Anyone who’s looked for universities to attend in recent years may already know about Sweden and their no-tuition policy. Contrary to earlier reports, I’m glad to hear that this policy will be around for a while longer.
I can understand why people that have bum-rushed Swedish shores over the last couple of years would falsely equate this “no-tuition policy” with “free education”. I would too. But as we all know, graduate school anywhere is anything but free! Especially if you’re a foreign student. Even in Tuition-free Sweden.
Granted, you do not have to pay tuition but you still have to prove to have the equivalent of the tuition fees at your disposal in order to be admitted. Then you have to pay compulsory Student Union fee levied each semester as well as keeping up with accomodation and other expenses. In addition, there is currently no scholarship system in place and I’m not aware of any Swedish universities that offer deductions of any kind for financially needy students.
Then, there is the Swedish bit. Although most Swedes are able to speak english, swedish is still the official language. So, most foreign students would be unable to get part-time jobs to help pay some of their bills.
Personally, I would argue that the good quality European education one stands to get from a tuition-free Swedish university is well worth the trip even though there are a few hidden costs involved, slim-to-none-chances of finding a part-time job and a Swedish people that generally tend to keep to themselves.
Hey Studera, look out for my application in 2010!
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