Internationalisation at home


Photo: Communications Office

"Umeå University wants to expand the way staff and students understand the world, and provide them with the opportunity to develop their intercultural skills. This will take place through internationalisation at home, which is accessible for those who are unable to gain their own experiences abroad.

Internationalisation work must be incorporated into all courses and programmes, even if their starting points and representation in international networks vary, and their opportunities for international cooperation differ.

The international research and education environment at the university must draw on the skills and experiences of staff and students and be in keeping with the content and structure of the courses and programmes. Internationalisation at home must include alumni and collaboration partners in addition to the university's staff and students."

(From the Internationalisation policy)

In order to develop internationalisation at home and make it an integrated aspect of Umeå University's internationalisation work, focus must lie on:

International subject perspective

An international subject perspective involves introducing students to the different ways they can understand their subject field. For example, integrating international research and tested scientific methods into teaching.

Students can gain awareness of current research through access to research articles in English or meetings with visiting lecturers and researchers with diverse subject perspectives and international experience.

By introducing and applying tested research methods to teaching, students are part of how knowledge is created, critically evaluated, and communicated within the field.

An international subject perspective can be promoted by organising online exchanges with other higher education institutions and selecting required reading that creates a broad perspective on the subject.

Active participation in subject-related networks is also important.

Intercultural skills

Developing intercultural skills is a central objective for internationalisation at home. It aims to create inclusive and open learning environments and workplaces characterised by discussion and participation.

When diversity is seen as a resource, social and educational interactions are enriched and build upon a mutual respect for cultures and perspectives. The principles of intercultural skills apply for all teaching, regardless of the language of instruction.

International cooperations at course and programme level

International cooperations are a way of working with and strengthening the international perspective. The cooperations can involve online courses with shared components for one or more higher education institutions around the world, short or long-term studies abroad, internships and collaborations with industry and non-profit organisations.

COIL and virtual exchange are two concepts that have emerged in recent years. They involve online collaborations for a course or course component in virtual exchanges.

If you would like to learn more about the international cooperation possibilities for courses and programmes, visit Erasmus+ partnerships (for EU exchanges) or Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (for exchanges outside the EU). These are two EU programmes where you can apply for financial support for developing collaborations.

Wide range of courses and programmes

As part of internationalisation at home, it is important for international students to participate in Umeå University's courses and programmes. Attracting international students requires offering a wide range of first and second-cycle courses and programmes for this group. The courses should reflect the scope of the University and the research it conducts.

The international student groups at Umeå University are:

  • Students from outside EU/EEA countries and Switzerland (fee-paying, independent applications, "free movers")
  • Students from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland (no tuition fees, independent applications, "free movers")
  • Exchange students (via exchange agreements with partner universities).

Read more about the courses and programmes available for international students at Umeå University

Promoting Umeå University's range of courses and programmes

If international students are to choose Umeå University, there needs to be active work with marketing and promoting the courses and programmes on offer. This can involve participating in fairs, organising information meetings, maintaining contact with prospective students, marketing programmes and ensuring a well-functioning website where information about the courses and programmes is up to date, accurate, and inspirational.

Successful student recruitment requires coordination at the University where experiences can be exchanged. It is important to mention that Umeå University's current students are ambassadors for prospective students and therefore have a vital future role for the university. Maintaining contact with alumni will influence and strengthen the image of both Umeå and Sweden as a nation of knowledge.

In addition to the range of courses and programmes available, it is important to highlight and promote student life and the research being conducted at Umeå University.

There is a network for the courses and programmes available in English to support the work with tuition fee-paying students and free movers from within Europe. Contact to receive emails about network meetings.

There is a network for international contacts to support the work with exchange studies. Read more about the role as an international contact.

Exchanging experience and administrative support

Teachers and other staff can support each other and develop their intercultural skills and ability for internationalisation at home by participating in various experience exchange forums and skills development in internationalisation.

Well-structured administrative support for planning and following up on internationalisation work contributes to increasing the quality of research and education.


Network for international contacts

All departments and faculties have an international contact who works with mobility matters. The network is aimed at those working with student exchanges (student, teacher and staff mobility). Internationaliseringsforum (The Internationalisation Forum Teams group) contains manuals and procedures for mobility matters, as well as information about the international exchange programmes, networks, and collaboration opportunities available for staff and students.

Network on Teams: Internationaliseringsforum
The Teams group is available for all staff interested in internationalisation issues.
Read more about the role of international contact

Network for study programmes taught in English

This network arranges meetings and offers a meeting place for those working with programmes given in English. It is a place for sharing experiences, raising questions, discussing problematic areas, or if there is a need for support or coordination. Programme contacts and programme coordinators will have already received invitations to these meetings. If you are interested in joining the network or have changed contact person, email

Network on Teams: Student recruitment at Umeå University.
The group has several channels, of which two are aimed at international students specifically: International student recruitment and Tuition, fees and scholarships.


Reading tips

Internationalisation at home: Student teachers' experiences of the international dimensions of education (2021) by Zoi Kefala, Nafsika Alexiadou & Linda Rönnber (in Swedish)

Team for internationalisation

Internationaliseringsforum on Teams is aimed at departmental and faculty international contacts. It is also suitable for members of staff working with internationalisation in other ways.

For support with work related to exchange studies, as well as student, teacher and staff mobility.


The Student recruitment at Umeå University Teams group is a place for sharing information and knowledge with people at the University who either work with or are interested in student recruitment in some way.

There is also a channel for sharing experiences about working with fee-paying students.


Every other week, the International Office sends out a newsletter focusing on international exchanges and other internationalisation topics. Contact to subscribe.

Petra Käck