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Finding a place to stay: off-campus accommodation

Welcome to the first in our series for international students, written by Nabil El Kaouay. He is an international student at Södertörn University, where he studies Journalism, and is also an international student ambassador for the university's International Office. Nabil originally comes from France and is eager to share his experiences at Södertörn University and in Stockholm with other international students.

Two people looking up at a block of flats

When you arrive in a new country to study, one of the most pressing issues is finding accommodation. At Södertörn University, you have the student housing options, but can also look for different ones.

Where to look?

As an international student, I did not know much about the rental market in Stockholm. I was lucky to have Swedish friends who told me that fining rented accommodation can be very difficult. They pointed me in the right direction, and told me to should start as soon as possible before arriving in Sweden.

In my opinion, these two are the best websites where you can find either an apartment or a flat/house share: Blocket External link. and External link.. Since you will probably not have a Swedish personal ID number before you arrive, you cannot verify your identity. However, the websites give you the option to create a serious profile that can help you when you apply. I really encourage you to fill in as much as possible and add a photo. Every detail can help you make the difference in the next step, which is finding accommodation. Be prepared for a lot of research and often no response at all. Every time you apply, write the landlord a nice application message with a description of yourself and what you are looking for. Finding the perfect accommodation is not impossible, but you must be patient. Try also to look for options outside your preferences, such as smaller suburbs around Flemingsberg. Stockholm has an efficient public transport system (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik, SL: External link.), so if you don’t mind commuting you can find nice places surrounded by lakes and forests.

Facebook groups and the housing queue

There are many groups in Stockholm where you can find posts about accommodation. You can create a post about you in these groups with a photo and explain what you are looking for. However, I do not recommend using Facebook because there are a lot of scams, and some groups also promote ads or content that have nothing to do with renting. There are tips later to help you avoid scams.

Stockholm has is a system of flats rented by housing organisations, like External link.. You need to register on their website and sometimes pay a fee. Then you are placed automatically in a queue, which could take a few months or several years. Unless you do this very early or are have a place on a long programme, I do not really recommend this option.

How to avoid scams?

Unfortunately, scammers are present on the rental market. I can offer some tips based on my personal experience. When you find accommodation that you are interested in, check whether there are enough pictures and whether they look legitimate. You can also check the landlord´s identity. For instance, on Facebook, check who posted the accommodation, whether they live in Stockholm and that the profile is not fake. You can also verify whether the address is real.

If you are in communication with the landlord, watch out for grammar and misspellings. Most importantly, never send them money if they ask you beforehand. Always sign a contract first, then transfer money. Sometimes, on Facebook, they will give you a number and ask you to contact them on WhatsApp. If it is a foreign number, it will most certainly be a scam. Unfortunately, I have heard stories of people paying in advance for fake ads, so be careful and everything should be alright!


When you are in the process of applying, the landlord is likely to ask you for documents such as a copy of your ID or passport. Other documents that can help your chances include: a guarantor letter, previous rent payment records, and references. Scan these in advance, so you can send them as soon as possible. In addition to a good profile, this will show your seriousness and eagerness to rent.

Read more on Södertörn University's website External link.. You are also welcome to contact the international coordinators for advice on how and where to find housing via

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