Mobile Phones & SIM Cards
Sim cards can be bought pre paid or on a monthly contract either with or without a phone. There are major providers and stores all over town where you can pick up cheap deals. Clas Ohlsen sells just sim cards and you can often pick from a couple so you have a number you are happy with. If you have friends etc in Umeå try to get the same provider as it will work out much cheaper in the long run!
If you are invited into a Swede's house, take your shoes off as soon as you go in. It is considered rude not to!
Also in the winter months you can buy special studs that you clip onto your shoes to stop you from sliding on the ice, these are invaluable around February and March when the temperature warms up and the snow begins to melt, and refreezes, and melts, and refreezes...you get the idea!
If you are an EU citizen you can stay in Umeå for as long as you like with no permit, but after 3 months you need to register your intent to be in the country. If you are from outside the EU this is different and varies upon which country you are coming from. I am sure you have researched coming to Umeå yourself but if you want further clarification here is a link to the Swedish Migration Board where all your questions should be answered and you can download all the forms you need to fill in etc.
Once you receieve your paper through the post called "Right to Reside" and if you intend to stay in Sweden for at least one year, you can apply for a Swedish personal ID number (personnummer). To do this you need to go to the tax office (Skatteverket) which is located on Storgaten 60, Umeå. You need your passport and you have to go in person to apply.
This is used ALL the time in everyday life. If you go to the doctors, the pharmacy to get a prescription, want a bank account (although some banks do let you have an account without it, see below), want to register for SFI etc, you will ALWAYS need and be asked for your personnummer.
This is a number made up of your date of birth then 4 digits personal to you. Don't let anyone know these digits as it would make it easy for someone to steal your identity if they know them.
For example, it looks like this: 851104-0865
It is handy to have one if you are eligible and the people at the tax office, in my experience, are really friendly. The forms also have a translation card in any language so you know what you should be filling in!
If you want to open a bank account you can do so at any bank and any branch.
Svenska Enskilda Banken (SEB) or Nordea are two that let you open accounts even if you don't have a personnummer. You will need your Letter of Acceptance/Notification of Admission (if you are a student) or your "Right to Reside" if not
and your passport when you want to open an account.
The best place to change your money is a place called Forex. They change all currencies and offer fair exchange rates and fees. You don't usually need to take ID with you to change money. They can also send money to bank accounts in other countries etc.
If you are sent a parcel to your home address you will receive a note from the postman in your mail box with the time and address of the post office you can collect your parcel from. Unless it is a small package it will not be brought to your door. Take the note that you get and a form of ID to the post office as stated and they will give you your parcel.
8 Sidor - This is a newspaper written in simple Swedish so you can practice your reading skills and find out what's happening in Sweden and the rest of the world.
The Local - Sweden's news in English. I found this an invaluable resource when I was moving over to Sweden and still read their weekly news updates. There is a forum where you can register and ask questions about anything relating to coming to, or living in Sweden. The responses are usually fast and friendly, seriously great resource.
Blocket - A site where people can advertise their unwanted stuff for sale. Seriously there is everything from horses to kitchen tables so well worth a look! Umeå is in Västerbotten so click on that and it will show you everything local to you here in Umeå.
Weather - A favourite topic of conversation among Swedish people is the weather. I have put a few gadgets on this site to tell you the weather in both Celsius and Fahrenheit in Umeå just now. Follow the link above to get a pretty decent five day forecast and you will always have a conversation starter!
What's on in Umeå? - If you want to know what is happening in and around the City on any given day then check out the calendar pages of VK. This is in Swedish but I am sure you will get the general idea.