Uppsala University: A Guide to Campus Life

Uppsala University, a blend of ancient tradition and modern innovation, offers a rich, culturally diverse environment where more than 4,000 international students thrive.

Uppsala University: A Guide to Campus Life
Photo by Fika Online

Navigating the vibrant tapestry of campus life at Uppsala University is an adventure, especially for the international student community. With over 4,000 international students making up a substantial portion of the 50,000-strong student body, Uppsala University is a melting pot of cultures, ideas, and experiences. This unique blend fosters an environment of diversity, making it an ideal place for global minds to flourish.

Whether you're exploring the picturesque historical sites, engaging in a spirited fika with friends from across the globe, or joining one of the many student nations (a hallmark of Swedish university culture), Uppsala offers a wealth of opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. This blog is your guide to experiencing everything Uppsala has to offer as an international student at one of Sweden's most prestigious institutions.

Shared accommodation is a popular choice among students enrolled at Uppsala University and want to experience Swedish life firsthand. Check out listings for some properties on Hemavi.

Experiences at Uppsala University

Student Nations

Uppsala University is renowned for its unique system of student nations, which are key to its vibrant cultural scene. Dating back to the 17th century, these 13 student nations represent different regions of Sweden, fostering a sense of community and offering a wide range of cultural, social, and recreational activities. All Uppsala students automatically become members of one of these nations, providing immediate access to an array of events and experiences.

Student nations at Uppsala offer diverse events that cater to various interests, such as traditional dinners and parties, themed parties, and cultural activities including live music performances, theater productions, and art exhibitions. Each student nation at Uppsala also provides various facilities that cater to students' everyday needs, including cafes, sports and fitness spaces, and study locations.

The student nations at Uppsala are key to building a sense of community for both Swedish and international students:

  • Mentorship Programs: Some nations offer mentorship programs that pair new students with experienced members, providing guidance and support during their academic journey. This initiative is particularly beneficial for international students, helping them navigate university life and settle into Uppsala's academic and social scene.
  • Leadership Opportunities: Nations offer various leadership roles, including positions on their boards or committees. These opportunities enable students to take on responsibilities, develop valuable skills, and contribute to their nation's growth.
  • Social Networks: Joining a nation provides immediate access to a broad social network, making it easier for international students to form connections and friendships. This network offers support both academically and personally, fostering a sense of belonging.

Cultural Events

Uppsala University offers a vibrant cultural scene, with events that reflect both the city's rich history and its diverse, modern student body. These cultural events range from traditional Swedish celebrations to international festivals, artistic performances, and community gatherings, making Uppsala a dynamic place for students to explore and enjoy.

Uppsala University embraces Swedish traditions through a variety of cultural events:

  • Walpurgis Night (Valborg): One of Uppsala's most celebrated traditions, Walpurgis Night marks the arrival of spring. This annual event features a city-wide celebration, with students and locals participating in parades, choir performances, and the famous river rafting event, where students build homemade rafts and float down the Fyris River. The festivities culminate in a massive bonfire and fireworks display, bringing together the entire Uppsala community.
  • Lucia Celebration: Held in December, this event celebrates Saint Lucia's Day, an important tradition in Sweden. Students participate in processions dressed in white robes and wear candles on their heads, symbolizing the light that Lucia brought into darkness. The celebrations include choir performances, traditional Swedish songs, and communal gatherings, fostering a festive atmosphere that reflects Swedish culture.

Uppsala's cultural scene also includes a variety of artistic performances, ranging from music to theater and literature through Student Nations' events, Uppsala Stadsteater, and literary events. Additionally, given its diverse student body, Uppsala University hosts several international festivals and events, including international day and language cafés.

Campus and Facilities at Uppsala University

Uppsala University offers a wide range of facilities and a dynamic campus environment spread across several key locations in Uppsala and on the island of Gotland. Each campus specializes in different academic disciplines and features state-of-the-art facilities conducive to both research and learning.


This campus focuses on pedagogy, psychology, and educational studies. It's equipped with specialized facilities like the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, catering to future educators and psychologists.

Campus Gotland

Located in Visby, this campus provides a broad educational spectrum including the humanities, law, and social sciences. It's particularly noted for its integration of historical and modern educational approaches.


This campus is home to the departments of economics, media, and social sciences, offering a comprehensive educational environment for these fields.

English Park Campus

Known for its humanities and social sciences programs, this campus also hosts the Humanities Theatre and the Karin Boye Library, providing a rich cultural and academic setting.

Evolutionary Biology Center (EBC)

EBC is dedicated to biological and evolutionary research and includes the Museum of Evolution, which houses collections in botany, zoology, and paleontology.

Uppsala Biomedical Centre (BMC)

As one of Europe's largest life science centers, BMC offers extensive resources for studies in pharmacy, medicine, biology, and biotechnology.

Additionally, the university is equipped with advanced research facilities, experimental equipment, and digital infrastructure that support innovative teaching methods and collaborative research projects. The campuses not only serve as educational hubs but also as vital parts of the social fabric of Uppsala, fostering a vibrant community life among students through numerous student organizations, clubs, and activities​.


As you stand on the threshold of joining Uppsala University, it's clear that your academic and cultural journey will be as rich as it is rewarding. This university isn't just a place to learn; it's a vibrant community where more than 4,000 international students from a total student body of around 50,000 contribute to a melting pot of cultures and ideas. Here, global minds find a nurturing ground to flourish, enriched by diverse perspectives and experiences. Navigating Uppsala University is more than an academic pursuit—it's a journey into the heart of Swedish culture, supported by a robust network of support systems and community initiatives.

Looking for shared accommodation in Uppsala? Check out the listings on Hemavi.