Friday, February 18, 2011

Community Gardens

You can rent a plot to grow veggies in Lund, some include a cottage! See here for more info.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


ABF sponsors courses in languages, arts, dance, etc.
Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (the Workers’ Educational Association).

The Nature Bus!

Hiking with MLV (Malmö-Lunds Vandrarlag)

Nature Conservation Society sponsors hikes, activities and lectures, as well as environmental activism.

Lund volleyball club

Club sports by LUGI, hockey, volleyball, indoor soccer

Lund Expat Meetup group, tons of activities every week


There is a Mac store at 6 Martenstorget.,0,109

The academic person is named Jonas Edgren.

Jonas Edgren046-15 04 000708-60 93 42j.edgren @

To change the setting for your computer to use a Swedish keyboard, see this link.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lund University & LUCSUS

The Gerdahallen gym has tons of classes and facilities, and is right next door to LUCSUS. You can sign up & pay a 1 year membership (cheap! 1650 SEK for staff), then get reimbursed (talk to Ann). You need to bring a letter stating your employment with the University, and some kind of photo ID to sign up.

Business cards: can be ordered through the Lund University website. Talk to Amanda. Amanda can also help set up an appointment with the Foretagshalsvard department to evaluate your ergonomics and provide physical and mental health services.

Internal mail: the code (Hämtställe) for LUCSUS is 16.

First Monday of the month at 3pm: test of the emergency siren system. Don't panic.

Ann will set up an email account for you and give you your LUCAT ID, needed to get on the University system.

To check email:
You will get a security certificate warning that the site is not trusted. Too bad.
Log in using your LUCAT ID and password from Ann.

LUVIT is the online course management system. You need to be added to the course by Ingegard.
User name: Your Lund email address
Password: must be initially set by Ingegard in the system.

1st choice: language/sprak

lagg til
ladda up fil
attach, then fwd arrow

Lund University IT support: call 29 000. More info here.

Pedagogy classes for new teachers: some are offered in English. Look for the English titles in the list on the left here:
The person who deals with this for LUCSUS is Gun Wellbo
046-222 39 00

To use Ethernet, Ola needs your Mac number. Go to Apple menu -> About this Mac -> More Info... then select Network. The number is listed under Ethernet MAC address.

Learning Swedish

Several options to start learning Swedish. In order of preference:

1. Free course for new faculty offered by Lund University. Unfortunately, about twice as many people want to take the course as there are spaces available. But try.

2. You can pay for a course at Folkuniversitetet. There are intensive short-term courses (every day) as well as 9-week evening courses, two days a week. The 9-week course costs 2800 SEK. Skomakaregatan 6 ipg, 22

3. Medborgaskolan
Swedish for beginners course starts Sept 22, about 1000 SEK.

4. Free courses (Swedish for Immigrants) are offered through Komvux. Contact Ann-Sofie Ekberg at VUC on telephone 021-391706, Mon-Thu 8:30 to 9:30.
The Lund page for Komvux is here and contact info for Swedish courses is here.
This says you can also register for the course at the Lund city library (Stadsbiblioteket) at the Guidance Center (Vägledningscentrum).

To translate Swedish, Google Translate works quite well. If you use Google's Chrome browser, you can set it to do instantaneous translations of whole web pages.

You can also try which has an English-Swedish dictionary and thesaurus.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


A condition of my lease was to get insurance for the flat. I tried to do this online before I came, emailed a bunch of people, and had no luck.

Found it much easier to just walk into the insurance place (Dina Försäkringar, on Lille Fiaskaregatan near Bytareg) after I arrived. They have the life-sized green horse in the window (out front on nice days).

Good news:

The woman who works there was very nice. she gave me a temporary personnummer so that the insurance could be active asap. (You need to bring your passport with you, and have an estimate of the value of what you're insuring).

It is cheap (insuring 400.000 SEK of our belongings cost only 1.175 SEK for one year).

Bad news:

It doesn't cover much. The Swedish insurance system has pretty low limits on the maximum value for things (i.e., about 8.000 SEK max for a bike... that doesn't come close for many of ours!), and things depreciate quickly. For example, clothing is insured for its full value when it is less than 1 year old, but only 25% of its original value 3 years later. It is not set up to cover replacement value, as in the US.

I think for big-ticket items like laptops, jewelry, and fancy bikes, it may be better to get a "personal articles policy" from a US company. These are good worldwide and cover replacement cost. (It is also possible to have a separate policy for some things with Swedish insurance, but not for bikes).

Bill Pay & Banking

If you work for the University, your bank will be Nordea. Yes, you are not in the US any more, you don't get to choose your bank. (OK, technically it may be possible to switch banks after you open an account at Nordea and start getting your paycheck deposited there, but seems prohibitive in practice.)

Nordea is located at Stora Sodergatan 2 in Lund, across from the Tourist Office and H&M. It is inevitably a 30 minute wait to speak to a clerk (take a number when you walk in). Bring something to read. Try going first thing in the morning. It seems very busy between 11:30-14:00.

You will not be able to open a bank account until you have a personnummer. Believe me, I tried. Don't waste your time standing in that line! You may only open an account once, and it must be with your personnummer. They will not let you open a temporary one and add your personnummer later. (I've talked to people for whom this was not the case, but they were staying in Sweden for less than one year. If you have a work visa, they are not going to want to open an account for you until you have your personnummer. Then, your bank account number will be the same as your personnummer... seemingly without security concerns... weird!)

This creates problems if you need to pay a bill in the meantime. As near as I can tell, bills in Sweden must be payed using "bank giros." These are electronic payments sent from a bank. Once you have a bank account, you will be able to send them using online banking (I think). Until then, you will need to pay a fee to send a bank giro.

Nordea charges non-customers 150 SEK to pay a bank giro, and charges customers, 80 SEK.

I was told that you can go to the ForEx office (across from the train station) and pay a bank giro for only a 35 SEK fee. (I was told this after waiting in line for 45 minutes at Nordea, so I ended up taking care of it then and paying the higher fee). Note, at ForEx you can also change foreign currency at favorable rates, and get it back at the same rate if you don't spend it all. Handy.

Old sources say that you can pay bank giros at the post office, but I tried this, and this service is no longer offered in Sweden (since the official post offices have closed and now there are just small service centers inside the ICA stores, etc.)

To open an account, you need:
1. Your personnummer
2. A letter stating the terms of your employment (monthly salary and the length of your contract) from your employer.
3. Your passport.

They will open the account for you and give you a "device" for online banking. This is something that looks like a calculator, and that you put your ATM card into to access your bank account online. CRAZY! They will also give you a lot of printed information in Swedish.

Ask for a copy of the Nordea "Guide to Internet and telephone banking" so that you can use these systems to manage your account.

You will get your ATM card in the mail in about a week. (It is ready to use and does not need to be activated.) You will also get two different four-digit codes.
1. The PIN code ("PIN-kod") to your ATM card is hidden under a sticker that you have to peel back. This number cannot be changed (you can't choose your own PIN).
2. A log in code (personliga) to use with simplified online log in or phone banking.

To deposit a bank giro, you can either:
1. bring it to the bank, wait in line, and sign it over. You will be charged a 50SEK fee, and the money is available immediately.
2. Put your account number on the bank giro but do NOT sign the back, put it in a special envelope, drop in a postal mailbox, and wait several days for the money to show up in your account.
Apparently you cannot deposit money at ATMs.

Once you have an account, to pay bills:
1. Log in to the Nordea account (following the directions in the English guide)
2. Go to Betalning PG/BG and sign up for payment services (this costs 12 SEK/month; you need to select "sign" on your device and enter the response code after accepting this fee.
3. Add the recipient to your list of payees.
4. Click Betalning PG/BC and set up the payment. (You can specify monthly or recurring payments here).

The true pain in the ass is credit cards. My Chase United Visa is not widely accepted in Sweden because it doesn't have a chip and seems not to have a PIN (make sure you get mailed your PIN before you leave home, the only way to change it is through the mail). I have been repeatedly told that you can't get a Swedish credit card in Sweden until you have been working there for at least one year. Apparently there is an AmEx card for Americans living abroad that I'm going to look into. Because this means that you can only have a US credit card, which must be paid in dollars, and yet you will be making money in kronor, and it's really a pretty big nightmare. Currently to pay my US credit card bill, I have to make an international wire transfer of SEK from Nordea to USD to Bank of America, wait for the money to appear, then pay my bill from my online BofA account. Not ideal.

In any case, to make a wire transfer, you need the following things. These are for Bank of America in Northern California, more options here.

Swift code: BOFAUS3N
Wire transfer routing number: 026009593