are tuition fee-paying students will be insured through The Swedish State’s Insurance for Fee-Paying Students (Kammarkollegiet FAS) during the entire study period, no matter the length of the study programme.
The insurance is defined as a Comprehensive Health Insurance and meets the requirements from the Swedish Migration Agency to get a residence permit in Sweden. The Notification of Selection Result from University Admissions is sufficient as proof that you are insured.
The FAS-insurance covers immediate medical and dental care during your stay, during your travels to Sweden, as well as two weeks before and after the study period.
You normally pay the expenses yourself and get reimbursed after filing a claim.
Read the terms and conditions and access the claim form:
Programme students who started studies 2019 or earlier
Regarding non-EU/EEA citizens only
If you have a residence permit valid for at least one year
If you are a bachelor’s student or a two-year master’s student, you are entitled to the same health benefits as Swedish citizens. You must, however, be registered in the population register and have a personal identification number to get access to health services. Most health services require a patient fee that is non-refundable. Please note that dental care is expensive in Sweden, even if you have a personal identification number.
If you have a residence permit valid for less than one year
Fee-paying students on one-year master’s programmes or courses who hold residence permits for less than 12 months are covered by The Swedish State’s Insurance for Fee-Paying Students (FAS).
Read the terms and conditions and access the claim form:
You are entitled to receive essential healthcare when you are studying in Sweden. We have gathered the most important information and links below. If you have difficulties accessing the right medical care, please note that the nurses at the Student Health Service are here to offer advice. You will find their contact information below.
Swedish healthcare system
In case of illness during a temporary visit to Sweden, you are always entitled to essential healthcare. Usually, you should contact a local health care centre, where a medical assessment is made, and you will receive an appointment time, or be referred to a specialist.
more than 12 months: you should register in the Swedish Population Register to get a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer).
less than a year: you cannot apply for a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) and therefore cannot register to a specific health centre. However, you can still get help with emergency healthcare at a health clinic of your choice.
Before visiting a healthcare centre
We recommend calling 1177 or the health care centre of your choice before visiting. You should bring the following documents when visiting a health care centre:
Proof of identity
Proof of admission: Notification of Selection Results or Letter of Acceptance (exchange students)
Proof of insurance
Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are a student from the EU/EEA
1177 – Swedish healthcare hub
Call 1177 (no area code) to:
get 24-hour medical advice from a nurse by phone;
contact your primary health care centre or clinic;
read your medical record (requires login with Bank-ID);
find information about many different conditions and illnesses at their website.
If you are seriously ill, you should call the emergency number 112 and ask for an ambulance.
Student Health Service
At the Student Health Service you can get different types of support and help from counsellors and nurses. Some of their services include health advice, guidance to the right health care unit, help with sexual health and safe sex, and programmes for managing study stress. You can find more information about the Student Health Service and how to make use of it on the Student Health Service page.
The Student Health Service is available to all students—you do not need a Swedish personal identity number to make use of any of their services!
Studying with a disability
As a student with a disability you have the right to be able to study on equal terms in a good study environment. You can get support from the university if you are a student or doctoral student and have a lasting physical, psychological or other limitation.
We strongly recommend you start looking for housing as soon as possible after applying for studies to Malmö University.
Non-EU/EEA citizens and exchange students
Malmö University guarantee housing for tuition fee-paying students during their studies, provided that an application is submitted before the application period closes. For exchange students, housing is offered depending on availability.
On January 1, 2023, Swedish legislation will be renewed which amongst other things will make it illegal for Swedish universities to sublet housing to European students outside exchange agreements as well as national students. Students who received a exemption from paying tuition fees are this case considered as European students, and are no longer eligible for university provided housing.
There are a number of options when it comes to student housing, most student apartments are available through the regional housing agency Boplats Syd. Many students choose to share a place with other students or sublet.
The Pre-Orientation Programme helps you with additional support and resources to ease into your life and studies in Sweden. Learn from current students and alumni who share their first-hand experiences of what it is like to live and study in Malmö. This page contains podcasts and videos, all from a student perspective.
Get involved in the Student Union Malmö! We are big when you feel small and are here to help you if you get into trouble with your studies. We also have lots of associations and sections as well as soup lunches, student breakfasts, quizzes and music pubs. As a member, you also always get free coffee and really good discounts on things around Malmö.
During your stay in Sweden, you will likely hear about a personnummer, or Swedish personal identity number, many times. This is a 10- to 12-digit code given to you by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), formatted as YYYYMMDD-XXXX using your date of birth followed by a 4-digit code.
Coordination number (samordningsnummer)
If you are not eligible to apply for a personnummer because you are staying in Sweden for less than one year, you can instead apply for a coordination number from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) if you can prove you have a need for one—for example, if you will be working part-time during your studies.
The matriculation number is a number assigned to students by an educational institution upon enrolment. This number is used only internally and cannot be used outside of the University. The matriculation number is not the same as the Swedish personal identity number (personnummer).
To find out what your matriculation number is, log into your Ladok account. Your matriculation number has a similar format to the personnummer, formatted as YYYYMMDD-TXXX using your date of birth followed by a T and a 3-digit code.
If you are staying less than a year
For those of you that are studying at Malmö University for less than a year, you do not need to register with the Swedish Tax Agency and you will not receive a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer).
If necessary, you can instead apply for a coordination number from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). The coordination number functions similarly to the Swedish personal identity number (personnummer), but is not the same.
You will need to be able to provide details for why you need a coordination number, and it is up to Skatteverket to decide whether to issue a coordination number. To apply, you will need to visit one of Skatteverket's service centres and provide proof of identity and a contact address as well as a filled-out application form. The form is in Swedish, but you can get help filling out the form at the service center when you apply. You can also contact the International Office for help or questions.
If you will be studying at Malmö University for more than a year, you can watch the informational video from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) about registering with the Swedish Population Register once you've arrived in Sweden.
Once you've registered with the Swedish Tax Agency, you will receive a personal identity number (personnummer). Your personal identity number will be helpful in many ways during your stay in Sweden. You can read more about registering with the Swedish Tax Agency on their 'Moving to Sweden' webpage, and fill out their form before visiting their service centre.
Important: You will need an address before registering with the Swedish Tax Agency.
If you are newly arrived in Sweden and don't yet have your permanent address for your stay – if, for example, you are staying in a hotel, AirBnB or youth hostel – you will not be able to register with the Swedish Population Register and receive your personal identity number.
You will also need your apartment number (lägenhetsnummer), which is a 4-digit number that can be found on your housing contract and is not the same as the 3-digit room number used within buildings. If you are living in University Housing, your 4-digit apartment number is included in your housing offer.
Once you've received a personal identity number, you will be able to use it in a variety of ways. It can make it much easier to open a bank account, which will in turn allow you to apply for a Mobile BankID. BankID can be used for verifying your identity online for all sorts of purposes: scheduling doctor's appointments, confirming online payments, picking up packages and much more! If you have both a Mobile BankID and a Swedish SIM card, you can start using Swish, Sweden's own app for sending money. Swish is an essential part of every Swede's wallet as Sweden becomes an increasingly cash-free society.
In addition to banking and health care, your personal identity number can make even more services accessible to you. Many gyms require a personal identity number to get a membership, and many grocery stores and retailers also ask for a personal identity number if you wish to join their rewards programs. While a personal identity number isn't strictly necessary for everything, it will make your time in Sweden much easier.
We recommend getting your personal identity number as soon as possible if you're staying in Sweden for more than a year.
In order to study in Malmö, you'll need to manage your finances to be able to cover your monthly costs. The cost of living in Sweden may be different from your home country, so it is important to plan ahead and budget before your arrival.
As a student in Sweden, you have the right to open a bank account. You can find information about becoming a bank customer on the Swedish Banker's Association website. It might take a while for the bank to process opening a new account, so plan ahead. If you are staying for less than 6 months in Sweden, we suggest sorting out your banking before you come to Sweden. The best option is to use your existing bank account in your home country.
Bear in mind the regulations regarding money laundering and the strict restrictions that the banks have regarding accepting big amount of cash in transactions; it might be a good idea to not bring large amounts of cash.
You will need one of the student cards mentioned below to prove your student status and be able to use any student discounts. The Malmö University student ID card, your multicard, is not a valid student identification outside of the University. Please also note that your student card (Studentkort or Mecenatkort) must have the student travel symbol if you want to use the public transport student discount!
Student card STUK (studentkort)
When becoming a member of the Malmö Student Union, you will get access to the Student card STUK (Studentkortet). You can find more information and instructions for obtaining the cards on the Malmö Student Union's website.
If you are not a member of the Student Union, you can still get the Mecenat card (mecenatkort). You'll need to create an account on the Mecenat website using your email address and upload proof of your studies, which you can obtain by downloading a transcript or certificate showing your current enrolment from Ladok.
It is important that your safety and security is maintained during your studies. Find out how to report any issues with facilities on campus, how to report any incidents, and how to download the app for security information.
The public transportation within Skåne is operated by Skånetrafiken, which you will need to download an app for to fully utilise. The app allows you to buy tickets, find bus and train schedules, plan your trips and get updates about changes in the traffic and routes.
If you are interested in buying a bike, there are plenty of places to buy a used bike in Malmö. You can also find a bike in the auctions held by the municipality where they sell misplaced bikes that have not been claimed by their owners. You can find more information about biking in Malmö from Malmö Stad, including information about bike rentals, public parking for bikes and safety while biking. The links below are in Swedish so we suggest using the translate-option in your webbrowser.
Electric scooters can be rented from a number of services throughout the city such as Voi and Lime, or you can purchase your own. It is important to note that e-scooters are subject to the same traffic rules and regulations as bicycles.
Social life and activities
All exchange students are offered a language course during their studies at Malmö University. The course, Swedish Language, Culture and Society 1A is equivalent to 5 higher education credits and is not included in your total of 30 selectable credits.
Join a Swedish for immigrant course, for free. You will not only learn about the Swedish language but also about Swedish society and work life. You can study SFI if you are registered in the population register in the municipality of Malmö, or if you are an EU citizen with a residence permit. Even accompanying family members can study SFI.
Malmö is a natural hub for people and cultures from worldwide. The city’s inhabitants come from around 180 countries and speak some 150 different languages. Here you'll find tips on what to do and see in Malmö and how to get here.
Skåne is a province located at the most southern tip of Sweden, connected to Denmark by the famous Öresund Bridge. Skåne is well known for it’s beautiful scenery, outstanding culinary experiences and high quality of life.
Sweden's is a multifaceted country with a lot of different places to discover. Take a look at Visit Sweden, Sweden's official website for tourism and travel information, and start planning your next adventure.