General guide to housing as a student
The University of Uppsala does not have “university housing” as is common in many places. Student housing is provided by a number of private companies. This makes it quite difficult for a student applying for housing because it means that you have to deal with many different people and companies. As an international student your accommodation situation is quite
different to an exchange student. The biggest difference, and disadvantage, is that you do not receive guaranteed housing. Unfortunately the University’s hands are tied due to Swedish law, which does not allow a public authority such as a university to sub-lease rooms, with the exception of to exchange students and guest researchers. While the government is looking at reforming this law it doesn’t help much for students coming to Sweden now. While the Student Union can help with many questions they cannot arrange housing either.
So what can you do?
It will take a lot of work on your behalf to secure housing. It is definitely not impossible but it
is tiring. If you follow these steps you will have gone a long way to securing your housing. A comforting thought is that despite the apparent difficulty in getting housing all students end up one way or another having somewhere nice to live. This guide is going to be quite long, so please take the time to read and understand the information – you may even want to save it for future reference.
The next section is the part where you have to do some work yourself! Remember, because of the shortage of housing it is important to not be too choosy – all housing in Sweden is of a good standard. Once you have moved in to a room, and have a roof over your head you can continue searching for your dream room or apartment. But make sure that you get that roof over your head first! I would even recommend looking at unfurnished rooms. Because you are
staying two years the cost of buying furniture is not so great, relatively speaking, and also it opens up a much larger market to you.
www.studentboet.se is the common webpage of all housing companies in Uppsala. At the frontpage you can register and apply for available housing. But you also have to visit other webpages to better secure you future housing. Heimstaden is a good example.. This housing company does not have a waiting list or “queue” for its rooms, which is advantageous for students who do not have hundreds of days in a housing queue. Their website can be found at www.heimstaden.com Check there regularly because new rooms become available often. The rooms are “corridor” rooms in a student area called “Flogsta”. Their site is available in English. The button for English is in the top right.
Studentstaden. This company is the largest provider of student housing in Uppsala. Their website is www.studentstaden.se. You should visit their website today and register yourself and start collecting “queue days”. The more you have the better. Demand for housing is always greatest during the beginning of the semester, so if you have a place to live but would like to move then doing it during October-November or March-June will mean that you will need fewer days to get a given room. They also have a special category of rooms called recentior rooms, available for newcomers, for which you do not need that many queue days, however there is a limited number of those and they are usually available at the beginning of each semester. They have a good English website and one can register in English as well. You can find the link down in the bottom right hand corner where it says "In English" and there is a picture of the cathedral and some trees and the river.
All of the previous methods will result in you signing a contract with a housing company – that is you are leasing directly from the housing provider. However, there is also a large sub-let housing market. To sub-lease housing means that you will be leasing it from a private
person instead of a company. For example, I may have a contract with Heimstaden and I might decide to go to Singapore and study for 6 months. Instead of cancelling my contract I can decide to lease my room privately to someone for that 6 month period, and then continue living in the room when I come back. So that is sub-leasing! The advantages with sub-leasing are that there is no waiting list and that rooms are almost always furnished. This disadvantage is that you have a restricted amount of time that you may live in that apartment/room, and if you haven’t signed a contract it is easy for the person to change the rental period/rent – not that this happens very often but it is a risk that you don’t have when renting directly from a housing provider. Read more about sub-leasing.