Accepted to study in Sweden! What now? Part 2: Housing
Finding a place to live in Stockholm can be (but DOESN’T HAVE to be!) a challenge. In Stockholm, a room in a shared apartment can cost you anywhere from SEK 3000 to SEK 10000, but pretty often it seems impossible to find one. So you should definitely start looking for a place to stay before you come to Sweden. Here are some life hacks to help you out:
- Apply for University dorms early on. In some cases, you can share the studio apartment with another student (which cuts the costs dramatically), so ask the University Housing Department if that option is available.
- Ask around! Contact Stockholm-based students you know, future classmates etc.
- Look for a room on Blocket.se (Swedish marketplace for everything from jobs to flats). See Raghu’s post about finding a room via Blocket.se.
- Join FB groups on Housing in Stockholm (or any other Swedish city). There are also plenty of student groups where you can find housing offers. Make sure to post your “Looking for housing ad” together with a brief info about yourself: it’ll increase your chances to get offers.
- Look for Stockholm housing ads in your own language. Believe it or not, markets are segmented. There are expat communities (like Arabic speakers, or Polish speakers, or Russian speakers) in social networks, where you can find plenty of housing offers.
- Register on sssb.se – Stockholm Student Housing. This is the largest student housing provider in Sweden, which offers really affordable prices. Problem is, you have to accumulate waiting days (often, as many as a year worth of waiting days) to get a place via SSSB. Still, it’s worth registering, especially if you’re in a two year program.
- Beware of scam! Never pay money in advance, without visiting the place first. Skype meetings, telephone calls etc. are insufficient proof of anyone’s honesty. If a person promises to send you keys via post, right after you paid, it’s a 100% fraud.
It usually helps to come to Stockholm beforehand, – solely for the flat search purposes. If you can’t afford that, try booking one week accommodation in advance, and then start your search once here. It’s better to avoid long-distance housing arrangements, unless the offer comes from somebody you trust.
Trust me, even flat search can be a fun part of student life. After all, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
P.S. For those of you looking for accommodation in Uppsala rather than Stockholm, here’s Francesca’s post covering Uppsala housing issues.