Mastering Your Move: The Essential Do's and Don'ts for International Students in Gothenburg

Mastering Your Move: The Essential Do's and Don'ts for International Students in Gothenburg
Photo by Gothenburg Travel Guide

Moving as an international student to Gothenburg, Sweden, a city known for its stunning landscapes and academic prowess, is an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and educational system. However, it comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. This guide is crafted to ease your transition into this vibrant city – From understanding local customs to efficiently planning your stay, we've got you covered. This is a list of the top do's and don'ts for international students moving to Gothenburg.

A significant part of your journey is finding the right accommodation. Here, Hemavi's roommate matchmaking service plays a crucial role, ensuring you find not just a place to live, but a home where safety, compatibility, and lasting friendships are paramount.

Do's of Moving to Gothenburg

Do Research and Plan Ahead

Before moving, research the city's layout, transportation system, and local customs. Familiarize yourself with the areas around your university and potential housing options. Understanding the city's layout, major landmarks, and local customs eases the cultural transition and helps in day-to-day navigation.

Do Secure Accommodation Early

The housing market in Gothenburg can be competitive, especially near university campuses. Start your search early to find a suitable place. Services like Hemavi can be invaluable in this regard, offering a roommate matchmaking service that focuses on safety and compatibility, ensuring a harmonious living environment.

You can also check out options for university housing, listings on social media, and reach out to other students enrolled in your program for support. Chances are, some of them are looking for accommodation too!

Do Learn Basic Swedish

While many Swedes speak excellent English, learning basic Swedish phrases can be beneficial for daily interactions and show respect for the local culture. Basic knowledge of the language can enrich your social experiences and might be necessary in some bureaucratic processes.

Do Study the Transportation System

Gothenburg has an efficient public transportation system. Familiarize yourself with tram and bus routes, especially those leading to your university and accommodation. Consider purchasing a monthly travel card for convenience – check for any applicable student discounts before purchasing.

Do Register with Local Authorities

If your stay in Sweden exceeds three months, register with the Swedish Tax Agency to obtain a personal identification number, which is crucial for accessing various services. This number is key to accessing health care, opening bank accounts, and other administrative tasks.

Do Embrace Local Culture and Networking

Take advantage of the social and cultural activities Gothenburg offers. Attend university events, join clubs, and participate in local festivities to immerse yourself in Swedish culture and build a network. This not only enriches your experience but also aids in building a valuable network of friends and contacts.

Don'ts of Moving to Gothenburg

Don't Underestimate Weather Variations

Gothenburg's weather can be quite unpredictable. Prepare for cold and snowy winters by investing in good quality, warm clothing. Summers are mild but can occasionally be warmer than expected, so a mix of light and warm clothing is ideal. Always carry an umbrella or raincoat, as rain showers can be sudden and frequent.

Don't Overlook Health Insurance

It's crucial to have adequate health coverage. EU/EEA students should bring their European Health Insurance Card, while non-EU students need to arrange for private insurance or explore options for Swedish health insurance. This ensures access to healthcare without facing high expenses in case of illness or injury.

Don't Ignore Budgeting

Living in Sweden can be costly. Plan your budget to cover essential expenses like housing, food, and transportation, as well as occasional leisure activities. Track your expenses to maintain financial stability and avoid overspending.

Don't Miss Out on Student Discounts

Many businesses in Gothenburg offer discounts to students. From public transport to cultural venues and eateries, these discounts can make life in the city more affordable. Always carry your student ID and inquire about student discounts.

Don't Hesitate to Seek Support

If you encounter any challenges, whether they're academic, social, or personal, don't hesitate to reach out for help. Universities typically have international offices and student services designed to assist foreign students. They can offer guidance, support, and sometimes even counseling services.

Don't Stay Isolated

It's easy to feel homesick or isolated in a new country. Moving to a new country can be lonely. Make an effort to meet new people, whether through university events, local meetups, or even through your living arrangement.

Remember, platforms like Hemavi can help you connect with like-minded roommates, providing not just a shared living space but also potential friendships.


Moving to Gothenburg as an international student is a journey full of learning and new experiences. Embarking on your academic journey in Gothenburg as an international student is a multifaceted experience that extends beyond academics. It encompasses adapting to a new culture, navigating day-to-day living, and creating a network of friends and contacts. By following these do's and don'ts, you can ensure a smoother transition into your new life.

And for your accommodation needs, consider using Hemavi to find compatible roommates, making your stay in Gothenburg not just comfortable but also enjoyable. Welcome to Gothenburg, and here's to a memorable and enriching study abroad experience!