Pre-arrival guide

This is your guide as a newly admitted student to one of our global bachelor’s or master’s programmes. It helps you plan your journey to Sweden, and ensures a smooth start to your studies at Karolinska Institutet (KI). We are looking forward to helping you prepare and welcoming you to the KI community!

Key dates 2024

  • Admissions results published: 21 March (master's), 11 April (bachelor's)
  • Scholarship notification: 26 April (Karolinska Institutet) , 27 April (Swedish Institute)
  • Tuition fee deadline (if required): 20 May
  • Deadline to apply for KI Housing (if you are eligible): 16 June
  • Registration period: 19 August - 4 September (master's), 2-16 August (bachelor's)
  • Arrival days at Arlanda Airport: 24-25 August
  • Introduction week: 26-30 August
  • Study start with mandatory roll call: 2 September

Information from KI to your email

As a newly admitted student you will be receiving information, tips and reminders from KI to the email address you used when applying at

  • Newsletters with tips and reminders once a month. You will receive your first email shortly after the admissions results are published.
  • Invitation to join our Pre-departure webinars on 8 April (2pm, CET), 10 April (12pm, CET) and 24 April (12 pm, CET).
  • Programme welcome letter with information about your first weeks.

Before arrival

There is a number of things you need to think about before your move to Sweden. Our best advice is to start with your preparations today. Securing your accommodation and applying for residence permit (if required) should be at the top of your list of things to get started with.


If you are a fee-paying master's or bachelor's student you are guaranteed accommodation with KI housing during the first year, but you must apply within the deadline.

If you are a non-feepaying student or Swedish student, you need to find accommodation in Stockholm on your own. There is a shortage in student housing in Stockholm, meaning you should start applying for housing as soon as you can!

Accommodation for bachelor's and master's students

If you are required to pay a tuition fee you will have to pay the first installment before the semester begins. The installment varies depending on the programme.

If you have a scholarship from the Swedish Institute you are exempted from these regulations.

If you have a scholarship from Karolinska Institutet you will be informed separately of the procedures that applies to you.

Paying your tuition fees

As a non-EU/EEA citizen, you will need to contact the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) to arrange for a residence permit. We strongly recommend that you initiate the residence permit application procedures as soon as possible after you receive your notification of selection results and confirmation of having paid your first tuition fee installment. All residence permit enquiries are handled directly by your embassy and the Swedish Migration board.

Residence permit

You need to review your insurance coverage before arriving in Sweden. Depending on your citizenship and how long you will be studying at KI there are different things you need to consider to be fully covered. Be sure to read in carefully on what applies to you.

Insurance for international students

If required, be sure to bring any personal medications you need for the length of your stay in Sweden. Depending on where you are travelling from, there is a limit to how much medication you are allowed to bring to Sweden. Check if you need to apply for an exemption to be able to bring all the medication you need.

If you can't bring medication for the length of your stay, check if your medication is available in Sweden, and what you need to do for your prescription to be valid. 

When travelling to Sweden, leave the labels with your name on medication packaging and have your prescription with you as border/airport security may ask to see this.

KI and the Student Union are organising a number of introduction activities to give you a smooth start to your studies at KI. Joining the introduction activities is a great way of getting a head start and making new friends. To participate you need to register no later than 16 August 2024. Registration will open in May.

  • 24-25 August: Arrival days at Arlanda airport
  • 26-30 August: Introduction week with KI and the Student Union
  • 2 September: Study start with mandatory roll call

Introduction at Karolinska Institutet

As an international student admitted to a bachelor's or master's programme you are offered a complimentary course in Swedish during your studies. Registration for the Swedish courses will open in June.

Swedish course for new students 

  • Printable pdf-file of notification of selection results from notification will not be stored indefinitely at so it is important that you download a copy as you will have to show it in your contact with the Swedish Migration Board or the Swedish Tax Agency.
  • A passport valid for at least the duration of your studies. You cannot obtain a residence permit for longer than your passport's period of validity. You also need a valid passport to apply for a Swedish Personal Number.
  • Certified copies of your diploma/degree certificate and transcripts in both original language and translation if applicable. You need to enclose these when you apply for a master’s degree certificate after you have completed your master’s programme. You do not have to show them at registration.

Good to know💡

Before you arrive to Stockholm, you need to check that you have sufficient funds to cover your living costs. Living in Sweden is expensive, but if you plan your purchases and take advantage of the many student discounts you can live cheap.

Living costs & funding

The academic year is divided into two semesters: autumn semester and spring semester. The autumn semester starts at the end of August/beginning of September and ends in January. The spring semester starts in January and ends in the beginning of June.

Academic calendar

As an international student you are entitled to use the Swedish healthcare system. If you become ill, healthcare is always available near you. Learn more about which healthcare options are available and where to get help. 

Healthcare in Sweden

As an international student you are allowed to work next to your studies. Finding a part-time job without speaking Swedish can be difficult, but is not impossible. However, we don't recommend you to rely on a part-time job to cover your living costs.

Working while studying

KI unfortunately can't offer financial support to cover for your living costs. Remember that other sources exist and that investing some time, effort and creativity in researching and applying for scholarships and grants can have a big impact on the actual cost of your education.


Average temperatures in Stockholm vary between -4 to +25 C, but  temperatures in the summer can approach 30° C and winter chills can occasionally reach -20°. If you stay in Stockholm for one full year you will enjoy the experience of four separate seasonal climates!

Climate and clothing

Sweden is a family-friendly country with a lot of public areas and features to keep the entire family happy. Children have the right to a place in nursery school from the day they turn one.

However, arriving with a family requires careful planning, and KI does not offer any targeted services to families. Especially finding housing can be challenging and we recommend that you secure your accommodation before you bring your family to Stockholm.

Arriving with a family

Other useful links:

If you have a permanent disability you can apply for targeted educational support. The purpose of the support is to offer the same prominent level of education and the same quality study environment for all students, regardless of disability.

Studying with disabilities


Join our Pre-arrival webinars and lives

As a newly admitted student you can participate in a number of webinars and lives to help you prepare for your arrival to Stockholm, Sweden.

Pre-arrival webinars and lives

After arrival

Apart from finding your way from the airport and learning to get around in the city, you can now look forward to exploring your new home. Start getting familiar with life in Sweden, and prepare for the Swedish bureaucracy of getting a Swedish personal number, and if needed, opening a Swedish bank account.


It's not always necessary for international students to open a bank account in Sweden while studying here. But if you need one, be prepared that it can be rather tricky for international students due to strict regulations and security aspects.

Opening a Swedish bank account

If you are admitted to a study programme longer than 12 months you are usually entitled to a Swedish personal identity number. It gives you access to Swedish healthcare to same low cost as Swedish citizens, and will help you in your daily life when communicating with Swedish authorities and organisations. Apply as soon as you can, as getting your Swedish personal identity number can take some time!

Apply for a Swedish personal number

Good to know💡

All three of Stockholm's airports are connected to Stockholm city centre by airport coaches as well as municipal alternatives. From Stockholm Arlanda-Airport you can also choose the high-speed train service Arlanda Express.

Transportation to and from airports

In Stockholm, it is easy to get from one place to another, compared to many other big cities. Public transport is well developed and safe, with the Metro, commuting trains and buses. Bicycles are also very common as there are many bike paths in and around the city.

Local transportation

Can I pay with cash? What's the currency in Sweden? What if there is an emergency? Good-to-know information about day-to-day life in Sweden.

Life in Sweden - practicalities

Swedes start studying English at an early age and you'll find most people speak English very well. You don’t actually need to learn any Swedish to survive outside the classroom, but you’ll definitely feel more at home if you do learn a little bit of Swedish during your stay. If you are planning on staying in Sweden after your studies, then learning Swedish will be an advantage for your career.

Tips on learning Swedish on Study in Sweden's website

Study start

Classes will be starting with a mandatory roll call on Monday 2 September. Before your roll call, you need to activate your student account and register for your first course.


The checklist for new students guides you through the study start. How to activate your student account, register for your first course, attend your mandatory roll call, getting your KI card and more.

Checklist for new students at the start of the semester

Good to know💡

Welcome to KI's web for new students! Everything you need to know to get started with your studies at KI.

New student at KI

Learn the basics about university studies in Sweden and at KI, methods of teaching, examination and the grading system.

What's it like to study at a university in Sweden?

Moving to and studying in a new country is a big deal! If you are worrying about finding friends and fitting into the Swedish culture, then you are not alone. Joining the student union Mediciniska Föreningen (MF) is a great way of getting involved in the student community and making friends. The union offers exciting events all year; sports activities, pubs, lectures, open meetings, dinners, and parties.

As a student you have free access to spacious and modern gyms, weekly classes, health talks, resources for mental wellbeing, and much more.

Stockholm is a modern hub for life science, tech, fashion, music, film, design, gaming, and food, but also a city with many parks, forest, hiking trails and a scenic archipelago. There is plenty to discover, even on a budget.

We hope Stockholm and KI will feel like home.

Student life

During your time as student at KI you have access to a number of support functions that can help you out. Academic writing support, career support, student wellbeing, to name a few.

Student support and resources

Maps and directions to help you find your way to and on our campuses.


For any general questions on the topics covered in the Pre-arrival guide, please contact

For questions regarding housing though KI, please contact KI Housing.

For questions regarding the payment of your tuition-fee (if required), please contact

For questions regarding your admission results please contact our Admissions Office