FAQ for exchange students
Please refer to the Uppsala University’s updates and recommendations regarding the covid-19 pandemic.
In case of discrepancies between the Uppsala University’s main page and what follows, the main page takes precedence.
Will my courses be online or on campus in spring 2021?
Every academic department will make the decision for their own courses. Some departments will start the spring 2020 semester with online teaching and then move to on-campus teaching if possible. This information will only be available closer to the start of the semester and directly from the academic departments, not from our office.
Please note: if you are not a citizen of the EU/EESS and you have been informed by a department that all your courses will be online for the Spring semester 2020, you will not be able to receive a Residence Permit from the Swedish Migration Board. Only students with at least 50% of campus-based courses are eligible for a Residence Permit. If you have questions regarding your residence permit application, please check the FAQ on the website of the Swedish Migration Board.
Can I receive my Student ID / access to Student Portal online?
Normally you can only receive your Student ID in person once you arrive on campus. However, due to the current Covid-19 situation, it will be possible for students whose initial courses will be offered online to get a Student id and access to their Student portal online.
To do that: Send an e-mail to the IT service desk: email@example.com, along with a picture of your passport identity page and your Skype username. The service desk will send you an invitation for a Skype conversation, during which it will set up your Student id.
Will Uppsala University still have Welcome Days for exchange students?
Yes, please find more information in our Welcome Programme and make sure to register for our free pickup service.
Who can apply for an exchange at Uppsala University?
You can be an exchange student at Uppsala University if your home university / department has an exchange agreement with Uppsala University and selects you for an exchange programme.
How do I apply for an exchange at Uppsala University?
First, you need to be selected and nominated by your home university / department. Each institution has their own procedures so you need to ask your home university / department about their selection process.
Once your home university / department has sent Uppsala University the names of the selected students, then Uppsala University sends these students all the necessary information about applying for an exchange.
What is the difference between university-wide and departmental exchange agreements?
There are two types of exchange agreements:
- University-wide: the agreement is between your home university and Uppsala University. It covers students from many different majors and they can take courses in many different departments. At Uppsala, these exchange students are supported by the Division for Internationalisation and can turn to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or problems.
- Departmental: the agreement is between your major’s department at your home university and the corresponding department at Uppsala University. It covers students from one major and they can take courses in a smaller selection of departments. At Uppsala, these exchange students are supported by the relevant department for all aspects of their program.
If you are not sure about the exchange program you are participating in, ask your home university or write to email@example.com. They will direct you to the relevant coordinator.
When do I apply?
You need to check with your home university / department what their selection deadline is. Then, if you are nominated for a university-wide exchange for the autumn semester or the academic year, you can apply until 1 April for Business courses and 15 April for all other courses. If you are nominated for a university-wide exchange for the spring semester, you can apply until 1 October for Business courses and 15 October for all other courses.
If you are selected for a departmental agreement, the department will send you information about their own deadline.
What level of English is required of exchange students? What language certificates, such as TOEFL, should I submit?
Uppsala University expects exchange students to be able to communicate in English at least at the B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (see definition below). No language certificate or language exam is required. You will be asked to evaluate your language of English in the application form. Your exchange coordinator at your home institution might also be asked to confirm that you can communicate in English at the B2 level.
Definition of level B2: “Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.”
When do I receive an answer?
If you are coming through a university-wide exchange agreement, you will receive an admission notification by e-mail at the end of June for the autumn semester or full year and at the end of November for the spring semester.
If you are coming through a departmental agreement, please check with your coordinator as these dates can vary.
Who is my contact person at Uppsala University?
If you are coming through a university-wide exchange agreement, your main point of contact will be the Division for Internationalisation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are coming through a departmental agreement, your main contact will be the relevant department.
I need to have my Learning Agreement signed. Whom can I ask?
If you are coming through a university-wide exchange agreement: if you have not received the name and contact info of the coordinator for your program, please e-mail email@example.com with a scanned copy of your Learning Agreement.
If you are coming through a departmental agreement, please contact your departmental coordinator.
What are the dates for the autumn and spring semesters at Uppsala University?
See the academic calendar at Uppsala University. Please note that there are no formal holiday periods during a semester.
I will be studying at Uppsala University during the autumn semester. Can I go home before Christmas?
The autumn semester officially ends around mid-January so you can expect to have classes and exams during the first two weeks of January. Please check our Academic Calendar for more information.
Because of covid-19, will my courses be online or on campus in Spring 2021?
Every academic department will make the decision for their own courses. Some departments will start the Spring 2021 semester with online teaching and then move to on-campus teaching if possible. This information will only be available closer to the start of the semester and directly from the academic departments, not from our office.
What courses can I study?
All courses in the Course catalogue for exchange students are open to incoming exchange students but some courses may have prerequisites. When you apply, you include your transcript of records so that Uppsala University can determine if you are eligible for the courses you selected.
Can I apply for courses taught in Swedish?
Yes but you have to prove that your level of Swedish is good enough to take university-level courses.
Why should I send in 8 course choices with my application? That’s too many!
We cannot guarantee that you will be placed in the first courses you request since the number of spaces available can vary and you might not meet the entry requirement. In that case, we check the other courses you have requested. If you do not send in 8 choices, we might have to contact you and there can be a delay in admitting you.
How can I create my student account? When will I get my student ID? How do I get a login to the Student Portal?
You cannot get your student ID or create a student account before you arrive here. Once you have arrived on campus – either in Uppsala or in Visby – the first step is to activate your student account in person by visiting a Service Centre (in Uppsala, the easiest is to go to the Segerstedthuset Service Centre - map). You will then be able to log in to the Student Portal, see your course schedules, and access wi-fi services at the university.
Please note that you can check your course schedule on the Student Portal without logging in. Simply search for that course on the Student Portal.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, it will be possible for students whose initial courses will be offered online to get a Student id and access to their Student portal online.
In that case, # 2 and 3 in the process can/will be replaced by the IT Service Desk booking a Zoom meeting directly with the student.
How do I register for my courses?
Shortly after we send you your Certificate of acceptance, we send you the Letter of Admissions with a listing of the courses that you are admitted to. But you also need to register for these courses. Course registration takes place during the first week of class, if not already coordinated by the relevant department. Registration procedures vary between departments so you should check the information on the Student Portal.
When and where will I be able to see my schedule?
Course schedules will be available on the Student Portal five weeks before the start of the course, at the latest.You do not need to log in to see the course schedule. You can check the schedule for any course by searching for this particular course on the Student Portal without logging in.
How do I know what book(s) or reading(s) will be included in the course(s)?
Syllabi with reading lists are available on each course page, which you can find in the Course catalogue for exchange students.
For academic questions, please contact the relevant department directly. Contact details can be found at the bottom of the course description.
Can I change courses? How can I change courses?
Once the Letter of Admissions has been sent out, courses are fixed. Uppsala University does not have an "add-and-drop period." Please note that the last day to withdraw from a course is three weeks after the course begins.
For university-wide exchange students: Course changes can only be made in cases of severe overlap of schedules or for specific academic reasons that would have a negative impact on the student´s future studies after the exchange. This must be confirmed by the coordinator at the home university by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about course registration, contact your department if you are an exchange student through a departmental agreement or e-mail email@example.com if you came here through a university-wide exchange agreement.
Can I drop a course?
The deadline to drop a course is three weeks after the course starts.
What is a full-time study load?
A full-time study load at Uppsala University is 30 hp (higher education credits) per semester.
What is the maximum number of courses / credits I can take?
As an exchange student, you can take a maximum of 37.5 hp (higher education credits) per semester at Uppsala University. This exceeds the full-time study load of 30 hp (higher education credits) and equals a work load of 125%.
What is the minimum number of courses / credits I can take?
For exchange students with EU-ESS citizenship, you need to take at least 22,5 hp (higher education credits) per semester. For students with citizenship outside of the EU, you need to be registered for at least 30 hp (higher education credits) per semester because the Swedish Migration Agency requires students to be accepted to full–time studies to issue residence permits for non-EU/EES students.
Can I take a Swedish course?
Yes, you can! Uppsala University offers a number of Swedish courses, such as the Intensive Basic Swedish course, worth 7.5 hp (higher education credits), that runs for a month before the autumn semester starts, as well as the Basic Swedish courses 1-4, throughout the autumn and spring semesters. You apply for these courses by including them in your exchange application.
My courses overlap, what do I do?
The first step is to check your schedule and verify what is mandatory or not. Then speak to the professors responsible for the courses. Do they overlap all the time, or only a few times throughout the semester? If they only overlap sometimes, your professors might find a solution. If they overlap all the time, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a course change.
Where do I find the entry requirement for courses?
Entry requirements are listed on the syllabus for each course and are accessible in the Course catalogue for exchange students.
Can I study part-time?
Uppsala University requires exchange students to be registered for a minimum of 22.5 hp (higher education credits) per term. However, the Swedish Migration Agency requires non EU/EES students to be accepted to full-time studies, which means 30 hp per term. Failure to meet the Swedish Migration Agency's requirement will result in your residence permit application to be denied.
How do I know what the study pace of my courses are?
At Uppsala University, students take courses consecutively, one after the other, rather than in parallel. This system might be quite different from what you are used to at your home university so you should read the information on course mapping and how you plan your semester.
What is the grading system?
Can my Pass/Fail grade be converted into another grading system?
No, it is not possible for Uppsala University to use any other grading scales than the one determined by the Department in question. We cannot convert the grades you receive here into another grading system.
Am I covered by the Kammarkollegiet insurance? What does it cover? And what isn’t covered?
All exchange students are covered by the Kammarkollegiet insurance while they are in Sweden, starting two weeks before the start of the semester, until two weeks after the end of the semester. This includes your plane trip if you travel directly from your home country to Sweden. The insurance covers you 24 hours a day in Sweden and includes emergency medical care, emergency dental care, personal property coverage, third party liability, legal expenses, disability and death benefits. Please note that the insurance does not cover pre-existing medical / dental conditions.
Find out more about the insurance and its terms and conditions.
If you come from an EU country, remember to take your European Health Insurance Card for medical insurance.
Does the Kammarkollegiet STUDENT IN insurance fulfil the Swedish Migration Board´s requirement?
Yes, it does. Your Certificate of Acceptance will include information about the insurance for the Swedish Migration Board.
Do I need to purchase my own health insurance?
If you have a pre-existing medical condition or in other ways deem the insurance insufficient for your personal needs after reading through the insurance's terms and conditions, we strongly recommend that you take out a private health insurance.
How does the insurance work?
You are automatically enrolled in the Kammarkollegiet insurance. If something happens (for example: you get sick), you pay for expenses (for example: a medical visit and medication) and keep the receipts for everything you pay. Then download this claim form from the Kammarkollegiet website, fill it, sign it, and bring it along with the original receipts in an envelope addressed to the Division for Internationalisation to the Service Centre in Segerstedthuset. We will then forward your dossier to Kammarkollegiet for reimbursement. You cannot submit the claim directly to Kammarkollegiet – they will not process your claim unless we have signed off on it.
You can also mail the envelope with your claim form and receipts to the following address: Uppsala University / Division for Internationalisation / Box 256 / SE-751 05 Uppsala.
Where do I turn to if I get sick?
If you fall ill in Sweden and wish to seek medical care, you should follow these steps:
- Dial 1177 from your phone and press 5 for information in English. You will then be able to speak to a qualified nurse, which you can explain your problems to. They will be able to guide you to the nearest clinic or hospital if needed.
- You can visit a Vårdcentral (a health center) near you or Uppsala Emergency Medical Centre (Uppsala Närakut) located at Dragarbrunnsgatan 70. They offer drop-in service from 07:00 a.m. to 23:00 p.m.
- When you visit a medical center in Sweden, you meet with a qualified nurse before you get to see a doctor. You cannot make an appointment with a specialist directly.
- If you come from an EU country, remember to take your European Health Insurance Card for medical insurance. If not, you will have to pay for the costs yourself and then ask for reimbursement to the insurance company by filling out a claim form.
Where do I turn if I am having a tough time, feel stressed, anxious, and/or depressed?
- The Student Health Service is here to help you with issues associated to life as a student. Contact us if you have questions regarding lifestyle, mental health, and stress management. We have a telephone service where we give support over the phone and we also offer individual counselling. You are welcome to attend our courses and groups or make yourself comfortable in our Light Room. All services are free of charge. For more information, see our webpage.
- If you have severe anxiety, suffer from severe depression or have suicidal thoughts you need more immediate help. For acute psychiatric help, call or visit the Psychiatric Emergency Clinic in Uppsala. The reception and telephone is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Telephone: 018-611 25 00. Address: Akademiska sjukhuset, entrance 12.
- If it is not acute, but you have more severe or long lasting mental health problems, please turn to your local health centre (vårdcentral), contact 1177, or seek psychiatric care.
How do I apply for housing?
Go to Uppsala University Housing Office's website and follow the instructions on application for housing in Uppsala. Note that the Housing Office is an independent organisation and that all questions or comments about housing matters should be sent to email@example.com.
When can I apply for housing?
This is decided by the Housing Office but the application period is usually 15 November–30 November for the following spring semester and 15 May – 31 May for the following autumn semester / full year.
I haven’t received my Certificate of Acceptance yet, can I still apply for housing?
Yes. If you have applied for an exchange program at Uppsala University, you can apply for housing as soon as the application period starts, even if you have not received your Certificate of Acceptance yet.
I’m an exchange student going to the Gotland campus, in Visby – how do I apply for housing?
The application process is the same for both campuses and you should use the same application from the Housing Office's website. Go to the Housing Office's website for more information on housing for exchange students on Campus Gotland.
If I apply for housing, do I have to accept the Housing Office accommodation offer?
No, applying for housing is not binding. However, once you accept an offer from the Housing Office, you sign a lease and this lease is binding.
When do I get an answer about housing?
The Housing Office usually sends accommodation offers at the beginning of December for the spring semester and beginning of June for the autumn semester / full year. When you receive an offer from the Housing Office, make sure you accept it within the deadline (usually a couple of days).
I want to live in an apartment, not in a student dorm. Can you help me?
We strongly recommend that you avail yourself to the student accommodation offered by the Housing Office as it can be very difficult to find an apartment in Uppsala and in Visby. In Uppsala, you can check the list maintained by the Student Association’s website, "Studentboet".
In Visby, you can check the housing company on Gotland: Gotlands studentbostad, but the Division for Internationalisation cannot help you with this and Uppsala University takes no responsibility for these listings.
Whom can I contact about housing?
Do I need to pay a deposit?
I have signed a lease but it ends before the end of the term and I still have an exam after that date. Can I extend my stay?
Yes, don’t worry! If you need a short extension of your lease, we can help you with your extension request to the Housing Office about 3 months before the end of the lease:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for exchange students through a university-wide exchange agreement or your department if you are an exchange student through a departmental agreement.
I have a problem with my accommodation.
You need to check your contract for your landlord’s contact info. If you cannot find this information, e-mail email@example.com.
Can I sign up for a meal plan?
No, Uppsala University does not offer meal plans. You can cook in shared kitchens in student housing as well as buy meals at the university’s cafeterias, at the student nations, or in town.
Do I need to apply for a visa or residence permit?
- If you have an EU/EES passport: you do not need anything to come to Sweden and study here.
- If you do not have an EU/EES passport and your country is listed here on the Swedish Migration Agency's website, you need both a visa to enter the country and a residence permit to study here.
- If you do not have an EU/EES passport and your country is not listed here on the Swedish Migration Agency's website, you do not need a visa but you do need a residence permit to study here.
I don’t have a EU/EES passport but I’m already studying in a European country. Do I need to apply for a Swedish permit?
Yes, if you do not have an EU/EES passport, you need to apply for a permit even if you are already a student in the Schengen Area.
How do I apply?
You apply directly to the Swedish Migration Agency on their website. Information about the residence permit application is included in your acceptance e-mail message from Uppsala University.
When should I apply?
You should apply as soon as you have all the necessary documents listed in “Step #3: Fill out an application” on the Swedish Migration Agency's website, including your Certificate of Acceptance from Uppsala University and your financial document (Student Aid certificate or personal bank statement).
Why do I have to submit a bank statement for my residence permit application?
The Swedish Migration Agency requires that all exchange students meet the living expense requirements for their entire time of stay. You need to show that you have the total amount for the whole duration of your program at the time of your application. You can prove that you meet this requirement with:
- a statement from a personal bank account (not your parents’ account, not a joint account), translated into English.
- or a scholarship certificate, translated into English.
Carefully check the information on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website for the most recent living expense requirement amount.
I have a problem with my residence permit or/and my visa application. Can you help me?
Unfortunately, since the Swedish Migration Agency is a separate administration, we cannot intervene on your behalf for your residence permit or visa application. But keep us informed if you have a problem by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a university-wide exchange student or by contacting your host department if you are a departmental exchange student.
I haven’t received my residence permit yet but I don’t need a visa to enter Sweden. Can I travel to Uppsala University anyway and wait for the residence permit in Sweden?
No. You need to have received a positive answer about your residence permit before travelling to Sweden. You cannot apply for or receive the residence permit if you are already in the country.
If you came to Sweden before the Swedish Migration Agency approves your residence permit, you would have to leave the country after 90 days.
When should I plan to arrive in Gotland?
Try to plan to arrive in Gotland on one of our Arrival Days in Gotland.
When should I plan to arrive in Uppsala?
Try to plan to arrive at Arlanda Airport on one of our Arrival Days in Uppsala so you can take our free bus service from Arlanda airport to your student accommodation. You can then visit the University’s Welcome Centre at Segerstedthuset and receive your Welcome Package.
I arrive in Sweden before Arrival Days. Can you pick me up at the airport?
I arrive in Sweden before Arrival Days. How do I pick up the key to my accommodation?
You need to check with the Housing Office whether it is possible to move in before the date stated on your lease and how you can access student housing by emailing email@example.com.
How do I get to Uppsala?
If flying, the closest airport to Uppsala is Arlanda airport. Public transportation (train, bus) as well as taxis are available from the airport to Uppsala.
How do I get to Gotland?
Gotland is an island, which can be reached either by ferries or by domestic flights. See more information on getting to Visby, the town where Campus Gotland is situated.
Can I ship luggage or boxes to Uppsala University before I arrive?
No. For safety reasons, neither the Division for Internationalisation nor the Housing Office can accept any luggage or packages. You need to be present to accept packages or boxes shipped to your accommodation in Uppsala.
I have to delay my travel plans. How late can I arrive?
You should plan to arrive before courses start. If you cannot arrive before the beginning of courses, you need to let Uppsala University know. If you are coming through a university-wide exchange agreement, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are coming through a departmental agreement, inform the department directly.
Can I get a scholarship from Uppsala University to finance my exchange program?
Uppsala University does not offer scholarships or funding for exchange students outside of the Erasmus, Erasmus +, ICM, or Nordlys programs. If eligible, you need to have applied for an exchange at Uppsala University through one of these programs at your home university.
Should I open a bank account?
No. It is extremely difficult to open a bank account without a Swedish identity number (you can only receive this number if you stay for more than 12 months). It is not worth it for students coming to Uppsala for one or two semesters. You should plan on using your bank / credit card for payments and cash withdrawals at ATMs.
You need to let your bank at home know that you will be travelling and check with them whether you can use your bank / credit card abroad, as well as what fees you would incur. If you can, ask your bank to issue a card with a chip and a pin code (rather than the cards you have to swipe and sign).
How much does it cost to live in Sweden?
For an approximate estimate of the minimum amount to cover living costs in Sweden, please check the information on the Swedish Migration Agency’s website. Your actual living costs depend on your lifestyle of course, but you should budget for about SEK 10,000 / month (about 930 euros or US $ 1000).
I don't know anyone in Uppsala! How can I meet a local student?
How do I find my way around campus / town?
Download the MazeMap app, which is more accurate for campus buildings, classrooms, etc. than Google Maps.
Can I use my Uppsala student id for student discounts? How do I get a student discount card? How do I get my Studentkort?
In order to get student discounts and fares (for example on train tickets), you cannot use your student id, you need a special card from Studentkortet (it replaces the old Mecenat card). This card serves also as a nation card if you have joined a nation.
You can receive this card in either of the following ways:
- Join a student nation and/or student nation. You do not need to apply for the card separately as it will be sent automatically to the address listed in your Studentportalen account. Please make sure that you have updated this information yourself as it will not be added automatically to your profile.
- If you do not wish to join a student nation and/or union, you can still apply for the card. However, you will need to submit your temporary Swedish Personal Identity Number and a certificate of registration for your exchange semester(s) at Uppsala University. You can retrieve a certificate of registration from Studentportalen, and below your name in the top-left corner of the document, you will also find your temporary Swedish Personal Identity Number.
How do I change my address in my Studentportalen account?
Log onto your Studentportalen account and go to "My Profile" to update your address.
How can I get my Transcript of Records?
Log onto your Studentportalen account and go to "My Ladok" section. From there, you can download a secure, verifiable Transcript of Records. If you send it to your home university, let them know they can use the link and verification code at the bottom of the page to verify that the document is authentic.
Please note that professors and departments have up to 5 weeks after the official end of the term to submit their grades. Initially contact the department where you studied directly for any problems or missing results.
Uppsala University Transcripts of Records do not include Failed courses.