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Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 26 November 2020)


What happens to new students?

Taking on university studies can be an exciting new start to a bright future. But to do so during the outbreak of COVID-19 can raise a fair few questions. This page hopes to answer some of those questions. Please rest assured that we are here to help you through these difficult times.

COVID-19 in Sweden

What are the expectations on me while staying in Sweden?

Everyone in Sweden are expected to follow the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government to help reduce the spread of infection. Mainly, you are expected to

  • Stay at home when you feel unwell.
  • Keep your distance in public places.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Protect yourself and others from infection – information website

Thank you for your valuable help in reducing the spread of infection!

What are the current regulations at Umeå University? 

Umeå University follows the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government regarding incoming travellers.  

Umeå University urges students and staff to protect themselves and others from spread of infection by following the General advice on avoiding infection by the Public Health Agency of Sweden. 

The University is taking precautions to follow the recommendations and prohibitions by the Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden related to COVID-19, including to abide by the social distancing rules. 

Current guidelines  

If you have any questions during your studies, please consider contacting us by email or phone instead of meeting in person.

Admissions and education 

Will my studies be campus-based?

The university’s campuses are currently open. For the spring semester 2021, Umeå University is planning to offer on-campus education combined with online solutions to follow the guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government and to help reduce the spread of infection. First and last year students are currently prioritised regarding on-campus education.

For more detailed information regarding your specific courses, please contact the department of your studies.

Learn more: Spring semester with continued COVID adaptations ahead

Learn more: Education, exams and premises

Can I defer my admission?

If you are an exchange student, please see next question. 

If you have been admitted to a course or programme, but due to valid reasons are unable to take your place in the semester when the course or programme starts, you have the possibility to defer the start of the studies for a later semester.

Valid reasons include severe health problems such as recovery after an operation, care of children under the age of one, military or civic service, student union assignments or that your employer has denied or postponed your application for leave for training. Deferment can be granted for up to 18 months. 

Any hindrance caused by the COVID-19 pandemic itself, such as not being able to pay the tuition fee or not being able to travel to Umeå, is not accepted reasons for being granted a deferment.

Please note that we never grant a deferment if you have not paid the tuition fee (applies to students with citizenship in a country outside the EU/EEA, or Switzerland). 

If you want to apply for a deferment, please fill in this form and follow the instructions carefully:

Application for deferment

I am an exchange student - Can I defer my admission?

It is the department responsible for the exchange agreement that decides on deferrals. Ask your coordinator at your home university to contact to discuss a deferral. 

Residence permit and travel 

Will the COVID-19 situation affect my chances of getting a residence permit to study in Sweden?

Residence permits are processed by the Swedish Migration Agency. You can find the general requirements to obtain a residence permit on their website:

Studying and researching in Sweden

If you are a first-time applier for a residence permit to study in Sweden, you can submit your application as usual to the Swedish Migration Agency. If, at the time of your application, your studies are expected to take place on campus, and if the other conditions (see above) are met, the Swedish Migration Agency will be able to grant you a residence permit. This also applies if the majority of your education will be conducted on campus, but certain parts or components will be conducted as distance learning.

Read more at the Swedish Migration Agency website

Any changes to the Swedish Migration Agency’s procedures will be communicated on their website and we recommend that you visit it regularly or contact them directly for updated information.

Information from the Swedish Migration Agency regarding COVID-19
Contact the Migration Agency

Please note that in Sweden, universities cannot contact the Migration Agency on students’ behalf, nor are we allowed to influence the Migration Agency’s decisions or procedures. The Swedish Migration Agency is not allowed to share details of your application with universities, due to confidentiality.

Will the COVID-19 situation affect my chances of travelling to Sweden?

In response to the European Council and Commission's recommendation, the Swedish Government previously decided to temporarily ban most trips to Sweden from countries outside Europe, to mitigate the effects and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The entry ban does not apply to people with an essential need or function in Sweden. The Swedish Government has announced that people who travel to Sweden for the purpose of studying can be considered to have an essential need or function and therefore may be exempted from the entry ban. 

The travel ban is enforced by the Swedish Police Authority at the border control point. The decision in each individual case will be made upon arrival at the border control point based on the presented documentation. The Swedish Police Authority does not issue any kinds of pre-approvals or notifications.

For further details regarding the exemption for students, please visit the Swedish Government’s and the Swedish Police Authority’s websites before beginning your travels to Sweden:

Information from the Swedish Government about the travel ban

Information from the Swedish Police Authority

If you are unable to travel to Sweden due to travel restrictions in your country of residence, we encourage you to stay updated on developments in those restrictions.

Do I have to be quarantined when I come to Sweden? 

There is no quarantine requirement for travellers to Sweden. Airline operators may require passengers to show a health statement but this is no general requirement for entering Sweden.

You can find more information about entry requirements to Sweden at 

If I need to cancel travels due to changes in my studies,  can I get compensation from the university for my travel costs?

The University unfortunately does not have the opportunity to reimburse students for their travel costs when education or similar is cancelled or otherwise changed.

Tuition fees 

If I am unable to begin my studies due to COVID-19, can I have my paid tuition fee reimbursed?

Reimbursement of a paid tuition fee is possible only under the circumstances listed in the Tuition-Fee Terms and Conditions.

If your programme is cancelled due to COVID-19, you will be fully reimbursed.

If the studies you are admitted to is changed from on-campus to mainly online before the beginning of spring semester 2021, you will be eligible for a refund. This exemption only applies to payments for spring semester 2021.

Reimbursement for other reasons will be decided on a case-by-case basis, based on the regulations outlined in the Tuition-Fee Terms and Conditions. Due to the current situation, we are aiming to be very generous in our review of applications for reimbursement of paid tuition fees.

Please note that students who register for courses and who have not applied for early discontinuation within three weeks of beginning of term have forfeited their right to reimbursement for the registered course(s).

Does Umeå University withhold any kind of administrative fee in case of a reimbursement of paid tuition fee?

No. Umeå University has made a temporary exemption from the administrative fee for reimbursements for autumn semester 2020 and spring semester 2021. This means that if a reimbursement is approved, it will be a full refund of the paid tuition fee. The exemption is valid for all approved reimbursements related to autumn semester 2020 or spring semester 2021, regardless of reason.

Due to the current situation, I am unable to pay my tuition fee invoice before the due date. Can I pay at a later date?

Students will need to settle their tuition fee invoice in full before they can register for and take part in courses. In case of non-payment, you may lose your spot on the course/programme.

Tuition fees and scholarships