The City of Umeå

The city of Umeå, described as the capital of northern Sweden, is one of the fastest growing cities in Sweden. Umeå currently has a population of 122 892(year 2016) inhabitants with a very high proportion of young people, thanks to the university. The city, founded in 1622 by King Gustav II Adolf, was largely destroyed by fire in 1888. During rebuilding thousands of birch trees were planted to prevent future fires from spreading. The birch population has been maintained ever since, earning Umeå the nickname of City of Birches, in Swedish "Björkarnas stad".

Today, Umeå is a dynamic centre for both education and industry, with the university as the biggest employer. Umeå also houses the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and the Swedish Defence Research Agency. Larger industries which operates in Umeå Volvo Truck Corporation manufacturing truck parts, Komatsu Forest AB producing forest industry machines and Ålö AB, manufacturing agricultural machinery.

Umeå is also a centre for leisure and pleasure, with a wide and varied range of cultural and sporting activities on offer. The Norrlands Opera is known nationwide for its unusual and unconventional performances of classical and modern opera. The town has a very lively jazz and pop music scene, and host the popular and well known Umeå Jazz festival and the MADE festival (Music, Art, Dance, Etc). Festivals of folk music, pop music, and a ballad festival are also held here. Several permanent theaters, concerts halls, cinemas, pubs, and nightclubs, add to the choice of entertainment all year round.

In the IKSU Sports Center students can choose from activities like swimming, cross-country skiing, floorball, volleyball, different forms of workout training, rock climbing etc. Umeå is represented in the first and second divisions of the national leauges in volleyball, soccer, icehockey, and basketball, and every year during May the annual event "Brännbollscupen" is organized on campus. It is the largest rounders tournament in the world.