Uppsala is the county seat of Uppsala County and the fourth-largest city in Sweden.
As with many other universities, Uppsala University and SLU provide a guarantee of accommodation for non-EU students. After admission and confirmation from you that you accept your place in the program, you will be sent a detailed guideline for the next steps. With regard to housing, you will be given a choice of 9-10 dorms. Among them, you will have to choose three and prioritize them. During the application, you will receive detailed information about each accommodation, as well as a PDF document with detailed interviews of different students from each dorm. After the end of the deadline, you will receive a place in one of the selected places. While choosing to house, we highly advise you to look at the distances between your main campus and housing.
Besides the offered options, you can also apply for accommodation in nations. Usually, they are cheaper in price, however, without furniture. It can be more difficult to get it due to competition.
Through the communal housing queue administered by Uppsala municipality (Uppsala Bostadsförmedling) you can apply for student housing. Rikshem and Uppsalahem are the largest providers of student accommodation in Uppsala and all of their housing is applied for through this site.
Like many housing companies in Sweden, Uppsala Bostadsförmedling has a queue system, and available accommodation goes to the applicant with the largest amount of queue days. It is therefore important that you register for their queue as soon as possible.
International students who do not have a Swedish personal identity number are also able to receive housing from Uppsala Bostadsförmedling.
Blocket is a popular Swedish website where people sell a wide variety of things, including accommodation. While the website is in Swedish, you can find advertisements for second-hand contracts under the category Bostad.
In addition, do not forget about Facebook groups (ex.: Uppsala Accommodation, Uppsala housing/Bostad Uppsala and etc.), where you can consider various options for housing. But since Uppsala is a student city and so many students come every year, this is not so easy.
There have been several instances of fraud in connection to second-hand housing advertisements, especially around the start of the semester. You can avoid being scammed by declining to make any payments until a housing contract has been signed by both parties.
Payment of rent in Sweden takes place on a monthly basis. Rent must be paid by the last weekday of any month, to cover the rent for the following month. Your rent usually includes electricity, water, and the use of a kitchen with appliances and a washing machine/laundry room.
The most important feature of Uppsala is the nation. There are 13 different ones and each one represents a different area in Sweden. You can join any nation you like (unless you are Swedish in which case if you do not have family ties to Södermaland or Nerikes regions, you cannot join Snerikes. But for all the other ones no problem). Joining one nation gives you access to all 13 of them. Each one gives different perks specific to that nation. Most give free entry to their club for members (except Kalmar and Upplands who only give 50 per cent off) while others also give you discounts on food and hot drinks at their pubs and cafes. Most also give their members priority for buying Gasque tickets with them. You can join as many nations as you like. The membership fee is paid once a semester.
Each nation’s activities are run by the students for the students, and anyone can choose to be actively involved. In addition to working at the bar, serving food, or cooking, many nations encourage you to come up with your own suggestions for events and things to do. You might like to start a dance class or hold a fashion show. If you are active in the work of a nation, you can get a KK card that gives you and a guest free entry to all nations for traditional nation events and activities. For many students, the nations are just a place to hang out, have fun, and take a break from their studies.
Here are the contacts of the 13 nations in Uppsala:
Gotlands nation, Östra Ågatan 13, +46 18 13 09 81
Gästrike-Hälsing nation, Trädgårdsgatan 9, +46 18 66 61 41
Göteborgs nation, S:t Larsgatan 7, +46 18 13 20 06
Kalmar nation, Svartmangatan 3, +46 18 69 49 80
Norrlands nation, Västra Ågatan 14, +46 18 65 70 70
Smålands nation, S:t Larsgatan 5, +46 18 13 18 54
Stockholms nation, Drottninggatan 11, +46 18 14 63 33
Södermanlands-Nerikes nation, S:t Olofsgatan 16, +46 18 15 40 60
Uplands nation, S:t Larsgatan 11, +46 18 15 21 51
Värmlands nation, Ingmar Bergmansgatan 2, +46 18 13 44 45
Västgöta nation, Västra Ågatan 18, +46 18 13 63 60
Västmanlands-Dala nation, S:t Larsgatan 13, +46 18 10 53 39
Östgöta nation, Trädgårdsgatan 15, +46 18 13 43 11
Uppland´s regional buses UL (Upplands Lokaltrafik) is the main public transport services in Uppsala County. They are running the local city buses in Uppsala, the yellow regional buses and the Upptåget train system including SL-pendeln (to travel to Stockholm).
UL offers single, 24h, 72h, 7-day, 30-day and 90-day tickets. There are many different ways to buy your tickets for example through the UL mobile app (a smart travel tool), through a UL Card (where you load your Travel Funds) or you can just buy tickets from the ticket machines at all major transport hubs. You can also pay when boarding the bus or train with VISA or MasterCard. The UL Centre is located in Uppsala central station where you can get information and help regarding tickets and transport.
UL and SL (Stockholm Lokaltrafik) collaborate on many lines across county boundaries by both bus and train. The biggest example is the SL commuter train. The SL commuter train for example only takes 18 minutes from Uppsala to Arlanda*. Alternatively, you can take the regional bus 801 to and from the airport. It costs only 81 SEK but takes around 50 minutes.
* Please note that if you decide to use the SL train to travel to the airport or from the airport to the city then you will have to pay 120 SEK for an access ticket.
Uppsala is a lively shopping city. There is a nice mix of modern malls, specialty shops, cafés and restaurants. You can take a walk around the charming shops in the cobblestone cultural district around the Fyris River and St. Erik’s Square, or along the popular pedestrian street where most of the city’s fashionable malls and chain stores are located. You can easily reach the shopping centres located in the districts around Uppsala by bus.
To purchase products, we advise you to go to large markets. There you can often find something on promotions. The most profitable store with numerous promotions and a suitable location (near the biggest student area Flogsta) is ICA Vast. Unlike other ICAs, there is a whole room here for discount items that are really useful. There are also shops with products from the Middle East in the city. There it is profitable to buy vegetables and fruit. There you will find products that are difficult to find in Swedish supermarkets. The biggest ones are Orientus (close to the downtown) Multimat (close to Stenhagen and Flogsta).
It is advisable to follow the activities of the Bruised Food Club Uppsala organization. It organizes retail markets where you can get some products for free. They almost always have bread, and if you’re lucky you can also get some vegetables for free. Thus, you will save money and also help reduce food waste. You can visit the Facebook page of the Bruised Food Club Uppsala organization here.
It is also advisable to follow the organization “Zero Waste Uppsala“. The activities they conduct are very useful. For example, at the beginning of each semester, they organize second-hand markets for students in one of the Flogsta buildings.
Also, not far from Flogsta, a huge open market for bicycles for every taste and budget is organized every year. Don’t forget to check the Facebook market, there you can find a suitable bike too.
Life in Uppsala
As a student, living in Uppsala is amazing. There are things happening all the time, and there is something for everyone. The city centre is quite small and no matter where in Uppsala you live, you can get around by bike, which everybody does. The architecture is cosy with old buildings here and there, and there are lots of parks and greenery.
Living in Uppsala can present some challenges and the biggest differences are the seasonal changes, the contrast between winter and summer and the length of the days. People stay at home a lot in winter with cosy candlelight evenings and then in summer it’s all about BBQs, going to the lake Ekoln and enjoying the outdoors.
General groups for students:
And yes, you have a chance to see Northern Lights in Uppsala: