The last few months I’ve been reading but not participating in The Local’s forum. I’ve probably read over 500 threads about people who have moved to Sweden from other countries, there experiences and how they have handled the change. It appears that some are good at adjusting yet some gave up quicker and went home.
With any forum you have to take what you read with a pinch of salt as some people will always post in a negative frame of mind. It appears that Sweden is different to how people envisaged but I’m just wondering how many of those who arrived had visited Sweden before. Even though I have been many times it is still going to be a shock to me when I actually do move (just booking a one way ticket will feel strange!)
One of the topics that I have been very interested in is how those who have moved to Sweden have found it hard to make friends. Many of the posts call Swedish people “Cold” or “Unfriendly” and this has got me thinking. It has awoken some memories and thoughts about my visits to Sweden and the difference between the UK and Swedish cultures.
Living the majority of my life in the UK I have found that moving to a new area means that the local pub is the best place to find friends. I’ve been living where I am for around 18 months now and I met my longest known friends in the local. Alas they were never keen to do anything outside of the pub and so that limited the friendships.
Sweden has a much more outgoing culture than the UK and friends will do a lot more outdoors than us Brits. Yet reading all of the posts so far it appears that Swedish people can be hostile to newcomers. Yet is this true? Could it be that those who have moved to Sweden have been to reluctant to approach any new people due to fear of language or not being accepted? I will admit I don’t have many friends in Sweden so I will be starting all over again. I have always been good at meeting new people so I actually see this as more of a challenge than a problem.
So my questions to all my Swedish readers are
• Do you think Swedish people are reluctant to make new foreign friends?
• What is the best way of making friends with Swedish?
• Where is the best place to meet new Swedish friends?