Living in Sweden

During your time in Sweden, many things will happen, some only once and others annually. Here you will find mixed information about some common things that might occur during your time in Sweden and other tips.

Union membership and unemployment insurance

There are three unions at Umeå University, Saco, SEKO and ST

You can contact the representatives by email if you have questions.

Union membership

The unions are working for its members, to negotiate good working conditions and benefits. A union membership provides help, support and advice to you.

Unemployment insurance funds

In Sweden unemployment insurance (a-kassa) is not a part of the social insurance system. Each Swedish union has an agreement with an a-kassa, university employees can be members of AEA, Sekos a-kassa or STs a-kassa (se links below).

Membership in a-kassa is separate from union membership. You need to pay a fee for the union membership and also the membership in the a-kassa.

Read more:


  • In case of unemployment, the unemployment insurance company provide you with unemployment benefit (c:a 80% of your salary for salaries up to 25 025 SEK). Union membership provides additional benefit. Ask your union to find out more.
  • In order to get full coverage from the unemployment insurance you have to be a member for at least 12 months.
  • If you are leaving Sweden after your employment expires (e.g non-EU citizens), a union membership will suffice.
  • If you have a right to remain in Sweden as unemployed after your contract ends, it is important to also be a member of an unemployment insurance company

Support after your employment has expired

If you have the right to work in Sweden you can take part of Arbetsförmedlingens service and support. Read more

If you want to apply for employment benefits you must be registered with Arbetsförmedlingen. You can read more about the Unemployment Insurance on Akademikernas a-kassa (Academics unemployment fund)
Read more


Home insurance

You need a home insurance, no matter how you live. A home insurance is a kind of basic insurance package that can compensate for your things if they are stolen or damaged in a fire or water damage. In addition, all home insurance policies include travel protection, legal protection, a cover protection and a liability protection (indemnity protection).

Compare home insurances at Konsumenternas


Your right as a consumer in Sweden

Hallå konsument is a national information service coordinated by The Swedish Consumer Agency. You can contact us with questions about buying goods and services, making a complaint, purchasing with environmental considerations and other things that you as a consumer need help with. Learn more


Information about Sweden

If you want to know more about Sweden there are several good websites.




Newspapers online

Swedens new in English - The Local 

Lokal Umeå news (in Swedish) - Total Umeå

Västerbotten-Kuriren - news online

Folkbladet - news online


Post Doc Networks

Umeå Postdoc Society (UPS)
Faculty of Science and Technology (in collaboration with Faculty of Medicin)
Founded in 2020, the Umea Postdoc Society (UPS) aims to shape the research environment for Postdocs at Umea University by connecting postdoctoral researchers across departments and disciplines.

The goal is to improve the career prospects and working conditions of Postdocs by organising networking and career development events, assisting newcomers during their start at Umea University, bringing together Postdocs through social activities and representing them within relevant University bodies.
More information about Umeå Postdoc Society

Future Faculty at Faculty of Medicine
The aim of Future Faculty is to advance the conditions for young and future researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and to promote the development of a good career system within the Faculty of Medicine and Umeå University. Future Faculty represents non-tenured researchers with a PhD in relevant University bodies.
More information about Future Faculty, Medicine

Future Faculty at Social Science, Arts and Humanities
Future Faculty at the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is a network of early-career researchers to promote the interests of and to support aspiring faculty members.

The main target group are early-career researchers without tenure positions, such as post docs or research assistants, but the network is open to and welcomes researchers at all early careers levels who want to improve the working conditions and career development for early-career researchers.
Future Faculty Social Science, Arts and Humanities


Social networks

Vän i Umeå (Friend in Umeå) is a network with the aim to create meetings and kinship between people in Umeå from different countries and cultures. They have a large number of different groups and activities that are created from the members' interest and ideas. For more information visit the website or the Facebook group. Homepage Facebook (partly in Swedish)

Associations in Umeå

There are a large number of associations in Umeå if you are interested in a particular area, eg fishing or culture. It is also possible to start your own association. To look up associations you can use Umeå municipality association list. Find an association in Umeå (partly in Swedish)

Rosita Nilsson