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

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)

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. Learn more (partly in Swedish)

Contact information



Torbjörn Forsberg
HR Strategist
Human Resources Office
📞 090-786 70 80



Rosita Nilsson
HR Strategist
Human Resources Office
📞 090-786 54 69

Rosita Nilsson