Global Education

Sweden - University of Gothenburg

The University of Gothenburg with approximately 37,000 students is Sweden’s largest university. It is located in the heart of the city of Gothenburg and is close to cafés and shops. The university has eight faculties (or what we call “colleges”) and about 170 departments and units, making it the most diverse university curriculum-wise in Sweden. The University of Gothenburg is proud of its reputation as an international university. It is the only Swedish University with centers for research and education on all regions of the world. For its outstanding research on Europe, the European commission appointed the University of Gothenburg a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence.

Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city with over 600,000 inhabitants, is situated on the Swedish west coast. It was founded in 1621 by King Gustav II Adolf, but it was inhabited several thousands of years before that. The city is roughly  equidistant from the Scandinavian capitals of Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo. Its harbor is one of the largest in northern Europe. The city hosts every year the Gothenburg Film Festival in late January to early February and the Gothenburg International Book Fair in autumn. The largest shopping center in the Nordic countries is in Gothenburg. The city also has many small shops, an opera house, a concert hall, a Nordic art museum, the Museum of World Culture, a museum of natural history, a maritime museum, and a number of other museums. The Botanical Garden is one of the most prominent in the world, and Liseberg is the largest amusement park in Scandinavia. Gothenburg is known as the sports capital of Sweden and has the largest stadium in Sweden.

Gothenburg’s public transport system includes buses, trams and ferries.  The timetables are reliable and delays are rare.  The bike road network is comprehensive, with several bicycle paths leading to the city center.  Getting a second hand bike once in Gothenburg can be a practical and economical choice for getting around.

Gothenburg has a wonderful archipelago consisting of some 100 islands. The city surroundings and the river, Göta älv, offer many interesting sights to explore, including Sweden’s medieval seaport of Lödöse, Elfsborg Fortress dating from the 1650s, and Marstrand with its harbor full of ships dating from as far back as the 13th century.


The University of Gothenburg offers more than 300 courses taught in English within its faculties and academic departments.  Other courses, such as those within fine arts, design, and music, may not be offered in English but American students can succeed in certain of these courses without knowing Swedish due to the fact that all faculty and students speak English. In a few cases, a professor who normally would teach a course in Swedish may teach the course in English if it would assist those taking the course.

Courses taught in English are offered within the following fields of study:

Astronomy, Biology, Business (Accountancy, Economics, Human and Economic Geography, Industrial and Financial Management, and Management), Chemistry, Education, Historical Studies (Viking and Medieval Scandinavia), Earth Sciences and Geography, English Literature and Linguistics, Environmental Science, Global
Studies, International Conflict Resolution, Mathematics and Statistics, Media and Communication Studies, Oceanography, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Scandinavian Cultural and Social Studies, Social Work, Sociology, Software Engineering and Management, Textile Design.

Students also may consult the Faculties of the University of Gothenburg for course information:

Faculty of Arts (

Faculty of Education (

Faculty of Fine Applied and Performing Arts (
            Courses which may be possible for you to take, even though they normally are offered in Swedish, are in the fields of film directing, photography, design (ceramics, jewelry and textile art), music and drama.

Faculty of Science (

Faculty of Social Sciences (

IT Faculty (

Sahlgrenska Academy Faculty of Health Sciences (

School of Business, Economics and Law (

When selecting courses, please note that undergraduate students should look for courses labeled “First Cycle”.  Courses labeled “Second Cycle” usually require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.  Undergraduate students interested in taking a “Second Cycle” course, however, can check with the Office of Global Education concerning this possibility. Students looking at courses not specifically listed as being taught in English should check with the Office of Global Education concerning whether or not the courses would be appropriate for and available to students not proficient in the Swedish language.

All participants are encouraged to take Swedish language during their first semester of study.


All participants are required to be full-time while studying in Sweden and, thus, take the equivalent of 15 units during each semester for undergraduates and 12 units per semester for graduates.

Applicants should have upper division standing with a declared major at this university by the end of the semester prior to departure or have classified graduate standing at the time of the application deadline, good academic records, and a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduates or better at the time of application.  In most cases, the lower division course requirements of the appropriate field of study must have been completed by the end of the semester prior to departure.  All applicants should check to ensure that they are on track for meeting the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  The applicant also should be prepared to accept the challenge of study in a country with an educational system different from our own.


Students should plan on attending the international student orientation at the University of Gothenburg, which takes place about a week before the start of classes. Autumn term courses start around the beginning of September and finish around mid-January. Spring term courses start around mid-January and finish around the first week in June. Semesters (or terms) at the University of Gothenburg are further divided into quarters, with students taking and completing courses during each of the quarters.


Students accepted to the program will pay the usual California State University, Sacramento fees, remain eligible for financial aid (except work/study), if otherwise qualified, and receive resident credit just as if they were attending classes at this university. (Please note that equivalency of courses falls under the jurisdiction of the academic department.) The University of Gothenburg has agreed to waive non-resident tuition, making this a particularly attractive opportunity for participants. Students will pay for their travel to and from Gothenburg, room and board, books, and incidentals. In addition, each student must have the required insurance during his or her stay in Sweden.

Expenses for a semester in Sweden are estimated at the following: usual undergraduate fees - $3,314 (graduates would pay the graduate fee), airfare - $1,125; insurance - $265, room and board - $5,240, incidentals for 5 months (including books, local transportation, clothing, entertainment) - $2,100. Total $12,044. The estimated expenses for an academic year are about $22,963. This estimate is given for planning purposes only and is subject to changes from currency fluctuation, inflation, and fee changes. Keep in mind that students are responsible for obtaining their own passports and student visas. The costs to obtain these are not included in this estimate.


Campus financial aid, with the exception of federal work study, is applicable abroad. Whether or not you have ever received financial aid, you should investigate this possibility by contacting Miesha Williams (study abroad contact) in the Sacramento State Financial Aid Office. Students also are encouraged to investigate and apply for scholarships for their study or research abroad. A listing of specific scholarships and scholarship resource information, with websites, is available on the Office of Global Education website. For individual advising and application information on scholarships / grants for study or research abroad, you should contact Dr. Jack Godwin in the Office of Global Education. 


Student housing is in great demand in Gothenburg. The University of Gothenburg’s Student Housing Services rents a limited number of student rooms from a local student housing company, SGS Studentbostäder, available for study abroad students at UG. The Exchange Student Services assists students in the application process for these rooms which are located at the following areas: Olofshöjd, Helmutsrogatan, Fridhemsgatan, Birger Jarlsgatan, Kviberg and Rosendal (Rosendal I and Rosendal II), and Medicinareberget.

Rooms come with basic furniture (desk, bookshelf, bed, chairs and lamps); however, kitchen utensils, light bulbs, bed linen and towels are the students own responsibility.


All students participating in this program are encouraged to take Swedish language during their first semester of study. Two levels of Swedish are offered (beginner and intermediate) by the Department of Swedish Language as a complement to the main studies at UG. Lessons usually take place two or three times a week, for two hours, in the afternoon or evening. There will be a final examination for the course. At this point in time taking Swedish language is not a requirement, but it may become so in the future.


All study abroad students may take part in a student buddy program in which Swedish students introduce study abroad students to life in Gothenburg. Swedish student buddies may email students before arrival to initiate contact and then participate with them in activities throughout the semester.


In the summer, temperatures average 68 degrees in the south and 61 degrees in the north. In winter, temperatures are frequently below 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to Sweden’s northern latitude, daylight dwindles to six hours in midwinter. In midsummer, the sun rises at 4:30 a.m. and sets at 10 p.m.

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