How to Apply to Swedish Universities as an Ethiopian Graduate

Michael Mengesha on how to apply to swedish universities

Welcome to our blog series on securing your place at a Swedish university as an Ethiopian graduate. This blog series will have three parts on the topics listed below 

  1. How to apply to Swedish Universities as an Ethiopian graduate
  2. Practical tips when applying to the Swedish Institute (SI) scholarship 
  3. What to expect when moving to Sweden? 

This first section of the blog series is written in collaboration with Dr Michael Mengesha, who is currently studying his Master’s degree at Umea University under the SI scholarship. In the coming installments of the series we will get a chance to hear from other scholarship holders and students currently studying in different Swedish universities. 

Make sure to follow us on social media to keep yourself updated.

This is a detailed guideline on how to apply to a Master’s or PhD program in Swedish universities as an Ethiopian graduate. It goes over each and every detail you need to consider on your process of making an application and it gives practical tips that will surely help you succeed in your journey. This guideline mainly focuses on the requirement for Swedish universities however some overarching topics that will apply to any international university application will also be discussed.

1.Preparing your documents

The documents required to apply to Swedish universities include

  • Valid Passport
  • Original degree certificate 
  • Transcript 
  • CV 
  • English language proficiency
  • University specific documents 
1.1 Valid passport

You have to make sure the expiry date of your passport is not near approaching as this may affect your studies permit process.

1.2 Original degree certificate 

 The bachelor’s degree certificate (master’s certificate for PhD applicants) has to be the original meaning the one obtained after settling cost sharing payment. This original degree certificate has to be authenticated by the notary division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Make sure to first notarize your degree at your university’s registrar before visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Location to authenticate your document – OLI Tower | ኦሊ ታወር, MOFA Ethiopia

Location might be subject to change (Oct, 2023)

1.3 Transcript 

The true copy of your grade report or transcript has to be sent officially from your university to the Swedish university admissions committee. You have two alternatives of doing this 

The first and by far the easiest option is to have an email sent from your university registrar to Swedish university admission. 

Here is the email address you need to have your transcript sent to 

The second option is to send a sealed envelope of your transcript from your university to the addresses listed on the link here via a postal service. 

1.4 Curriculum vitae 

As part of the European Union Swedish universities use a standard CV preparation tool, Europass. It’s a website where it will prompt you to enter details of your experience and build your CV from the information you provided. You are highly advised to use this tool whenever applying to a European university. 

Start building your CV on Europass here 

 1.5 English Language Proficiency 

Most programmes in Swedish universities will accept a letter from your study institution that states you have completed your studies in the English language. This document is called ‘Medium of Instruction’ and your study institution is obliged to write it upon your request. 

A few programmes might require a standardized test of English proficiency such as IELTS, TOEFL and such. You can check out our blog on Steps to IELTS to find out more.    

1.6 University-specific documents 

Some universities might ask specific documents for each programme you apply to such as a motivational letter, recommendation letter, essays, cover letter and so forth. 

There is no boilerplate advice that will address all your needs when starting to write such documents but make sure to carefully read what your programme is looking for and adjust your document to fit the requirement. 

We will produce more practical tips on how to write such documents so make sure to follow us.   

2. Create a user account 

Follow this link and create a user account on the Swedish university admissions website. 

You may only create one user account. Any documentation you provide is connected to this account and remains in the admissions system.

If you want to apply again at a future date, you log in using your original username and password. Any documents you’ve submitted will still be available in your account.

 3. Search for courses and programmes 

 You can use the search box on the university admissions homepage to search for courses or programmes. Your search words can be a subject area, the name of a course or even a course code.

You can also be more specific about your search by using the filter option. You can skip directly to the filter options by simply clicking on ‘Find courses’ without entering any search words.

You can select up to four master’s programmes. 

 4. Rank your selection

You must rank your selections from your page under the account you created. The selection process works a bit differently in Sweden. When the time comes to award places:

  • you’ll first be considered for the programme you’ve ranked the highest
  • if you meet the entry requirements and there’s a place available, you’ll be offered one
  • all the programmes you ranked lower will then be deleted
  • if you aren’t offered a place in the first programme on your list, your second choice will be evaluated, and so on.

You can be offered only one study place. As soon as you’re offered a place in a programme, all the lower-ranked programmes will be deleted. 

We recommend you have your programmes ranked just as you’d like them before the application deadline.

5.Pay your application fee

There is a one-time administrative fee for applying to Swedish universities. You need to pay 900 SEK and that covers your application fee for all four of the selected programmes. Payment can be done electronically if you have a friend/relative living abroad or via bank transfer after providing essential documents of your application to the bank. 

You can use the link below to see today’s currency exchange rate. 

SEK to Birr Conversion

6. Mind your deadlines 

Different course programmes have different deadlines for submission. Make sure to keep track of all the deadlines for your different applications. 

Applications for Autumn semester (beginning in August) 2024 are currently open and most programmes will close by mid January.

We wish you a Goodluck on your application 

For feedbacks or questions on how to apply to Swedish universities, you can leave a comment below 


Applications to scholarships will follow your admission to a Swedish university. After being admitted you will be given a chance to apply to several scholarship and financial aid opportunities. On the next blog we will go over how to apply to the Swedish Institute (SI) scholarship, the largest scholarship offering in Sweden, with practical advice from current and previous SI scholarship holders. 

Stay tuned.

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22 thoughts on “How to Apply to Swedish Universities as an Ethiopian Graduate”

  1. Assanosi ALshafie Tutu Bedawi

    Hi Hiring Manager
    Is the application only for Ethiopians because I am of Sudanese nationality and have the desire to apply, and also I only have a diploma in accounting and finance?

  2. Zeyneb redwan awol

    I have started my application to Sweden. I have opened my account on university and paid the 900sek application fee. I have chosen my fields and ranked them as well. I wanted information on when I can hear back about my application. When will I recieve acceptance/rejection. And do I need to have the acceptance to apply for the si scholarship??

    1. MedInEthiopia

      You will hear of your admission decision in February and yes you need to be conditionally admitted to a Swedish university in a field that is covered by the SI scholarship to be considered for the scholarship. Your admission decision is automatically sent to SI.

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