Six money-saving hacks for students in Sweden
The Local · 17 Aug 2016, 06:59
Published: 17 Aug 2016 06:59 GMT+02:00
- Global list ranks Karolinska university best in Sweden (15 Aug 16)
- Five things that make Uppsala a superb university city (22 Jun 16)
- Seven reasons Gothenburg is way cooler than Stockholm (08 Jun 16)
One of the biggest challenges as a student is working out how much money you need to dedicate to the boring necessity of food every month, and it can be easy to misjudge, run out of funds and end up living off eggs for weeks as a result, alternatively Sweden's weirdly popular ketchup on pasta.
Sweden was recently revealed to have the EU’s second-highest food prices, so finding the right balance can certainly be a challenge, but there are a few tricks you can use to make it easier.
If you're in a hurry, one particularly useful one is the 30 percent discount on chilled items that Stockholm takeaway chain Panini Internazionale offers to holders of a Swedish Studentkort after 2.30pm. There are pletnty of other offers available as well and you can get the card for free through signing up on the company's website.
On a student budget you won't be eating out every day of course, but there are even ways to save money on groceries. Supermarket chain ICA offers student discounts on a rotating range of food items for students who register with them, with essentials like pasta sauce, toilet paper and bread among the items to be offered at a cut-price previously. What more do you need?
Supermarket chain ICA offer student discounts. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se
Late nights are a guarantee at university, and in that scenario, coffee can be like liquid gold. In Sweden it doesn’t always come cheap however, where you can easily pay 35 kronor for a cappuccino or latte.
There is a potential lifeline though. Two of the country's biggest coffee chains, Waynes and Espresso House, both offer student discounts to holders of selected cards. Espresso House have a 10-20 percent discount for holders of both the Studentkortet and Mecenat cards, while students with the latter card get 20 percent off takeaway coffee from Waynes. That’s one less excuse for falling asleep during lectures.
Coffee is the perfect body fuel. Photo: Ulf Lundin/imagebank.sweden.se
Unlikely as it may sound, it can sometimes be good to give the partying a rest, and even if we're not actually suggesting you get involved in sport, why not go and see one?
Going to watch some Swedish football is a great way to kill an afternoon, and it's also pleasantly affordable. If you’re studying in the country’s second-biggest city, you may be surprised to know that IFK Gothenburg offer discounted tickets for students, as do their local (second division) rivals, hipster favourites GAIS.
Studying in Uppsala? Local side Sirius IK – who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Swedish top flight last year – will also reduce the cost of entry for students. As do many other clubs across the country, so it’s worth checking with them before you buy your tickets.
Sirius IK playing against Ängelholms FF on July 30th 2016. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT
Sweden may have a small population, but geographically it’s a huge country. With so many diverse cities and landscapes, you'll want to see more than just your university and its surrounding area.
Making your way from one city to the next isn’t always cheap, but with state-owned rail company SJ offering up to 30 percent off on intercity and regional trains, there’s a chance you'll find a bargain.
Going further afield? With the distance from Lund to Kiruna for example a mere 1800km, you may want to fly. Some of the carriers running domestic routes like BRA and SAS offer discounts on that mode of transport too, so getting away to see the Northern Lights may not be as unfeasible as it sounds.
Kiruna is a town with a lot of history. Photo: Hans Olof/imagebank.sweden.se
Many of Sweden’s museums are free, but some of the best ones aren't, and unless you want to miss out on some of the country’s highlights, you’re going to have to fork out some cash eventually.
Luckily, plenty will cut money off your fee if you’re a student. Stockholm’s excellent Fotografiska photography museum slashes 30 kronor off the ordinary admission price for holders of a valid student card. As does perhaps the best Swedish museum of them all, the Vasa, which is currently ranked Trip Advisor’s ninth best museum in the world.
It’s not only in Stockholm that you can save money on paid-entry museums as a student though. Studying in Umeå? Guitars: The Museum – one of the world’s biggest privately owned guitar collections – will let you in for 35 kronor less than regular folks. Not bad!
Nordic Museum in Stockholm. Photo: Ingemar Edfalk/imagebank.sweden.se
6. Nights out… of a more cultural kind
Swedes know how to party, and we won't insult your intelligence by telling you how to do that (you'll find out anyway) but what if you fancy a night out of a more cultural kind once in a while?
A night at the opera could be one answer, and that particular art form is strikingly accessible in Sweden. Malmö Opera offer a whopping 50 percent off tickets to holders of CSN or Mecenatkort student cards, Gothenburg Opera give you 25 percent off most performances if you have the Mecenatkort card, while even the Royal Opera in Stockholm has half-price entry if you’re under 26.
You aren’t likely to find much lower prices for opera anywhere else in Europe, so even if you don't think it's your thing, why not try something different for once? Or you could use it to impress someone else. Your choice.
Gothenburg Opera. Photo: Torbjörn Skogedal/imagebank.sweden.se