Study in Sweden with Swedish Institute Study Scholarship (SISS)

Hi everyone, as I mentioned before that I came here by an SI scholarship. And because they the application date is upcoming, so I want to share with you my experience about this scholarship.


  • My information is based on the 2015-2016 program. Things may change this year.
  • This is my personal opinion and analysis. It may not correct.
  • SI provided many scholarships. This blog is for the SISS only.


  • SISS is a scholarship for studying Master’s program in Sweden. It covers all tuition fee, living cost of around 1,000 USD/month, one time travel grant around 1,700 USD, and health insurance.
  • You have to have at least 3,000 hours working experience to apply.
  • Application period starts from Dec 1, 2016. Last years, there are 12,198 applicants worldwide, which finally have 427 scholarship holders.

Why the Swedish Institute give a scholarship

Swedish Institute is a Swedish public agency. According from their website, their mission is “gain knowledge and understanding of different cultures, their people, and to promote Sweden and Swedish issues globally.” And giving scholarships to developing countries is one way to achieve that.

SI provide many scholarships as in this list. The one that I got is Swedish Institute Study Scholarship (SISS) and is the main focus of this blog.

Further information can find in the scholarship page.


Who is eligible?

“The goal is to enable the scholarship holders to play an active role in the positive development of the societies in which they live. Ideal candidates are ambitious young professionals with academic qualifications, demonstrated leadership experience and a clear idea of how a study programme in Sweden would benefit their country.

Priority will be given to applicants choosing study programmes with an emphasis on gender equality, sustainable development, democracy, human rights or poverty reduction.”

In summary:

  • A potential leader in his/her country after graduation.
  • Bonus points to applicants want to study about gender equality, sustainable development, democracy, human rights or poverty reduction.
  • You have to work at least 3,000 hours, but it can be combined with multiple organization.
  • Bonus points for work experience in some fields. For example, agriculture, human right, health etc.
  • Any age can apply.
  • I remember that in my year, they said that GPA is not important (mine is 2.xx). But I can’t find those words in this year’s announcement.

The full detail of eligible criteria can be found here: SISS – Eligibility criteria

What program you can study?

I don’t have a definite answer either. But as far as I saw from the yearbook of the scholarship holders. There’re various programs in nearly every area. So basically I think you can apply for studying in any programs. If you’re qualified, you’ll get it.

Here is the process:

  1. Apply for the first step. From 1 December 2016 – 16 January 2017.
  2. Apply for the university at The period is different in each program. There’s an application fee of 900 SEK (100 USD).
  3. The list of applicants who pass the first round will announce in February.
  4. At the end of March, the university will announce the selection result.
  5. At the middle of April, they will announce the list of the scholarship holders.

Therefore, there are 3 possibilities

  1. The university rejected –> you will automatically not get a scholarship.
  2. The university accepted, but SI didn’t give a scholarship –> You can study, but you have to find other sources of money. So my suggestion is you should apply for other scholarships during the waiting time.
  3. The university accepted and get a scholarship –> congratulations!

Competitive rate

I don’t know the exact number either. But I can show you some stat from this link: Successful candidates for Swedish Institute Study Scholarships Step 1 and this link: Swedish Institute scholarship recipients 2016/2017.

First, you have to look for which category your country belongs to. My country, Thailand is category 3.

This page show the list of recipients from last year.

In summary for Thailand (you can change the country to your when you’re looking in the PDF)

  • From overall 12,198 applicants around the world, there are 3,481 pass the first round, which is 39 Thais.
  • Then there’re 427 scholarship holders in all category, and there are 8 Thais.
  • Therefore, the chance is 427/12,198 or 1/28.5. And if you’re Thais who pass the first round, you have a chance of 8/39 or 1/5.

My suggestion is if you feel interested so far, you can download the list of successful applicants from last year and look for which program they tend to give a grant for your country. And how many people they would give.

Please keep in mind that according to their website, this year they reduce the number of expecting scholarship to 335 applicants from all  3 categories, so the competitive rate would be a little bit higher than last year.

Is it hard to apply?

I think the application process for the university is harder. You just have to prepare some essays. You don’t need to take an English test for the SISS (but you have to take for an application to the university). Essays that you need to prepare are motivation letter and letter of reference. Other documents are proof of work and CV.

All of this done by online. You don’t need to send documents via a post.

Further information about application process: SISS – Application procedure and key dates

Is there any limitation?

  • You can get only one-year scholarship per time. And at the end of the year, they will evaluate that you should get the next one.
  • You can do a part-time job, but can’t exceed 5,000 SEK per month. And you have to inform SI first.

A few last suggestions

  • Always looking for other scholarships during the application time. (Although I didn’t do it because I don’t know any other scholarship haha.)
  • Please take a look at the list of last year’s successful applicants to get an idea of which program do they prefer, and compare to the program that you want to study.
  • I still believe that GPA is not an important part. The most important one is what you have done before in your life. And what you plan to do after study.
  • If you get the scholarship. Please apply for the resident permit as fast as you can. This is really IMPORTANT. You don’t need to wait for the status in the website change to admitted. Trust me, I’ve waited before just to find out that it’ll never change. This process takes a long time and I get my permit a week before my travel date. My waiting time is 55 days.

So I think it’s all for today’s blog post. Sweden is really great country. Have an opportunity to study here is really a great experience for my life. I want to use this blog to express my gratitude to SI and KI for accepting me.

And I wish you could get the scholarship to study here too 🙂

Contact me via:

42 thoughts on “Study in Sweden with Swedish Institute Study Scholarship (SISS)

  1. Hi, thank you so much for your sharing 🙂 Can you share more about how you confirmed your number of working hours? I am currently a senior and have some undergraduate experience, including part-time, voluntary jobs and also a position of trust, do I need to get the signature/ confirmation of the organization to verify my working hours? Thank you so much!

    1. Dear Christine,

      There’re many detail on how to calculate the working hours. The best place to go is this link: SISS – Eligibility criteria. There is a section name “Work experience” which would tell you more on this matter. For deeper detail, you may have to contact SI directly because I may not know either.

      Hope this help 🙂

  2. Hi! thanks for all the information, it is very helpful. One question: do you know if SI gives preference to people returning to their home countries? One of the questions in the Future plans section is “What do you plan to do after completing your master’s degree in Sweden?” and I wanted to know if there are any restrictions on working in Sweden/another country after the completion of the degree. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Adriana,

      Sorry that I have no clue about their preference. For the second question, no restriction at all. I also know a scholarship holders who work after graduation.


    1. Hi Shoaib,

      I’m not sure I understand your question correctly. I think being study with SI scholarship or not doesn’t affect the possibility to further study in PhD nor working. The professor will select the PhD candidates base on student’s performance and interest. Same as the hiring process of the company.

      But if you mean study in Sweden in general, I would say yes. Professors and companies prefer a candidate that graduate from Sweden to other countries.


  3. Hi! Your blog is quite informative. application process seems a little complicated. Could you tell me whether I should be accepted by the university first to be able to apply for SI scholarship?

    1. Dear Fotima,

      Because the deadline of SI application is behind the date that you’ll know the result of a university application, therefore, you have to apply for the SI before you are accepted to the university.

  4. Hi bro thanks for this blog it helped me so much.
    Are these entry requirements even after 3 years ago?!
    Cuz I’ve just started my bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering.
    And I’m curious to know all details about SI because for master’s degree I’m gonna apply at KTH.

    It would be great if you reply to me!

    1. Hi Ylli,

      I have to say that I really don’t know. For my country, some years the SI gave the scholarships, some they didn’t. I think it depends on many conditions. Please check with the history of SI scholarship in your country.


      1. For the last year, it’s under the “Competitive rate” section in my blog. You can see the list of successful candidates and their programs.

  5. Yeah i saw all successful candidates.
    But my country isnt included but i know that my country is in the list of ”DAC list of ODA”
    And it belongs category 3.

    Anyway, i have a question;
    Can citizens of my country or how to say apply every year for scholarships?

    1. Then it depends on each year. My country is also the same. There’s a scholarship for some years. Some years doesn’t have a scholarship.

      1. I dont know anything but I think Im able to apply every year for the reason that Im from Europe!
        I asked the SI if I can apply every year, they might reply to me.

        Btw, thanks for everything😊

  6. Hi Rath!
    I find your blog extremely informative and useful! Although I have a question about SI and I wish you could answer.
    Does SI consider second priority ranking of a student? Because I got admitted to my second priority/ranking today at University of Gothenberg. I am on a reserve list for my first priority at Umea University. Do you think they will reject/ not consider my scholarship application because I did not get selected for my first priority?

    1. Hi Philip,

      In my opinion, I think they still consider you even it’s the second priority. But I’m not sure about this either. I didn’t have SI friends who have the condition like you. For the exact answer, you may need to write to the SI to ask them.


  7. Hi Rath,

    Your blog is really helpful.

    However, I still have a question, I have been conditionally admitted to my 4th choice masters program at Now I have a question as regards to keeping my place; is it okay to reply yes to the offer right now or I should wait for 10th April after the SISS publish the scholarship results?

    Thank you

    1. Hey Rach,

      I asked the SI team the same question that you asked and this is the answer that I got from them:
      No, you can accept the study place now if you want. It won’t affect your chances of receiving a scholarship. However, in case you are not awarded a scholarship then you would be required to pay a tuition fee if you want to keep your study place.

      Hope this helps. Cheers!

      1. Thanks for sharing Thalee!

        (I answered Rach on Twitter. So, I didn’t type here. But it’s good to have the confirmation from SI 🙂 )

  8. No worries, Rath. Thank you for sharing with us such vital information. Sadly, I didn’t get the scholarship. I was wondering if you can suggest any other alternatives or a bit of the life and job situation there. If you don’t mind sharing, I would love to discuss this further through email exchange. Thank you.

    1. I don’t know much about other alternatives either. If you want to finance yourself here, I would say that it would be a little bit difficult if you don’t know Swedish language. But you may be able to find a job in some high-skill field like medical or engineering.

      You can contact me through my email rath.panyowat (@) if you want to ask more questions.

  9. Hi Dear

    Thank you for your fruitful and helpful information.

    However, I need your kind help for this question: if I have admitted to a university and received the scholarship offer, and then, for some reason, i have obliged to renew my passport, what should I do regarding my prospective visa application! In other words, is it OK to use my new passport for visa application, and is there any need to upload the new one to my application on or to the prospective university, or even to Sweden institute? ( providing that both passports are exactly matched )
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Thina,

      I would have to say that I don’t know the answer either. You may have to directly contact with someone in charge for these issue.

      In my opinion, it’s OK to use the new passport for the visa application. And no need to upload it again to both the universityadmissions and SI. But I’m not sure it’s the correct answer or not.


  10. Hi Rath
    Thank you for your reply.

    Further, can you kindly guide me who i can contact with and who is in charge for such issue.

    1. Hi Thina,

      To be honest, I have no idea about that. Although I received a scholarship and wrote a blog post about SI, I’m not a part of their team. Maybe you could contact them via some channels in their website.


  11. Rath.

    Aside from this, I appreciate if y hep me get known the following aspects regarding residence permit application:
    -Reasons for choosing these studies: should these reasons be the same as those I mentioned in SI motivation form?
    -if the course period is 2 years, starting in 28 August 2017, when it should be ending? 6 June 2019 ?

    -whereas the programme duration is 2 years, the scholarship offer is for one year, with condtional extention. Then, how should i do with insurance certificate while applying online for residence permit, as the insurance certificate accompanied within the scholarship offer is issued for one year, 2017-2018, while residence permit entails that the insurance certificate should cover the entire period (2years)?

    And the same for financial means-the scholarship covered a one-year living expenses and 2-semester tuition fees, whereas the residence permit application entails that the applicant should provide evidence showing financial means enough to cover both living expenses and tuition fees for the entire period(2 years)?

    Does this means that-while writing the program duration on the online application- I should apply for one year only ! Or provide another insurance certificate or/and bank certificate cover the second year?

    1. Hi Ivan

      – Reasons for choosing –> I have to say that I don’t remember it anymore because it’s a long time ago.
      – I think it’ll end around that.
      – You’ll get residence permit for one year anyway. I also have to re-apply for the permit this year. So, I think it doesn’t matter as long as it covers the one-year period.

      I’m not 100% sure my answer it a correct answer or not. You can try to contact the Migration Agency for the official answer.


  12. Hi
    I am from Bangladesh. I have been offered SI Scolarship 2017/18 in Umea University for MPH Program. As i do not have to pay a fee according to a Visa Facilitation Agreement, how to proceed to get Residence Permit? Do i need to fill up any online form? It will be really helpful if you let me know all the steps in detail. Do i need to show any bank statement to get the Visa?

  13. Hi
    I am scholarship holder and would like to know how do we receive the travel grant and living allowance before travelling to Sweden. Any one from Stockholm University DSV can give me about accommodation hint?. Thanks

  14. How do they verify my work experience and leadership skills? Just by phone call and by mailing the referees or there’s a more complicated way?

  15. Hi Rath,
    Thank you so much for your valuable post!
    I couldn’t open the link you attached for the successful recipients. Do you think they had removed it from the website?and if so, do you have a copy? I want to know about last year’s statistics. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Ahmed, they have changed the design of the website. Probably they also removed it. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep the copy of it. Hope you could find it somewhere. Good luck!

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