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Student unions and associations

Being a part of a student union or association is one of the ways you can make your studies at Umeå University more rewarding and fun! Student unions work towards improving the quality of your education and creating a fun leisure time, while student associations connects people with a common interest.

Student unions

The student unions at Umeå University work to make sure that the students have an influence over their studies and their study situation.

What the student unions do:

  • Represent the interests of the students in university bodies and groups relevant for education or being a student.
  • Help students who experience difficulties in their studies or their study environment.
  • Provide arenas where businesses and students can network to simplify the transition to working life.
  • Offer welcome and onboarding activities for new students.
  • Host and run local student pubs on campus.
  • Organise activities on campus.

At Umeå University, there are three student unions: 

Student associations

There are two different types of student associations:

  • Associations that focus on a specific interest or topic. 
    Some of these associations are a part of a student union and some are free-standing. You can find a list of some of the free-standing student associations below.
  • Associations that focus on one or more programmes/courses. 
    These associations are a part of the student unions. For information about available associations, please contact your student union. 

The cost of being a member of a student association

For some of the student associations, you need to be a student union member to join and for others, you may need to be a member of the specific student association. Membership with a student association costs around SEK 100–300 per year.

Find your interest

Student associations at Umeå University

  • Credo 
    Credo Umeå is a Christian student association at Umeå university, part of the national organisation Credo.
  • Humlan (information in Swedish)
    Humlan is a non-profit association with focus on organising cultural events.
  • Snösvänget and Sparketten
    Snösvänget is a student orchestra at Umeå University. Sparketten is Snösvängets dance group.
  • Student Radio Station (information in Swedish)
    The student radio station is run by students producing radio shows for students. You can listen to the student radio via their website or on 102,3 MHz. Some of the programmes are in English, produced by international students.
  • UPF – Umeå Association for International Affairs
    The aim of the association is to spread knowledge and create debate about foreign affairs and global issues from a variety of perspectives and views.
  • Umeå Theatre Company
    Umeå Theatre Company is an international theatre group at Umeå University. UTC is a part of Umeå Student Union.
  • Student pubs
    These are run by students for students. Besides regular pub/club evenings, they also organise other events. As a student, you can get involved and volunteer in one of them.

Other associations in Umeå

If you have not found what you are looking for, the city of Umeå (in Swedish) has its own directory with over 600 different associations to participate in.


Frequently asked questions

Student unions

What is a student union?

Student unions represent the students at the University in different boards and groups, for instance. Their goal is to enhance the quality of education for the students, to create a better study environment and to make student's leisure time more fun.

How many student unions are there at Umeå University?

There are three student unions at Umeå University:

  • Umeå Student Union (Umeå studentkår)
  • Umeå Student Union of Science and Technology (Umeå naturvetar- och teknologkår)
  • Umeå Medical Sciences Student Union (Umeå medicinska studentkår).

Which student union should I choose?

We recommend that you become a member of the student union associated with your programme/course:

  • Umeå Student Union of Science and Technology is for students studying engineering, natural sciences, architecture or design.
  • Umeå Student Union is for students studying social sciences, humanities or teacher education. 
  • Umeå Medical Sciences Student union is for students studying medicine or health sciences.

If you are unsure which student union to choose, please contact one of the student unions and they will help you.

Who decides which student unions exist at Umeå University?

The University Board makes a decision every third year regarding what student organisations can obtain status as a student union.

Union membership

Is membership in a student union mandatory?

No, it is voluntary to be a member of a student union, but there are many benefits of being a member.

How do I become a member of a student union?

Registration takes place at the start of the academic semester. In Swedish, this is referred to as inskrivning. You can register online or you can register by visiting the student unions' offices. More information about how to register can be found on the student unions' websites.

Do I need a Swedish personal identity number to become a member of a student union?

No, you do not need a Swedish identity number to become a member. If you struggle to register, please visit your student union’s office in person.

Can I be a member of more than one student union?

Yes, you can be a member of more than one student union.

How much does it cost to be a member of a student union?

The cost varies depending on the student union, but is around SEK 200–300 per semester.

What are the benefits of being a member of a student union?

A membership in a student union benefits you in several ways. You can get certain discounts by having a student union membership card, for example these benefits:

  • discount on gym cards at IKSU sport facilities.
  • help with any educational issues (anonymously if you like). 
  • admission to Umeå's student pubs.
  • discounts on cinema tickets.

Being engaged in a student union can also be a valuable qualification when applying for a job in the future.

Is there a deadline for becoming a member of a student union?

You can register whenever you want throughout your studies, but we recommend that you register as soon as possible to be able to take part in the student union's activities and get the most out of your membership.


Social activities

Do I need a membership in the student union to enter the student pubs?

Yes. You need a student union membership card to enter all the student pubs except Origo.

What types of social activities do the student unions offer?

Examples of social activities:

  • ‘Sittning’ – dinner and entertainment such as singing student songs, sometimes with a dress code.
  • EPP – after studies pub.
  • Sports activities.
  • Tournaments (for example sports tournaments).

Are there many international students active in the student unions?

Members of the student unions are represented by both national and international students, and these participate in activities and visit the pubs. Some are also active to a greater extent in student representation.

What is the difference between the student union and the Buddy Programme?

The Buddy Programme is organised by the university together with volunteering students. The goal is to make our new international students feel welcome in Umeå and introduced to the city. This is achieved by social activities, learning about Swedish culture and helping to get to know the surroundings.

The student unions are free-standing from the University and represents the students at the University, for example in different boards, committees and councils. The unions also organise social activities, but they are typically directed at all the student union's members and not specifically at international students.

More information about the Buddy Programme.

Latest update: 2024-05-02