What and How to pack before coming to Malmö?

For many of us, it is very natural to get stressed about packing before we move to a new place. This is especially true when the new place is very different than where you are from. Very soon, you must start packing and it is a good idea to get to know what are the essentials points that you must keep in mind before deciding what to bring with you to Malmö.

As we all know, Sweden has the reputation of having cold weather. It is essential to understand the weather of your new home before you start packing. Since summer lasts just for 3 months, you must pack thinking winter in mind. You must pack the following items to make your winter easy:

Continue reading “What and How to pack before coming to Malmö?”

Become a Mentor during your studies!

Are you looking to take part in something life-changing during your studies? Apply to be a mentor for the Näktergalen Mentorship Programme!

Source: https://nightingalementoring.mau.se/

During my studies, I had the opportunity to be a mentor for the Näktergalen Mentorship programme, widely known as the Nightingale Mentorship Programme. The Näktergalen Mentorship Programme was established in 1997 at Malmö University to engage admitted students to act as mentors and provide a positive role model for children between the ages of 8-12 years. The long-term goal of the programme is to motivate the child to apply to Malmö University when the time comes.

As a mentor, you will be paired with a child and will meet at least once a week for around 2-3 hours for 6 months while the program operates. As a mentor, during and throughout your meetings, you will engage in conversations with your child and do various activities every week, from baking to visiting the museum. The thought of mentoring someone made me nervous at first, but once we started, I quickly realized this was an opportunity to come out of my comfort zone. Now I also had somebody to explore the city with! It also didn’t hurt that I got along with my mentor child’s family. They were extremely kind and welcoming.

At the end of the mentorship programme, it was sad to say goodbye to my mentor child and her family but I was so grateful for the opportunity. Once you have completed the programme, you will receive a certificate of completion and SEK 3,000 salary!

To find out how you can apply for the programme, visit this link: https://mau.se/samverkan/innovation–nyttiggorande/naktergalens-mentorsprogram/ (Use Google Translate)

Or watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaFf2bmh_gA&feature=youtu.be (It’s in Swedish)

Applying for a Residence Permit

The process of applying for a residence permit may seem complicated, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. I found the process extremely easy and information was readily available on the Swedish Migration Agency website. I’m just going to give you a checklist of what to do in order to avoid delays in receiving a response from the Swedish Migration Agency. Luckily for most of you, you will have time to sort out your affairs since most on-campus courses will begin in January 2021.

Source: Giphy.com

The process is the same for those who will be in Sweden for more than 90 days; you’ll apply for a residence permit for studies in higher education. You can’t travel to Sweden without receiving your residence permit card so make sure you apply at least 2-3 months before you are to travel.

  • Make sure you have a valid passport from your country because it’s a basic requirement to travel outside of your country. Also, the Swedish Migration may need scanned copies of your passport page that holds information such as name, country of issue, date of issue, and date of expiry.
  • You must have been admitted to a full-time studies programme or course that will require your physical presence. I didn’t have to submit my offer letter because the Swedish Migration usually can check this information with the University.
  • If you’re a self-sponsored student, you’ll need to show proof of finances that you’ll be able to support yourself financially for the duration of your studies. It varies how much you need to show depending on the duration of your programme. For those who have been admitted to a one-year programme, you have to demonstrate you have the equivalent of SEK 8, 514 (roughly $900) for the 10 months that you will be studying in Sweden. Now you also have to prove you will also have enough to cover the costs of your return trip.

For those who have been admitted to a two-year programme, you have to demonstrate you have funds for the entire permit period. You can read more information on the maintenance fee for studying in Sweden here: https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Studying-and-researching-in-Sweden/Nyhetsarkiv/2020-01-01-New-regulations-for-students.htmlBefore you apply for a residence permit for studies in higher education, make sure you have paid your tuition fees (whether in full or the first installment). The University notifies the Swedish Migration once the fees have been paid so you don’t have to submit proof.

  • Check for your nearest Embassy of Sweden so you can plan ahead about where you’ll go and give your biometric data once you have received an answer from the Swedish Migration Agency. Once you start your application, you’ll be able to select which Embassy of Sweden or Consulate you would prefer. In my case, I traveled to Lusaka, Zambia to give my biometric data as it was closest to Malawi. It only took 5 minutes to give the biometric data!

Once you have completed this checklist, you can now apply for your residence permit! To start the online application, visit this link: https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Studying-and-researching-in-Sweden/Higher-education/Residence-permit-for-higher-education.html

Make sure you read the fine print on the Swedish Migration website as the regulations have changed since I applied. To increase the chances of your application being processed faster, make sure you meet all of the guidelines Best wishes to you, especially during such a time of uncertainty.

Source: Giphy.com

Residence Permit Guidelines:


New Regulations for Students:


Swedish Abroad – Swedish Consulates and Embassies Abroad


FAQs about Studying in Sweden


Checklist to help you prepare for your move to Malmö

Hej Hej,

Here is a checklist that might help you while moving in.

  • Transportation: If available, download the Skånetraffiken App on either Android or Apple in order to access public transit tickets on your phone. To do this, download the app from the App Store, register a credit card, then purchase whichever ticket you feel necessary. Remember to select the student ticket to receive discounted fares though you must be able to provide proof of studies if questioned by control. Otherwise, tickets can be purchased from Skånetraffiken kiosks within the central station with a credit card, debit card or cash.
  • SIM card: Roaming charges on foreign SIM cards are very expensive in Sweden. We recommend you buy a SIM card upon your arrival at the various stores in the Malmo Central Station. Buying a SIM card in Sweden is incredibly easy compared to other countries. There is no need to show identification such as a passport to buy a SIM card. The four major service providers in Sweden are Telia, Comviq, Telenor, and Tre. You can buy SIM cards from their official stores and authorized resellers as assistance in setting up the SIM card is readily available, especially if you have limited knowledge of the native language. You will also have the privilege of getting it for free hence saving you some money. You can buy top-ups in supermarkets, newsagents, gas stations and even corner stores.
  • Wifi Router, European adapter: At Rönnen International, you will be provided the internet but have to manage the network cable or a WiFi router by yourself. For this, you will need a DSL router which you can buy from Net2World which is 15 minutes walk from Ronnen in Nobelvagen and the prices are around 220 SEK. It is also possible to bring your own router from your home but make sure it is a DSL router. Sweden uses European power sockets. If your mobile or laptop charger is not compatible with the European power sockets, you need to get an appropriate adaptor. You can find these adaptors in various electronic shops. 
  • Groceries: Expenses for groceries can get very high if you don’t know where to look. Few places around Rönnen International offer groceries at a good price. Places like Lucu foods(700m) and Abdos Multifood AB(1.5KM), Indo Pak(Asian store) offers good prices and groceries from all over the world. You will also find open-air markets where you can get fresh fruits and vegetables for cheap prices as well. The open-air market is in Möllevångstorget.
  • Bike: Biking in Malmo is very popular. There are plenty of separate bike lanes. The geography of Malmo is very plane and the university itself is only 12 minutes away if you choose to bike. The university has plenty of space for parking bikes too. The price of the second-hand bike can start from 500 SEK. The closest place where you can get a bike from Ronnen is about 1.7 km on the Nobelvagen road called Nobel Cyklar and also it’s a good idea to invest in a good lock for bikes.
  • Migrationsverket (Migrations Office): Upon arriving in Sweden, you must schedule an appointment at the Swedish Migration Agency at Migrationsverket.se in order to obtain the physical residence permit (if the card was not required before entering Sweden). After scheduling an appointment, you should go to the office with your passport to have your photo and biometric fingerprints were taken. After completing the application you will receive your residence card via post. 
  • Personnel Number / Swedish ID (staying for more than a year): After you receive your residence cards, you required to register for a personnummer at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). To obtain this, you must complete the online application, print it off, and go to the tax agency in order to submit the documents along with your passport and residence card. Upon submitting all required materials, you will receive your personnummer via post. From there, you can go back to the tax agency with your new personnummer to apply and pay for a Swedish ID card.
  • Coordination number( Staying less than a year): If you are staying for less than one year or an exchange student you should get a coordination number. You have to contact University to get your coordination number.
  • Bank: As soon as you get your SwedishID you are able to open your bank account. There are many banks (Nordea, SwedBank, SEB, Handlesbank). You can open a bank account with your coordination number but you cannot have mobileID application. For the one who has SwedishID they will have MobileID app and can able to pay from their phone otherwise you need to have an e-card reader to make payment. The e-card read is provided by the bank itself.
  • Paying the rent: Rent is always paid one month in advance, at the latest by the end of the previous month. Your rent slip will be sent to you via email in the middle of every month. Use your rent slip while making your payments either in cash or by credit card at the Forex Exchange bank in the Central Station, Triangle train station, Gustav Adolfs square. You can also do the payment at Kassagirot which you will find at ‘Direkten Ettan’ on Värnhemstorget. You will not get a confirmation on payment but you will be contacted should there be a problem with your transfer. You will get further information on how to make your rent payment after signing your contract. 
  • Forex exchange bank (currency exchange): You can find many forex exchange bank in the city where you can exchange your currency. One is in the Malmo central station, the other is near Värnhem and Caroli, both accessible by bus route 3.

Hope this information will help you while moving into Sweden. We will try to help out with any kind of information that you need.

Prakriti, Ashish , Alexander, and Leon  

Meet Prakriti Dhang from University Housing

Hej hej!

My name is Prakriti Dhang and I am from India. Now my second home is Malmö, Rönnen International building.

Prakriti Dhang
“My stay in Malmö is very comfortable and will be memorable throughout my life” – Prakriti Dhang, Resident Assistant at Rönnen International

I studied Computer Science, a one- year master program. This department is under the faculty of technology and society.  I came here in August 2018 and am here to share some of my experiences in Rönnen International and also Malmö. I am happy that I chose to live in University Housing.

During my studies, I worked as a Teaching Assistant in two different courses. Two of my favorite working areas: is the Orkanen Library and the 6th floor of Niagara building. When I first saw the building I was amazed by its structure. Besides my studies and teaching job, I work as a Resident Assistant (RA) for Rönnen International Student Housing. My task is to assist new tenants and also to organize events. I and my other RAs work together and provide valuable information to new tenants. I believe, being an RA, new tenants get more necessary info from us, who makes them comfortable while living in a student house. 

Apart from studies, I usually spend my time with my floor mates, hanging in the kitchen and having Swedish Fika. We also cook together, almost every semester we have 2 international dinners, where we get a chance to taste foods from different countries.  I also like to spend my own time by walking down the streets and in parks. I often go to the beach and feel the cold breeze, which refreshes my mind. 

Above these, I with other RAs organize different types of events like from the beginning of the semester we start with “Meet and Greet” where all the new tenants gathers and mingle, play games and have lot of fun. After the arrival of the new tenant, we give them a food tour, where they can buy groceries at a convenient price. Next, the event will be the house cup (both outdoor and indoor), where all the tenant has a chance to win by competing against each floor. The University Housing office also provides a cooking class, where you will learn how to cook Swedish dishes. We organize plenty of events throughout the semester.

To facilitate this, I recommend staying at the University housings where you can experience a number of social events, workshops, and meetings. This will be geared towards enriching your experience with the Rönnen International community.

Financing Your Studies

Going to university is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life. As an international student, I was required to pay school fees for the programme I was admitted to. There are different ways you can finance your studies but I am going to share two with you. You can either (1) Self-sponsor or (2) Apply for scholarship and grants.

  • Self-Sponsor or Self-Funding

In order to sponsor your own studies, it’s smart to have had some money saved up or have a sponsor. Many students ask if it is possible to work in Sweden and make enough to cover your living costs and pay for your studies. I wouldn’t recommend this because studies in Sweden require students to commit at least 40 hours a week on their studies, including scheduled lectures, assignments, study time and group assignments. That’s a full time job on its own.

Once I had my mind set on pursuing studies in Sweden (and I wasn’t awarded a scholarship), I started saving money every month (luckily, I was working). I set a goal for myself every month that I would save a certain amount of my salary – I called it operation Sweden. With the support of my family as well, I was able to raise enough for my tuition and my maintenance for the 10 months I would be in Sweden. I’ve had to deny myself lots of luxuries but I knew it was well worth it.

  • Scholarships and Grants

There are scholarships available for admitted students to apply for. (1) Malmö University Scholarship, which offers up to 75% coverage of the tuition fees only. This scholarship does not include maintenance fee. (2) Swedish Institute Scholarship(s) which is offers full scholarships to 300 international students a year. You can find information on scholarships and how to apply here https://mau.se/en/education/scholarships/.

Malmö University’s student centre has some great resources as well. By the receptionists desk, you can find a board that displays different external scholarship and grant opportunities.

Lastly, you can work part-time alongside your studies to fund your trips across Europe or just for dining out and hanging out with friends. You can even use some of the money, depending on how much you receive, to cover your living expenses. If you make less than 20,000 SEK in a year, you are eligible to receive a salary without tax deductions so make sure you visit the Skatteverket office or website to get a certificate.

Source: Gipgy.com

Best wishes as you prepare to move to Malmö!

// Tapiwa

Creating Life in Malmö, Sweden

There is a lot to be excited about when you decide to move to a new city or country. Not to mention experiencing a new culture but also expanding your network and making new friends. I thought I was going to take this journey alone until I learned that one of my classmates was also from Malawi. I quickly asked within the circle who this person might be and not long before I started asking, I had her phone number. We started making plans to travel to Malmö together and how to prepare for our stay in in the city.

Firstly, Malmö is located in the Southern region of Sweden called Skåne. Malmö is the largest city in the Skåne region and the third largest city in Sweden after Stockhold and Gothernburg.

Fast forward to the day we arrived in Malmö. The first thing we did was walk around the city (after we got some sleep) to do some sightseeing and gett familiar with our new home. Here is a general background of how you should start creating your life in Sweden:

  • Research transport options available

You will need to get around during your studies. You have two options as a student, actually three depending on how adventurous you are :o).

First option is the bus. As I talked about in the Welcome to Malmö blog, the transportation system in Sweden is great. Buses usually run every 10 minutes (except on Sunday’s). There are two different type of buses: the Green or Yellow buses. The green buses run within the city limits and the yellow buses run regionally. For instance, if you want to travel outside of Malmö.

  • Find out about health care

As a fee-paying student who is staying for less than one-year (in my case), you are covered by comprehensive insurance – FAS by Kammarkollegiet. Students staying more than one-year are entitled to the same health benefits as Swedes, provided they register for a personal numer. Find out everything you can about accessing healthcare in the case you fall sick during your stay in Malmö. For students coming from the EU, you should register for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in your home country before coming to Sweden. You can find out more information about health care here https://studyinsweden.se/life-in-sweden/health-insurance-and-medical-care/.

  • Download useful apps

Sweden is one of the countries leading in the use of digital technologies. The first application you download should be the Google Maps. That’s the only way you’ll be able to navigate through the city and easily find places. Secondly, download the Skånetrafiken app, where you can buy train and bus tickets and retrieve the train and bus time schedule. Download the Canvas and Kronox app (see previous blog on the Swedish study and education system). You can also make use of the Revolut app, which is fintech company that offers banking services. I used the Revolut app because my VISA card from Malawi would get declined at some places. With the Revolut app and VISA card, I was able to transact easily.

  • Make friends

Now it’s time to get connected with other students and make friends! Whether you’re staying in the University Housing or in a shared apartment, get to know your floormates and roommates. They will be your family for the next year or two. Make friends and find similarities and explore the city together. It is nice figuring things out as a couple or group than doing things by yourself.

Bilder från studentboende på Rönnbladsgatan 2A.

Moving to a new city is excited as well as scary but once you have the right tips to creating a new life, you’ll do just fine!

How COVID-19 has affected everyday student life

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has certainly changed the way people lived their daily lives, especially students. I’ve experienced a method of learning that I never thought I would due to this global pandemic, but I’m also grateful for the way Malmö University handled the situation. Although, as students we were left with so many questions, they were able to control the panic amongst the students by answering to their best of their ability. As you could imagine, nobody really knew what the outcome would be but we still had to take precautions in order to reduce and control the spread.

Source: giphy.com

The semester has still gone on as planned, just digitally. We’ve been using platforms like Zoom, Canvas (see the Swedish study and education system blog) Slack and WhatsApp for lectures, group discussions, and assignments. Technology and the ability of the University lecturers to think fast and create alternatives to learning put our minds at ease. The library has remained open for students who might want to use the facilities there.

After the University announced it was closing until further notice, the situation became more realistic to me. I had so many questions as to how we would proceed with the remainder of the semester and if this would affect us completing the programme. Many students from my class who are residents or citizens from EU member states returned back to their home countries but honestly, that wasn’t even an option for me as Malawi is quite far.

The first thing I did was stock-up on non-perishable groceries and frozen goods too to throw in the freezer that would last me a while…oh, and lots of toilet paper. I wanted to limit how much I go outside of the house and reduce the possibility of contracting the virus. Writing final assignments and starting thesis writing has kept me busy during the week so that weekends are left to binge on my favorite shows and lots of Netflix, a healthy balance.

Source: giphy.com

At first, it was extremely hard to focus with working from home, especially with so much uncertainty and seeing how quickly COVID-19 was spreading. It made me fearful for the future and wondered how this would also affect the economy with many borders closing and flights being canceled. My faith has definitely gotten me through the stress and tribulations I’ve gone through with our new normal. I appreciate the approach the University took and the semester is finishing the way it should, just with a digital approach. They’ve tried to normalize learning as much as possible without disrupting our schedule.

Source: giphy.com

For more information on how Sweden is reducing the spread of COVID-19 and how you can protect yourself and others, visit https://www.krisinformation.se/corona .

The Swedish study and education system

Niklas Ekdahl, Jonna Jansson och Angelina Petrovic

The approach to learning at Malmö University is different from what I was used to in Malawi…

My experience with the Swedish education system at Malmö University has been amazing. The way the programme has been delivered has made the time fly so fast. It’s been engaging, challenging, interactive, fast-paced with lots of group work, discussions and case studies…phew!

I wouldn’t have chosen a better way to study. On top of that, everything is digital! That’s right, no need to print those 50-page papers and essays. Everything is submitted online but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from a sustainability program.

The structure and approach to teaching encourages a lot of independent studying and free-thinking, so you’re expected to dig deeper from the material that the lecturer gives you. Students usually take one course at a time. For instance, we take one course for 5 weeks and then for the next 5 weeks, we take another course etc.

Here’s a general breakdown of my experience studying at Malmö University during the year:


Kronox is a web-based platform and mobile application where you can access your school schedule for the semester once you have registered. You can access information on the classes you have each day, the time of the class, the topic that will be delivered and the room and building where the class will be. You’ll learn more about this during orientation week in late August.


Canvas is another web-based platform and mobile application for learning management that teachers use to interact with their students. All assignments are submitted on Canvas and you can also access reading material, PowerPoint presentations from class and other announcements from your lecturers and the University. You can also interact with your lecturers on the platform if you have any questions or inquiries for them. Canvas has been a life-save because you don’t have to print bulky assignments. How sustainable is that?

Case Seminars

Case seminars are another form of examination and graded assignments. Basically, you work in groups on various case studies and sometimes present your ideas and solutions to the class, while applying theoretical knowledge learned from class. Case seminars include lots of discussions, brainstorming, knowledge-sharing with your classmates and problem-solving!

Written Exams

These are sit-down exams with the whole sha-bang; invigilators, sitting in an exam hall, and hoping you studied enough to write sensible answers! Luckily for me, we’ve only had one written exam the whole year. In Malawi, we had written exams almost ALL of the time and boy was it nerve-wracking.

Group Work and Class Discussions

I would say about 90% of assignments and classwork is done in groups. We are encouraged to interact and work with our peers on assignments. This involves lots of meetings and lots of WhatsApp groups for easy communication with your group members. The good thing is you work with different people on every rotation or assignment so at least you get the chance to work with different students. Healthy debate and discussions are encouraged. There are no right or wrong answers since we are students coming from different backgrounds with different perspectives.

Peer Teaching Seminars

Peer teaching is when students teach their peers on designated topics. The lecture puts the class in groups and each group is given a course topic or area to “dig deep” on and teach their peers via PowerPoint presentation. This is another form of examination and a way of encouraging group work and collaboration.

Guest Lecturers

During the year, we’ve had several guest lecturers and experts come in and cover different topics. It’s been amazing to hear different perspectives of sustainability from different experts in the field.

Three Chances to Resubmit Assignments and Re-examination

My favorite part about learning in Sweden. The University is understanding and gives you three chances to submit and resubmit/rewrite examinations and assignments. For example, if you write an assignment and you submit it the first time but you failed, the lecturer will give you feedback on what to fix on the paper and you can resubmit for a passing grade. You’ll have two more chances to resubmit.

Thesis is Written in Pairs

That’s right, theses are written by two or three students. You pretty much group yourselves according to the area you are interested in. I like this because you share the knowledge, work and not to mention the stress.

Digital Learning during COVID-19 Quarantine

Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the University switched to digital teaching and learning. The remainder of our lecturers will be conducted online through Zoom conference calls, Slack and WhatsApp.


Welcome to Malmö, Sweden!

I don’t even know how to begin to express the butterflies, excitement, and joy I felt when I stepped off the plane at Copenhagen Kastrup Airport! Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup is the main international airport serving Copenhagen, Denmark and a large part of southern Sweden including the Skåne region (where Malmö is).

Source: giphy.com

My first impression of Malmö was that it was beautiful with amazing infrastructures. The buildings gave me 18 century and 21st century vibes, blending old buildings with the new ones.

School hasn’t kept me too busy to explore the city. Here are my favorite places in Malmö:

Emporia and Triangeln Shopping Malls

If you’re looking for a mall with multiple floors, stores, and restaurants then head to Emporia and Triangeln. You can also check out Mobilia Mall.2

Turning Torso

The Turning Torso is a beautiful architectural building built in the early 2000s that has a structure like a turning torso (literally). It’s one of the buildings that makes Malmö standout.

Lilla Torg

This is a square full of restaurants, cafés and stores. Perfect for date nights with your friends…or bae. Be sure to try Café Pronto located at Lilla Torg because it has the best cheesecake in town!

Malmö Museum

Need time off from your studies to do something chill but fun? Check out the Malmö Museum. The museum houses the Malmöhus Castle, a real submarine, the new Aquarium and lots more! I even found an aquarium with fish from Malawi!

Fish from Malawi – Malmö Museum

Folkets Park

Different events and activities take place at Folkets Park, including free ice skating in winter! Check out the calendar for activities here: https://malmofolketspark.se/

Beach – Ribersborgsstranden

What’s better than watching the sun go down next to the beach? NOTHING. Ribersborg Beach is Malmö ‘s most visited beach as it’s a perfect venue to hang out with your friends when the weather is good. You can do everything from swimming to barbecuing!

Möllevänstorget Market

This is another square in Malmö that holds an amazing market for all of your fresh produce and eggs. The square also has several stores and cafes that you might be interested in!

Other things I LOVE about Malmö:

Public transportation system

Malmö has a great public transportation system where you can choose between taking the train or the bus. The train usually stops between major places like the Central Station, Triangeln, Hyllie and all of the major towns. The purple trains (Pågatåg) usually stop in the smaller cities and towns but the grey (Öresundståg) train stops in the bigger cities (Helsingborg, Malmö, Copenhagen).

There are two different buses you can use: the green buses and the yellow buses. The green buses run locally within Malmö and the yellow buses run outside of Malmö. You can easily buy a bus ticket either at the ticket machines located at the Central Station or by using the Skånetrafiken mobile application.

A cashless society…?

I’m sure you’ve heard it before that Sweden is a cashless society, but honestly, in Malmö there are so many places you can use cash. When I was coming, I brought USD to change to SEK and one of my friends almost made me panic because she told me it was impossible to exchange cash for goods. So, if you’re coming from a country that mostly uses cash for transactions, worry not! Most places in Malmö accept cash but it’s always handy to have your card ready just in case you go somewhere that doesn’t accept cash (they usually have sign’s up).


Malmö is very diverse with over 170 different nationalities in the city. I’m sure you will find someone from your country in Malmö. I never expected to find Malawian’s here but so far, I have met about 4 Malawians and being around them has made it easy to integrate into the Swedish society.

Hillsong Malmö Church

I am a practicing Christian so it was important to find a church home for the duration of my stay in Malmö. Luckily, I found Hillsong Malmö, which is a subsidiary of Hillsong Church in Australia. If you’re into Christian rock then I’m sure you are familiar with Hillsong United and Hillsong Worship.

Easy to get to Copenhagen – Tivoli Garden

Malmö is super close to Copenhagen – just a 26-minute train ride. If you want to have that big city feel and just want to travel without going too far from home, I recommend you visit Copenhagen. There are lots to do, especially at Tivoli Garden.

African Shops

You can find almost anything and everything that you were using in Africa (if you’re coming from Africa). I panicked that I wouldn’t find hair products or even some of my favorite seasonings and spices – but I found a few shops that sell products from Africa. If you’re looking for corn flour to cook nsima (Malawi) or ugali (Kenya)  or just some of that Maggie spice that you used back home, you can find them near and around Södervarn. You’ll go through a grocery store tour once you arrive so you’ll get to see where you can buy what!


How to survive on a student budget in Malmö

All roads lead to Malmö in September 2020…but hold up, wait a minute! Let us put some budgeting into it. You’re ready for your move to Malmö for your studies at Malmö University, but you need a general breakdown of the cost of living and how to survive on a student budget.

First things first. Make sure you meet the minimum maintenance fee required by the Swedish Migration in order for them to grant you a residence permit. When I was applying, the monthly maintenance fee was SEK 8, 370 per month so make sure you can demonstrate that you’ll be able to cover your expenses during your stay in Sweden. For more information on the residence permit, visit the Swedish Migration website at https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Studying-and-researching-in-Sweden/Higher-education/How-to-apply-for-the-first-time.html

Here is a breakdown of my monthly expenditure quoted in Swedish Kronor (SEK):

Rent 3300
Food, groceries and toiletries 500-700
Phone 95 (3GB data, 2000 texts and 200 minutes within Sweden)
Monthly bus ticket 412.50 (thanks to the Studentkåren discount)
Leisure budget 200 (or less)
Emergency money 300
TOTAL 5, 007.50

Once you arrive at Malmö University, make sure you register for the Student Council (Studentkåren) to take advantage of all of the amazing discounts (and other perks as well!). The 30 day monthly bus ticket is usually SEK 550 but with a student discount, it comes down to SEK 412.50. Too good of a deal to pass up, right?

Here are some tips that will help you stick to your budget:

  1. Take advantage of second-hand shops. In the spirit of circular economy (sustainability lingo), I encourage you to check out some of the second-hand shops Malmö has to offer to keep you trendy on a budget. Not only will you save and get nice things at a reasonable price, but you’ll also be saving the planet from unnecessary waste and retaining the value of things within the economy (more sustainability lingo).
  2. Register for the Studentkåren. This is the Malmö Student Union that is working hard to make student life easier for you. As a union member, you can access tons of discounts, including the Skånetrafiken monthly bus ticket.
  3. Borrow course literature. You can borrow course literature online or get hard copies from the library. If you would like to purchase books at a reduced price, you can buy them second-hand.
  4. Find student-friendly grocery stores. Find grocery stores that have budget-friendly prices. You can even go a step further and download the mobile apps so you’ll get to see daily deals the store is offering. I typically shop at Lidl and Willy’s because of their reasonable prices. You should also follow some of the food rescue organizations in Malmö e.g. food2change and Rude Food. You can get lots of free groceries every week from these organizations.
  5. Get a part-time job. Finding a part-time job without the general knowledge of the Swedish language is tough, but not impossible. You can register for the Malmö University student career services at https://student.mau.se/jobb-praktik/hitta-jobbet/. Here, you’ll be able to see which organizations are looking specifically to employ students part-time.
  6. Home-cooked meals will become your best friend. I have probably only eaten out once or twice since moving to Malmö. I always carry lunch to school and avoid buying food on campus as it can be costly. Luckily, all of the University buildings are equipped with fridges, microwaves, and sinks so you can store and warm your food at school!

Depending on your interests and habits, you can actually save money! I hope these tips work for you during your studies!

It’s almost time to submit your supporting documentation. How and where should you start?

Applications for the autumn 2020 admission have closed. So what’s next for those who were successful in submitting their application on January 15th? It’s time to put your supporting documentation together. This documentation is proof of your eligibility to study at Malmö University!

There is so much information to sift through but worry not, I’m here to give you facts and tips before you submit your eligibility documentation. First things first, take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Regroup. Let’s go!

How should you prepare to submit your supporting documentation? Not sure where to start? Here’s a step-by-step on what you should begin with:

1. Start by checking what supporting documentation your course and the University requires. Some courses require a letter of motivation, your curriculum vitae or some other documentation.

When I was applying for the Leadership for Sustainability programme, one of the supporting documentation they required was a summary of my project paper from my bachelor’s degree. So, be careful to check what documentation your programme requires!

2. Next, check the required documentation for eligibility at University Admissions here: Documenting your eligibility for studies

This means your transcripts, certificates, and English proficiency test results. For master’s applicants, there are some cases where you don’t have to submit proof of English proficiency. You can check these further here: English Requirements

You can also check country-specific requirements here: Country Specific Requirements

3. Make sure you upload your documentation in the right format as required by University admissions. The last thing you want is to have your application delayed or rejected.

Scan all of your original documentation in its original form. For instance, if your original transcripts are in color, make sure you scan and submit them in color. Once you’re ready, you can upload your supporting documentation by logging into your University admissions account (the same account you submitted your application to).

4. Applicants from EU countries have the opportunity to apply in the second round for the autumn 2020 intake. If you’re from the EU, in case your documents weren’t ready or you missed the first round of applications, you can apply in the second round. This round is not recommended for international applicants from outside of the EU.

Now you’ve submitted your documentation, congratulations! Now, the waiting game begins. While you wait, keep in mind these important dates:

• February 3rd – Deadline to submit supporting documentation proving eligibility
• February 10th – Swedish Institute Scholarships open
• April 3rd – Notification of results for master’s applicants
• April 15th – Applications for the second round for EU applicants open
• April 20th – Notification of results for bachelor’s applicants
• April – Malmö University scholarships open (admitted applicants will get a notification email from Malmö University)

The application process is user-friendly and all of the information to your questions is on the University admissions page, but if you get stuck, you can send an email to study@mau.se! All the best.

Living on a budget in Sweden

Rescued food

’’Sweden is so expensive! The rent is so high! Groceries are so overpriced’’

Another budget rant? You guessed right!
Yes, living in Sweden can be quite expensive, but I am not here to add to the complaints. It takes a certain set of skills and expertise to live on a budget (kidding). Honestly, you just need to shop smart and look in the right places! Sweden makes it easy.

1. Praise the Housing Office!
If you are a student living at University Housing, you have probably been to the ‘Walking-food’ tour. Every semester the Housing Office organizes a walking tour around the city for students to get a glimpse into the different prices that grocery stores in Malmö offer. This is perhaps the best start to your stay in Malmö as this would give you a chance to know all your options when you have just moved in rather than at a later time when you are already accustomed to a certain shopping routine.
Students who live at University Housing are surrounded by budget friendly shopping stores. While most students end up relying on Willys, ICA and Coop due to their accessibility, some lesser known stores like Lidl, Lucu Foods, Abdos and even Orient food offer lower prices for the same goods you would purchase say at Coop. The market at Möllan square is also easy on your pocket, don’t forget to take cash!

2. Support Second Hand
Looking for a new jacket? Or a bag? Or even furniture? You can find all these and more at local second hand stores! Sweden is a huge supporter of sustainability ideas, and if you share a passion for this, it is truly the best place for you. Why you ask? Have you heard the saying – kill two birds with one stone? When you shop second hand, you are not only saving money but you are also doing your little bit to the environment! (Of course, if this is something you care about!) Being environmentally friendly does not come at a high price in Sweden! Neither does being a on a low budget!

3. Return your cans
It may just take a little extra to store your Pepsi cans and plastic bottles. But that little extra can save you some money on your grocery bill and also you are being environmentally friendly! (Yes killing two birds with one stone, think you are getting the hang of it!)
Every grocery store is equipped with a pantmera system, all it takes is for you to keep these cans and plastic bottles after consumption and bringi them to the grocery store when you shop!
I live at University Housing, and sometimes after a party, our floor gathers a large number of cans and plastic bottles. We then use this money for a floor dinner or for baking a cake. Sometimes pantmera has also supplied our dish washing soap along other things!

4. Back to food!
Apart from shopping at budget friendly stores, Malmö is also home to the NGO Food2Change. This organization works together with ICA Caroli to give away unsold rescued food. As you are a student, you are eligible to sign up for Food2Change. And if you love to volunteer then this is also the place for you. For just 500 sek over 6 months you can receive a bag of a variety of food once a week.
Have you heard of the mobile application Karma? (https://karma.life/) Based on a similar idea, the app lists food that are unsold at nearby cafes or restaurants at lower prices.

5. Eat in not order in
Living abroad can also make us miss certain things we are used to having back home. Such as a nice meal in a restaurant. While once in a while a meal outside cannot make a big hole in your pocket, once too often sure will. Cooking your own meal while being a student while balancing other new things in life can certainly be a challenge. Find inspiration on the internet for quick meals so you can have a meal prepared for a busy school day or before a submission. This was really hard for me as I was used to having my meals cooked by my mother along with eating a meal at a restaurant at least once a week. (haah, those days and yes spoiled child alert). But over the past two years, I have firstly discovered that I can cook, and secondly that cooking a dish of my choice is not that hard. Bring a friend along or cook with a video on YouTube. With this I have saved a whole lot of money in my pocket.

Apart from these 5 tips on how to live on a budget in Sweden, being a student has its perks. Using your student discounts while you can is something you need to take advantage of. Whether it is a bus ticket, or a coffee at Espresso House, a discount at Stadium, you take it! I promise you, you will miss this privilege after you have graduated.
I hope this break down makes both you and I feel less anxious about the hole in our pocket. See, it’s not so bad right? At least that is what I tell myself. (Im kidding!)
If you have any more tips on how to live on a budget, I would love to know!
Until next time, hej då!

Things I wish I knew before coming to Sweden

New post, who is this?

Hello dear readers! I am Divya Kasarabada and I work as a Resident Assistant for the Housing Office, and occasionally I like to indulge in some creative writing.

Upon moving to a new place and after a series of embarrassing moments, some mistakes, some some confusion and some realizations don’t you wish you knew some knacks before packing your bags? I have had way too many of these moments even two years into living in Sweden.
Really you ask? I can hear you rolling your eyes at me. But yes, I have come to believe that living abroad involves learning something new every day, I really mean every day. It could be learning something new about yourself, or from someone around you or even from an experience.
It has been over two years since I have moved to Sweden from my home country- India and I still find myself facing some confusion whilst wrapping my head around some things about Sweden. Nevertheless, it has been an explosion of experiences and learnings. And it has definitely been interesting to discover these things about Sweden in many different ways.
We all have those moments after moving abroad, where some of our assumptions about a certain culture or system are met with surprise. And today I am here to share some things I wish I knew before coming to Sweden. Read on if you are curious!

1. Things close early
In some of my early months in Sweden, I wanted to go buy something from the store. It was late evening and I set out and I was shocked to see that the store was closed. I assumed this was the only store shut and sped away on my bike to another store I had in mind. To my surprise it was closed as well. Utterly confused I reach for my phone to check the time, and it was only 7pm in the evening. In my experience in India, shops stay open till 9pm and beyond sometimes. Of course many times I would forget about this and decide to go on a shopping spree after the stores shut in the evening. I need to confess this happened last week too. So yes lesson not learned, but things close early in Sweden, so if you know you have an errand, do look up the timings of the store online before you head out in the cold! (Unlike myself)

2. Breathing confusion
Once I was in conversation with a Swedish women and after everything I said she made a noise with her mouth which I had never heard before, and I could only compare it to a hiccup perhaps. But, to be honest (this is mean) I found it funny and I was also confused and even worried. Yes, that is a lot of emotions, but I thought she had a breathing problem and I did not want to ask if something is wrong. I eventually learnt from a friend that this means ‘yes’. This sounds like a sudden sharp- short intake of breathe, and it basically means the person is in agreement with you. If you find yourself understanding this and not wondering if the person is choking and even doing this in conversations, it is safe to say my friend, you have integrated!

3. Get in line!
Need a house in Sweden? Get in line. Just like the social convention of making a queue at a store, Swedes also have a queue (online) to acquire a house. Scandinavians love a queue, and well to be honest, so do I. I do not like it when someone cuts lines. Do remember if there is a queue and if you are not in it, you will be met with disappointing looks from Swedes.
So if you need a place in Sweden, you can sign up on your local housing website, the most common one is https://www.boplatssyd.se/ . With just a small yearly fee you can sign up to secure an apartment in just a few months.

4. Learn Swedish
In my first few months here I could not go anywhere without google translate on my phone. And this was not so fun, to not know the meaning of words and sometimes where to go. I missed a lot of important information by not knowing Swedish. And also if your long term goal is to stay in Sweden, then I will say it’s good to stock up on some Swedish vocabulary before you get here and also invest some time in learning the language. For example most customer service lines are answered in Swedish , not that you have trouble changing to English, but this is just to give you a heads up. A lot of applications and websites are in Swedish as well. Announcements in the train station or on a bus are also in Swedish. These are few examples where one might be at a loss, however when you approach most Swedes they have no trouble helping you out and also speaking in English!

5. Bringing things back into the loop
The concept of second hand for me, was a bit strange as I was not so open to the idea. Owning something second hand is not encouraged in my culture, however while being on a budget and switching to a sustainable mindset, it did not seem like a bad idea at all. In fact Second hand stores are so well equipped that one can find all sorts of things. This includes clothes, household articles, kitchen appliances, shoes, bags, furniture, and books and so on. For example, if you have a new apartment and need to make it feel like home, all this is possible with second hand stores. In this way you would be extending the life of a certain article, furniture or clothes, thus bringing things back into the loop of the economy. This can also be compared to the recycling system in Sweden, where one can return their plastic bottles and cans at grocery stores. In short, Sweden makes it easy to be sustainable.

I also wanted to talk about the darkness of Sweden as one of the things I wish I knew about before coming here, but you can find more on that on our https://studyinsweden.se/ blogs! These are just some of the many things I wish I knew before arriving to Sweden. While I wish I knew these things before hand, it has also been quite interesting to discover these knacks and nuances in my everyday life and in my own way!
If you are a prospective student, I hope you find this list of use to your pre arrival knowledge and if you are a student already living here I hope you can agree with me!
Also if you have more things you wish you knew before coming to Sweden, drop a comment down below and share your story!
And until next time, hej då!