A–Z list of useful information
Uppsala University’s Alumni Network is a network for former students and a meeting place for career development and forging professional contacts. The Alumni Network is for everyone who has studied or worked at, or is working at, Uppsala University. Our honorary doctors, guest researchers, board members, and others close to the University also are regarded as alumni.
The following two bookshops have the widest range of course and science literature:
Akademibokhandeln, Forumgallerian, Dragarbrunnsg 43-45
Studentbokhandeln, Sysslomansgatan 7
You will find the Uppsala English Bookshop at Svartbäcksgatan 19
Bringing your car to Sweden
If you live in another EU country and bring your car to Sweden, you will need to register it and pay the relevant taxes.
The Swedish Transport Agency has step-by-step information on how to register your car in Sweden. Please note that you cannot register your car until you have arrived in Sweden and have received your personal identity number. When you have received your personal identity number, you are allowed to drive your car for only seven days without a Swedish registration. However, you can apply for a temporary registration while the permanent registration is being handled. This is done at the same time as you apply for a ‘verification of origin’.
Uppsala Resecentrum is the central hub for Uppsala’s extensive bus network. Buses run approximately from 06:30 until midnight. You can purchase bus passes at Uppsala Resecentrum or at Pressbyrån shops, and both monthly and top-up variants are available. It is also possible to purchase single tickets on the bus with a debit/credit card or by sending a text message; however it is a lot cheaper to use a bus pass. Upplands lokaltrafik have more information about tickets and bus timetables.
Costs of living
Of course, living costs in Sweden depend largely on your individual lifestyle. The cost for an apartment/house will usually make up a large post in your budget. One bedroom apartments range from SEK 5000 to SEK 7100 at Uppsala University Housing Office and two bedroom apartments from SEK 7000 to SEK 10 000. Visit Numebo to make calculations on costs of living in Sweden.
Both Uppsala and Visby are cities full of life, and there are many things to experience. Move easily between beautiful natural surroundings, busy shopping streets, fascinating sights, and exciting cultural treasures. The cities offer loads of activities and organize many entertaining events. Please visit Destination Uppsala and Destination Gotland for more information.
Uppsala has a large network of bicycle paths, meaning cyclists rarely have to ride on the road.
The average price for a second-hand bike is SEK 600–1,000. People selling second-hand bikes usually put up notices around the student housing areas and the Uppsala Student Union office. Take caution when buying second-hand bikes from flea markets because they might be stolen property and/or not in good working condition.
Some bicycle shops also sell second-hand bikes.
Always make sure that your bike has good brakes, a bell, and lights that will help you to see in the dark. Bike lights are required by law after sunset and before sunrise. Although wearing a helmet in Sweden is optional, it is strongly encouraged by the University. Remember: never leave your bike unlocked because bike theft is unfortunately a common occurrence in Uppsala.
When cycling in Sweden it is important that you comply with traffic regulations.
The electric mains current in Sweden is 220 volts and 50 Hz. Many modern electronic devices can handle both the US and the European voltage standard – check your instruction manuals. However, Swedish sockets differ from those in the UK and the US, so you may need to use a travel adaptor.
112 is the emergency phone number in Sweden. By calling this number, you can contact the police, ambulance service, or fire department.
Families for International Friendship
Families for International Friendship (FIF) is a voluntary association founded in 1965. FIF strives to create contact between residents of Uppsala and international guest researchers with their families.
FIF works in three ways:
- By arranging contacts with Swedish host families so that international visitors to Uppsala can make friends here and learn about the Swedish culture and way of life.
- By arranging excursions in the Uppsala and Stockholm region
- By getting FIF’s members, both Swedes and international guests, together at parties.
Your ID card can be used to confirm your age and prove your identity, for example, when collecting prescription medication at a pharmacy, paying by card or conducting banking business. ID cards are issued by the Swedish Tax Agency.
Around the world, IKEA is synonymous with Sweden. Not only is it a national institution, it is also one of the few places where you can find affordable furniture and food at the same time.
Internet/Wi-Fi at the University
Uppsala University is one of many universities world-wide that offers access to the Wi-Fi network Eduroam, which makes it possible for employees, students, researchers, and staff from visiting universities and educational institutions to easily access the Internet.
The Uppsala University Library is made up of ten different branches specializing in different academic subject areas.
Alcohol is sold only in state-run shops called Systembolaget. Systembolaget’s mandate from the Swedish state is to help limit the medical and social harm caused by alcohol and thereby improve public health. Systembolaget does not sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 20.
Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.
Meetup's mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.
The main mobile phone companies in Sweden are Telia, Telenor, Tele2, and 3 Sverige. All of these companies offer a variety of packages designed to suit different needs.
The first decision you need to make when looking for a Swedish mobile phone is whether you want a prepaid SIM or a contract.
Pay-as-you-go: With prepaid phones you have maximum flexibility. Top up cards for Swedish pay-as-you-go SIM cards can easily be purchased at most newsagents (e.g., Pressbyrån) and some supermarkets.
Contract: The other option available is to sign a contract. As well as delaying payment until the end of the month, the benefits of a contract are lower calling rates and better deals on new phones. Be sure to read all the conditions such as monthly costs, connection fees, and your monthly allowance. Most contracts also tend to be for a fixed period of time, so this is probably not the best option if you intend to stay in Sweden for only a couple of months.
If you want to keep your existing mobile number and bring it to Sweden, you should first check with your operator as to whether you will get coverage in Sweden. This should not be a problem in the bigger cities, but you should make sure nonetheless.
Using a foreign SIM card in Sweden will probably result in extremely high roaming fees, unless you have a specific rate in place. Again, you should definitely consult your home operator in order to avoid receiving a shocking telephone bill.
Another option is to bring an unlocked mobile phone to Sweden and purchase a SIM card locally. Alternatively, you can purchase a disposable mobile phone when you arrive in Sweden. This will be basic, but can be a cost-effective way to communicate.
Smoking is not allowed in public buildings and, as in many other countries, regulations against smoking are getting stricter. Therefore, remember always to check if there is a sign saying No Smoking (rökning förbjuden) before you light your cigarette, even in situations where you think it is all right to smoke. It is also considered an act of courtesy not to smoke in the house of someone who does not smoke. When dining with Swedish friends, it is a courtesy to wait until everyone has finished their meal before smoking.
In Uppsala there are many opticians (optiker). Please search at www.hitta.se to find the nearest one.
Vehicles must be parked on the right-hand side of the road. The sign for prohibited parking is circular with a blue background, red border, and a red diagonal. The parking zone signs indicate which time of the day parking tickets are required. The times given in brackets indicate times on Saturdays, and any times given in red apply to Sundays. Parking tickets should be displayed on the dashboard.
In Sweden, petrol is relatively expensive, usually more than SEK 15 per liter, and heavily taxed. Petrol stations are self-service and many have automatic pumps accepting credit/debit cards; at others you pay at the cash desk.
The Post Office
Swedish Post Offices are integrated in various shops; supermarkets, kiosks, petrol stations, and the like. The opening hours therefore vary according to the specific store. Generally the opening hours are very generous. Look for the blue postal sign.
Stamps are available for sale at various shops and most newsagents.
Sweden’s National Day is celebrated on June 6, in memory of King Gustav Wasa being elected as king in 1523 and the signing of the Government Act in 1809.
The official public holidays in Sweden are:
- New Year’s Day, 1 Jan
- Epiphany, 6 Jan
- Good Friday, March or April
- Easter Sunday, March or April
- Easter Monday, March or April
- May Day, 1 May
- Ascension Day, a Thursday in May
- Whit Sunday, May or June
- The Swedish National Day, 6 June
- Midsummers Day, June
- All Saints’ Day, First Sunday in November
- Christmas Eve, 24 December
- Christmas Day, 25 December
- Boxing Day, 26 December
Many types of bottles, both glass and plastic, as well as aluminium cans, such as beer and drink cans, have a deposit charged on them. This charge is refunded when the container is returned, either in a glass container or into a recycling machine that crushes aluminium cans. In supermarkets there is a charge for both plastic and paper carrier bags.
Right of Public Access (allemansrätten)
The Right of Public Access gives everybody the freedom to roam the Swedish countryside. However, there are some things you must keep in mind when you are out walking, camping, climbing, picking flowers, or doing something else in the countryside.
Read more about the Right of Public Access at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
Shipping and storing
Active Air Cargo AB can help you with transport of luggage and goods from Sweden. Dropping off goods is to be done at SAS’s Cargo Terminal at Arlanda airport. Pickup from your home address can be arranged.
If you need a solution for your lack of space, Shurgard Self Storage offers a variety of storage units for households.
Uppsala’s two biggest taxi companies are Uppsala Taxi (tel. 018 100 000) and Taxi Kurir (tel. 018 123 456). When travelling to and from Arlanda Airport, always ask for a fixed price. You can pay by debit/credit card for taxis in Sweden and you do not need to tip the driver.
If you can receive television sent online on devices such as TVs, computers, or tablets, then you are liable for paying the radio and TV fee. Read more about TV licences at Radiotjänst.
Some important rules:
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol! Sweden has stricter regulations than most other countries about drinking and driving. An alcohol content in the blood of more than 0.2 per mille when driving is a punishable offence.
- It is compulsory for both drivers and passengers in the front and the back seats of cars to have their safety belts fastened.
- Headlights are mandatory when driving, even in daytime.
- Winter tyres are required from December until the end of March if there is snow, ice or frost on the roads.
- At a traffic junction, you must give way to traffic approaching from your right, unless the road signs or traffic lights indicate otherwise.
- At a roundabout, you must give way to traffic already in the roundabout.
- You must not leave your car idling for more than one minute; the engine must then be turned off.
- Motorcyclists and moped drivers must wear crash helmets.
- Car drivers have to give way for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings.
Trains – SJ
From Uppsala Central Station, you can travel smoothly and comfortably by train to different parts of Sweden. Trains between Uppsala and Stockholm run regularly and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes. Check timetables and buy tickets here