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Study allowance for upper secondary school studies outside Sweden

Study allowance is a grant that you can apply for when you are studying at upper secondary level, at most up to and including the first calendar half-year in the year in which you turn 20. Study allowance includes several different grants, for example student grant. On this page you will find information about the various grants, how to apply for them and what you need to think about.

How does Brexit affect the study allowance?

The EU and the UK have developed a withdrawal agreement that came into force on 1 February 2020, when the UK left the EU, and was valid until 31 December 2020. As far as student finance is concerned, the withdrawal agreement means the following:

If you have started studying in the UK with study allowance from CSN before 1 January 2021, you will continue to be entitled to study allowance in the UK, as if the UK was an EU country, as long as you meet the other conditions for receiving the grants.

If you start studying in the UK after 31 December 2020, CSN will examine your right to study allowance based on the UK being a non-EU/EEA country.

Study outside Sweden with study allowance

When you are studying at upper secondary level outside Sweden you can apply for study allowance from CSN. You can receive study allowance at most up to and including the spring semester of the year you turn 20.

Are you older than 20? Apply for student grants and loans instead.

Various grants in study allowance

Study allowance for studies outside Sweden consists of student grant, boarding supplement, supplementary allowance and daily travel allowance.

Student grant

You can receive a student grant at the earliest from the quarter after you turn 16 and study full time.

Supplementary allowance, if your family has a low income

You can apply for supplementary allowance if you or your family have a low yearly income. The amount of money you can receive depends on your family’s level of income and wealth during the current academic year (1 July–30 June).

Boarding supplement, if you cannot live at home while studying

If you cannot live at home during your study period, you can apply for a grant from CSN known as a boarding supplement. To be eligible for boarding supplement, the travel time between your parental home and your school must be at least two hours a day if you were living at home. If there is an equivalent education within a two-hour journey from your parental home, you cannot receive the supplement.

Educations equivalent to Swedish educations

If you are going to study at a Swedish international school or an IB programme, you can usually only receive a boarding allowance if the programme and the national specialization you are going to study are not available within two hours’ travel per day from your parental home in Sweden.

Since Swedish international schools follow the Swedish curriculum, study programmes at Swedish international schools are equivalent to studies at upper secondary schools in Sweden, and IB studies abroad are equivalent to IB studies in Sweden.

United World College

If you are studying at the United World College (UWC) you can receive boarding supplement even if there is a similar study programme in Sweden.

Daily travel allowance

If you are living with your custodians you can receive a daily travel allowance for travels to your school. The journeys must be by public transport, e.g. bus or train. However, it is possible to receive the grant if there is no public transport available where you live. The daily travel distance between your parental home and your school must be at least six kilometers.

You cannot receive daily travel allowance and boarding supplement at the same time.

Custodian in EU/EEA country or Switzerland

Is your custodian living, working or receiving a pension from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland? Then your family might be covered by the rules for coordinating EU family benefits. This means that the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) can be responsible to pay out your study allowance instead of CSN.

If your custodian is living, working or receiving a pension from the UK, you can still be covered by these rules after Brexit.

 

What is EU family benefits?

EU family benefits are benefits used for expenses that families with children have. In Sweden, study allowances and supplementary allowances count as family benefits.

How do the rules affect your application?

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) assesses whether families are covered by the rules for EU family benefits. When you apply for study allowance and supplementary allowance CSN will contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency if you have a custodian living, working or receiving pension from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency will decide whether you and your family are covered by the rules for coordinating EU family benefits. Such a decision might take some time as the Social Insurance Agency usually needs to contact an authority in the other country. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency also decides whether your study allowance and supplementary allowance should be paid out by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency or CSN.

How much money can you get?

The student grant is SEK 1 250 per month, and is paid for the months you are studying full time. If you have been studying a certain number of days during the semester, you will get an extra payment.

In some cases, you receive half a payment in the beginning or the end of the semester. This is because CSN calculates your study time in continuous 15-day periods.

Amounts for the other grants

The size of the other grants varies depending on your situation.

Supplementary allowance

The supplementary allowance is SEK 285, 570 or 855. How much money you can receive depends on the income your family has.

Boarding supplement

The boarding supplement varies between SEK 1,190 and 2,350. How much you can receive depends on how far it is between your parental home and your school.

Daily travel allowance

The daily travel allowance corresponds to your travel expenses, but is at most SEK 1,190.

Requirements and conditions

The requirements to receive study allowance outside Sweden vary depending on whether you study within or outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. There are additional requirements and conditions for foreign citizens.

Requirements for studies within the EU/EEA and Switzerland

You may receive study allowance for studies within the EU/EEA and Switzerland if

  • you study full-time for at least 15 days
  • the education is national or approved by either the government, a government agency, an organization for accreditation in the country of your studies or CSN.
Requirements for studies outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland

If you live abroad with one or both of your custodians you may receive study allowance if at least one of your custodians meet one of the following conditions:

  • He or she has been stationed abroad by a Swedish government employer.
  • He or she is employed abroad by a Swedish religious community or a body which is linked to a Swedish religious community.
  • He or she is employed abroad by a Swedish non-profit organization that conducts international aid work.
  • He or she is receiving student grants and loans for studies abroad.

You also need to fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • you are studying full-time for at least three months
  • your education is national or approved by either the government, a government agency, an organization for accreditation in the country of your studies or CSN.

If your custodians live in Sweden

If your custodians live in Sweden you must fulfill the following conditions:

  • you are a Swedish citizen
  • you have been registered as resident in Sweden for the last two years before the start of your studies abroad
  • you are studying full time for at least three months
  • you cannot take an equivalent or similar study programme in Sweden. For example, high school in the United States corresponds to a Swedish upper secondary education, and therefore you cannot receive study allowance for studies at high school.
  • your study programme is clearly oriented towards a certain occupation or industry for which there is no study programme in Sweden
  • your study programme is at upper secondary school level and has been approved by CSN. Contact us to find out whether your study programme is approved.
Requirements for foreign citizens

If you are a foreign citizen and do not have a Swedish citizenship you also need to fulfill the conditions for right to Swedish student finance for studies outside Sweden.

Foreign citizen - Upper secondary studies in the Nordic countries

Foreign citizen - Upper secondary studies outside the Nordic countries

How does Brexit affect the study allowance?

How Brexit affects the study allowance depends on whether you are going to study in the UK or whether you are a British citizen or a family member of a British citizen.

How does Brexit affect my student finance?

Application and study certificate

Before you apply, it is important that you prepare your application. Afterwards, you need to check your decision and return the attached study certificate to CSN to verify that your studies have begun.

1. Prepare your application

Check when your terms begin and end

Make sure you know when your terms begin and end, and what dates you have holidays. You can apply for one academic year at a time.

Look through our requirements and conditions

The requirements to receive study allowance for studies outside Sweden vary depending on where you are studying. There are also further requirements and conditions for foreign citizens

Register bank account for payments

Swedbank handles the payments from CSN. If you are younger than 18 years old your custodian needs to notify them of his or her Swedish bank and account where the money is to be deposited. When you turn 18, you must notify your own account. If you or your custodian has an account in a foreign bank you notify it directly to CSN.

Register bank account with Swedbank

2. Apply

Apply for study allowance using the form “Ansökan om Studiehjälp för studier utanför Sverige” (the form is only available in Swedish) and send it to CSN. You will find the address on the form. Your application must have been received by CSN no later than 30 June of the academic year to which your application applies.

Foreign citizen

If you are a foreign citizen CSN sometimes needs to assess your right to study allowance. Contact us to find out if this applies to you.

Contact us

Other grants

Supplementary allowance

Boarding supplement

Apply with the form that you use when applying for study allowance for studies abroad.

Daily travel allowance

Please fill in the forms carefully. It is your responsibility to make sure the information you submit is correct.

3. Check the decision and ask your school to fill in the study certificate

When you have applied and received your decision you need to verify that your decision is correct. If there are any mistakes you need to contact us.

If everything is correct your school needs to fill in, sign and stamp the study certificate you received together with the decision. The school must do this every new term to certify that you have started studying. When the school has done their part, send us the study certificate to begin receiving payments.

Your school can sign and stamp the study certificate no earlier than the first day of the term to which the certificate applies.

4. Send the study certificate to CSN

Send the certificate to CSN Postservice, 751 76 Uppsala, Sweden.

Your study certificate must have been received by us no later than 30 June the academic year of which the certificate applies.

When will the money be paid out?

The grants are generally paid on the last weekday of the month.

The first time the study allowance is paid out

The study allowance can be paid out at the earliest after you have turned 16 years old. When the first payment comes depends on the month you were born.

  • If you turn 16 in January – June, CSN can pay your study allowance for the first time in September.
  • If you turn 16 in July – September, CSN can pay your study allowance for the first time in October.
  • If you turn 16 in October – December, CSN can pay your study allowance for the first time in January of the following year.
Supplementary allowance and boarding supplement

You can get the supplementary allowance for the same time that you receive the study allowance, i.e. also the extra payment you can get if you have studied a certain number of days during the semester. The boarding supplement you can only receive during your actual study period.

You can receive money retroactively for months you have studied. To get the payments you must apply no later than 30 June in the academic year to which the application applies.

In the event of unauthorized absence or quitting school

If you are absent from upper secondary school without a valid reason or if you quit school, your student grant may be stopped. This also applies to other allowances, such as supplementary allowance or daily travel allowance. Here you can read about how the allowances from CSN will be affected if you have invalid absence.

Report to CSN immediately if you stop studying to avoid having to repay grants you have already received.

Information for your legal guardian

Are you a legal guardian or a guardian for an unaccompanied minor (god man) for a child who is studying at upper secondary level outside Sweden? Until the child reaches the age of 18, the study allowance is paid out to the guardian.

If you have a Swedish bank account that you want the money deposited in, you need to register it with Swedbank. CSN will then pay the money to that account.

Register bank account with Swedbank

If you cannot open a Swedish bank account

If you for any reason is unable to open a Swedish bank account you can have the money deposited in your foreign account. Register your foreign account with CSN.

Contact us for more information

Good to know

  • If you are two legal guardians you can decide who receives payments or split the payments between you.
  • If your child is absent from upper secondary school without a valid reason it may affect not just the study allowance, but also allowances from other parties such as the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).
  • When the child turns 18, he or she becomes liable for repayment. This means that it is then the child who is responsible to repay money that has been paid out incorrectly, for example because of invalid absence from school.
  • Remember to arrange the child’s bank account before his or her 18th birthday and register it with Swedbank.

When you turn 18 years old

When you turn 18 and come of age you will be the receiver of the study allowance instead of your legal guardian. If you have a Swedish bank account that you want the money deposited in, you need to register it with Swedbank. CSN will then pay the money to that account.

Register bank account with Swedbank

If you for any reason is unable to open a Swedish bank account you can have the money deposited in your foreign account. Register your foreign account with CSN.

Contact us for more information

You may be liable for repayment

If you have unauthorized absence from school and still get money paid out, it is also you who is liable for repayment when you are of legal age. This means that it is you who have to repay money that has been paid out incorrectly.

Appealing against a decision by CSN

If you believe that CSN has reached an incorrect decision, you can appeal against it. CSN must be in receipt of your appeal within three weeks from the date on which you were notified the decision.

How to appeal against a decision

Updated: 2022-12-02