What can you expect?
Watch our film about life in Sweden
Studying in Sweden promotes creative, independent and liberal thinking. As an international student, you can be a part of Sweden's safe and liberal society and experience the benefits of an egalitarian community. Here, there is a distinct balance between social equality and economic success. It is no surprise that the Swedish standard of living and life expectancy are amongst the highest in the world.
In Case of Emergency
112 is the emergency phone number in Sweden. By calling this number, you can contact the police, ambulance service or fire department. In case you forget this number, you can always call 911 and be connected to the Swedish emergency services.
If you fall ill you can call 1177 for medical advice. By calling this number you will speak with a qualified nurse who can instruct you on where to turn for treatment. This number can be called 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Advice can be given in both Swedish and English. In cases of extended illness, please inform your department and speak to a study and career counsellor about how to make up for the time you have missed.
For students in Uppsala, we recommend that you visit the health care centre Samariterhemmets vårdcentral if you need to see a doctor. Drop-in times are available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 11pm. If you call 1177 for medical advice they can often help you to make a doctor’s appointment at Samariterhemmets vårdcentral.
All students at Uppsala University are covered by accident insurance while on the university premises and on their direct way to and from school. Other international student groups may be covered by additional insurance. It is important for all students to find out what kind of coverage they will receive or need to organise privately before arriving in Sweden.
Living Cheaply While in Sweden
Although it is considered to be one of the most expensive countries in Europe, most university students in Sweden are still compelled to live cheaply. Living comfortably on a student’s income is a learning process and can be done. It all comes down to personal money management. Once you have learned how to save and spend money, you will feel happier, more relaxed and free to do the things you enjoy.
- Set a personal budget
- Ride a bike
- Look for bargains and sales
- Purchase second-hand clothing and furniture
- Pack a school lunch
International students who have been granted a Swedish residency permit on the grounds of studying have the right to work while here. However, we strongly discourage students from depending on finding work as a means of supporting themselves during their time in Sweden. Finding a part-time job in Uppsala and Visby is highly competitive, and many workplaces will require employees to speak fluent Swedish. Attending classes and having a heavy school workload can also make it difficult for students to commit to a job.
Sweden is a very multicultural society and a variety of international restaurants and grocery stores can be found selling similar products to what you find at home. In particular, foreign fast food, like pizza and hotdogs, has now become an inseparable element of Swedish culinary culture.
While you are in Sweden, we recommend that you sample some of the traditional cuisine. This will help you to learn more about the culture, expand the way you think about food, and perhaps even inspire your own cooking.
- Swedish meatballs (köttbullar)
- Crayfish (kräftor)
- Sandwich cake (smörgåstårta)
- Pea soup and pancakes (ärtsoppa och pannkakor)
- Fermented herring (surströmming)
In Sweden, the kind of clothing and shoes you will need depends entirely on the weather. Sweden is a country with four distinct seasons. The summer months are often warm and sunny while the wintertime is cold and dark. The key to packing for all seasons is bringing clothes that you can layer. Jeans are a great staple and can generally be worn all year round. Make sure you bring a proper jacket and warm, waterproof shoes. If you are coming from a warmer climate and have difficulty purchasing items for an extreme winter, you may be better off buying them in Sweden. Try and be as versatile as possible and bring clothes that you can dress up as well as dress down.