Academic life

Swedish academic culture is fairly informal. This means that university lecturers are considered as more like partners in students’ educational and learning processes. Less time is dedicated to traditional classroom lectures and more to personal reading and individual and group tasks. The aim is to give students a balanced workload between taking part in lectures, reading the assigned course materials, critical consideration of the readings, and group discussions, all of which are important parts of the advanced learning experience. Active participation in class discussions and student interaction outside the classroom are encouraged, giving therefore a substantial amount of responsibility to students in their preparations for their future lives as professionals, researchers and policy-makers.

Access to Health care

  • Emergency number 112 – call if you are in immediate danger
  • Emergency units at Hospital – if you get very ill or seriously injured.
  • Call 1177 if you need to talk to a nurse for advice for other types of health care. You can also get information about where to go for help and they can help with appointments. The nurse will answer the call in Swedish but speaks English as well.
  • Visit the national webpage to find a health care unit and/or dental clinic in your area. Opening hours and contact information is normally found through that web page as well.

Banking in Sweden

The ability to have access to a bank account covered by the State’s deposit guarantee scheme, and to basic payment services, is open to everyone. This applies regardless of your citizenship and whether or not you have a Swedish personal identity number.

When you open a bank account you can get a debit card and Internet and telephone services linked to the account. The cheapest way to pay bills is through the banks’ payment services, which are available online.

It is recommended that you bring these two documents, showing your rights, when opening a bank account:
Becoming a bank customer - Information sheet from the Swedish Bankers' Association
Open a bank account in Sweden - Information sheet from the International Faculty and Staff Services at Uppsala University

Paying bills in Sweden – without a swedish bank account

If you do not have a bank account in Sweden but need to pay a bill, there are different service points where this can be done. You pay a fee for them to handle the payment. Easiest way to find a service point close to you is to ask your fellows at your host university.

Civic registration

The Swedish Tax Agency manages the civic registration in Sweden. For holders of residence permits valid for minimum 1 year, you might want to register with the Swedish population register. When you have been registered you will be given a Swedish personal identity number and be registered as living in a building with an address.

Information on how to do this can be found at the Swedish Tax agency: Moving to Sweden

If you have registered with the Swedish population register and move to a new address it has to be reported within one week from the move in order for the authorities to have the correct adress. Follow the instructions from the Tax agency: Moving in Sweden

Cost of living

Like everywhere the living costs in Sweden will depend on the indivicual lifestyle as well on where in Sweden you will be staying. When applying for a residence permit in Sweden you need to show proof of an income of at least 8370 SEK per month (2019 level). That amount is calculated like this:

Food: SEK 2,000
Accommodation: SEK 4,070
Local travel: SEK 550
Phone/internet: SEK 300
Hobby/leisure, miscellaneous: SEK 1,450
Total: SEK 8,370

This is an average monthly budget for one person. Cost of accomodation will vary a lot and the cost calculated for that in this budget is on the lower side.

The official web page about studying in Sweden has gathered some useful tips, including students own experiences on the the cost of living: Cost of Living.

Dental care

There is both public and private dental care in Sweden. The public dental care is called "Folktandvården" and is availible throughout Sweden. You need to get an appointment in advance to go to the dentist, also for emergency visits. To find a clinic and their contact details please visit

Pricing is free and therefore differs depending on the clinic you choose.


Swedish is the official language in Sweden. There are also five official national minority languages: Finnish, Meänkieli (Torne Valley Finish), Sami languages, Yiddish and Romani. The vast majority of the population also speaks English.

Upon arrival in Sweden and during your first weeks in Sweden this glossary, produced by the International Faculty and Staff Services at Uppsala Universityby might be helpful: Glossary

If you would like to learn some basic Swedish the Swedish Institute offers a free online course: Learning Swedish


Pharmacies in Sweden (Apotek) provide prescription and non-prescription medication as well as basic health products. Some non-prescription medication can also be found in Supermarkets.

Public holidays

The official public holidays in Sweden are:

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Epiphany Day – 6 January
  • Good Friday – March or April, Date vary, the Friday before Easter Sunday
  • Easter Eve – March or April, Date vary, the Saturday before Easter Sunday
  • Easter Sunday – March or April, Date vary, first Sunday after full moon, after spring equinox
  • Easter Monday – March or April, Date vary, the Monday after Easter Sunday
  • May Day – 1 May
  • Ascension Day – May, Date vary, sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday
  • Sweden’s National Day – 6 June
  • Midsummer’s Eve – June, Date vary, Friday before MIdsummer's Day
  • Midsummer’s Day – Date vary, any Saturday between 20 and 26 June
  • All Saint’s Day – Date vary, any Saturday between 31 October and 6 November
  • Christmas Eve – 24 December
  • Christmas Day – 25 December
  • Boxing Day – 26 December
  • New Year’s Eve – 31 December

Sweden - a quick guide

To explain the culture and customs in a country is not easy and you risk presenting a stereotyped picture of the country missing out of the diversity of the country. In particular, in a country like Sweden, where about 20 percent of the population (19,1 percent by the end of 2018) have migrated to Sweden for different reasons. But the link below provides at least some facts.

Some quick facts about Sweden that can be useful to read before coming to Sweden.


Public transport
Public transport is a commonly used and easily accessible. Type of transport and fares varies from region to region. Sweden's offical website for tourism and travel information has a useful list of both regional transport companies as well as for nation wide: Public transport in Sweden

Cycling is common in Sweden as it is affordable, excercising and eco-friendly.

Check that your bicycle has good brakes, a bell that works, reflectors and lighting approved for cycling in the dark.

Some rules for cyclists
* A cyclist must give way when coming off a cycle path onto a road.
* It is prohibited to cycle on footpaths, pavements and walkways unless otherwise indicated.
* Signal when changing traffic lanes.
* Use a safe leve! of speed.
* Use your bell when overtaking and when necessary to avoid misunderstandings.
* Do not ride your bicycle while under the influence of alcohol.
* A bicycle is a vehicle , which means that right-hand traffic, road signs, road markings and traffic lights apply to you when you are riding a bicycle.

lnfringements made by cyclists are monitored by the police, break of rules and/or not correctly equipped bike might result in fines.

Even if it is not mandatory, if you are over 15 year, it is recommended to use a helmet.

Weather and clothing

Depending on where in Sweden you will be as well during which period you will be in Sweden you will experience different type of weather. Sunshine does not always mean a warm weather, check the temperature and dress accordingly.

Sweden's official website for tourism and travel information have gathered some basic information about the weather and climate in Sweden on their web page: Weather and climate in Sweden