Participants in Civic Orientation
Photo: Mikael Jönsson
Swedish for immigrants (Sfi)
Swedish for immigrants (Sfi) is basic education in the Swedish language for adults above the age of 16, who live in Sweden but do not have basic language skills in Swedish. You can study Sfi full-time or part-time. The education is free. You can borrow books for the course from your school. Contact the municipality to find out more about sfi in your municipality.
Municipal adult education - Komvux
Municipal adult education (Komvux) is a school where adults can study the same subjects taught in compulsory and upper secondary schools. If you have not completed compulsory or upper secondary school, or do not have a degree, grade or school leaving certificate, then you are entitled to study at Komvux. If you complete upper secondary education at Komvux, you can pursue further studies a college or university. All studies at Komvux are free but you have to pay for the books and other necessary documents.
Vocational education programmes
Vocational education is an alternative to taking a longer study programme at a university or other higher education institution. During the programme the students have a lot of contact with companies through work placements. This is intended to make it easier to find work after your studies. If you want to know what vocational education programmes are available, you can search for study programmes at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education -
Myndigheten för yrkeshögskolan.
Study programmes at universities and other higher education institutions give the same credits and higher education qualifications. There is at least one university or other higher education institution in each county.
Higher education programmes or separate courses
A higher education programme contains several courses that then lead to a higher education qualification. Taking a qualification means that you have passed all the tests and have completed a programme. You must take most of the courses in a higher education programme. But there are some courses that you can choose yourself. To get a degree as a doctor, social worker, lawyer or engineer, for example, you have to follow the degree programme that is available.
If you study separate courses, you choose your courses and the order you take them in by yourself. If you study full-time, you take 60 higher education credits per year.
Folk high schools
A folk high school is a school for adult pupils. You can study courses at compulsory and upper-secondary school level there. You can also live at many folk high schools while studying there. Folk high schools offer various types of course:
- You can study general courses instead of upper-secondary school and sometimes compulsory school. You can study for one to four years, depending on your previous education. You study at a slower rate than at Komvux.
- Special courses are courses focused on a specific subject. For example, you can study music or art. You can also learn a specific profession such as youth worker or treatment assistant.
- Swedish for immigrants. Folk high schools may also offer SFI courses.
- The establishment course in Folk high school is an education for the newly arrived, in among other things, Swedish and social orientation as well as on preparation for finding work. Read more about the establishment courses on
- Folkhögskolespåret is an opportunity for the unaccompanied youth between the age of 17 and 21 to study at the Folk high school. Here, you can take upper secondary school courses. You can also study those subjects in which you lack compulsory education. Read more on www.folkhogskolesparet.se
Each folk high school decides who is eligible to study at the school. The folk high schools have their own grading system. Studying at a folk high school can give you the general entry requirements for university or university college. This means that you have the knowledge necessary to study at university and university college.
Can you afford to study? - Student finance
Adult students can apply for student aid from The Swedish Board of Student Finance (Centrala Studiestödsnämnden, CSN). Student finance includes both grants and loans. The grant is a gift, but the loan has to be paid back with interest. This applies even if you move from Sweden. In your application you specify whether you want to borrow money or not. You have to start paying back loans six months after you last received student aid, at the earliest. If you have children you are eligible for further grants known as supplementary grants.
More information about student finance is available on the website of the Swedish Board of Student Finance, CSN:
Validation means assessing something that can be hard to measure exactly. When your training or knowledge in a particular occupation is evaluated this is called validation. Through validation you can have the content of a study programme changed if you already know some parts of it. By doing so you can skip some courses and complete your study programme more quickly.
Assessment of foreign qualifications
If you have completed upper secondary education, post-secondary vocational training or higher education in another country, you can have your qualifications evaluated by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. The evaluation is free.
Translation of foreign certificates
If you have an upper secondary diploma or an academic qualification documented in a language other than English, French, Spanish, German or any of the Nordic languages, you have to have these translated.
If you have a post-secondary vocational training certificate which is in a language other than English or any of the Nordic languages, you have to have it translated.
Translations have to be carried out by authorised translators into Swedish or one of the languages listed above.