After months of preparing application documents, submitting applications (sometimes at the very last minute), anxiously waiting, getting excited for securing admission and then eventually, after the most excruciating wait between getting admission and the release of the SI scholarship recipients list – and your applicant number is not on that PDF document! No, you didn’t get the SI scholarship. Now what?
I’ve been there
I also didn’t get the SI scholarship the first time I applied. And, it was a huge disappointment! And the first thing that came to my mind was: ‘So this is it?. No more Sweden?’ And unfortunately for me, for that year, the answer was ‘Yes’. I had to be realistic with myself. The cost of tuition alone was going to be steep, before even considering the living and other associated costs. So, hard as it was, I decided to apply again the following year. However, your case may be different. So, I’ve put up some helpful information to help you decide on which option is best for you.
Step 1: Do you have a tuition scholarship?
Quite a number of universities in Sweden offer tuition scholarships which may cover all or part of the tuition fees. However, these scholarships usually have the same deadline as the admissions application deadline so by the time SI results are out, its too late to apply. If, however, you did apply for a tuition fee scholarship and was awarded one: congratulations! If you managed to secure a scholarship elsewhere which can cover your tuition fees in Sweden, then again, congratulations!
If your scholarship covers 100% of the tuition fee, then jump to Step 3.
If your scholarship does not cover 100% of the tuition fees, jump to Step 2.
If you do not have any scholarship to cover tuition, also jump to Step 2.
Step 2: Can you afford to pay the tuition fees on time?
If you have a scholarship that pays part of the tuition fee or you do not have any scholarship at all, then you need to consider whether you have the means to raise the required amount on time. All universities have a set deadline by which you need to have paid your tuition fees. Information on the tuition fee deadline is sent to all admitted fee-paying students by the university soon after admission. This is usually 1 to 3 months before the start of the semester. However, you need to have paid your fees before you submit the application for the permit for higher studies. The processing time for the permit for higher studies can also take 1-3 months (or more).
If you can afford to pay the tuition fees in full (or the balance from a tuition scholarship) by the set deadlines, then skip to step 3.
If you cannot, then skip to Step 6.
Step 3: Can you afford the cost of living in Sweden as a student?
For 2022, the Swedish Migration Agency has set the living costs for a student at SEK 8,694 per month. Before applying for the permit for higher studies, you need to have enough money to cover the living costs for the duration of the first year. For 1-year Masters programmes, this is usually 11 months. If doing a 2-year Masters program, then the money should be enough to cover a period of 13 months. The full amount is required to be in your account at the time of applying.
If you can cover the living costs, then skip to Step 4.
If you do not have enough to cover living costs then skip to Step 6.
Step 4: Can you cover all other associated costs?
While the biggest financial burden comes from the tuition and living costs, it is also important to take note of the other expenses that you can expect to incur in coming to Sweden. These include cost of the residence permit (currently SEK 1500 or approx EUR143), flight tickets, and insurance (for 1 year Masters’ programmes).
If you can cover these additional costs, then, Skip to Step 5.
If you cannot then skip to Step 6.
Step 5: Yes, let’s go to Sweden!
If, despite not getting the SI scholarship, you have made it to this step then for sure, your dream of studying in Sweden can still be realised this year. While you may miss out on some of the benefits that come with the SI scholarship, studying in Sweden is still a great experience that I believe you will enjoy. As you prepare for your move to Sweden, you can read more about applying for the study permit in this blog and what to pack for your journey to Sweden in this blog. You might also want to read more about settling in and getting essential documents like the ID and personal number.
Step 6: Down but not Out!
Unfortunately, if you got to this step, then coming to Sweden may not be possible this year. However, that is not the end of the world. The most important thing to remember is that it’s your SI Scholarship application that was rejected – NOT YOU. There is still a lot you can do to better prepare your application for the next round. Fortunately, there is plenty of advice from current and former scholars that you can read up on. In this blog, you can find my tips on the SI scholarship application. I also found several blogs that can be of help when you apply again (which you should!).
Blogs to help with your next SI Scholarship application
Blog 1: Nguyen shares her tips as well as tips from other scholars which I found to be very informative and encouraging. Read up on it to better understand how you can best link you work experience with the rest of the application.
Blog 2: You can read more about the importance of consistency when doing your application as well as some mistakes to avoid when applying.
Blog 3: Former student, Andres, did no get the SI scholarship as well and opted to self-fund his studies. In his blog, he reflects on some of the key mistakes that he made. You can read up on it to see what you can relate to so as to avoid making similar mistakes next year.
Remember, also, to explore other scholarship options such as tuition scholarships at Swedish universities or scholarships from external organisations which can fund your studies in Sweden.
Whether its a scholarship application, admission application or even job application, at some point, you will face rejection. We all do. It happens. The important thing is to rise above that and still go after your dreams. It may take a year, or two, or more, but eventually, it will happen and it will be worth it.
Love and light to you. Till next. Hej då!