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What happens to new students?

(Last updated 5 July 2021) 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 Umeå University is 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 recommendations 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 if you have any symptoms that could be COVID-19.
  • If your symptoms have remained for 24 hours, your are expected to get tested.
  • Maintain your distance from others and avoid crowded settings. 
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly or use hand sanitizer.

Protect yourself and others from infection (Public Health Agency of Sweden)

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

Learn more about the restrictions and guidelines applicable in Sweden

What are the current regulations at Umeå University? 

Umeå University follows the recommendation and regulations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Swedish Government regarding COVID-19.

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

Beside that, a number of measures have been taken to avoid spread of infection. This page summaries the guidelines that will apply for the start of the autumn semester at Umeå University.

The Vice-Chancellor will reach a renewed decision regarding the planned gradual return to campus-based education and other measures for this autumn semester in mid-August 2021. Stay updated on Changes due to COVID-19.

Can I get vaccinated in Sweden?

You do not have to be a Swedish citizen to be offered vaccination against COVID-19 in Sweden. Anyone who lives in Sweden will be offered vaccination. You do not have to pay for vaccination against COVID-19.

Learn more about vaccination against COVID-19

Can I get a second dose of vaccine in Sweden?

When you are vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine that requires two doses, it is important that both doses come from the same vaccine provider.

Information about which vaccines are approved in Sweden, can be found at:
Swedish Medical Products Agency

Information on how to book an appointment for a second dose will be available upon arrival.

Documentation of the vaccine from your home country is necessary.

Admissions and education 

Will my studies be campus-based?

Answers to questions regarding the autumn semester can be found on
FAQ for current students

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 an accepted reason 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 deferments. Ask your coordinator at your home university to contact incoming.io@umu.se to discuss a deferment.

Residence permit and travel 

Do I need to move to my study destination?

See section Questions regarding autumn semester 2021 in the FAQ for current students.

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 (Swedish Migration Agency)

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?

Entry ban into Sweden

There is a temporary ban on non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except from EU countries and a few others.

The entry ban does not apply to people with an essential need or function to visit 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 to those restrictions.

Do I have to present a negative COVID-test upon entry?

The Swedish Government has decided that foreign nationals entering Sweden from outside the Nordic region, but within the EU/EEA, must have tested negative for COVID-19, be vaccinated against the disease, or have a certificate confirming recovery from COVID-19. The requirements depend on the country from which the foreign national is travelling. At present, this regulation applies until 31 August 2021.

Entry from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway is not subject to any entry restrictions.

Foreign nationals entering Sweden from outside the EEA and outside exempt countries must be able to present a certificate at the border showing that the traveller has tested negative for COVID-19. A maximum of 48 hours may have passed between the time of testing and the border crossing. This applies regardless of previous disease and vaccination.

For details about testing and entering Sweden, please stay updated through the Swedish Government’s website, the Public Health Agency of Sweden or the Swedish Police Authority. Please note that the conditions and exceptions can change, so please stay updated on reliable sources.

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

You must get tested as soon as possible after you have arrived in Sweden. A second test is required five days after your arrival. If you have taken a COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to arriving in Sweden, you do not need to get tested upon entry. However, you should still get tested five days after arrival.

While you are waiting for testing and your test results, you must act as if you were infected with COVID-19 – this means to stay home, avoid close contact with others and maintain good hygiene.

Self-quarantine for at least seven days after arriving in Sweden. If you do not develop symptoms or test positive during the seven days after your arrival in Sweden you can move about in society, but you have to follow the guidelines and recommendations that apply to everyone. 

The recommendation to get tested applies whichever country you have visited and applies to both citizens and non-citizens.

If you have previously tested positive for antibodies you are still recommended to get tested twice according to the procedure above.
Recommendations for those travelling to Sweden from abroad

You can find updated information about entry requirements to Sweden at krisinformation.se/en and specifically the page about international travel restrictions

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 you have been admitted to on-campus education for the autumn semester 2021 and this changes to online instructions before the start of the semester, you will be able to apply for a reimbursement. This is an exception that has been made for the autumn 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.

Please note that students who register for courses and who have not applied for early discontinuation within three weeks from the beginning of the semester 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, the tuition fee must be paid in full and received by the due-date stated on the invoice.

New students: In case of non-payment, new students will lose their spot on the course/programme.

Current students: In case of non-payment, current students will be suspended from the programme they have been invoiced for.

Fees and scholarships

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