For Åkersberga-born Olivia Fors, it was her childhood summers and winters in Västernorrland that awakened a longing for the north. When it came time to further her education, she felt it was time for a change – and there was no doubt where her inner compass was pointing.

- I applied to Umeå partly because of the family, but mostly to get closer to nature. Northern Sweden offers most of the nature, it cannot be found in the same way in southern Sweden, she says.

In Åkersberga, a short distance outside Stockholm, Olivia Fors lived in the same house and on the same street throughout her upbringing. Olivia remembers a safe and calm childhood. But the longing for adventure was always present.

- The active lifestyle probably comes from my parents - we have always been a family that likes to invent things. I've lost count of all the activities I've been to over the years.

The desire for adventure led Olivia on many long hikes in Roslagen's nature together with her father. On holidays and vacations, the trip instead went north to Örnsköldsvik - where Olivia got a taste for the beautiful landscapes of northern Sweden. No one was really surprised when she eventually chose to move up the country.

The center of Norrland

It was a little over two years ago that Olivia decided to leave her parents' home to study. The choice fell on a course to become a forester at the Swedish Agricultural University in Umeå.

The first step was to supplement the social science high school education by studying the natural subjects during a base year of intensive studies at Umeå University.

Today, Olivia feels like a true Umeå resident. And it is clear that she has found what she was looking for - Oliva says that she sees Umeå as the ultimate city for those who enjoy living an active life. When there is time to spare, she prefers to climb, hike or visit the mountain world.

- I am often at IKSU and climb. If I feel like walking, there are many nice walking paths. It happens from time to time that I go outside Umeå to hike and enjoy the surroundings. For example, a group of friends and I were recently on a hike along the Kungsleden. It was amazing!

Student life in Umeå

It was nature and outdoor life that attracted Olivia to Umeå - but once here she has also discovered other sides of the city. Nightlife as a student, for example. With the city's large selection and accessibility to activities, Olivia explains that she is almost never bored in Umeå.

- We have our own union house called Skogis and sometimes I serve in the student pub. But I like hanging out in the city too. I would say the nightlife in Umeå suits most people. Me and my friends especially like going to the places that organize music quizzes.


Relaxed mentality

If Olivia had chosen to study in Stockholm instead, she is convinced that her life would have looked completely different. When Olivia lived in Åkersberga, it took her an hour and a half to get to the climbing hall - in Umeå it takes ten minutes by bike.

- What I miss the least are all the hurried people elbowing their way through municipal traffic. In Umeå, there is a mentality that is more relaxed and I think that is reflected in how the residents are, says Olivia before she concluded:

- Umeå is the ultimate city for an active life and suits me and my way of life. In fact, there is nowhere else I would rather live right now.


Name: Olivia Fors

Age: 24 years

Current occupation: Student at the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU)

Accommodation: Apartment, Ålidbacken

Growing up: Stockholm, Åkersberga

Moved to Umeå: 2019, August

Leisure interests: Walking around Nydala or Grössjön, hiking, running, skiing and activities at IKSU