The exchange program at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden began in Autumn 2001, and undergraduate students have been participating in the exchange yearly ever since. The department approves sending up to two CSE undergraduate students and five CSE graduate students to KTH in a given year. Our expectation is that undergrads will most likely have greater interest, since graduate student participation will depend on individual faculty members having specific research links.
Requirements & Application
Undergraduate students interested in this year-long (Autumn-Spring quarters) exchange program should consult a CSE advisor with their questions. The information session for CSE students interested in one of the departmental programs takes place early in Winter quarter for the following academic year. The session is run by the exchange program coordinator (Alan Borning), a CSE advisor, and students who have participated in the exchange before. This session is your opportunity to ask questions, hear about others' experiences, and learn about the application process. The departmental application to select students typically consists of a brief statement of interest and a review of your academic record and background. Our goal is to notify students selected for the exchange no later than early March.
Ideally, students will plan to spend their junior year at KTH, and then return to UW for the senior year and capstone project, but an exchange during senior year is also possible. The correspondence between KTH and CSE courses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis once students return from the exchange, but you should be able to apply a significant number of KTH computer science courses toward your UW degree.
KTH offers a stipend of 20,000 SEK (approximately $3000) to help up to two CSE exchange students with living expenses at the university. Students must set up a bank account upon their arrival in Sweden in order to receive these funds.
Before You Go
Once you are selected to study abroad, CSE advising will email you information on the deadline to accept our offer, the process and deadline for your KTH application (this is mostly a formality so you are officially accepted by the university. The deadline to submit it is April 15), and a checklist of the required steps to take to prepare to go. Consult Information for Admitted Exchange Students on the KTH site for additional details. You will work closely with CSE, KTH and the International Programs & Exchanges Office (IP&E) on these steps. Please be aware that many of these processes will take time, so you should plan accordingly and start early!
The KTH exchange, like other exchanges at UW, operates under the Home Tuition Program (students continue to pay UW tuition but no tuition at the visiting school). In addition, students are required to concurrently enroll and pay a UW IP&E fee to maintain these benefits while away:
- Concurrent enrollment;
- Financial aid and scholarship eligibility;
- Graded UW credit for coursework completed abroad;
- Pre-registration privileges at the UW;
- Continued deferment of school-related loans;
- Satisfaction of residency graduation requirements;
CSE will notify IP&E of your nomination to study abroad no later than April 1. After that, you will be contacted directly by IP&E via email about their requirements. Once you are accepted to KTH, you will receive information from their admissions office about housing and enrollment. It's the student's responsibility to complete all the necessary steps for both KTH and UW to study and live abroad.
Passport & Visa
If you do not currently have a passport, you should apply for one as early as possible. The processing time can take up to 10-12 weeks.
Once you have your letter/certificate of acceptance from KTH, you can move forward with obtaining your visa from the Swedish Consulate in Seattle. You will want to check with the consulate directly about the required documents and payment you must provide.
Although you are not required to speak Swedish, we strongly encourage participating students to take the opportunity to learn the language to enhance their experience at the university and in Stockholm, as well as to increase course options at KTH.
Courses are taught in two different ways at KTH. First, the Master's courses in scientific computing are taught entirely in English. Second, students can take ordinary KTH courses, with lectures given in English or in Swedish with English slides. To prepare for this, students can take intensive summer language courses (paid for by KTH) in Swedish, starting in early July and early August, to have access to whatever classes they want.
KTH reports that they have had very good experiences with students taking the summer course - they subsequently manage very well, especially since most of the textbooks are in English. In lecture, students can also at any time ask a question in English and receive an answer in English. (Nearly every Swede at the university level will speak excellent English.)
Exchange students are expected to take a full-time load of 24-30 ECTS credits per semester (excluding language courses). In order to not jeopardize student or financial aid status at the UW, a minimum of 48 ECTS credits must be taken for a year-long exchange. If you have any concerns about a course or your expected grade while at KTH, please talk with a CSE advisor about that before making any decisions about dropping the class.
Exchange credits and equivalents are determined by IP&E and CSE after you return to Seattle. You will need to have a KTH transcript sen to the IP&E office once your exchange is complete and your final grades are reported. Please see the IP&E Credits for Exchangesfor an overview of the credit conversion process.
Courses are frequently offered as 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30 ECTS credit courses. A normal full time load for a semester is 24-30 ECTS and at least 48 ECTS for an academic year.
- 1 ECTS credit = approximately 0.75 quarter credits
- 16 ECTS credits = 12 quarter credits
- 20 ECTS credits = 15 quarter credits
- 24 ECTS credits = 18 quarter credits