Saturday, June 6, 2009

How to get a roof over your head in Uppsala?

As you should know by now, Uppsala University doesn’t provide any kind of university housing as is common in some other countries. Unlike exchange students, as an international student you don’t receive any guaranteed housing. Finding somewhere to live in Uppsala can take time. It’s your responsibility to find somewhere to stay. So what can you do?

First, I would like to point out that it will take a lot of work on your behalf to secure housing. It is definitely not impossible but it is tiring. An important to know that in most of the cases you will end up 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 China 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. Notice that the demand for housing is 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 be easier.

You should follow this list step by step. Hopefully you will have secure some kind of accommodation before reaching to the end. If not, the last few items are about temporary housing like hostels.

  • Contact your contact person at the department and ask for help finding housing. It is possible that they have contacts on the housing market, or indeed have their own solution to the problem.
  • Check theHeimstadenwebsite. This housing company doesn’t have a waiting list for its rooms, which is advantageous for students who do not have hundreds of days in a housing queue. Check it regularly because new rooms become available often. The rooms are mostly corridor rooms in a student area called “Flogsta”. This area is very nice. It has an ICA market very close and few restaurants. They also have few rooms with their own kitchen inside. Their site is available in English. The button for English is in the top right. The room’s description is in Swedish, but you can always use Google translator or any other tool you like. Again, don’t be picky! You can apply for all the available rooms because you’ll get one only if you are fast and lucky enough.
  • Register at Studentstaden. This company is the largest provider of student housing in Uppsala. You should visit their website now and register so you start collecting “queue days”. The more queue days you have the better. 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".
  • Check all the nations’ websites. I am not sure if you have heard of the so called “student nations” in Uppsala. You can find out more about nations in our “having fun” section. Each nation has its own housing for its members. Because the nations operate independently, there is no central place where you can apply for housing. You will need to visit the website of each of the 13 nations and find info about their housing. A list of the nations (with links) can be found here. There are four nations that do not require you to be a member in order to apply for a room and some of these have queues that you can sign up for before the semester begins. These are GH, Kalmar and Norrlands nations that also have queues, and Gotlands nation that you can apply for a room without being a member, but they do not have a queue. For all of these you will have to become a member once you have gotten a room, or better said in order to get a room.
  • The Student Union has possibly the largest sub-let housing database in Uppsala. It is called bostadsjouren. While the database is in Swedish there is a guidewhich will help you understand everything. When you find a room that you are interested in you need to contact that person yourself using the contact details you can find there.
  • Blocket is a popular Swedish site where people buy and sell things, including housing. This site is entirely in Swedish. Clicking on this link should help you to find the right page it is not correct then follow these steps: click on “Uppsala”. Where it says “alla kategorier” click and scroll down until you find “lägenheter”. Finally, click the button which says “uthyres”. Then click “sök”.
  • You can look for rooms atStudentlya Click on the English version, go to the drop down menu and choose Uppsala. The whole page is in English and you can find all sorts of housing announcements.
  • You may also write at tostig.tapper@uppsalahem.seand, who are in charge of the accommodation at Döbelnsgatan 2C (a place which is closest to the campus), and ask them if you can secure an accommodation before your arrival in August '09. Try to write a full email, not just “Hi, can you give me a room? Thanks”
  • You can even try the local newspaper. The website Look in the left menu until you see “bostad”, then you can click on that and use their search function.
  • Try looking at the notice boards that exist at the various departments and at the Student Union. The words in Swedish that you are looking for are “rum uthyres” which means room “for rent”
  • Uppsala Nya Tidning (in Swedish) might have ads about rooms for rent.
  • In case you want to buy a place to live you can checkHemnet’s website.
  • Uppsala City Councilinformation on student accomodation (in Swedish, but with links and phone numbers). Under "Övrigt" (Other) you find a document with links to other small cities within commuting distance ("Närliggande kommuner"). For instance in Tierp (37 min. by train) and Heby (29 min. by train) you can find student apartments, but also regular apartments for 4000-6000 SEK/month that are large enough to share with 2 or 3 students. This may be a good solution while queueing for a student apartment in Uppsala.
  • Hotels can be found through the city of Uppsala. Please note that hotels normally arevery expensive in Uppsala. Klangs gränd extended stay has some reasonable options for longer stays, though.
  • Hotel Uppsala offers rooms for a monthly rate of approx SEK 6500.
  • If you still do not have a room and you will soon be travelling to Uppsala – I recommend that you check the Student Union’s website for information about extended stay accommodation, a comprehensive list of youth hostels and bed & breakfasts in Uppsala. You can check this HOSTEL at Kvarntorget 3, 754 20 Uppsala Tel: +46 (0)18-24 20 08 Mail:kvarntorget@uppsalvandrarhem.seThe price of a bed in a mixed dorm is 180kr per night. You have to pay 80kr for the towel and sheets if you don't have your own. You can find more hotels and hostels in the following link: need to book the bed at least 24h in advance.


  1. You will read everywhere that, for some nations, you don't need to be a member in order to apply for accommodation. I don't know if that was actually true in the past, but right now you need to be a member BEFORE applying for accommodation.

    You should check first your options and then you can join the nation with more available rooms!

    Another thing is that every time I find information about an available room I'll post it in the blog! (after few days I'll remove it again)

    See you around in Uppsala! :-)

  2. Actually Studenstaden has just some pages in English. All the queueing system and process are in Swedish.

    Cool blog btw! Very useful! :)

  3. Hi :D Firstly, I would like to say that I find your blog really cool and helpful, especially for students like myself, because I will be moving to Uppsala in October for 8 months and I have no idea about anything actually.
    Secondly, I would like to ask, is registration free in Heimstaden and Studentstaden?? It doesn't mention anything about paying or something, but I would like to know it for sure before I register to start finding a place!!
    Thank you very much Andry in advance :)

    1. Hi Maria! I happy you liked the blog!

      Registration is free of charge :-) so register on every queue!

    2. oh that's perfect!! thanks for the info :D