Written by Emil Hedemalm and Baptiste Louis
1. Practical Matters and Tips
Main contacts are:
- Karl Andersson: email@example.com – he is the coordinator here at LTU, with offices in both Luleå and Skellefteå, available on Skype
- Josef Hallberg: firstname.lastname@example.org , office in Luleå, available on Skype
Both professors are very friendly and open to answer any question.
Applying for a visa is very easy. The application is online and you just need to follow the instructions that are on the website. The migration board changes the rules from time to time, so make sure you read the content first.
1.3. Health Insurance
If you are part of an European country, you just have to ask your “European Insurance Card” before leaving. All expenses are covered, based on your Home country refunding system. However, not that Swedish health system might be more expensive.
However, Karl will talk to international office people about the insurance here. It will change, most likely you will have a swedish one.
And yes, here is very expensive, almost 200Euros only for consultation.
Sweden is part of EU but not part of the Eurozone. The local currency is the Swedish Krona (1€ = 9~10 kr). Download an application on your smartphone to follow the currency exchange value since your PERCCOM scholarship is in Euro (IPhone: Currency! Free, by FiveTaps Ltd, and Android: XE Currency by XE.com Inc. – it works offline as well)
1.5. Local Transportation
The bus system of Skelleftea can be useful for you but monthly subscription is quite expensive so you might consider using bicycle or just walk. The distances are not long, and it takes 15mins to walk to university from student accommodations. Besides it is very beautiful to walk beside the river in both seasons.
Find more information on http://www.skelleftebuss.se/
The rent is often our main monthly expense. One way to reduce it is to rent a room in a swedish family. Baptiste, Rohan and Khoi had a great experience in 2015. They found a proposition on AirBnB.
Or you can contact Skebo and you can rent a room at any given location. The website is https://www.skebo.nu/. The rent is not very expensive and until now, they have free accommodation during June and July for students, so you can come back to Sweden after summer school and stay in Skellefteå during the summer (very good option if you have found an internship here, you don’t pay for 2 months)
1.7. Arriving to Skelleftea, Sweden
Skelleftea has its own airport outside the city. Check planes from/to this place. If you do not find what you need, check from Luleå airport. In both cases, you will have to take a bus to reach the city. Also, Stockholm airport is a (almost) mandatory stop for your trip from/to home.
If you are under 26 years old, Scandinavian Airlines (http://www.flysas.com/en/uk/) is a good option to book your tickets since it offers youth tickets, which are very cheap compared to full prices. Usually there are 5 flights each day to Stockholm, but during holidays it may be less, or none (during Easter).
There is always a bus waiting outside the airport, its schedule is according to the flights schedule, so if you miss it your only other option is a taxi. The bus tickets also depend on your age, if you are under 25 y.o. It costs 60 SEK and if you are older it costs 80 SEK. For more info and the schedule check the website: http://skellefteaairport.se/en/to-and-from-the-airport/
If you plan to arrive from Luleå, you will need to first take a bus to the bus-station, then take the regional bus (20 or 100) southward toward Skellefteå/Umeå/etc. Going this way between Skellefteå and Luleå usually costs around 120-160 sek (12-18 euros) and takes over 2 hours (2:05 to 2:20). Reserobot.se is a good web-site for searching any form of public transportation between cities in Sweden, or even local buses within cities. http://resrobot.se/
If you prefer trains, there are usually night-trains going all the way from Gothenburg to Luleå for around 695 SEK and upward, similar prices apply for going from Stockholm to Skellefteå, but usually the changes and extra busses needed make flights much more practical both time and money-wise. For more info, https://www.sj.se/en/home.html
1.8. Getting student card
You will be a student of Luleå University of Technology. Since you will spend the third semester there, administrative procedures to get your student card will given upon your arrival.
The administrative office to make/update your student card is in Building B1.
2. Life in Skellefteå
Coop and ICA are the main grocery stores. There may also be Lidl and other larger stores a bit outside of town (Solbacken area). ICA and Coop are both a bit more expensive but the food is better. In general everything in Sweden is more expensive than elsewhere.
There are 2 shopping centers in the city center. They have everything you need during your stay. They also have lots of discounts in January, after the winter break.
Look out for the winter and spring activity schedules at the cafeteria, because there are lots of events throughout the year.
There is a small but cheap and well equipped gym on the campus. They have lockers and showers. A good opportunity to have a gym break when your brain is overheating! The semester pass costs 500 SEK and includes gym and other sport activities, such as badminton etc.
For swimming, Eddahallen is the Go-To place, with a regular pool, 2 warm bubble-pools, a deep pool including jumping platform (1, 3 meters), as well as a smaller pool with a wave-machine. Of course there is sauna included in the changing rooms, and also an extra relax area is available at a slightly higher price (with a 4-degree water pool if you are missing ice water :D). It takes around 30 minutes to walk to from the Anderstorp residences, 10-15 mins by bike. They also serve tasty chicken-wraps and other foods and snacks in their café by the entrance. http://www.skelleftea.se/eddahallen
2.2. Student Life – many activities
The campus is pretty near city center. It’s not a large campus, but the student union is usually quite active (http://studentforeningen.se/) with activities most days of the week, including:
- Pub-nights at the union-driven student pub Traversen (entrance next to the main road, close to the restaurant) Wednesdays (20:00-24:00), Fridays & Saturdays (21:00-01:00 both). They serve a variety of cheap drinks (both alcoholic- and non-) as well as small pizzas and other snacks for cheap (like 5~15 SEK, or 0.5~1.5 euros).
- Gaming nights FUSK 19:00-23:00 every thursday at STOCK (the student union/party house). Here people come to play mostly board-, or card-games.
- Sports activities depending on amount of participants (http://studentforeningen.se/?page=is), access to sport hall costs 300 sek. Also Budokan, a Kendo and other asian martial arts sports club, practices in the campus sports hall.
- Video-game nights 19:00-23:00 every monday. http://studentforeningen.se/?page=tafs
- Each other/2nd Sunday there is a movie night F.i.S.T. starting at 19:00 in the same premises as Traversen (the student pub). Duration usually 3-4 hours (around 2-3 movies). There are usually free snacks and drinks. They have their own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FilmpaTravven/
The campus is quite small, and as such doesn’t have too many students. There are usually a few hundred in total, but many of them are usually hard at work either in their classrooms or at home. Traversen (the student pub) as well as other activities are usually the gathering times for people from different classes. You won’t find lots of internationals, besides the few students of the Master in Wood Technology program, but don’t worry, many speak english very well.
Besides the activities on campus, there are a variety of restaurants in the city, as well as a few nightclubs. Yearly there are usually events surrounding gaming culture (https://nordsken.se/) and japanese culture (http://skecon.se/).
Study References for this semester: the main website is www.ltu.se, you’ll find everything there. Starting this autumn, there will be a new platform where you will find the lecture notes and all those things (no Fronter anymore). My LTU is another very important link, which also can be found at the front page of LTU, where you register for classes and the 3rd and 4th (the ones that will conduct their thesis in Sweden) semester.
3. Travelling and further Freetime
3.1. Boda Borg
I clearly advise you to experience this team adventure. You will have to use your muscles, your brain and to work in team. Have fun !
More information at http://bodaborg.se/anlaggningar/skelleftea/
There are many skiing resorts around Skellefteå, take this chance and at least try skiing once, if you haven’t. Skellefteå is also the start of Swedish Lapland, so it is very beautiful during winter and you can check with the Tourist info for some trips within Västterbotten county.
3.3. Hiking in the mountains/National parks and visiting Norway
You can take a bus to Luleå and other northern cities up until Haparanda, which is a town on the border with Finland (Tornio is the finnish neighbouring town), or up until Kiruna (close to Norway and the various national parks). You can rent a car and head to the west towards Norway, Lofoten being the most famous destination (Norwegian Fjords).
Some relevant national parks in northern Sweden:
- Sarek national park: http://www.sverigesnationalparker.se/en/choose-national-park/sarek-national-park/
- Stora sjöfallets national park: http://www.sverigesnationalparker.se/en/choose-national-park/stora-sjofallet–stuor-muorkke-national-park/
- Abisko national park (went hiking here with my class in highschool. Was pretty nice in the autumn. //Emil): http://www.lansstyrelsen.se/norrbotten/Sv/djur-och-natur/skyddad-natur/nationalparker/abisko/Pages/default.aspx
Authors: Emil & Baptiste, updated 2016