Västerås is beautifully located near Mälaren and is one of Sweden’s oldest cities with an exciting history. The city is growing quickly and currently has 147,000 residents, a lively economy, a high school with a clear technological and environmental profile and a rich sporting life.
Facts about the municipality
Size by area
In Västerås you are near to nature and water and Mälaren offers great opportunites for leisure time. Bathing, fishing, skiing and hiking with cross-country skis are just some of examples of what Mälaren has to offer in the course of the year. The islands in Mälaren are reached by the archipelago boats. Västerås is one of Sweden's best cities for cycling with around 37 miles of cycle paths and many beautiful excursions. The city has its own airport and is close to several other major cities such as Stockholm, Örebro and Uppsala.
There are many different housing areas in a city the size of Västerås with privare houses, the right of tenancy and cooperative flats. If you are interested in renting your property, you should in the first instance approach the municipal housing company Mimer which owns and rents out 11,200 rental properties all around Västerås.
Bostad Västerås deals with waiting lists for land and self-contained houses and has information what is currently being built. Bostad Västerås' website also lists contact details for private landlords.
Language groups in the locality
Of the 147,000 residents of Västerås, approximately 26,000 were born in another country. The largest groups, if one doesn't include the Nordic countries, come from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia. The largest non-Nordic languages spoken today in Västerås are English, Arabic, Spanish, Sorani and Somalian.
Children in preschools and pupils in schools who have a mother tongue other than Swedish can receive teaching in their mother tongue. This is taken care of by the Centre for Bilingualism which also offers study supervision for pupils at in comprehensive and upper secondary schools.
Associations and organisations
There are many different associations in Västerås, for instance cultural associations, sports associations and senior citizen associations. In the municipality's association register you can easily look up precisely what you are interested in.
There are many Swedish and other Nordic religious communities and churches here, and also the following communions and associations:
- Bosnian Islamic Community and Cultural Centre
- Syrian Orthodox Church
- Islamic Cultural Centre in Västerås
- Västerås Mosque
- Västerås Islamic Centre
- Vår Frus Catholic Congregation
- Maria Förs i V:ås of Liberal the Catholic Church
- Salvadoreans for Archbishop Oscar A Romero
What is available in the immediate area
The centre of Västerås has both recent construction and an old town centre with an interesting history. The centre has shops and restaurants while there are superstores and an IKEA on the outskirts of the city. Arbetsförmedlingen, Försäkringskassan, the Tax Agency and a social welfare office are all located in the centre. The town hall is also in the heart of the city, and in its foyer new arrivals can receive language help in Finnish, Arabic and Somali. There is also a unit for civic orientation and guidance.
Children aged between 1 and 5 years are offered preschool education. There are preschools in all housing areas and there are both municipal and independent preschools in Västerås.
Open preschools are meeting places where parents, childminders and other adults can come together with children and meet other children. Open preschools are part of the family centre system and cooperate with, amongst others, midwife surgeries, child health care, schools and social services.
Newly arrived children of preschool age are accepted by the company Origo which ensures that the child receives the correct placement and the right help in preschool.
Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools
In Västerås there are both municipal and independent comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools. The child starts in preschool class and then enters comprehensive school in their ninth year. There is a place already reserved for the child in one of the municipal comprehensive schools which are located near where you live. You are free to choose any other school, whether municipal or independent, if a place is available. Newly arrived children and young people of school age, up to the age of 19, are accepted by the organisation Origo which ensures that the child or young person receives the correct placement and the right help in school.
There is a wide range of excellent possibilities for those who want to study. There are folk high schools, high schools and vocational colleges with a varied range of different courses and särvux for both comprehensive school and upper secondary school. Special school is for pupils who cannot achieve the basic aims of comprehensive schools due to a developmental disorder.
The adult education centre, VUC, offers a study guide and help with locating the right studies in Swedish for immigrants, sfi, and Swedish as a second language, sas.
Health and medical care
Västerås is part of Region Västmanland, and if you need medical care or advice on health matters you should turn to your medical care centre. There are both private and public medical care centres (run by the region), and you can choose which one you want to belong to. Medical care centres have doctors, district nurses, midwives, paediatric nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and counsellors or psychologists. The youth advice centre is also part of the medical care centre.
Västmanland Hospital is located in Västerås and is a county hospital with access to all A&E resources. Asylum & integration health accepts all asylum seekers or those who have recently obtained permanent residence. Here there is the opportunity to access health consultations, doctors' visits, visits to trained nurses, counselling support with counsellors, referrals to specialists and prescriptions for medicines.
Västmanland Interpreting Service has over 300 interpreters and can offer its services in 80 different languages. If you need interpreting assistance with visits to within the healthcare service or at different community authorities, the relevant surgery with request the interpreting help.
It is easy to use public transport in Västerås. There are also 37 miles of cycle paths and Västerås is one of Sweden's best cities for cycling in. From the centre it is easy to take a train or long-distance bus to anywhere in the country and Västerås airport is just a few minutes' drive from the centre. Close connections with trains and buses make it easy to both study and work in other cities throughout Västmanland and Mälardalen.
Work and entrepreneurship
Västerås' biggest employer is the City of Västerås, which is in charge of services such as schools and elder care as well as streets and parks. 11,000 people work for the City of Västerås. The biggest industry is ABB, a global technology company with around 4,500 employees in Västerås. Other big employers include ICA (food), Region Västmanland (medical care), Bombardier and Westinghouse (industry).
The job centre in Västerås will provide further assistance.