family by melker_dahlstrand

Bringing Spouse While Studying: 4 Things They Can Do to Spend Time

One of the big consideration to think for a married student before studying abroad is, whether we should bring our spouse. If we do, will there be activities he/she can do during our study? Will it be boring for her? Will she able to make friends? Will language be a problem? Sometimes I get that question from perspective students, so I thought it’s good to write a bit about that.

I myself thought a lot about this before I come to Sweden. Even bigger decision than that, because that time we are not married yet, and in Islam we are not allowed to live with someone without marrying her. But I’m a simple man and dislike complicated things. We get married and honestly I did not really know if there is things she can do while I study. She is a doctor back at home and to work as a doctor in Sweden probably complicated. But she really likes the idea of traveling through Europe, so she got that going for her, which is nice.

Few months after we live in Stockholm, turns out there are many things spouse can do. Even more if we are being creative.

First, everybody speak good English in Sweden

Last time I check the data, its 96% of the people. Even great English, I would say. Good pronunciation, easy to be heard. So there is no need to worry about language. Even if your spouse did not speak English, there is a free Swedish language course. Taught fully in Swedish. The argument “oh I don’t speak English, I will have hard time learning Swedish” will not be valid since all the immigrant who don’t speak English managed to get along with Swedish well.

So let’s get into the options and things your spouse can do while you study.

1. Swedish for Immigrant (SFI) Course

I always like the idea of learning new language. Not only it allows you to get more friends and conversations with the Swede, but you may also eavesdrop better in the train or bus. Just kidding! I mean, you open doors to more chance, like jobs, and read good information in posters that is usually written in Swedish.

This SFI course is free for everyone with personnummer (Swedish personal number, you get that if you staying in Sweden for more than one year). The course is quite time taking. Like 3-4 hours a day. You can find one that is nearby to your house.

2. Variety of jobs

The holder of personnummer can also work full-time 40 hours a week. Let it be in an office or in a restaurant or a coffee shop. Even easier for part-time jobs. Fira, wife of my friend Arif, work part-time in a small booth near her house in Kista. My wife look after children every Thursday while their parents go out on a date. Another friend Risan, whose wife is studying at Karolinska Institute, do remote programming work every day. I am sure there are many other jobs to mention.

There are even more if we are being creative. Fira also cooks and sell her cooking to students once in a while. Since cooking also her passion, I’d say that is a pretty good idea.

3. Take course in a university or college

student in library by cecilia_larsson_lantz

student in library by cecilia_larsson_lantz

If working is not for your spouse, then probably to study in a formal institute is good. Visa of a family member who are accompanying a student, plus a personnummer, can be used to study for free. The very same right owned by the Swede. However, since they can only register once they get personnummer, they will not be able to attend the same autumn semester like their student spouse. Auriza, whose wife was studying in Stockholm University two years ago, took short course Environmental Aspect of Built Environment in KTH. So both options of taking full program and few courses is available.

If formal study don’t suit them, there are lot of online course to attend. Coursera is one of the most famous online course site.

The study is not limited to academic study, there are also talent and interest study, for instance music course, painting, contemporary art, and so on.

4. Other activities

My wife Suci really keen on traveling Europe. That is one interesting thing to do. As people from other side of the world, we want to see many countries in Europe. Sweden itself have a lot of great place to see. Like, do you know that the oldest tree in the world happen to be in Sweden? It’s true. If I were the spouse and my wife is studying, I would plan to walk in every national park in Sweden.

hiking by fredrik_broman

hiking by fredrik_broman

Making friends is also nice thing to do. These days we have a lot of interest-based website, like meetup.com or meet travelers via couchsurfing.org.

If you are into events and exhibitions, we can also try that. In Stockholm at least once a week, there will be good event to attend. I always check out bulletin board in my campus and if there is any interesting event to attend, I share it with my wife. Workshops or tech events. Especially if those event are free and includes free lunch. (Smile)

making friends by lena_granefelt

making friends by lena_granefelt

So for the conclusion

You will not run out of things to do or to see. It is all up to us and to them. Of course it is also cool not to do anything and wait for our spouse to come home from campus with home-made cookies (or pizzas, it works for me). My advice, don’t think twice. Take them along. Like what they said, it takes two to tango.

/Satu

Satu avatar

61 Comments

  • Hussain • 18 Jan 2017 at 7.57 am Reply

    Hi Satu,
    Thank you for posting so much of useful information.

    I will be visiting Sweden on Schengen tourist visa. I am intending to pursue my masters from Sweden. The applications are open now and the course starts in Oct.

    Appreciate if you can answer these questions
    1) Is there a way I can change my Schengen visa to work visa or any other visa type while I am in Sweden?
    2)Can I apply for a student visa while I am in Sweden on Schengen Visit visa?

    Kind Regards
    Hussain

    • Satu
      Satu • 18 Jan 2017 at 11.43 am Reply

      Hi Hussain, I hope you see this reply.

      To be honest, Im not sure if I can answer the question. If I may guess, it would not be possible to do that while you are in Sweden. As we in Indonesia cannot do that before. When we are applying from home, we are told that the student visa need to be acquired before entering Sweden. But check again with migration office (migrationsverket.se)

      /Satu

  • sinoj • 16 Jan 2017 at 6.46 pm Reply

    I would like to study in sweden i am married and i have one child of 5 years if i come with my family will my child get free schooling in sweden

    • Satu
      Satu • 16 Jan 2017 at 9.05 pm Reply

      I am not sure about the free schooling for the child. You have to check with the tax office (skatteverket.se) or migration office (migrationsverket.se)

  • saiyad alfej • 4 Jan 2017 at 8.18 pm Reply

    hello sir just i want to know little information can i come for study in sweden with my wife and ya ielts is required or not and if required how much band.. and with study can i do part time job and also my wife.. and its possible after study can i get residence permit.. how much cost in indian ruppe and how to apply pls guide me well sir

    • Satu
      Satu • 5 Jan 2017 at 12.41 am Reply

      Hi Saiyad, IELTS is required to apply for university. So it’s only the student who need to have one. It is 6.5 mininum (at least for my program, Computer Science in KTH. For others, check your selection university’s website). Yes you can come with your wife (she will apply co-applicant visa). Yes you can work part-time 20hours a week. and your wife can do full time. After study, you can apply for 6 months extension visa (to find a job) and after that you have to get a visa from the compaany (if you managed to get a job). Otherwise, you will not be able to get a resident permit (visa). The price is SEK1000 for one year one person.

  • asif • 4 Jan 2017 at 9.55 am Reply

    Hi, Satu. i have few questions
    1 can a student and spouse come and apply for the visa together?
    2 can spouse start business like shop etc?
    thanks alot

    • Satu
      Satu • 4 Jan 2017 at 2.03 pm Reply

      Hi Asif!
      1) yes you can apply together and come together at the same tim
      2) I am not sure about this. But I think you can. I think the procedure to open a business in Sweden is not complicated. The good place to start digging is the Tax Agency (Skatteverket)

      /Satu

  • sumu • 23 Dec 2016 at 7.14 pm Reply

    Hi satu, i am from bangladesh, keen to pursue masters programme for two years. If i bring my spouse ,how much bank balance should be and how long for the period?

    Tnx in advance

    • Satu
      Satu • 23 Dec 2016 at 7.49 pm Reply

      Hi Sumu. I actually forgot how much I have to prepare for my wife’s application, but I think it is around SEK3000 per month times study duration (24 months). What do you mean by period?

  • Karthik_k • 1 Dec 2016 at 9.29 pm Reply

    Hi , I am Karthik from India. I am going to do my masters in USA, will I able to take my wife with me in dependent visa , I planning to take care of everything by loans , is that possible or I need to get ready with some money, How much I have to pay for visa of my wife? , Can she able to work in IT if she gets a job or H1b sponsorship after she coming to US with me.

    • Satu
      Satu • 1 Dec 2016 at 9.52 pm Reply

      Hi Karthik,

      Are you in the wrong page? because we are in Sweden, not US. But if you mean Sweden, yes your wife will be able to work full-time as long as you study in Sweden.

      /Satu

  • SUNNY • 18 Nov 2016 at 11.34 pm Reply

    HELLO MY DEAR FRIENDS

    I am from Pakistan and coming to Sweden for further study in Mast….. can you let me know that as i am married and is it possible to bring my spouse and kids once i come?

    Thank you very much for kind information
    Regards to all

    • Satu
      Satu • 19 Nov 2016 at 1.37 pm Reply

      Hi Sunny! Yes it is possible to bring your spouse and kids when you come.

  • Babu • 28 Sep 2016 at 11.35 pm Reply

    Hi Satu,
    Good job with the blog ! Respect !

    I am an Indian doing my Phd at KTH since Feb 2016. i got married in Sweden to my Indian girlfriend when she visited me this summer. I have registered it on my personal number as well.
    I wish to now apply for a residence permit for her …..do you think i will need any document from India or the Swedish marriage certificate and personbevis is enough ? I have inquired and India accepts foreign marriages.

    • Satu
      Satu • 29 Sep 2016 at 4.21 pm Reply

      Hi Babu, I have replied to your question by email. hope that helps 🙂

      • Syed Sammar Zaidi • 6 Nov 2016 at 7.31 am Reply

        Hi Everyone!

        I need to ask what are the opportunities for kids school if they come along with mother on their father student visa ?

        Stay on study period will it leads towards permanent residency or work permit ?

        Please reply to my question

        • Satu
          Satu • 6 Nov 2016 at 1.07 pm Reply

          Hi Syed,

          Sure they can go to school in Sweden. if the kids is in early age, there is Förskolan (like kindergarten, except you already can send them there since 1 year old). I think there will be some tuition fee but its not much.

          And stay on study period, I dont think it will lead to permanent residency or work permit. You need to get a job after the study for that.

          /Satu

  • Nivedita • 26 Sep 2016 at 7.36 am Reply

    Hi Satu. your information is very helpful. i have some query, please help. I want to apply for Masters. Could you suggest me which University will be good for me. As i want to come along with my husband and 1 year baby. Which place will be good for find a job for my spouse.

    • Satu
      Satu • 26 Sep 2016 at 1.26 pm Reply

      Hi Nivedita. Thank you for reading my post 🙂 Best university? of course KTH Royal Institute of Technology! haha just kidding. Actually it depends on what field you want to study. I believe any city and any university is totally unrelated for job for your spouse. If we look hard enough, there will be something to do.

  • Reza • 12 Aug 2016 at 10.47 pm Reply

    Hi Satu,
    Can the spouse of an international student doing a one year Master’s program work in Sweden? And generally speaking how good are the one year Postgraduate programs? Appreciate it

    • Satu
      Satu • 13 Aug 2016 at 7.03 pm Reply

      Hi Reza,

      Yes I think it is possible. Not 100% sure, but I think the rules says anyone with a personnummer (your wife will get one if she come as your co-applicant) can go to university or work. I think it is as good as the 2 years program. Just with less course to take, therefore less knowledge to get, by logic.

      /Satu

  • Alvina Rucita • 23 Jun 2016 at 8.33 am Reply

    Hi again Satu ! thankyou for your reply on the other post, I want to ask again about spouse.
    So I am going to study in Sweden and my husband is coming along.
    After getting permanent resident, can he take masters degree in Sweden also, for free?
    And about visa for family members, can I contact you about the details regarding the requirements?

    thankyou so much
    kind regards
    Alvina

    • Satu
      Satu • 23 Jun 2016 at 11.01 pm Reply

      Hi Alvina,

      Yes I believe he can 🙂 but not the same year as you because only when the next admission start (sept-jan) he will have the resident permit and personnummer and can register.

      sure, you can send me a mail. did you see my email address?

      /satu

  • Elis • 19 May 2016 at 9.24 pm Reply

    Hi Satu. Thanks for the reply to my query! By the way do you know if married students are are allowed to live in SSSB apartments with their spouse even if they are not a student too? Can they get a one or two room apartment? There is no information for married students that I can find on the SSSB website. I will try asking them … but I thought you might know too 😀

    • Satu
      Satu • 19 May 2016 at 11.21 pm Reply

      Hi Elis,

      As matter of fact, I don’t know about that because my house is from KTH Accommodation and not from SSSB, but I asked my friend who stay in SSSB place, she said it depends on the room. For one room apartment it is not allowed, but it is possible for two rooms apartment. It sounds good to check this with the SSSB.

      /Satu

  • Dr. Saima Reza • 5 May 2016 at 9.31 pm Reply

    I m Saima from Dhaka .. I got admitted at Uppsala university and I got the si scholarship.. I m coming with my one year old baby and husband .. What is the procedure of searching a daycare and house ?! Can u help me … Me will come at mid August 2016 inshallalah

    • Satu
      Satu • 7 May 2016 at 12.00 am Reply

      Hi Dr.Saima, congratulations for being admitted in Uppsala and for the scholarship too! As far as I know, in Sweden, starting from 1 years old, government provide this daycare house called Förskolan (First School). Not sure how much we have to pay, but I think it is monthly paid. The government usually let you choose the school closest to your house. And you don’t need to worry, it is actually everywhere in the city. Every 300 meters hahaha. Hopefully everything will be smooth for your family transfer to Uppsala.

    • Fahmida • 19 Sep 2016 at 11.23 pm Reply

      Hi Apu this is Doctor fahmida Ali Tania from ctg..I have completed my mbbs from ustc..need to talk you about study in Sweden..i am really interested..Allah hafez

      • Satu
        Satu • 20 Sep 2016 at 10.23 am Reply

        Hi Dr.Saima Reza! Lot of abbreviation in your post, but thanks for reading ! 🙂 Feel free to email me if you want to ask me something

        • Dr.Fahmida • 20 Sep 2016 at 4.14 pm Reply

          Assalamualaikum Satu.I am dr. Fahmida Ali Tania from Bangladesh.I have completed my MBBS in 2011.I am really interested to study in Sweden with full scholarship. How can I contact with you to know the details. Can I have your contact number pls?

          • Satu
            Satu • 20 Sep 2016 at 11.28 pm

            Walaikumsalam. You can contact me via my email satucahaya.langit@gmail.com and then we can move on from there.

  • Abir Hossain • 5 May 2016 at 1.48 pm Reply

    Hi Satu,
    Thanks a lot for such a wonderful informative blog post. It really matches with me as i am doing masters here in Sweden and my wife is doing part time job. In relation to your number 3 point, i would like to ask some specific information because, till now we are struggling to get reliable information 🙂
    1. As my wife has her own personnummer, could she be able to get free university or college education?
    2. Will she be able to get enrolled in any university/college ?
    3. Can you give us any official link of this information?
    4. Whom should we contact to get her free enrollment ?

    Would really appreciate if you could answer my queries. Thanks in advance for your wonderful support. And of course, keep up this good work of posting informative posts.
    Regards,
    Abir Hossain

    • Satu
      Satu • 7 May 2016 at 12.03 am Reply

      Hi Abir,

      I believe I have answer your question to your email, but I will write again here, maybe other readers would like to find out too. So basically, I think once she get a personnummer, she can directly apply in any place for study. Like college or even university like us. I think the procedure really similar, wait for the enroll period, submit documents, and wait for result. We have not try it ourselves, but we do have friends that did this.

      /Satu

      • Priscilla • 15 Jan 2017 at 12.24 am Reply

        Satu, my name is Priscilla, I’m from Brazil and I’m married with a swedish citizen for 8 months… I wanted to know, if there are any possibility to study Master Degree in University for free with my resident visa?

        Tks,
        Priscilla

        • Satu
          Satu • 15 Jan 2017 at 12.40 am Reply

          Hi Priscilla, Thank you for reading my blog. I am quite sure that if our spouse is a tax paying citizen (swedish or even non-swedish), we can get the facility of free study. Please check this again with skatteverket (tax office) and migrationsverket (migration office).

  • Ketemaw • 5 May 2016 at 11.31 am Reply

    I am in swedin right now and waiting for the permenient residence. I am eager to begin my study as solon as a I get the permit. Do you have an idea which is possible to do during waiting time?

    • Satu
      Satu • 7 May 2016 at 12.09 am Reply

      Hi there! I have few things in mind,

      1) If you plan on finding your accommodation through SSSB, then you can be prepared to register and get benefit of 90 days ahead before the study starts. If you have not already know, SSSB housing is usually cheaper, but took forever to wait for the queue (credit days), so it will be great if you can use that benefit.

      2) Browse through universities bulletin board and check out some events or even part time jobs. By browse I mean go to the campus and see them on your own and not using internet.

      3) Same like number two, but this one in City scale. Use internet to see what event happening soon in your city.

      4) Networking. Join this meetup for entrepreneur, or workshop about climate, and talk to other students or professional.

      Or just enjoy the about-to-come-summer!

  • shuvo • 5 May 2016 at 10.11 am Reply

    hi satu. I am a student of BSC in EEE. I want to go to sweden at KTH for master’s . but I want to know is it possible to stay permanently in sweden after my study and can I take a permanent job in Sweden. thank you.

    • Satu
      Satu • 6 May 2016 at 11.55 pm Reply

      Hi Shuvo. Thanks for dropping in. Sure, there are no restriction in staying in Sweden after graduate. As long as you can find a job and they can provide you work permit (which most jobs will do), you are good to go. Some people say it is not easy to land a job in here. But I have not try myself, as I have not graduated.

  • Aurele • 5 May 2016 at 10.03 am Reply

    Hi Satu! Loved your post.
    I was glad to read and learn some new information about opportunities for spouses in Sweden. I have applied for studies in Gothenburg and I am waiting for the response(hopefully I will be admitted, inshallah), and I had no idea I could take my spouse with me. That’s great news! However, I would love to contact you later if I get a chance to study there, for any information I might need, hope you don’t mind that.
    Thanks again for the post. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Satu
      Satu • 7 May 2016 at 12.10 am Reply

      Hi Aurele! Glad to hear that! Sure I don’t mind at all! Keep contact 🙂

  • Adem Hassen • 5 May 2016 at 6.53 am Reply

    Hey,i want to read Master of social work in ur university b/c i do have BSW degree with GPA=3.75 from recognized university.plz help me to get freescholarship & sponsorship.

  • Sony • 5 May 2016 at 5.55 am Reply

    Interesting and so inspiring for me to explore and gain my master degree in Sweden for sure.

  • Nika • 5 May 2016 at 1.55 am Reply

    Hello very helpful information for me thank u but I want to know that if I’ ll study in Sweden and move up with my family how can my daughter study there? she’s 9 years old and doesn’t know Swedish lang. pls help
    thank u

    • Satu
      Satu • 7 May 2016 at 12.14 am Reply

      Hi Nika! thank you for reading my post. I am not quite sure for your case, as I have not been in that situation. I will try to dig few information from friends and come back to you. My personal guess is that there will be preparation class for kids for learning Swedish before they join the other in regular school. Just like the government provide free Swedish course to everyone.

      /Satu

  • Vanessa • 4 May 2016 at 9.18 pm Reply

    Hi. I Loved your post.
    I have always wanted to go to Sweeden. But, for ous is so Hard to get enough money for my husband, my little baby and me. I do not know If you can help me? I Would love to get a schoolarship for me and al the same time it allow me to take my family with me.
    My email is vane17cr@gmail.com

    Thanks a lot

  • Rufus Nwigwe • 4 May 2016 at 8.44 pm Reply

    l am longing to doing my post graduate program in sweden. How is the tuition? ls it also free for foreign students?

  • Arafat • 4 May 2016 at 5.39 pm Reply

    …hellow…. I want to go Sweden for study. I need help and information how can I go Sweden.

    • Satu
      Satu • 4 May 2016 at 11.46 pm Reply

      Hi there Arafat! I assume you already have some universities as your target to apply. If you have not, you should start with that. Then you find out their requirement for admission on their university website and also universityadmissions.se . then start gathering your documents, and finally apply for it on the admission date, usually september to january, for the intake of next autumn.

  • Elis • 4 May 2016 at 5.25 pm Reply

    Hi – does the spouse have to wait one year after getting residency permit in order to get a personnummer? Can’t she or he apply for it straight away after arriving in sweden?

    • Satu
      Satu • 4 May 2016 at 11.43 pm Reply

      Hi Elis! Nope, the spouse can get it right away, if he/she come together with you and you study for at least 1 year. Most people who study for one year did not get personnummer, because they arrive on September and the study finished around June. but if lets say, you are studying for years (august 2016 to June 2018) and you arrived in Sweden around September 2016, and your spouse arrive on December 2016, he/she will still be able to prove that the stay will be longer than 1 year, therefore will get the personnummer.

      ps: in this example, the arrival date is the residency permit

  • Lila • 4 May 2016 at 4.57 pm Reply

    Halo Bang Satu, since you are Muslim, I’d like to greet you by Assalamualaikum.
    I am doing MA.English in India now, planning to pursue my PhD. Sweden is one of choices. Anyway, it is bit OOT, but I wish you don’t mind to answer.
    I am interested in doing research on Theater, do you have any references (Indonesian) to whom I can contact? Is PhD student paid by University, so you can go without any scholarship?
    Thank you.

    • Satu
      Satu • 4 May 2016 at 11.36 pm Reply

      Waalaikumsalam! Thank you very much for reading my post 🙂 unfortunately I do not know anyone related to Theater. But I will try to ask around and see if I can find something. Yes PhD student is paid by the university so you can do it without any scholarship.

  • Satu
    Satu • 29 Apr 2016 at 3.00 pm Reply

    Hi Bolaji. No problem, man. Glad I can help a bit. Yes you are allowed, but required to get the working permit on your own. Same goes for PhD.

  • Bolaji • 29 Apr 2016 at 1.35 pm Reply

    Hi, Satu. Thanks for the post. Really helpful and provides much more detailed information about what I asked the last time.

    Do you know if Swedish Institute scholars are allowed to stay in Sweden after their program to work or do PhD?

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