Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, situated in the southern-most province of Skåne. The centre of the city offers good shopping facilities, theatres, bars, cafés and restaurants, as well as an outstanding symphony orchestra, art galleries and museums. Although Malmö may look typically Swedish, with its parks, historic buildings and canals, it is also very cosmopolitan; many of its citizens were born outside Sweden, and over 170 different countries are represented in the city.
Malmö’s sports provision is excellent, whether you want to watch or take part, and includes football, ice-hockey, sailing, golf, tennis and horse-riding. The city is surrounded by rolling countryside and some of the best beaches in Sweden.
Malmö has strong historic bonds with the maritime industry; it was an important medieval sea-port and had a thriving ship-building industry for many years. It is also a city with a knowledge-based economy that places a premium on learning and research, being home to its own University as well as several faculties of Lund University and to WMU. The city has developed high-technology industries, to make the best use of its educated work-force. It is home, for instance, to a remarkable number of computer gaming companies.
The Öresund Bridge provides Malmö with a direct road and rail link to Copenhagen and its international airport, just 30 minutes away by train or bus. Copenhagen’s historic centre has all the attractions you would expect from any European capital, as well as some special features of its own, like the Tivoli Gardens.
The City of Malmö, as WMU’s host, provides the University’s building in the centre of town, which offers outstanding facilities in a spectacular building. The historic part of the University was built as the Harbour master’s headquarters.
WMU is able to provide excellent student accommodation at the Henrik Smith Residence, run by on-site staff, at a rent of approximately SEK 5,000 (2019 figure) per month. All WMU students can be accommodated on one site, although during the First Term, high-demand period students are likely to be required to share a room. The Henrik Smith Residence is less than three kilometres from the main University building, and only a short walk or bus-ride to the centre of Malmö.
The Residence has a range of facilities, including a lounge area for social meetings or group work, study rooms for group work, facilities for playing pool and table-tennis, a sauna, laundry facilities and indoor storage space for bicycles.
Passports and Residence Permits
Make sure that you have a passport that is valid at least as long as your whole study period, and has plenty of empty pages left, so that you can be issued with any visas you need while you are at WMU.
You should apply for a residence permit as soon as you get your enrolment packet, even if you do not need a visa to enter Sweden (note: if you are an EU national, different rules apply). Under our agreement with the Swedish Government, students of the MSc in Maritime Affairs programme (but not those on the PhD programme) are issued with a Swedish residence permit for the whole period of their studies. This permits you to travel to Sweden via other Schengen countries without obtaining additional or transit visas.
You should be aware that airlines will refuse to carry passengers without a valid residence permit or entry visa for their country of destination. It is therefore very important that you should start to apply for your residence permit as soon as possible. The process can often take up to three months, and sometimes longer, and the University, unfortunately, is not able to assist students with this.
WMU students’ families are subject to the same rules as any other visitor coming to Sweden and the process for obtaining a temporary residence permit for them can be very lengthy. Sometimes processing permits for whole families can take longer than for individual students. Note that your highest priority should be to arrive on time for the start of your programme, which begins in full strength on the advertised date. Please see the section on Should you bring your family to Malmö? for full details
The University takes out medical insurance to cover treatment in Sweden, as well as emergency treatment during field studies abroad. This health insurance covers sudden illness and accidents; it does not cover pre-existing conditions not mentioned on your pre-enrolment medical report. The insurance will also recompense students for the cost of prescription medicines. The insurance does not cover treatment from an optician, and gives only limited dental cover. Make sure you read the Fees and Facilities booklet, which contains the latest information available.
If you are planning to bring your family to join you in Malmö, it is compulsory to take out private medical insurance to cover them. The University insurance for you cannot be extended to your family. (See the section below on Should you bring your family to Malmö? for more information.)
Student Support Services
The University also provides students with accident and travel insurance during their study period, in addition to the medical insurance described above. The visas needed by students for field studies abroad are arranged by the University. Students also have free access to a leisure and sports centre close to the city centre.
An orientation programme is given to each group of new students to provide an introduction to the University and living in Sweden. This is supplemented by a comprehensive information and advice service.
As a member of the WMU community, you can benefit from a broader experience both as a professional and as an individual. The University offers you the chance to develop friendships with people from all over the world, and to become, temporarily, a member of Swedish society. It is essential that students take full advantage of all that their time at WMU has to offer.
Students at WMU have a voice in the affairs of the University through the Student Council, which has special officers responsible for all areas of student life, from sports activities to academic affairs. You can get involved in all the things that interest you. When you arrive, the Student Council arranges for you to be met by a ‘buddy’ – another student who can help you with all the practicalities of living in Sweden, and who can make sure you find your feet immediately. Later, you will be invited to give similar help to newcomers.
You might want to bring your national dress with you when you come to Malmö – you will be asked on a number of occasions to represent your country while you are here, and many students are proud to wear their national dress.
When you graduate, we make sure you can keep in touch with the University through webinars and online discussion forums. Many countries have lively alumni associations, which are part of a global network.
Some graduates have returned as resident academic staff or visiting professors. Many meet again at conferences, seminars and IMO meetings, as well as informally keeping up with friends through social media. The networking opportunities offered by studies at WMU extend far into the future.
Should you bring your family to Malmö?
Many students wish to bring their families to Malmö, but in reality very few can afford to do so. It is costly and making arrangements for your family is time-consuming, especially in a foreign country. Students find their studies very demanding and difficult to balance with family life.
If you make the decision to bring your family you should in any case arrive here alone. This will allow you to make suitable arrangements for their accommodation, as children are not allowed to live at the Student Residence at any time. The cost of renting a basic apartment is currently around SEK12,000 per month, plus utilities. Very few apartments are currently available, especially in this low price range.
The arrangements made by the University apply only to students, and not to dependants. If you want to bring your family, you must arrange financial support for them, quite apart from any fellowship that you may yourself hold. Your home government or employer is expected to continue to pay your salary while you are studying at the University, particularly to support your family, whether they remain in your home country or come to Malmö. Such arrangements are entirely a matter for students and their sponsoring government/organisations, and do not involve the University in any way.
If you intend to bring your family to Malmö, you must obtain the necessary immigration clearance for them to enter Sweden before they leave your home country. You must be able to demonstrate to the Swedish authorities that you can support your family financially, in line with Swedish regulations, and that you can afford the necessary health insurance for the whole period of their visit. Such insurance is quite expensive.
If you are joined in Malmö by your husband or wife only, he or she may share your accommodation in the Residence, but please remember that the apartments were designed and are equipped to accommodate only one person comfortably. It is not possible for children to live at the Residence, even for short periods, and so families with children must arrange outside housing at their own expense.
Instead of bringing their families for the whole period of their studies, many WMU students arrange a shorter visit during the summer months or at graduation.