Common Questions

Student Life

Do I need to know Swedish to attend Holsby?

No – our entire Bible school program is run in English. English is also taught in schools in Sweden, so many Swedes are able to communicate in English. However, there will be opportunities for you to learn some simple Swedish words and phrases for use on outreaches and other excursions.

Where will I be living?

Female students live in our main building, Brunnsgården. This is a two-story wood building dating back to the early 1900s. The ground level houses our offices, library, computer room and dining hall. The women’s dormitory is located on the second level. From two to four students share each room, each of which are equipped with a sink and some with their own toilet. Showers and additional toilet facilities are located at the end of the hall.

Male students are usually housed in another building on our campus called Ekhaga. A wood two-story dormitory built in the 1880s, each room in Ekhaga sleeps two to four students. The rooms all have sinks, with showers and toilet facilities down the hall. Ekhaga also houses the Holsby weight room.

All the rooms at Holsby are made up with bunk beds and drawer or closet space provided for each student. Laundry facilities are located in the basement of Brunnsgården.

What is the average age of the students?

Most of our students will have recently graduated from either high school (North America) or gymnasium (Europe). Therefore, they are around 18 – 21 years old. However, every year we have several students who have already graduated from university and have started their careers.

What are daily duties?

Duties, such as washing dishes, cleaning, trash removal, laundry etc. are part of the daily routine at Holsby. Friday mornings are reserved for more thorough cleaning, as well as campus grounds and maintenance projects.

Is there Internet access?

If you bring a laptop, wireless Internet access will be available at certain locations and at certain times of the day. The computer room is also equipped with desktop computers, where students can work on assignments, access the Internet, write emails etc.  

What is the weather like?

During the school year, temperatures can range from -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) in the middle of the winter to +25 C (77 F) in the beginning or end of the school year. However, it is rare that it gets that cold or that warm. Usually the temperature will be somewhere between -5 C to +10 C (23 to 50 F).
Check out the current forecast online.

Is there a dress code?

Attire at Holsby is casual, with an emphasis on being modest, neat and clean.

What about entertainment at Holsby such as movies and music?

Our desire is to create an environment where students can pull back from the noise and distractions of this world and be given a chance to hear what God wants to say. We ask that music be played at a volume that allows for normal conversation and not be a disturbance to others. Students are asked not to watch movies, but occasional movie nights are planned by the student social committee.

What are the meals like? Is there a cafeteria?

We have an excellent kitchen staff that serves delicious, creative meals. Breakfast, lunch and supper are served in our dining hall in the main building. Lunch is our main meal, prepared fresh each day. Meals are served “family style” at tables for six. Sweets, soft drinks and other extras are available at the “Bik” – the on-campus snack shop.

How do I do laundry?

Laundry facilities are located in the basement of our main building, Brunnsgården. Student laundry tickets are included in the cost of the school fees. Laundry is done by assigned students as part of daily duties.

What about free time?

Students have afternoons free Monday through Friday, with the exception of Tuesday. Weekends are also free with scheduled worship services on Sunday.

When does the weekend begin and what are some of my options?

Students have free time from Friday after lunch through Sunday except for worship services and family group (Sunday evening). Some students may also be involved in weekend outreaches. Weekends are a good time to relax or catch up on assignments, sleep etc.

Are there opportunities to travel and see other parts of Sweden?

Four-day travel weekends (Thursday through Sunday) are scheduled, one each term, for those who want to travel around Sweden. Some students may choose to stay on campus and take time to relax.

Is there a place nearby to buy groceries and toiletries?

Holsby is located approximately ten kilometers outside the town of Vetlanda, which has several grocery stores, a pharmacy, banks, clothing stores, cafés, restaurants and other shopping. The bus stop for the ride into town is an easy 15-minute walk from campus and bikes are available for a small rental fee. Weekly shuttles are usually offered for a small fee.

packing

Packing

What do I need to bring?

Students should bring weather-appropriate clothing (see additional information about weather and dress under Student Life), slippers, toiletries and bath towels. Everyone needs to bring work clothes for Friday morning “work day.” Please remember that you will be sharing closet space, so pack sparingly and wisely. Students should also bring a good English translation of the Bible (we recommend the NASB, NIV or ESV) and general school supplies (notebook, pens etc.). Musical instruments and sports-related clothing are also useful to bring if space allows.

Bed linens, pillows and blankets are supplied by the school.

Can I bring my laptop?

If you bring a laptop, wireless Internet access will be available at certain locations and at certain times of the day. The computer room is equipped with desktop computers and cables for laptop Internet access.

Can I bring my electric appliances?

The standard voltage for Sweden/Europe is 220-240 volts. Students from North America will need to bring a small (75 watt) transformer for appliances such as electric shavers, curling irons and CD players. Pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s recommendation and to the wattage ratings of any appliances to be plugged into a transformer. Most laptops and some travel appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, shavers etc.) are dual voltage and, with a type C, E or F adapter, can be plugged into an outlet here at Holsby or at other European locations. Click here to learn more.

medical

Medical Information

What if I get sick and need to visit a doctor?

A clinic and a hospital are available nearby. Our Resident Assistants, who live in the dorms, are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency. Non-Europeans are required to have valid medical insurance and EU citizens must bring their European Health Card as proof of insurance.

What kind of health insurance do I need if I don’t come from the EU?

North Americans and non-EU citizens need to make sure they have appropriate insurance coverage. Once you have arrived, we will ask you to provide us with proof of insurance.

Swedish immigration authorities require medical insurance coverage valid in Sweden before they will issue a residence permit (visa). A couple of web-based travel insurance companies are: www.sevencorners.com and www.internationalinsurance.com. Check the instructions on www.swedenabroad.com for your country, or call the Swedish consulate nearest you.

I’m from the EU; what kind of health insurance do I need?

Sweden offers general health care for Swedish residents, residents of other Scandinavian countries as well as the EU/EES countries. European students should make sure to bring their European Health Card with them for their stay in Sweden. Once you have arrived, we will ask you to provide us with proof of insurance.

Remember: All students must be covered by insurance.

arrival2

Arrival and Departure

Is there a deadline for applying to Bible school?

Residents of the European Union may apply to Holsby Bible School up to seven days prior to the start of the school term. To ensure adequate processing time for the student residence permit applications, we need to receive applications from non-Europeans no later than three months prior to the start of school. The residence permit application process usually takes two to three months.

When can I arrive at school and when do I need to leave?

The school year begins with the evening meal at 18:00 (6 pm) on the date given as the first day of the school term. Students may leave anytime on the date given as the last day of the term. You should arrange your travels to arrive on the date given as the first day of school or the day before. Departure should be planned on the date given as the last day of school or the day after. We are usually not able to accommodate students arriving any earlier or leaving any later than this, so don’t make such plans. The same is true for Christmas break and spring break.

holsby map

Travel

How do I get to Holsby?

Print a PDF with directions

We are located in southern Sweden, halfway between Stockholm and Copenhagen, Denmark. Holsby is situated in the community of Holsbybrunn, about eight kilometers outside the city of Vetlanda. We offer shuttle pickups from the train/bus station in Vetlanda. We do not offer airport pickups.

We request all travelers requiring pickup from the Vetlanda train/bus station to notify the school office in advance of their time of arrival.

Directions for those coming from outside of Europe

If you are arriving from outside Europe, the best airport destinations are Stockholm (Sweden) or Copenhagen (Denmark). From here you will have to take a train to Vetlanda. When booking flights, find one arriving no later than 14:00 (2 p.m.). If you arrive after 15:00 (3 p.m.) you may miss the day’s last train and will have to spend the night. The same is true when leaving Holsby. Don’t make flight reservations for any departure earlier than 12 noon. Early afternoon is recommended.

If you need to spend the night in Stockholm or Copenhagen, click here for more information on hostels.

You may have found that the nearest airport to Holsbybrunn is in Jönköping (pronounced “yon-shupping”). This is not the best option. You have to fly through Stockholm or Copenhagen regardless, and this airport has poor bus/train connections.

Train Connections

You can find train departures and arrivals, and buy your train tickets online by going to www.sj.se (Swedish train company’s website). It is more convenient and less expensive to buy the ticket ahead of time, but be aware that if your plane is delayed and you miss your train, you will lose your money. You can also wait and buy a ticket when you get to the station.

On the Swedish railway website, choose “English” at the top; then type in Arlanda (Stockholm’s airport) or Kastrup (which brings up Copenhagen’s airport also known as Köbenhavns Lufthavn/Kastrup) as the “From” location and Vetlanda as the “To” destination. Select the time and date, and it will show you when the trains leave. Make sure to give yourself at least 1.5 – 2 hours from the time the plane arrives until the train departs. If you are under 26 years of age, choose “Youth”. You will then be given a choice of train departures and prices.

If you have a Visa, Master Card or Eurocard with a “3-D Secure” password, you may be able to buy the ticket online and print it out at home. Visa calls this password “Verified by Visa” and Master Card calls it “Master Card Secure Code.” However, unless you have a card issued in one of the Scandinavian countries, they may block your purchase. SJ is very restrictive as to which cards they allow to be used on their website. Once you have arrived on campus, you can buy train tickets, if necessary, through Holsby, because we have a business account with them.

From Stockholm, you will notice that you have to change trains at the Central Station and again in Nässjö (pronounced “nesh-uh”). From Copenhagen you will have to change at least in Nässjö and most likely one more time before that. For the last leg of the trip, Nässjö to Vetlanda, there might be a bus instead of a train. If by bus, the ticket will say “Länstrafik, buss…” followed by a number. If you will travel by train, the ticket will say “Länstrafik, tåg…” followed by a number.

The least expensive tickets are released for sale 90 days before departure, and prices are lower the earlier you buy them. Youth (under 26) can buy inexpensive “Last Minute” tickets at the automated ticket machine at the train station. To do this, you must have a credit card with the 3-D Secure code. If you don’t have this kind of credit card, you can also buy regularly priced tickets at the ticket counter. The risk with this option is that the train may be full and the prices might be higher.

Flying with RyanAir

RyanAir flies into either Göteborg City (Gothenburg) airport or Stockholm Skavsta airport. Skavsta is actually located in a small city outside Stockholm called Nyköping (pronounced “nee-shupping”). From these airports you will take an airport bus to the central station for train connections.

To search for train options, you should also use the website www.sj.se. Type Nyköping or Göteborg as the “From” location and Vetlanda as the “To” destination. Do not book a flight arriving later than 14:00 (2 p.m.), or you may not be able to catch the last train of the day.

Contact

Should you need to contact us by phone during your travels, the following numbers apply:

Within Europe 0046 383 50670 (office) or 0046 383 50334 (student phone)
Within Sweden 0383/506 70 (office) or 0383/50334 (student phone).

If I want to get off campus and travel, when can I do that?

If you want to tour Europe, we recommend either before school starts, during the Christmas/spring breaks or after school ends. In addition, there are three travel weekends scheduled during the school year, one per term. These four-day weekends start on Thursday morning and end Sunday evening. Students desiring to leave campus for an overnight stay at any other time must get approval before making plans.

Can my friends and family visit Holsby?

Many family members of students consider planning a trip to Sweden. If space allows, visitors are welcome during the Bible school year for a fee of approximately 225 SEK/day for room and meals. For more information, contact us at office@holsby.org.

money

Finances

What is the currency in Sweden?

The monetary unit in Sweden (SEK) is the krona or kronor (plural), and equals 100 öre. You can find current exchange rates at www.x-rates.com.

What is included in the cost of your school fees?

Tuition
Lodging and all meals
Email/Internet access
Laundry and detergent
Required reading and printed materials
Use of Holsby facilities

NOT included in your fees:

Residence permit (visa) required for all non-EU students
Health and accident insurance during Bible school
Postage and telephone calls
Bus/shuttles to town
Travel expenses

How should I pay my fees?

You can either wire the funds to our bank in Sweden, or if you are from North America you can send a personal check to our address in the United States. Students will receive more information concerning these two options once they have been accepted.

When is my reservation deposit due?

The registration deposit is generally due two months after the acceptance letter is issued. If students apply very early or very late, that time frame will change.

How can I get cash in Sweden?

The best way for students to get cash during their stay in Sweden is to use a debit card issued by one of the major companies: Visa, Master Card, Euro Card etc. The closest banks and cash machines (ATMs) are in Vetlanda, a town about ten kilometers from campus.

How much spending money do I need?

The amount of money to bring depends on the student’s spending habits. Extra money is needed to cover miscellaneous expenses such as postage, phone calls, snacks, local bus transportation, optional outings, toiletries and school supplies. Most students have said that 5,000 SEK has been enough to cover all such incidentals for the entire school year. Those who will be traveling during school breaks or after the end of school should plan on spending more money.