Has moving overseas been a dream of yours for a while? You want to experience living in a different culture, climate, or continent, and you’re not afraid of the cold weather? Then perhaps moving to Sweden would be the right thing to do. Before you jump into your international moving adventure, you should learn a little bit more about the new place, its culture, what it has to offer, and what you should expect when you get there.
Located in northern Europe, the Kingdom of Sweden is a Nordic country, bordering Norway, Finland, and Denmark. This is the fifth largest country in Europe, and it has around 10.3 million residents. The official currency is the Swedish krona, and it’s been in use since 1873. Currently, for $100, you’ll get 905.28 SEK. If you’re really serious about staying there, we assume you’d also want to read more about how to move permanently. All in all, there are quite a few questions to answer before you pick the best time of the year to move overseas, so let’s dig in to help you get all the tips and answers you need.
STEP INTO YOUR MOVING TO SWEDEN ADVENTURE
When you get there, you’ll most likely realize that deciding to move to Sweden was the right choice. There’s hardly anything to make you think otherwise. This beautiful place has something to offer for everyone, no matter why you’re relocating there. If nothing else, you’ll surely enjoy scenic views everywhere you go, but you should figure out how to live in another country to start with.
8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO SWEDEN:
When you’re moving across the world, you have to prepare for such a transition carefully. Not only are you leaving your home and relocating overseas, but you are going to a place most likely quite different from what you’re used to. So, you should learn as much as possible about the new culture, etiquette, and how to make your first days there as comfortable as possible. Here are some of the things you should know:
- Swedes really love coffee, but not so much Starbucks one
- They stand in line for everything
- They eat lingonberry with everything, from meat to pancakes
- July is their vacation month, so many Swedes close their business for the entire month
- Get familiar with the concepts of lagom, fika, hygge, and many more
- Swedes are never late, and if you’re late, they’ll probably not wait
- They strive to be as sustainable as possible and recycle a lot
- They are very outdoorsy, and who wouldn’t be with a nature like that?
LIVING AMONG SWEDISH PEOPLE
Even though they are somewhat reserved at first, Swedes actually make excellent friends. The first thing to learn about the locals is that they don’t enjoy small talk. So, don’t be surprised if they do not respond to your attempt to talk about the weather in a shop or at the bus stop. It is simply not common to talk to strangers just like that. But once you get to know them, you’ll realize just how much they appreciate spending time together and bonding. That’s when you’ll learn about fika – a coffee break that has particular importance to Swedes.
CAN I IMMIGRATE TO SWEDEN AND HOW TO BECOME SWEDISH
Depending on where you’re relocating from, there might be different requirements for you to meet. It is easiest for the EU citizens to relocate because they don’t even have to apply for a residence permit. The same goes for their family members. As an EU citizen, the only thing you are supposed to do is register yourself in the population registry upon your relocation. After five years spent there, you can get the permanent right of residence.
CAN A US CITIZEN MOVE TO SWEDEN
If you’re wondering how can I permanently move to Sweden, things are somewhat more complicated for non-EU citizens. The first step to take is to get a work permit and gather all documents for moving abroad. Only after you’ve landed a job, you can live here legally. To become Swedish and to experience living in Sweden as an American, you’ll also have to obey the law and learn the language. And wear casual clothes for every occasion, even for the office. You’ve probably been wondering about how to pack now that you’re moving abroad, so here’s your answer – get rid of all the fancy clothes and pack your jeans and long-sleeve shirts. Something like that will be just fine for the office, fika, and mostly any other occasion.
IS IT EXPENSIVE TO MOVE TO SWEDEN?
If you’re even considering this lovely place as your new home, then chances are you’ve come to this idea because of its widely known excellent living conditions. It ranks high above the average in several aspects, from job opportunities and work-life balance, healthcare system, safety, to social gatherings – Swedes love to spend time with their loved ones. It is no wonder that it is frequently featured as one of the best countries in Europe to live in.
THE COST OF LIVING
Naturally, such high quality comes with an equally high cost of living. For instance, housing is one of the main factors to consider to determine whether you can afford to live there. Average rent amounts to as much as 30% of a person’s salary. In the big cities, it’s almost impossible to rent an apartment for less than $1,100. But if you choose a more affordable place or a neighborhood just outside of the city center, this number can go lower. Let’s take a look at some of the pain cities’ prices before you make a verdict on what is the best city to live in Europe for you.
MOVING TO SWEDEN FROM THE USA
To ensure you’ll have a pleasant relocation, you need to find a reliable international moving company that will safely transport you and your belongings to other continents. Overseas shipping can be pricey, whether you opt for international moving by sea or international moving by air. So if you’re wondering what to pack when moving abroad, think about decluttering or perhaps donating some unwanted items to save some money on packing services and storage. If you’re on a budget, don’t rush to accept the cheapest offer because it might cost you more in the long run. Carefully compare quotes and pick your reliable overseas shipping company.
DO I HAVE TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE WHEN MOVING TO SWEDEN FROM US?
No matter where you’re relocating, you should make an effort to learn the language spoken there. Even if English is enough to communicate or even get a job there, locals will appreciate it much if you know their mother tongue. This is of particular importance because English might not be enough to land your dream job. You can get away with it for a while, but after you’ve been there for a couple of years, they’ll expect you to speak and read Swedish. So, if you don’t have the time to start learning it before the actual relocation, at least sign up for the one of the Swedish for Immigrants courses once you get there and take a look at some tips for learning a new language to break down the language barrier as soon as possible.
SWEDISH FOR BEGINNERS
Take a look at this video to start learning some basic everyday language phrases that might be useful if adjusting to a new country quickly is among your goals.
IS MOVING TO SWEDEN WITHOUT A JOB POSSIBLE?
When moving from the US to Sweden, you’re probably familiar with the fact that it is on our list of best places in Europe to find a job as an American. So if you’re wondering how to get a job in Europe as an American, keep in mind some of the most important relocation questions to ask your employer when it comes to acquiring a work permit or visa. Moving to Sweden from America is much easier when you have a job offer waiting for you, and luckily for you, there is a decent offer of English-speaking jobs. On the other hand, you can also explore options for starting your own business or relocating your business overseas.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN RELOCATING TO SWEDEN WITHOUT A WORK POSITION WAITING FOR YOU
The most important thing to know about relocating here without a job is that it’s not a good idea. In fact, EU/EEA citizens can relocate without a job and then start looking for one once there, but that’s not the case with non-EU/EEA citizens. For them, the most secure option is to find a job before the actual relocation because they can get a work permit only outside of the country.
GATHER ALL THE INFORMATION ABOUT HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION IF MOVING WITH CHILDREN
If you were looking for some of the best places to live abroad with family, you made a wise decision to pick this place. Let’s face it, living overseas is much easier when you are not moving abroad alone. So whether you’re moving overseas with pets, kids, or you’re moving abroad for love, excellent healthcare and education should be high on your list of priorities.
If you have kids or plan to raise a family here, you couldn’t pick a better place because Swedish education system ranks as one of the world’s best ones. There are four schooling levels, education is free from ages 6 to 19, and it emphasizes individual learning.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THEIR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
Again, this is another category in which they rank very high. Their healthcare system is mainly tax-funded, and the government strives to keep it affordable to all citizens. Private health insurance is somewhat rare and not so popular. Only 6.5% of the population uses it. However, there is a growing tendency, and it is expected that the number of people using private health insurance will continue to grow.
Many expats who are not coming from EU countries rely on private healthcare insurance to ensure that they are covered for all possible treatments. Expats who have a personal identification number have access to the same level of care as the locals, but keep in mind that it is never entirely free, and waiting time can be extensive.
SWEDEN’S MOST POPULAR CITIES, MAKE SURE TO VISIT THEM ALL
Before you get packing services for your international moving, you should decide where exactly you’re going to relocate. This might be tricky to determine because there are so many unique places where you can be happy and start from scratch. Pick whichever city feels right for you, the one that’s not too expensive nor too big, the one where you’ll feel at home from the very first day. Choosing the right city will make the entire transition a breeze as it will take you less time to get used to all the changes – you’ll enjoy them.
The capital is, of course, one of the most popular places people flock to when relocating to this Nordic country. This metropolitan area boasts opportunities on every corner, but do keep in mind that it is somewhat expensive. Nevertheless, if you are in Sweden looking for a job in finances, you are in the right place.
Stockholm is the headquarters to more than one top bank where you can land employment. If you can afford to live here, it will be worth every penny. The city boasts stunning outdoor spaces, many historical places worth visiting, rich culture, as well as a vibrant nightlife. Stockholm is a progressive city where they celebrate differences, and foreigners are always welcome.
Malmo is located in the southern part, which makes it the perfect choice for those looking for a somewhat warmer climate. The fresh air and sunsets by the water make this city a delightful place to call home. It is also quite easy to get around there, so you might even decide to walk or go by bicycle, just like many locals do – Malmo is known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world.
Located on the southwestern coast, Gothenburg is a charming city where you can enjoy nature and history and pretty much stay away from too many tourists as, sadly, the beauty of this city is often overlooked by visitors. It is not that expensive to find accommodation here. You should start looking on time because there are many students in Gothenburg looking for a place, too. The city is known as a second Swedish capital due to its rich culture and lots of opportunities it boasts.
DO SWEDISH PEOPLE LOVE THE COLD WEATHER?
Even though you probably first think of cold and gloomy winters, the weather is actually much more pleasant. This Nordic country features a mild climate due to the influence of the warm Gulf Stream and many lakes. You shouldn’t expect hot summers, but there are summers to start with.
The climate is somewhat different depending on the part to which you’re going to go. In the north, the winters are more severe, with temperatures dropping to –22°F. However, if you stay in the south portion, you won’t have to worry about such freezing temperatures, as the value usually stays around +32°F. No matter how cold it might get, there are still quite a few reasons why you should spend winter in Sweden, including numerous activities. Swedes love it there, no matter how cold it might get. As for the summers, almost everywhere you go, you can enjoy the pleasant +68°F.
LOCAL FOOD – YOU’LL LOVE IT FOR SURE
Many think that Swedish food is all about meatballs, but it’s so much more than that. There are many traditional dishes that you should try as soon as you get there. If you’re moving during the holidays, you’ll have the chance to try Jansson’s Temptation, a classic dish made for Christmas. Other tasty dishes that you should put on the list include Raggmunk & lingonberries, marinated salmon with dill potatoes, Wallenberg, and so on. Take your time – there are plenty of them to try and enjoy.
YOU ARE NOW ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING A REAL SWEDE
You are already in love with this place, aren’t you? We’re sure you can’t wait to start anew there and explore such beautiful surroundings. Enjoy the rich culture, stunning nature, and all kinds of outdoor activities. Don’t worry about any of the relocation fuss but focus on getting all the documents ready to relocate as soon as possible. Leave it to experts with international moving services to handle all the hard work for you, including shipping a car overseas, too. Whether you pick Stockholm, Malmo, or any other of the many incredible cities to call your home, you’ll love it there.