Progressive Umeå: Umeå University

Umeå University

Umeå University is number one in Sweden and number five in the world in the 2011 International Student Barometer. The survey was conducted among 20,422 international students at 13 Swedish universities and a total of 208 universities worldwide. Umeå University rated best when it came to students’ total experience and had the most satisfied students in 14 areas, such as course organisation, Internet connection, learning support and opportunities for fitness activities.

Visit Umeå University´s webpage here.

Photo by: Mattias Pettersson

Umeå Institute of Design


Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University opened in 1989 and is planned and equipped solely for the teaching of industrial design. Since the Institute is part of a dynamic and expanding university, the courses at UID are excellent.

A major feature of the design programmes is the close cooperation with industry and research. The students’ project work is carried out in collaboration with industrial partners or research institutions including major companies such as Volvo Group, Volkswagen, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Telia Research, Electrolux and IKEA.

Visit Umeå University´s Institute of Design´s webpage here.

Photo by: Mikael Lundgren

Lisa Sterner – student in Umeå

Lisa Sterner300What is your connection to Umeå?
Originally, I’m from Gothenburg, I’ve basically only lived this far north for a couple of months. It was last autumn that I decided to move, having gotten into the International Business Program at Umeå University. I’m quite curious as a person and like to explore the world around me. During my stay here I’ve already become attached to the unique beauty of Umeå and the northern way of living.

What does Umeå mean to you?
My life here in Umeå is quite centred around the University and all that is student related. Unfortunately I do not know that many locals yet, but hopefully, as I’m always eager to meet new people and nationalities, the longer I stay here the broader my network of contacts will become. When I think about Umeå, I think about a healthy way of living, about recycling and bio cultivated food, taking the bike instead of the bus or car. I enjoy the beautiful nature that to me seems quite exotic comparing to the south-western coast of Sweden. To me, the people here are extremely friendly, practices a lot of winter sports and spends the cold winter evenings indoors playing games, drinking tea surrounded by loving family, friends and the warmth of candle lights.

If you would to guide a first-time visitor in Umeå – what would your recommendations of activity and place to see?
I would recommend you to hire a bike and cycle along the river, checking out the whereabouts. Maybe drop by a nice café that comes in your way to enjoy a traditional swedish fika. Cykling is in my opinion the best way to experience a new place, to get the hang of things. When I first moved here, I did not have a bike and walked or took the bus everywhere. Then I did not realize the full extent of Umeå. In fact, the city centre is quite small, but if you explore the different parts such as Teg and Ersboda you realize that there are plenty of discoveries to be made and that Umeå offers a wide range of different cultural sights.

Joanna Johansson – student in Umeå


What is your connection to Umeå?
I was born and raised in Umeå, and right now I am studying at Umeå university.

What does Umeå mean to you?
To me Umeå means home. I love to travel to other countries and explore new cities but it is always comfortable to come back to Umeå, where my family and most of my friends live. It is not that large but it is a nice town. It has been a great town to grow up in, even though people think off it as a city for University students, but that is mostly in the area around the university. In other parts it is very family friendly. As a summary, it is a good city for both families and university students.

If you would to guide a first-time visitor in Umeå – what would your recommendations of activity and place to see?
I would recommend to visit Umeå’s museums, both the historical and the design museum. One should also visit the energy center in Umeå. It is a nice place to visit in the summer. Parts of it is like a museum, and there are some activities there too. Sometimes there are music performances there. I would also recommend one to visit the elk farm which is located a few kilometers outside Umeå. Since many people think of elks when they think of northern Sweden.