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We need to talk…

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I need to tell you something, and the thing is it’s pretty important…Uppsala has a housing crisis.

There’s something you should know when considering Uppsala as a study destination and this applies mainly to master’s students!

Luckily for students from outside of the EU (fee-paying or scholarship holders), the university will help find you accommodation. If you’re a European national then I’m afraid you’ll have to find your own housing and unfortunately you’re pretty much on your own, but fear not, I have some tips! I’ll say it now; it’s not going to be easy, you’ll either find somewhere right away or you’ll be ripping your hair out until the last minute where a place crops up weeks before you’re due to move. The housing situation in Uppsala is bad and they know it. With the influx of more and more students each year, this city struggles to provide available housing everyone. Someone told me that Uppsala university wasn’t allowed to own student accommodation, unlike most other universities globally, therefore all housing companies are privately owned. Although the struggle to find housing is well and truly a huge factor when deciding on where to go, please don’t let this put you off. With good organisation and preparation, you may find yourself finding housing rather quickly but for now, let’s get the basics down…

Start looking NOW. It doesn’t matter if you’ve even applied yet or not, the earlier you start searching, the better. Housing companies operate on a queuing system, so the longer you’ve been signed up, the more points you accumulate and when a room becomes free, that person then becomes the new tenant. Warning though, these queues are long and it can take up to 2/3 years to get offered a place. I’ve heard of some people waiting up to 6 years just to occupy one room (but this is obviously extreme!). This means that some Swedish students have been queuing since they were about 16! Obviously this is an incredibly unfair system since how are we as international students supposed to know about the housing crisis before we’ve even discovered Uppsala as a possible option? I agree that it’s ridiculous so whoever is in charge, SORT IT OUT!

Nonetheless, here’s a list of some housing companies, so sign up now!

Some housing companies operate on a first come, first served basis. This means that the person, who replies the quickest to the ad, gets the room! Companies like Heimstaden do this and I was very lucky to get a first-hand contract this way. They own the buildings located in Flogsta which is where most students live however this is not limited to students and you might find yourself living with people of all ages working all sorts of jobs. Here’s the site: http://www.heimstaden.com/

Then there’s the second hand contracts… people often rent out their apartments and rooms for students. Many are usually students who are renting a place but are going on exchange so you are essentially paying their rent until they’re back. The major downside is that when they want to move back, you have to be out and with the housing crisis being as bad as it is, you could be left homeless! I have friends who have to leave their places by January and although they’ve been searching since they’ve arrived, they still haven’t found anywhere. By anywhere, this literally means ANYWHERE. They’re not fussy at all as to where they live but there aren’t any rooms physically available since the competition for a room is so high. 2nd hand housing often comes up on the student site Studentboet: http://www.studentboet.se/

I write with total honesty because I want to let you all know how serious you have to be in the search for housing. Since EU students are lucky enough to not pay tuition fees, you’re on your own in the housing hunt. I won’t sugar coat the situation for you, this is exactly what I think after 4 months of being here. I am still in the housing queues and am nowhere near the beginning of the queue. I am lucky but many are not so please be prepared if you are seriously considering studying here (I’ve heard it’s almost the same in Stockholm too). There’s no doubt that studying in Sweden is a rewarding experience but you must be aware of the housing situation so that you don’t get any nasty shocks! One friend turned up in Sweden to find out his room wasn’t even furnished (this is very common and neither was mine!), so if you get your contract, read it over and over again!

 

If you’re an exchange student through an agreement with your home university, don’t worry. You’ll already have a room and furniture sorted out for you when you get there … you lucky devils you.

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Francesca avatar

9 Comments

  • Zlata • 9 Apr 2015 at 11.45 am Reply

    hello Francesca,
    I’ve a question regarding to social security number. I’m trying to registrate on this pages but it’s impossible without this number which I don’t have… how can I get it? Thank you on your help and info 🙂

    • Francesca Martin • 12 Apr 2015 at 9.28 pm Reply

      Hi! Unfortunately you cannot get a swedish personal number until you are physically in Sweden therefore you can ask the university for your temporary number if you have been accepted (this usually has your birth date YY-MM-DD and a T-number at the end). You can still register with nation housing using this number. Once you’re in Sweden, head to Skatteverket (the tax office) and they’ll set you up with one. Good Luck!

  • Tamara • 27 Jan 2015 at 4.45 pm Reply

    Thanks a lot!
    I applied to the Master Programme in Bioinformatics so, fingers crosses. Just one more question about corridors: I know that in some places corridors are mostly occupied by younger students in their first or second year, do yo know if this happens in Uppsala or there is people of every age? I wouldn’t like being the only 25 year old around there hehe

    • Francesca Martin • 29 Jan 2015 at 4.10 pm Reply

      Hey! It seems as though there are people of all ages studying at all levels. In fact I’ve met a lot of undergraduate exchange students older than myself so you don’t have to worry about being surrounded by 18 and 19 year olds! Corridors such as those in ‘Studentstaden’ or many in ‘Rackarbergsgatan’ only house students whereas those in flogsta house absolutely anyone. You may even find yourself living with someone over 60 there!

  • Tamara • 25 Jan 2015 at 2.12 pm Reply

    Hello, Francesca!
    I have also applied to Uppsala and have checked the http://studentboet.se/en website. I see that there are a lot of different zones in the city. Could you recommend some? which ones are closer to the university?

    • Francesca Martin • 26 Jan 2015 at 4.00 pm Reply

      Hi! It all depends on where you are studying. If you’re studying science, then you’ll more than likely be in the BMC/Angstrom/EBC therefore somewhere in Flogsta, Eriksberg or Kåbo (south west of the city) is ideal. As for the humanities, a lot of their classes are taught in the city centre so somewhere like Studentvägen or Rackarbergsgatan are good since they are just west of the city centre. Of course it all depends on what kind of housing you prefer, if you want to live in a corridor with many other people, then Flogsta and Studentvägen are perfect or if you prefer something a bit more personal, there are apartments available in Rackarbergsgatan or north of the city in Djäknegatan. I suggest having a look at where your classes will be taught and then deciding from there, although it isn’t far nor difficult to bike around the city 🙂

  • Tamara • 25 Jan 2015 at 1.53 pm Reply

    Hello, Francesca!
    I have also applied to Uppsala and have checked the http://studentboet.se/en website. I see that there are a lot of different zones in the city. Could you recommend some? which ones are closer to the university?

    Thanks a lot!

  • Cina • 25 Nov 2014 at 3.07 pm Reply

    Hi Francesca,

    I’ve applied to Uppsala as my first choice and was wondering if I do get accepted, what is the best way to go about finding accommodation at Uppsala? I’ve looked at the links on your blog however it’s all in Swedish and really hard to understand/register. Worried I may not find accommodation by next year…please help!

    Cina

    • Francesca Martin • 26 Nov 2014 at 4.26 pm Reply

      Hey! The sites are a nightmare to translate, I know 🙁 but if you have Google chrome then there should be an extension that automatically translates the page for you. I wouldn’t worry too much, I found accommodation and you can too! Just check out this site as much as you can for regular advertisements: http://studentboet.se/en

      If you’re worried, then contact your department also! Within the biology department that I’m part of, there are students that actively find accommodation for you but they will get in touch with you once you have been accepted. It might be worth dropping your department an email asking what the situation is! I wouldn’t worry yourself too much just yet as staff will help you out if you are absolutely desperate for housing. Please don’t let this put you off Uppsala, the benefits outweigh the negatives by a mile!

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