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Money and living costs

Students laughing and drinking coffee at a cafe, seen through the window

Before you arrive in Lund, you need to make sure that you have sufficient funds to cover both tuition fees (when applicable) and your living expenses.

If you are required to pay tuition fees, check the information on scholarships if you need help with funding.

Scholarships and funding

Living costs in Sweden

Your living costs in Sweden will naturally depend on your individual lifestyle. Eating out and travelling around can be expensive and this is something you may want to consider when planning your budget. It is common for students to cook their own food and bring leftovers for lunch. Many stores and food outlets offer student discounts.

The Swedish currency is the krona. It is abbreviated SEK. To compare, SEK 100 is roughly EUR 10 or USD 11. Please see a currency converter for updated rates and for rates in your own currency.

Students requiring a residence permit must, by law, demonstrate that they have funds of at least SEK 10 314 per month of study (for permit applications submitted during 2024).

About residence permits and proof of living costs

Example of a monthly budget

Swedish students who have been approved for full student loans and grants from the Swedish government receive approximately SEK 9 000–12 000 per month. Many international students get by on a budget somewhere in between the required SEK 10 314 per month and the Swedish student loan amount, depending on their lifestyle.

Below is a breakdown of how a monthly budget may look, depending on your specific cost of rent and leisure activities:

  • Food: SEK 3 000
  • Accommodation: SEK 4 000–7 000
  • Course literature: SEK 400–1 000
  • Miscellaneous expenses including clothing, mobile phone, leisure, etc: SEK 1 500

More information on housing on our Housing pages

Student discounts

Many organisations offer discounts for Lund University students, both online and in-store. To take advantage of the student discounts, you need to be able to present a valid student discount card as well as your identity card. 

Find out more about student discount cards

Making purchases in Sweden

Cash is not commonly used in Sweden. Most people use cards to make payments. Some cafés and stores do not handle cash at all and will only accept card transactions. Most credit cards are accepted in Sweden. If you have a credit card from home you can use it in Sweden. Please note, however, that you may need to contact your bank to authorise your card for transactions abroad.

Note that in Sweden most credit cards come with a chip and a pin code. If you do not have a pin code, you can still use your card in most places, but there may be rare situations (such as when you need to buy a ticket at a ticket vending machine) in which a pin code may be required in order to process the transaction.

Banking in Sweden

In Sweden, banks are generally open Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 15:00 (3 P.M.). Some banks have extended opening hours on Thursdays. There are several different banks available in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. There is no specific bank connected to Lund University.

The different bank branches require different documentation from you as an international customer. Requirements for opening a Swedish bank account normally include a minimum stay of 12 months as well as a Swedish personal number as well as a Swedish ID card (for some or all services). A Swedish personal number can only be obtained if you have a residence permit valid in Sweden for 12 months or longer. You apply for the Swedish personal number through the tax office (Skatteverket) once you arrive in Sweden.

Exchange students

It is strongly recommended that exchange students make banking arrangements with their home bank. Students staying in Sweden for less than six months will experience difficulties when trying to open a bank account.

Opening an account

When you plan to open a Swedish bank account, please note the following:

  • Most Swedish banks will charge you fees for different services. Ask about fees before choosing your bank.
  • In general, the banks do not provide international students with credit/debit cards for online payments.
  • Do not bring large amounts of cash to the bank. Money laundering legislation requires the bank to ask questions about large cash transactions. If a customer does not present identification or provide a satisfactory explanation as to why the customer wants the bank to perform a certain service, the bank is not permitted to perform the requested service under the risk of criminal penalties and sanctions.
  • Do not use traveller’s cheques or bank cheques.

When opening a Swedish account, you will get an IBAN nr and SWIFT nr, which enables you or your family to easily transfer money from your home account to your Swedish account.

Read more about banking in Sweden

About Becoming a bank customer on the Swedish Bankers' Association website

Banks in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö

The links below are to the banks' own websites. Some, but not all, have information in English: