After arriving at Arlanda Airport I took the pendeltåg to Uppsala Centralstationen. I put my suitcase in a locker (förvaringsbox) at the train station. These can be found next to the bathrooms on the ground floor, close to the pharmacy.
Getting a Sim card
My next stop was Presbyrån, also located at the central station. I bought a prepaid sim card for my phone. They keep these behind the counter, so you’ll have to ask the store clerk about them. He was very friendly and explained to me how to top up your balance, the old fashion way. You can top up your balance at Presbyrån. You can buy a bundle there and you’ll get a receipt, on which there is a code you will need to ‘call’. Afterward, you’ll receive a message, in Swedish, that it has been successfully topped up.
If you want an actual plan (abonnemang) instead of prepaid, you will need a personnummer. But it will take awhile before you get your personnummer. With prepaid, you also can’t top up your balance online, unless you have a Swedish bank account. And again, to get a Swedish bank account, you’ll need a personnummer.
Getting a personnummer
A personnummer is like a social security number. The number consists out of your birthday (YYMMDD) plus four extra numbers.
After getting my phone number, I walked to Skatteverket, where I had to register myself because my study is longer than 8 months.
As an EU student, I needed to bring my passport, a self-assigned assurance that you’re able to support yourself financially, a certificate of registration, proof that you’re admitted, and my EHIC card. For the assurance, I wrote a letter stating I would be able to support myself, I specified where I would get my funds from, and put my signature on it. The certificate of registration you’ll get after officially registering at Uppsala University. For the proof that you’ve been admitted, you can download and print the admission results from universityadmissions.se. Lastly, you have to be insured before coming to Sweden, to prove this you can bring your EHIC card.
When I arrived at the Skatteverket, there was a long line. I think I waited in line for about 45 minutes. When you’re first in line, you will get approached by one of the staff members. I explained my situation to him and he handed me a form which I had to fill in. He also gave me ‘a number’. It was time to wait once more. There was a digital board on the wall which displayed the ‘number’ being helped at which desk. Every few minutes you’ll hear a ‘ding’ sound and a new number is displayed on the board. It took more than an hour before my number was displayed on the digital board. During that time I filled in my form, on which they asked for standard details (name, date of birth, address, etc). They also wanted a phone number. So I thought it was the perfect time to pop the new sim card into my phone. It worked!
After my number was called, I went over to one of the desks. The staff member copied all my papers I brought with me, my passport and EHIC card. She also took the form. She explained that it will take about two weeks before everything is processed and I will get my personnummer. I have a Dutch driver’s license, but I will eligible for a Swedish one after I get my personnummer.
Moral of the story, get a personnummer as soon as you can. It’s a key to getting many things done in Sweden. If you’re not staying for a long time, but still need a personnummer (for instance, you need a Swedish bank account), contact Uppsala University. They might be able to help you!