KTH Exchange

The direct exchange program between UW CSE and KTH in Stockholm, Sweden began in Autumn 2001. Depending on interest and space, CSE can send up to two CSE undergraduates to KTH each year.

Preparing for an exchange to KTH

CSE majors interested in visiting KTH should read through our general info on CSE exchanges, speak with a CSE advisor, and attend our annual info session on CSE exchanges. The application for CSE exchanges takes place in January and February, and students confirm their intent to go abroad before the end of February.

Academic preparation: Ideally, students will finish some of the requried 300-level CSE courses, visit KTH during in their junior year, then return to UW for the final senior requirements. However, an exchange during senior year is also possible.

KTH's academic calendar: KTH offers two semesters (Autumn and Spring), with two "Study Periods" in each semester. Autumn runs September through mid-January, including instruction through late December, some exams in late October term and some exams as late as mid-January. Spring semester runs from late January through early June, with exams in March and June. Find the full KTH calendar here.

Depending on specific dates in a given year, students who go to KTH for one semester may be able to attend KTH for Autumn, and still return to UW for Winter; or students may attend UW for autumn quarter, and spend both winter and spring abroad (KTH's Spring semester).

KTH arranged specific Arrival Days for visiting exchange students. Check the KTH calendar for dates.

Stipend: 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.


Info for selected students: Confirming your exchange

Living and studing abroad requires a lot of small preparatory tasks. Allow time for all of these, and keep deadlines in mind. It's your responsibility to complete all the necessary steps for both KTH and UW.

After you are selected for an exchange, you must email Raven to confirm your exchange by February 25. If you are unable to go, please let us know as soon as you have made your decision. We will want to offer your spot to another student, and give that person enough time to consider their decision.

CSE will send your exchange info to UW International Programs & Exchanges, and IPE will send you instructions on their exchange requirements.

CSE will also nominate you to KTH, and introduce you via email to our coordinators at KTH. You must then apply formally to KTH. The KTH application is mostly a formality, but it will take some time to prepare. KTH applications must be submitted online by April 15 for Autumn exchanges, and October 15 for spring exchanges. The application requires a number of components, including a scanned copy of your official transcript and your ID, stamped by a notary (Raven can help arrange this). Consult the Information for Exchange Students on the KTH site for full details. Please review the KTH application requirements early, so you know what is required, and begin compiling your materials well before the deadline.


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 3 months, and you will need a passport before you can submit the KTH application.

KTH provides info online about obtaining a residence permit. Begin this process as soon as you receive your formal admission to KTH. As of autumn 2015, the basic process for US citizens requires gathering necessary documents (proof of insurance, finances, and acceptance to a Swedish university); applying online to the Swedish Migration Board; getting approved for the visa; and getting photgraphed and fingerprinted for your permit after your arrival in Sweden. FUll detailks are available online. Non-US citizens may need an entry visa before arriving in Sweden, depending on their country of citizenship; check online for current requirements. 

Arriving in Sweden

To help you transition to KTH, the school hosts "Arrival Days" just before the start of August language courses and before autumn semester. This includes some social and informational activities, plus a mandatory registration meeting. There may also be transportation from the airport to KTH. Check for dates under the "Arrival and Introduction" link on the page for admitted students. KTH also has this student organization that arranges welcome events for new international students.  



KTH School of Computer Science & Communication
KTH Course Catalog
Student Feedback on Academics at KTH

UW's course equivalency catalog for all exchanges

Academic Calendar

KTH's academic calendar is very different from UW's: in semesters instead of quarters, with different start and end dates than UW's school year, and with some exams running long after courses end. If you go abroad for a full year, none of these are big issues. If you spend half the year abroad and half at UW, you'll need to carefully consider which courses will be offered at each school in each term and whether you should stay abroad through re-exams (allowing for this second opportunity to take each exam could be useful, but it may mean returning to UW much later). Note that not all courses have exams in the extended exam period, and some faculty may be willing to schedule earlier exams if necessary. Also note that tuition may vary depending on your combination of semester abroad and quarters at UW (one semester + one quarter is cheaper than one semester + two quarters).

Course planning

The KTH application requires a study plan of proposed courses. This should be a well-considered plan, but most people will adjust their courses after arriving in Stockholm.
The following expert planning advice comes from one of our visiting students:
"KTH uses the semester system but each semester has two "blocks." Students take 3-4 CS or math courses (30 credits) per semester but usually not more than 3 at once. For example you'd have one course which is only in the first block and then a second course which is only in the second block. You want close to 15 credits in each block; for ex:
Course 1: Block 1
Course 2: Block 1 and 2
Course 3: Block 1 and 2
Course 4: Block 2
You might want to take 2-3 CS + Swedish/Swedish culture course instead of 3-4 CS courses since you're on exchange though! Number of credits is unfortunately not a good indication of amount of work."
For more help picking classes, see this spreadsheet of previously-evaluated course equivalents (requires CSE log-in), and talk with other former and current KTH exchange participants.


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.)