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Moving To Sweden – Things To Know About

Posted Country Guides / January 3, 2018

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.

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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, and 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 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 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? Get Your Papers in Order Before Moving Abroad

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 With an International Moving Company

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 the 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 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 or 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 the 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 Before Employing an Overseas Moving Company

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 After Moving Overseas

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.

When Living in Sweden as an American, Ensure You at Least Visit Stockholm

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 finance, you are in the right place.

Stockholm is the headquarters of 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.

If You’re Planning International Moving From the US to Sweden, Consider Malmo

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.

People Moving From the USA to Sweden Are Keeping Gothenburg in Mind

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 the second Swedish capital due to its rich culture and lots of opportunities it boasts.

Do Swedish People Love the Cold Weather? Get To Know the Climate Before Moving Internationally

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.

Be Prepared for the Local Food Scene When Moving to Sweden From America – 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.

Prepare for Shipping Overseas and Be 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.


What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a Visa to Move to Sweden?

Obtaining a visa to move to Sweden involves fulfilling several requirements. Firstly, the applicant must have a valid passport and sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay in Sweden. Additionally, the applicant must have a clear purpose for their stay, such as work, study, or reunification with family members. Depending on the type of visa, the applicant may also be required to provide documentation such as a job offer letter, proof of enrollment in a Swedish educational institution, or a family tie certificate. In some cases, the applicant may also be required to pass a medical examination and a criminal background check. It is important to check with the Swedish embassy or consulate in the applicant’s home country for specific requirements and to submit a complete and accurate visa application to increase the chances of obtaining a visa to move to Sweden.

What Is the Cost of Living Like in Sweden?

The cost of living in Sweden can be considered high compared to many other countries. Housing is one of the biggest expenses, with prices for rental apartments being particularly high in major cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg. Food and transportation costs are also relatively high. On the other hand, many public services such as healthcare and education are subsidized by the government, which can help offset some of the cost of living expenses.

The average monthly cost of living for a single person in Sweden is estimated to be around 8,000 to 10,000 SEK (approximately 800 to 1000 USD), although this can vary depending on individual circumstances and location. It’s worth noting that salaries in Sweden are also generally higher compared to other countries, which can help offset the high cost of living.

What Is the Job Market Like in Sweden?

The job market in Sweden is generally considered to be strong, with a low unemployment rate and a high demand for skilled workers in certain industries. Some of the fastest-growing industries in Sweden include technology, life sciences, and renewable energy. There is also a demand for workers in traditional industries such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation. However, competition for jobs can be high in some fields, particularly in the larger cities.

Sweden is known for having a generous social welfare system, which provides a safety net for those who are unemployed. At the same time, the country has a highly educated and skilled workforce, which helps drive its strong economy. The Swedish government also encourages diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace, making it an attractive place to work for people from a variety of backgrounds.

What Is the Housing Market Like in Sweden?

The housing market in Sweden is considered to be competitive, especially in the major cities. Housing prices have been rising in recent years, particularly in cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg, where the demand for housing is high and the supply is limited. Renting an apartment is the most common form of housing in Sweden, and rental prices can be high, especially in cities. It is not uncommon for people to spend a large portion of their income on housing.

Buying a home in Sweden can also be expensive, and the process can be competitive, with many people vying for the same properties. However, the Swedish government offers subsidies and tax breaks for home buyers, which can make the process more affordable.

How Is the Healthcare System in Sweden?

Sweden has a publicly funded and universal healthcare system, which provides comprehensive coverage to all residents and citizens of the country. The system is funded through taxes, and there are no out-of-pocket costs for most medical services. This includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications. The quality of care is generally considered to be high, with a strong emphasis on preventative care and a well-established network of medical professionals and facilities.

Medical services are provided by a combination of government-owned and private facilities. Patients are free to choose their own doctors and hospitals, and waiting times for medical services are generally short. The country also has a well-developed system of specialized care, with a wide range of medical specialists available to treat more complex conditions.

What Is the Education System Like in Sweden?

The education system in Sweden is known for being comprehensive, high-quality, and accessible to all. It is also considered to be one of the most progressive and innovative in the world. The Swedish education system is based on the principles of equality and equal opportunities, with a strong emphasis on providing good education to all children, regardless of their background or social circumstances.

Education in Sweden is compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 16, and the vast majority of children attend publicly funded schools. The Swedish school system is divided into four levels: preschool, primary school, lower secondary school, and upper secondary school. There are also opportunities for students to continue their education at the tertiary level, including universities and colleges.

The Swedish education system is known for being student-centered and for promoting independent thinking and creativity. There is a strong focus on practical skills, as well as theoretical knowledge, and students are encouraged to take an active role in their own education. The country also has a well-developed system of support for students with special needs, and special education is available for those who require it.

How Is the Public Transportation System in Sweden?

The public transportation system in Sweden is extensive, reliable, and well-developed, making it easy for people to travel around the country. The system is comprised of a combination of trains, buses, trams, and ferries, and is operated by a variety of public and private companies.

Sweden has a well-developed railway network, with trains connecting major cities and many smaller communities. The trains are fast, frequent, and comfortable, and offer a convenient and affordable way to travel long distances. Buses and trams are also widely available in Sweden, especially in larger cities, and offer a convenient way to get around town. The bus and tram networks are well-coordinated with the train system, making it easy to transfer between different modes of transportation.

What Is the Climate Like in Sweden?

Sweden has a temperate climate, with relatively mild temperatures, especially considering its northern latitude. The country is located in the Northern Hemisphere, and its climate is influenced by the North Atlantic Current, which brings warm air from the Gulf of Mexico to the country’s west coast.

In general, Sweden experiences four distinct seasons, with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in the summer is around 20°C (68°F), while in the winter it is typically below freezing. In the northern parts of the country, especially above the Arctic Circle, there can be long periods of snow and sub-zero temperatures in the winter months. Rainfall is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year in Sweden, although there tends to be more precipitation in the autumn and winter months. Coastal areas in the west of the country tend to be the wettest, while the central and eastern regions are drier.

What Is the Culture Like in Sweden?

Sweden has a rich and diverse culture that has been shaped by a variety of historical and geographical factors. The country has a long history of social and political stability, and this has helped to create a culture that values equality, democracy, and individual freedom. Swedish culture places a strong emphasis on environmental protection and sustainability, and the country is known for its progressive attitudes toward environmental issues. Swedes also value a healthy work-life balance, and there is a strong emphasis on leisure time and family life.

Swedish society is characterized by a strong sense of individualism, and people are encouraged to express their opinions and individuality. At the same time, there is a strong sense of community and social responsibility, and people are expected to work together for the common good. Swedish culture is also known for its strong artistic traditions, with a rich history of literature, music, and visual arts. The country has produced many famous artists, writers, and musicians, and its cultural heritage is an important part of its national identity.

How Do I Learn the Swedish Language?

Learning the Swedish language is a great way to fully experience the country and its culture. There are a number of ways to start learning Swedish, depending on your level of commitment and your budget. One of the most effective ways to learn the language is to enroll in a language school or course, either in Sweden or in your home country. These programs typically provide structured classes with a qualified teacher and offer opportunities to practice speaking and listening to the language.

How Is the Food in Sweden?

The food in Sweden is diverse and influenced by traditional Nordic cuisine, as well as international culinary styles. The country is known for its focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and traditional dishes often feature fish, potatoes, and other local produce. Swedish cuisine is characterized by simple, hearty dishes that make use of fresh ingredients and traditional preparation methods. Popular dishes include meatballs, salmon, and traditional bread, as well as a variety of sweet pastries and baked goods.

What Are the Best Cities to Live in Sweden?

Sweden is known for its high quality of life, and there are many cities that are great places to live. Some of the best cities to live in Sweden include:

  • Stockholm: The capital city is considered one of the best places to live in Sweden, with its beautiful waterways, historic buildings, and vibrant cultural scene.
  • Gothenburg: This coastal city is known for its lively atmosphere, excellent food and drink, and friendly locals.
  • Malmö: Located in the south of the country, Malmö is a growing city with a diverse population, excellent public transportation, and a thriving cultural scene.
  • Uppsala: This university town is known for its historic buildings, picturesque parks, and high quality of life.
  • Lund: Another university town, Lund is known for its beautiful architecture, cultural heritage, and vibrant student scene.

These are just a few of the best cities to live in in Sweden, and each has its own unique character and attractions. Whether you are looking for a bustling city life or a more laid-back and peaceful atmosphere, Sweden has something to offer to everyone.

Is It Easy to Find a Job in Sweden as a Foreign National?

The job market in Sweden is competitive, and it can be difficult to stand out as a foreign candidate. However, there are many opportunities for foreign nationals with the right skills and experience. To increase your chances of finding a job in Sweden, it is important to have a strong resume and cover letter that highlight your skills and experience. It is also a good idea to network and reach out to potential employers directly, either through online job postings or through personal contacts. Additionally, it can be helpful to learn some Swedish, as this will demonstrate your commitment to integrating into Swedish society and can help you to better understand the job market and culture.

Can I Bring My Pet With Me to Sweden?

Yes, it is possible to bring your pet with you to Sweden. However, there are certain requirements and procedures that must be followed in order to ensure that your pet is eligible to enter the country and to ensure that they are safe and healthy during the move. In general, pets entering Sweden from other countries must have a microchip or tattoo for identification, be up to date on their vaccinations, and have a valid pet passport or an official veterinary certificate. Depending on the country of origin, additional requirements may apply, such as a blood test to ensure that the pet is free from certain diseases.

What Documents Do I Need to Move to Sweden?

If you’re planning to move to Sweden, you will need to have a valid passport, a work permit or visa, proof of address (when you register at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket)), health insurance, bank information, your driving license, and other documents depending on your personal situation. By having these documents ready, you can make the process of moving to Sweden smoother and ensure that you have all the necessary information to start your new life in the country.

How Do I Open a Bank Account in Sweden?

To open a bank account in Sweden, you will typically need to visit a local branch of a Swedish bank and provide proof of identity and residency. This may include a passport or national ID card, along with a recent utility bill or rental contract to show your address. You may also need to provide proof of income and information about your employment status. Some banks may also require you to have a Swedish personal number (personnummer), which is a unique identifier assigned to all residents of Sweden. Once you have submitted all the necessary documentation and information, the bank will review your application and open your account if everything is in order. It is important to compare the services and fees offered by different banks to make sure you choose the one that best suits your needs.

How Is the Tax System in Sweden?

Sweden has a progressive tax system, which means that those who earn more pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. The main taxes in Sweden include income tax, which is levied on both personal and corporate income and ranges from 20% to 56%, value-added tax (VAT), which is a consumption tax that is applied to most goods and services, and local property taxes, which are levied by local municipalities on the value of the real estate. Social security contributions, such as those for pensions and unemployment insurance, are also an important part of the Swedish tax system. Overall, the Swedish tax system is designed to fund the country’s comprehensive welfare state, which provides a wide range of services, including healthcare, education, and social security benefits.

How Is the Work-Life Balance in Sweden?

Sweden is known for its progressive policies and high quality of life, and this extends to the country’s approach to work-life balance. Swedes place a strong emphasis on a healthy work-life balance and many employers offer flexible work arrangements to help employees strike this balance. In general, Swedes work fewer hours per week than employees in many other countries and have generous paid time off. The country has a strong tradition of taking regular breaks throughout the day, including long lunch breaks, which can be used for exercise, socializing, or simply relaxing.

Sweden also offers a number of family-friendly policies, such as parental leave and flexible work arrangements, which help to support work-life balance. These policies, combined with a strong social safety net, make it possible for many Swedes to balance work and other responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly relatives.

Can I Bring My Car With Me to Sweden?

Yes, you can bring your car with you to Sweden. However, there are a few steps you will need to follow in order to bring your car into the country and register it for use on Swedish roads. First, you will need to make sure that your car meets the necessary technical requirements for use in Sweden, such as emissions standards. Next, you will need to pay any applicable import duties and taxes on your car. You may also need to obtain a Swedish insurance policy for your vehicle.

Once you have taken care of the necessary paperwork, you will be able to register your car with the Swedish Transport Agency and obtain license plates. You will also need to pay an annual vehicle tax, which is based on the value and emissions of your car. It is important to check the specific requirements for importing a car into Sweden, as they may vary depending on factors such as the country of origin and the length of your stay in Sweden. It may be helpful to consult with a local agent or the Swedish embassy in your home country for more information.

What Are Some Popular Activities and Hobbies in Sweden?

Swedes enjoy a wide range of hobbies and leisure activities, many of which are shaped by the country’s natural surroundings and four distinct seasons. Some popular activities and hobbies in Sweden include:

  • Outdoor recreation: Swedes enjoy spending time in nature, and the country offers many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing, and snowboarding.
  • Sports: Swedes are known for their love of sports, and popular sports include football (soccer), ice hockey, and cross-country skiing.
  • Arts and Culture: Sweden is home to a rich cultural heritage, and many Swedes enjoy activities such as visiting museums and art galleries, attending concerts and theater performances and participating in cultural events.
  • Music: Music is an important part of Swedish culture, and many Swedes enjoy listening to and playing music, as well as attending concerts and music festivals.
  • Cooking and Baking: Swedes have a strong tradition of home cooking and baking, and many enjoy experimenting with new recipes and ingredients.
  • Gardening and DIY: Swedes enjoy working with their hands and spending time in their gardens, and many also enjoy DIY projects around the home.
  • Travel: Swedes love to travel and explore new places, both within Sweden and abroad.

These are just a few examples of the many popular hobbies and leisure activities enjoyed by Swedes. Overall, Swedes value a healthy work-life balance and place a strong emphasis on leisure time and personal well-being.

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

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