Incoming exchange students

Are you joining us for a semester or two as an exchange student? This information is for you! The Chemistry Section at Stockholm University welcomes more than 100 international students every year and we are happy that you are one of them.


Welcome to the Chemistry Section!

Speed friending
Speed-friending during orientation. Photo: Ingmarie Andersson

The section consists of three different departments:

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

The Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry

Department of Organic Chemistry

When you’re in an exchange program here, you have the flexibility to choose courses from any of our three departments, provided you meet the entry requirements. As an exchange student, you don’t have to pay any tuition fees at Stockholm University.

Our courses are designed to be interactive, with small groups and a lot of time spent in the labs. This structure enables you to cultivate the laboratory skills for which Stockholm University students are known for.

During your time here, you'll have the privilege of collaborating closely with renowned researchers. If you're with us in December, you'll also have the unique opportunity to attend the Nobel lectures given by laureates in chemistry and physics, which are hosted right here at Stockholm University.


If you're considering joining us here at the Chemistry Section as an exchange student, there are a few requirements you'll need to meet:

•    Your home university must have a valid exchange agreement with one of the chemistry departments here.
•    You must be officially registered as a student at your home university.
•    Your home university needs to nominate you as an exchange student.
•    You should have a background in chemistry to study here, whether it's in biochemistry or more traditional chemistry fields.
•    We suggest that exchange students join us starting from their third year, with at least 60 ECTS but preferably around 75-90 ECTS in chemistry (excluding courses in molecular biology, chemical engineering, physics, math, languages, etc.).
•    Your proficiency in English (both spoken and written) must meet a B2 level.

Meeting these criteria will ensure a smooth transition for your exchange experience with us at the Chemistry Section. We look forward to welcoming you to our academic community!


Great, you've met the requirements! Here's what happens next:

  1. Your home university nominates you for the exchange program.
  2. Your transcripts are sent to us, either by you or your coordinator.
  3. We'll send you welcome information, including details about course selection, after the nomination deadline has passed.
  4. Select your courses and we'll admit you to the courses (provided you meet the entry requirements and there are available seats).
  5. You'll arrive and meet with us. This step is necessary for course registration.

Remember to contact the exchange coordinator at your home university to learn more about their nomination process.


Deadline for nominations (Erasmus)
1 April - autumn semester (end of August – middle of January)
1 October - spring semester (middle of January – beginning of June)

The process looks a bit different if you are joining us as a CIVIS Erasmus exchange student. Please contract to get more information about this process.

Students enjoying a social start on the semester
Photo: Jens Olof Lasthein

Semester dates 

The semester is divided into four parts: A, B, C and D (each 7,5 ECTS).

You can see the exact semester dates here!

Almost all of our courses run at full-time, so you can only take one course at a time.

They are most often 7,5 ECTS or 15 ECTS. Once semester corresponds to 30 ECTS.

Course selection

You can find our courses in the course catalogue:

The dates of the "study period" in the course catalogue does not always correspond to reality (the real A, B, C and D parts) but it can helo you get a general idea in which part the course is given.

You select your courses by responding to the e-mail about course selection that is sent out to you.  Except for CIVIS Erasmus students and students from NTU or UIUC.

Are you interested in doing a research traineeship?

Great! Make sure you understand how it is organized here at SU, that you meet the entry requirements and find a supervisor on time:

Please read about it here!

Note that the information about application and English requirements in the link above does not apply to exchange students!

Students in the lab

Here are some things that we recommend that you include in your e-mail to the potential supervisor:

  • A short description of you and your academic background
  • That you are an Erasmus exchange student
  • Why you are interested in this research group specifically
  • Which period you would like to do the traineeship (and how many credits)

Learning Agreement (for Erasmus/CIVIS exchange students only):

After your course selection has been approved by us, we (you, your coordinator, and us) will need to sign a learning agreement. Please don’t send learning agreements to us before this approval process.

Learning agreements must be completed and signed online, not on paper or PDF. You need to initiate the learning agreement through an online portal.

Please consult with your home university to determine where you should log in, as we probably use different systems. Once you have signed the online learning agreement in the system, please let us know. Use this email address as contact information for the receiving institution.


Students looking at their laptops
Photo: Ingmarie Andersson

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee housing for incoming exchange students, only about half of exchange students receive university housing. However, past exchange students have successfully found housing on their own even when we couldn't provide further assistance.

We will send out an application link and housing information to all nominated students. Please note that we are unable to address individual housing inquiries.
For any housing-related questions, please contact


Student housing for exchange students!

 Finding accomodation in Stockholm!



As a registered student you will be covered by Kammarkollegiet's insurance "Student IN":
You can read more about that here!

But if you are a EU citizen it is also important to bring your European Health Insurance Card when you come here! If you do not have it, please make the arrangements needed to get it sent to you later. It makes it so much easier if you would get sick while you are here!
Read more about the card!

Cards are issued by your national health insurance provider:
Choose your country of residence here to see how you can apply for the card!

How to prepare for your time here and get started

We will send your temporary Swedish personal number (or T-number) to you before you arrive. You will be asked about it several times while you are here, so please keep it close by (a note on your phone maybe?). Your T-number is based on your date of birth and written like this: YYYYMMDD-XXXX (Y=Year, M=Month, D=Day and X=a random number). 

SU account

Student with a computer
Photo: Niklas Björling

To access the university's many systems you have to activate your SU account:

To do this you will need an One-Time Code. You can get this either by visiting Infocenter in Studenthuset, or e-mailing us (this is only possible about a month before your arrival, at the earliest):

Read more about SU's IT services here!


At (about a month before your arrival) you will be able to see all the courses you are admitted to and registered on. You can read more about course registration below. You can also download transcripts of records and sign up for exams. You have to activate your SU account to access Ladok!

Athena is a digital learning platform where lecturers will upload course material and communicate with you during the course. You can only access the platform if you have activated your SU account, as well as are admitted AND registered to a course.

General information from Stockholm University

Practical information for exchange students!

Information for all new SU students:
A smooth start

Arrival and course roll-call

It is mandatory to attend first day of courses (when the roll-calls are)! Find your schedule in the course catalogue (schedules are often posted about one month before each course starts):

People walking in front of the Arrhenius laboratory
Photo: Niklas Björling

If you cannot come to Stockholm by the time the semester starts you have to let us know! We recommend that you arrive in Stockholm at least a week early to settle into the city and the campus. However, we know that this is not always possible, especially before the spring semester. The lease on the accommodation from the university starts rather late, just two days before the spring semester starts, so check out hostels if you want to have time in the city before everything starts (this is not a problem with university housing for fall semester).

Meet-up for registration and certificate signing

You will be registered to every course that you attend the roll-call for, but if you do not want to wait until the course starts to get registered you can meet up with us (the international coordinators at the Chemistry Section) to get registered to all the courses you are admitted to. Either at the student office (see below on how to find us) or a welcome activity that we attend (also see below). Most Erasmus students need us to sign a certificate of arrival, or something similar, and this has to be done in person (how else would we know that you actually arrived?). If you meet up with us for course registration we can do this at the same.

Here is how to find us!

Student life and welcome activities

During your time here you will have the opportunity to get to know a lot of new people. Here are some of the organisations and general activities which is good to know about!

The Student Union (SUS)

SUS logo

The main purpose of SUS is to "monitor and participate in the development of education and the conditions for studies at Stockholm University". It is also the membership if SUS that will give you access to your student ID, so you have to become a member to get access to student discounts (such as public transportation).

One semester costs 125 SEK.
Two semesters cost 240 SEK.

Note! You are able to purchase student discounted tickets without showing a student ID. However, there are regular ticket checks in the metro and on buses and you will be fined if you are traveling with a discounted ticket without being able to prove you are a student with this specific student ID. The fine is quite high so avoid doing this.

You can buy your membership here:

You will need your personal T-number. Be sure to write it exactly according to the format they indicate:
YYYYMMDDXXXX (no hyphen).

It is best if you wait to buy the membership until you have arrived, or a week earlier.

The Science Faculty Club (NF)

NF logo

NF is run by students and organize social activities (mainly for science students).

The majority of activities are held at Gréen's villa (or Gröna villan as it is also called). Gréen's villa is located right between of the Geoscience building and the Arrhenius laboratories (the chemistry building).

You have to become a member of NF to participate in most activities, but you can get this membership for free when you become a member of the Student Union.

NF's most recurring activity is their pub which is held every Thursday.

Read more at their website:

Welcome activities

The welcome activities change from semester to semester. But there are generally more things planned in the beginning of fall when all of our bachelor's and master's programs start as well. The welcome activities for fall semesters are generally focused on the week before the semester starts, and the activities for spring semester are generally focused to the first week of the semester.

There is always a welcome fair during each of these two weeks of the academic year. During the fair you can meet representatives of different organisations at SU such as IT-services, the Library, the Student Union and several student associations. There is usually speed friending, tours and sometimes sport activities organised along with the fair. You can read more about that and all other university wide welcome activities here:

We will also send out information about activities specific to the semester you are going to be here for, activities organised by NF and us at the Chemistry Section and/or the Faculty of Science.

Students in front of the Arrhenius laboratory
Photo: Eva Dalin
Ajda Krč, exchange student from Slovenia.

Hello Ajda, can you tell me a bit about yourself?

– I come from Slovenia, where I currently study biochemistry at the University of Ljubljana. I decided to come to Stockholm to write my undergraduate thesis as part of my exchange, because I wanted to experience different living, working and studying environments. Stockholm University has had a range of compatible courses, and also gave me the opportunity to work in an English-speaking environment, which was one of the main reasons for my decision.

What does chemistry mean to you?

– I think chemistry is one of the fundamental natural sciences. Studying it and understanding the nature of all compounds, in my case especially biologically important compounds, is crucial for the development and evolution of society in general.

What do you think about studying at Stockholm university?

– I was really satisfied with the whole experience. The location of campus is amazing, you are literally surrounded by beautiful meadows and lakes and you don't really get the feeling of living in a multimillion city! For me, since I am not used to living in big cities (Ljubljana, our capital, has around 300 000 habitants) it was a perfect fit.

I also liked the organization of the university, as it was very easy to settle and to get all the information I needed. Even though the university itself is relatively big, I still think the attitude towards individual students is quite personal.

What do you like the most about Stockholm and Sweden?

– Stockholm and Sweden in general really impressed me. It is the little things that usually leave the most important marks, for me I think it was the feeling of calmness and easy-going-ness. I appreciated the nature and a pretty good organization of most things in general (like public transport system, education system, tourist information, economy etc.)

If someone is considering applying to the exchange program, what would you tell them?

– As for applying to the exchange program, I highly recommend it! As for biochemistry in general, I can only say that writing my undergraduate thesis at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics was one of the best experiences. People are really kind and willing to help, the research itself is really interesting and the quality of research is high.

Ajda later re-joined us as masters student!

João Varela from Portugal finished his Biochemistry bachelor's degree at Stockholm University last semester.

Hello João, can you tell me a bit about yourself?

– I'm currently taking a Biochemistry master degree at University of Porto (Portugal), and last year I successfully concluded my Biochemistry bachelor
degree at Stockholm University as part of the Erasmus+ program. Aside from liking chemistry, I'm also a sports lover, a huge "party animal" and I really enjoy travelling and exploring new places!

Which program did you choose? Why did you choose it?

– I decided long ago that I wanted to study biochemistry. I have always been very passionate about science, and as a little kid I wished to be a "mad scientist" when I grew up. I guess I'm currently living my childhood dream!

Also, the fact that I might be able to develop new research that may increase the quality of life of tons of people in the future is a huge motivation for me to keep working and try to make the world a better place.

What does chemistry mean to you?

– Chemistry has been present in my life since my childhood days, when my curious young self would try to find a reasonable "scientific" explanation for every single phenomenon. Since then, chemistry has brought me many friends, made me undergo great adventures, and given me amazing opportunities – like being able to study abroad for one semester.

Chemistry shaped my life since the very beginning, and I hope it continues to do so in the future.

What do you think about studying at Stockholm University?

– It was somewhat like what I was used to back in Portugal, although there was one big difference: the interaction between students and teachers. Back in Portugal, we have tons of students taking the same courses, so most of the time we don't feel supported by the teacher and we don't even get the chance to talk to him or her at all.

At Stockholm University, the teachers really do their best to know the students and give every single one the support they need. That is something that I really appreciated during my classes.

What do you like the most about Stockholm and Sweden?

– Something that surprised me about Stockholm and Sweden was the amount of green open spaces. There are many beautiful parks and forests everywhere, and all of them are great places to hang out with friends, spot wild animals (especially during the night), do some jogging or just take a relaxing walk.

I also really enjoyed the lakes all across Stockholm, where I could ice skate during the winter, and swim during the summer!

If someone is considering applying to the program, what would you tell them?

– Chemistry and biochemistry is not easy, it requires lots of work and lots of study time... But don't give up! You will always have support from your friends and teachers if you need it! 

And you can always take a break from your studies and enjoy the city! Stockholm is a wonderful place. From ice skating in the frozen lakes to spotting wild deers in the forest nearby, there is always something to do, so be sure to study and enjoy all there is to do in Stockholm as well!

Anything else you would like to add?

– Studying at Stockholm University last semester was a great experience that I'm sure I will never forget! Right now, I'm looking forward to coming back to Stockholm and to Stockholm University to conclude my Biochemistry master degree through the Erasmus+ program again next year. 



Chemistry Section & Student Affairs Office
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