Programs Offered: LU offers a wide selection of science courses taught in English, including Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science/Physical Geography, Geology, Mathematics & Statistics, Nanoscience, Physics and more. There are also Swedish language courses aimed at exchange students. Please note that Masters courses are only open to students in their 4th year.
In Sweden, courses are held one at a time. Students write their exam after the final lecture and then move on to the next course. A standard course lasts five weeks, although some courses may be longer and overlap. The Lund semester is divided into two study periods with space for courses per period. Exchange students are expected to take 30 ECTS credits per semester. One UofC Half Course Equivalent = 6 ECTS credits. Additional information on the Swedish academic system can be found online.
Please discuss the courses you are planning to take with your Academic Advisor.
Student Tips: "In Sweden we were able to go on field excursions while the classes were still in session. We were able to travel to different sites during the school year, sometimes for a week at a time. At UCalgary, it is only an option to take field school courses in the summer."
"[At Lund] I was able to take courses in atomic physics, nuclear physics, accelerator physics, and particle physics. With the particle physics course, a trip to the DESY facility in Hamburg, Germany was included. As well, my accelerator course was held at the new MAX IV synchrotron light source, an opportunity I wouldn’t have had elsewhere."
The academic year is divided into two semesters. The Autumn semester runs from late August to mid-January and the Spring semester runs from mid-January to early June. Exact semester dates vary between faculties each year and so it might be possible for students to complete the Autumn semester in December.
Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning.
It is recommended that students budget around 8000-8500 SEK per month to pay for accommodation and living expenses. Cost of living estimates can be found online.
Lund cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here
(keep in mind student housing costs are subsidized in Scandinavia)
Don't forget to check with the Swedish embassy or consulates, or the government website regarding study visa/permit requirements, timelines, and costs.
Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange?
Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.
Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.
Exchange students to LU are not guaranteed accommodation. If exchange students apply for housing by the deadline, the university will attempt to place them in housing throughout the city. Rent on housing arranged by the university is set on a per-semester basis and presently sits between 14000-23000 SEK. However, due to limited space most students arrange for housing independently with an accommodations agency, either in Lund or in neighbouring cities like Helsingborg that are closely linked by train and bus. Additional accommodations information can be found online. And a housing map can be found here.
Student Tips: "I would recommend over and over for someone to stay at Sparta (through LU Accommodation). My room was what is considered a corridor room, where I had my own bathroom and bedroom, and shared a common room and large kitchen with 11 other rooms. The location was incredibly close to both my classes, student life, grocery store, and a gym. Inside things are clean, well kept, and the rooms have large windows which is really nice. It was a great place to get to know Swedish students and make new friends [but] I never had any issues closing my door and being able to study. Basic furniture was provided [and] on arrival day there was an option to purchase really well-priced bedding and towels. Internet is provided however the student is expected to provide the wireless router. The building was steps to a grocery store, and inside the building is a large well-equipped gym. The communal kitchen provided all of the dishware. Sparta [also] had visible security guards after 22:00 (not that is was ever really needed as Lund is a very safe town, but it was still nice to see)."
"I didn’t receive any of my top five choices for residence, as there were so many students applying for housing. Instead, I was offered accommodation is Pålsjöäng. I was a bit upset, as I had never heard of this residence before. However, it ended up being even better than the housing I thought I wanted. My room was brand new, maybe 2-3 years old, with a bathroom, shower, and my own kitchen. The space was definitely big enough for me, with a kitchen table and a desk. Each room had their own balcony. It is very close to the residence Sparta, and a 2 minute walk to ICA, the grocery store. It is a very good location – only a 5-7 minute bikeride downtown. It took me 5 minutes by bike to get to my classes every day in the geology building, and if I walked, 15 minutes."
"I lived in a single flat in Ostra Torn, arguably one of the best accommodations since it is both spacious and quiet. However it is quite far from university. The room came with basic stuff, a mattress, table, lamp, shelf, cutlery, plates, chairs, stove, oven, refrigerator, toilet, shower. On the other hand we had to provide bedsheets and shower curtains. Ostra Torn is amazing if you like having your own large space and living in a more quiet environment and is the best if you enjoy living on your own."
"You MUST buy a bike. The city has bike lanes down almost every street, and the cobblestone streets of the city center are much more adapted for biking than driving. There are plenty of students selling bikes continuously throughout the year, and at the beginning of the semester there are various sales events at bike shops for the incoming students. I bought my bike for $200 from a place called Lundabocker, and I sold the bike back to them when I moved out for $100. The city itself is quite small, but there is a transit bus system if you need to commute somewhere. There is a train station in the city center where you can take the train to Denmark or to other cities in Sweden. This provides easy access to the Copenhagen airport. The climate is very similar to the climate in Calgary, although much more humid. In the winter, although the temperature may be +2 degrees, the humidity and wind can make you feel very cold."
This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in the Faculty of Science, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
Do I have to speak Swedish?
No prior knowledge of Swedish is required for this exchange. LU offers many courses in English. Furthermore, English is a compulsory language taught to schoolchildren from age 9 and is fairly well-spoken by most Swedes, so it's a minimal barrier to daily life. There is an online language course recommended by Lund that helps beginners to learn Swedish - please register here.
Student Tips: "At the beginning of the term exchange students have the opportunity to participate in an introductory Swedish program, SUSA. I highly recommend participating in the course, it seems a little intense but really did help me to learn the basics. [While] I spoke no Swedish prior to arriving in Sweden and it was in no way a negative[,] over my exchange I really did try to have basic interactions in Swedish as it was visibly appreciated."
"Swedes are very friendly people, but as a collective, they are stereotypically a bit shy. Don’t be scared to approach them first, as they probably will not approach you. They are very friendly and nice although they may seem a bit reserved at first!"
What's special about the University of Lund?
The University of Lund is one of only 4 universities in the world (2 in Sweden, 2 in Finland) with a traditional "Nations" system, alongside Helsinki and Uppsala. This is a traditional system that assigns students to "Nations" named after historical regions in the area - these nations function similar to traditional "house" systems but with a unique Swedish/Finnish flair, including sittnings, or sitsits.
Local culture in Lund is characterized by the university's influence, both in terms of its students (such as multiple festivals hosted by the Nations, or the well-established performing arts scene of student theatre, choral, and music groups) and its scientific research (including the city planetarium, an eight-hectare botanical garden, and the strong emphasis on medical and bio-technology in local industry).
Student Tips: "Get involved. Lund University has an unreal student community, something very different to the commuter campus at UCalgary. Being involved in a student nation gave me so many uniquely Swedish experiences that I never would have had the chance to be a part of if I only hung out with international students. Nations, which are essentially student organizations, are a great way to meet other students and get active in student life. The nations are non-profit student businesses as well in that they run the pubs/club outings on the weekend as well as affordable lunches, as well as sporting activities. These organizations are difficult to explain as they are a unique quality of Lund."
"There are endless amounts of activities, such as brunches, fancy dinners (called "sitnings"), games nights, movie screenings, sporting events, you name it, organized by the Student Nations. Once you arrive at Lund, everyone joins a student nation, but it doesn’t matter which nation you are a part of because you can go to the events of any nation. They are like clubs in a way, except with their own buildings with a wide volunteer base of students that put on events. You can also volunteer at the nations."
"The one “must-do” experience all future students should take part in is Swedish fika, the act of going out for coffee and sweets with friends and having a good chat. Swedes do this often, daily or even many times in a day. It is lovely; as it forces you to slow down and appreciate your friends and the time you are spending in Lund. My favourite place for fika was Ebba’s Café. It had the best kladkaka in town!"
What resources are available to new students?
LU offers many activities for exchange students, including orientation sessions, which are designed to not only introduce you to your fellow international students but also to help you get settled in and explore the comfortable ambience of southern Sweden. Events listings can be found online.
Student Tips: "There were multiple orientation events, so I felt very informed by my faculty, my professors, accommodation, and student community. For the duration of the term there were weekly activities hosted for exchange students, though during orientation weeks there were full days planned. During the initial weeks I participated in a scavenger hunt, Swedish baking class, Swedish language lounge (coffee lounge to practice Swedish), games night, and pub nights. There was also hikes, sporting activities, and a few organized parties as well."
"On welcome day, you are given a welcome package that includes maps of the city, brochures about common information about your housing (ex. how to do laundry/mail/garbage day), a Telia (Swedish Telus) SIM card for your phone, emergency contact numbers, and the orientation week schedule. Some orientation activities are mandatory (such as the welcome orientation to the school), and others are optional social activities that you can purchase tickets for. I would recommend to buy a ticket for the IKEA trip – you are driven to the nearest IKEA and are able to shop for household items with other new students."
What supports or services are available at Lund?
LU's Accessibility Officers provide comprehensive academic support for students with disabilities. They may also be able to suggest accommodations agencies through which you can find housing adapted for disabilities.
For information on accessibility and support services at campuses across Europe, please check out Inclusive Mobility. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.
With a strong culture of inclusivity, Sweden is also considered one of the most friendly destinations for LGBTQ+ travellers! Click here to read a blog from an international student in Sweden, or click here for an accompanying video with several queer-identified students talking about their experience.