A - Z
For information about restaurants, travel and activities, visit boras.com (external link). For information about the municipality and the services it offers, visit boras.se (external link).
You can buy a bus ticket at any “Pressbyrån” (Swedish chain of convenience stores). They are located at both Central Station (Borås Resecentrum) and the bus square (Södra Torget). You can buy a single ride (around 26 SEK), a monthly card of unlimited use (under 20 years of age: 415 SEK, 20 years or older: 555 SEK) or a top-up card (“kontantladdning”) which you can charge with money. Each trip, within Borås, will cost less than 26 SEK and is drawn from your bus card when you hold it in front of the card reader on the bus.
You can also buy a single ride or top up your card directly on the bus. Please note that you cannot pay with cash on the buses, only with credit cards (Visa, Maestro, Mastercard) and Swedish debit cards. If you have a Swedish mobile phone operator you can also buy a single ride by text message.
You find the bus you need to take and the times the bus leaves by going to www.vasttrafik.se/en and entering the station you would like to leave from, the station you would like to go to, and the time you want to travel. This applies to the whole Western Sweden region.
Allmost all payments in shops or cafés are done with debit cards in Sweden, cash i rarely used. Under some circumstances you can only pay with bank cards, such as on buses.
One of the Swedish map and phone directories can be found on eniro.se (external link) ."Vad" means what and "var" means where. Contact details of university employees and students can be found under the link Contact in the upper right corner.
CSN - Student aid
Usually Swedish citizens who are studying receive student aid in the form of grants and loans. This is called CSN (external link).
Generally speaking, non-Swedish citizens do not have the right to receive student aid. Coming here as a student does not qualify you to receive student aid by itself.
The most common way of writing dates is year, month, day, i.e. 2005-07-14 or 050514, meaning July 14, 2005.
Sweden, like most European countries, has right-hand traffic. In Sweden you have to be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s licence. It is important that all students who are planning on driving in Sweden are aware of the rules for driving in Sweden and also how foreign driver's licenses are accepted. An important note is that students from outside the EU need to get a license after their first year in Sweden.
Students with a driver's license from the EU
Students with a valid driver's license from within the EU are allowed to drive in Sweden.
Students with a driver's license from outside the EU
Students with a valid driver's license from a country outside the EU are allowed to drive in Sweden for a period of one year after the date you have officially registered (folkbokfört) at the Tax Office and received a Swedish personal identity number. Notice that the date is not from when you arrive in Sweden, but from when you receive your number. After this time you need to get a Swedish driver's license or apply for an exemption as an international student.
1. Getting a Swedish driver's license. Note that this is a complicated, fairly time consuming, and expensive process.
2. Apply for an exemption. Students with a license from outside the EU are allowed to apply to renew the length they can drive on an exemption that they will stay here for only a limited time. This only applies if you are not planning on staying in Sweden after your studies and does not grant any kind of permanent license. You need to apply for an exemption even if you have an international driving license (which is only an interpretation of your national driving license).
The application requires an application to the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) and an non-refundable application fee of 600 SEK.
Send the following to Transportstyrelsen 701 97 Örebro:
- A letter explaining why you want an exemption. Include your contact details.
- A letter from the university stating the length of your admittance to the university and that you are a student
- A copy of your driver's license
They will send you an invoice for the fee of 600 SEK, as well as more information about your exemption.
For more information you can see the website of Transportstyrelsen (external link)
All types of narcotics are prohibited in Sweden. There are strong regulations against using and selling any kind of illegal drug.
The main electricity type in Sweden is 220 volts and 50 cycles (Hz) and you may therefore need a transformer or an adapter for your electrical appliances. The company in Borås for most residences is called Bornet and can be contacted at 033-35 72 40.
Not all countries have diplomatic representatives in Sweden. Look in the yellow pages in the phone book, or access the yellow pages online at www.gulasidorna.se, look for “Ambassader, konsulat och handelsrepresentationer”
For Police, Ambulance, Fire department, dial 112 (no charge in phone booths)
Swedish ID cards (external link) are only granted to students who have a Swedish Personal Identity Number. Only a limited number of tax offices issue ID cards. The closest for students studying in Borås is the tax office in Gothenburg located at Rosenlund (Hvitfeldtsplatsen 9, Gothenburg). You need to bring your passport and a receipt showing that you have paid the application fee of 400 SEK. Before applying please read about the ID card application requirements.
The University does not provide students with student identity cards. But if you become a member of the Student Union you will receive a student card (sometimes called “mecenatkort” in Swedish) in the mail a couple of weeks after you have become a member, which gives you the right to many student discounts.
The University of Borås offers Swedish language courses at both beginner's level and continuation level.
If you have a Swedish personal identity number you can study Swedish free of charge at SFI (Swedish for Immigrants).
Folkuniversitetet (external link) offers Swedish language courses in Borås for a small fee. ABF (external link) offers Swedish language courses in Göteborg.
The university library is usually open between 8:00-20:00, except for weekends.
Map services in Borås & Sweden
You can use an online map service for find any place in all of Sweden on a map. Go to eniro.se (external link) and under "visa karta" write the address of the place you are looking for followed by the city. Ex. Allégatan 1, Borås. Zoom in or out using the scale on the lower left.
In Sweden shops are generally open Monday to Friday from 09.00-18.00 and often on Saturday until early afternoon. Larger grocery stores tend to be open on Sunday.
The Swedish law of public access to private land gives you the opportunity to freely roam the countryside as long as you show respect for the wildlife. You are entitled to walk, jog, picnic or cycle in the entire Sweden.
The university does not have any parking spaces for students. On parkeringboras.se (external link) you can find a map with all parking spaces in Borås and the costs for parking. Regarding parking spaces by your accommodation, you should ask your landlord.
The pharmacy is called Apotek in Swedish. Apoteket handles prescription drugs as well as some hygiene products and over-the-counter drugs. Some over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, can be purchased in ordinary grocery stores.
If you have a mobile phone you can buy a pre-paid card in one of the mobile phone stores. You will also receive one in the welcome folder at the university. This card is called “kontantkort” and will give you a Swedish mobile phone number and you can make phone calls for the amount of money you have charged the card with. Once you have emptied the card you need to refill it.
You can find the local police station at Sandgärdsgatan 15 in Borås. Their phone number is 114 14. Asked to be transferred to Borås police station. If it is an emergency call 112.
There are not so many post offices left in Sweden. There is instead usually a separate "post desk" in normal convenience stores. On their website postnord.se (external link) you can see where different services are offered.
The following days are public holidays in Sweden during 2017:
Jan 1 - New Year´s Day
Jan 6 - Epiphany Day
April 14 - Good Friday
April 16 - Easter Sunday
April 17- Easter Monday
May 1 - May Day
May 25 - Ascension Day
June 6 - Sweden's National Day
June 23 - Midsummer´s Eve
Dec 24 - Christmas Eve
Dec 25 - Christmas Day
Dec 26 - Boxing Day
Dec 31 - New Year´s Eve
In Sweden public holidays are sometimes called "red days".
Whenever you are in a shop waiting to buy something or waiting for service you will be expected to wait in a line. Many shops have installed queuing systems so instead of waiting in a line you need to take a number from a dispensing machine and wait until your number comes up on a display. Without one of these numbers you
will be ignored.
You can find cheap furniture, clothes and kitchen utensils in one of Borås' many second hand shops.
Smoking is not permitted in any public places such as restaurants, bars, banks, post offices or in shops.
You will find that alcoholic beverages only can be bought at the Systembolaget - the government owned chain of liquor stores in Sweden. To be able to purchase at the Systembolaget you will have to prove your age (bring your passport), minimum 20 years are required. Be aware that drinking and driving is strictly prohibited in Sweden.
Tipping is not considered mandatory in Sweden. However, if you have good service from a restaurant or taxi it is considered standard practice to tip around 10 percent of the bill.
The Tourist Information Centre can be found at: Österlånggatan 1-3, 503 15 Borås
SJ is the major Swedish train company running long distance traffic over almost all of Sweden. sj.se (external link)
The tap water is often of very good quality and safe to drink.