Q&A on the coronavirus for newly admitted students
This information is for international students who have been admitted for studies commencing in autumn 2020. At this time, not all questions can be answered and some answers will change before the start of the semester. This Q&A will be updated when there are new regulations and directives from the Swedish Government and when new decisions are taken by the University, please check back regularly for updates.
We understand that many students are worried about the situation regarding the coronavirus. Our hope is that it will be possible for you to arrive to Stockholm University and begin your studies as planned. We would like you to know that we understand that this is a stressful situation and that we will support you in every way we can. Below you will find the most commonly asked questions and the answers that are available at the moment. If you have a question about the situation that isn’t covered below, please feel free to contact us!
This Q&A was last updated: June 2, 2020
Study form during the autumn semester 2020
What if the study form for the programme changes from on-Campus to distance learning?
Fee paying students who have already paid the first instalment, before the change of study form has been communicated, and no longer want to commence their studies due to the change in study form can get the tuition fee repaid (this option is only valid if the student has not yet registered for the course or programme).
Will the studies be on-campus or distance based at the start of the autumn 2020 semester?
Stockholm University is following the Swedish Government and Public Health Authority recommendations regarding measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. On 29 May, the Swedish Government announced that the Public Health Agency of Sweden's distance learning recommendation will be removed on 15 June. Stockholm University plans to make a partial return to campus-based teaching from 31 August 2020, provided the authorities' recommendations and rules allow for this change. Each department will take their own decision regarding study form for the autumn semester. This means that whether the programme or course you are going to study will be on-campus, distance based, or a mix of the two will be decided by your department. The departments that have not already decided should communicate their decision to students via the department's website as soon as possible, and no later than 15 July. Please find the department-specific information on each department’s website.
When will I get information on whether my programme will be distance based or on-campus?
Each department will take their own decision regarding study form for the autumn semester. A decision will be communicated to students via the department's website as soon as possible, and no later than 15 July.
Please find the department-specific information on each department’s website.
Programme specific questions
If you have any questions related to the programme you are admitted for, please visit the website of the department responsible for the education to find more information and contact details.
The current situation in Sweden
What is the Swedish strategy in response to the pandemic?
Where can I find the latest information regarding the development of the situation in Sweden?
Migration and travel to Sweden
My programme will be online for the first semester, will this affect my residence permit?
It is not possible to get a residence permit for studies in Sweden during the time the programme is distance based. If your programme will be on-campus starting from the second semester, you should apply for a residence permit from the start of the second semester.
My programme will be online the first half of the semester, will this affect my residence permit?
It is not possible to get a residence permit for studies in Sweden during the period that the programme is distance based. If your programme will be on-campus starting from the second half of the semester, and you’re applying for your residence permit to start studying in Sweden, you should apply for a residence permit from 3 November.
Please note that if you are to support yourself with bank assets, the documents from your bank cannot be issued earlier than three months before the date you are applying for a residence permit from. You should therefore submit your application for a residence permit no earlier than the beginning of August for studies starting on-campus in the beginning November. If you have already submitted an application you can update your application with new documents regarding bank assets in the beginning of August.
It is very important that you check the requirements for a residence permit and make sure that you fulfil them, so that you can come to Sweden to study when the education form changes to on-campus. Please note that Stockholm University cannot influence the decisions of the Swedish Migration Agency. Also, please note that if you would be denied a residence permit after already having commenced your studies, it would not be possible to get a refund of the tuition fee for the autumn semester.
Will the corona crisis affect my application for a residence permit for studies?
The Swedish Migration Agency is the responsible authority for processing residence permit applications. Please see the following information on their website:
Depending on the local situation, several Swedish missions abroad may have limited capacity to process your application within the normal timeframe. Please refer to your national authorities for information regarding any restrictions to the freedom of movement that may prevent you from visiting a Swedish mission abroad.
Will I be able to travel to Sweden to commence my studies?
There is currently a temporary entry ban to the EU via Sweden due to the situation related to the coronavirus. The temporary entry ban began to apply on 19 March and initially applied for 30 days. The entry ban was later extended up to and including 15 June. We do not know if the entry ban will be extended or what the situation in Sweden will be like at the start of the autumn 2020 semester. As long as the temporary entry ban applies, you cannot enter Sweden unless you are a resident here.
This page will be updated with the latest information regarding the entry ban.
How can I get a certificate from the University stating whether my studies require my presence?
I am worried I will not be able to get to Stockholm in time, what can I do?
You should contact your specific department regarding the deadline for arrival and registration and to find out what options there are if you cannot arrive in time.
Deferral of study commencement
Can I defer and start my studies in spring 2021?
The international programmes at Stockholm University only start once every year, in autumn (late August/early September). This means that it will not be possible to defer your studies to the spring semester.
Is deferral granted due to the coronavirus situation?
There are specific guidelines in Sweden and at Stockholm University regarding the grounds for deferral. These grounds are related to medical situations, legal requirements or other situations that make it impossible for you to start your studies as planned. As for the coronavirus situation, it is not in itself a ground for deferral. If you are unable to commence your studies you can apply for deferral and verify the reason for the deferral by providing documentation, for example a doctor's certificate if you have fallen ill. When you apply for deferral a decision regarding your possibility to defer will be made on individual basis. If you will not be able to commence your studies and you cannot be granted deferral, you are instead recommended to decline the offered seat. You are much welcome to apply again next year and declining your offer will not affect your chances of being admitted again next year.
Is deferral granted to conditionally admitted students who will not complete their studies on time?
Deferral is not granted to conditionally admitted students who are in their last year of their Bachelor's degree and who are prevented from completing their studies in time due to the effects of the coronavirus. If you will not be able to complete your Bachelor's degree by the deadline set by the department, you are instead recommended to decline the offered seat. You are much welcome to apply again next year and declining your offer will not affect your chances of being admitted again next year.
Welcome activities, start of studies, registration
Will the start of the autumn semester 2020 be delayed?
There has not been any decision taken to delay the start of the autumn semester, but please keep yourself updated on this page in case there would be any changes.
What if I can't submit my final documents from university by the start of the semester?
If you have been conditionally admitted because you are in the final year of your bachelor’s degree, you are offered a place on a study programme on the condition that you have completed your bachelor’s degree by the time the semester starts, and can show the appropriate documents to prove it. You should show the documentation to your department, and if you are not able to do so by the date set by your department, your admission will be withdrawn.
Will there be welcome activities at the start of the semester?
We are planning to arrange welcome activities including an orientation day, but it is still too early to confirm the details. We will finalize the welcome activities programme during the summer and keep you updated.
What if the programme I have been admitted for changes from on-Campus to distance learning?
If the teaching method is substantially different from the one indicated when the student was admitted (e.g. from “on-Campus” to “distance learning”), due to the effects of the coronavirus, the student can choose between commencing the studies or declining the offered seat.
Tuition fee and reimbursements
Are there any changes in the deadlines for payment of tuition fees?
Currently, the deadline remains unaffected. The last date for payment of the tuition fee for the autumn semester is 1 June (1 August for courses or programmes given entirely at a distance).
For programmes that will be distance based during the first half of the autumn semester 2020 the deadline for payment of the tuition fee for the autumn semester is 1 June.
Rules on payment and repayment of the tuition fee
Can the tuition fee be refunded if I am not able to commence my studies?
If you plan on commencing your studies in the autumn 2020, you must pay the tuition fee for the first semester by the 1 June. We can assure you that Stockholm University will have a generous policy regarding refunds of tuition fees. For example, you have the right to reimbursement of the tuition fee if you are prevented from leaving your home country, or from entering Sweden, due to coronavirus. The same applies if you, due to health reasons, are prevented from starting your studies as planned.
If you register for the course/course within programme a non-completion of studies must be registered in the study documentation system LADOK, no later than three weeks after the commencement of the course/course within programme, in order for you to be able to apply for a reimbursement of the tuition fee.
Can the tuition fee be repaid if the start of the semester is suspended?
Will the tuition fee be reduced if part of the programme is taught online instead of on-Campus?
No, the tuition fee for the programme will remain at the same level regardless of whether the teaching form would be temporarily changed from on-Campus to distance based.
Can the tuition fee be repaid if I am not able to get a residence permit?
The tuition fee is repaid for students whose residence permit application is denied by the Swedish Migration Agency. The fee will also be repaid to students who will not be able to get a residence permit on time due to prolonged processing time by the Swedish Migration Agency.
If the option of web registration is provided and you have registered for a course or a course within a programme before coming to Sweden, you can apply for a repayment of the tuition fee under condition that:
- your residence permit application is denied, and
- a non-completion of studies is registered in the study documentation system LADOK no later than three weeks after the commencement of the course/course within programme.
Contact the department responsible for your course or programme for assistance.
Does Stockholm University apply a fee for repayment of the tuition fee?
No, not for the autumn semester 2020. The administrative fee of 5,000 SEK will not apply to repayments for the autumn semester 2020 (Vice-Chancellor’s decision from 2020-05-20).
The tuition fee for the autumn semester will therefore be fully refunded if the conditions for a repayment are fulfilled.
Rules on payment and repayment of the tuition fee
Will I be able to get healthcare in Sweden?
Fee-paying international students are covered by FAS - The Swedish State’s Insurance for Fee-Paying Students.
EU/EEA/Swiss students should register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in their home country before coming to Sweden in order to obtain medical care at the same cost as Swedish residents.
In addition, students who are staying in Sweden for more than one year, should apply for a Swedish personal number, which will entitle them to the same healthcare services as other Swedish residents.
Stockholm University students are welcome to contact Stockholm Student Health Services, which complements the public healthcare and provides nurse and counselor services. All visits are free of charge.
What support can I get if I struggle with distance studies or if I feel isolated?
Once you registered for your courses you can:
Questions related to exchange studies
Information for students about exchange/MFS can be found on our website, at the link below.
Other common questions and contact information
Information on the coronavirus for Stockholm University's students and staff
Information provided by Study in Sweden
Information from UniversityAdmissions.se
General information for newly admitted students
Last updated: June 2, 2020
Source: Student Services