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19 year old asking for info!

Wanting to stay in Sweden for a year (ish)

stitches
post 6.Dec.2012, 11:30 AM
Post #1
Joined: 6.Dec.2012

Hello everybody,

I have been a 'lurker/reader' of these boards for some time, but now I feel that I would like to know some things by asking them myself. smile.gif

My name is Becky, born and living in Blackpool, England, and I have just completed a year's apprenticeship as a graphic/web designer at a large Lancashire-based media company.

Before I began in January, I was in full-time education, leaving college/sixth-form with A-Levels in English Language, Music and Critical Thinking. I was able to walk into this apprenticeship/job placement due to having a large portfolio (I was a freelance designer throughout my school/college years for local people & businesses) and now have 12 months experience in the workplace, my apprenticeship qualification and an even larger portfolio of testimonials and example work. Although my passion is graphic & web design, I come from a family of musicians and play five instruments, and have given private tutor sessions at the oh-so tender age of 17.

(Sorry for boring you with my life story, just thought I'd put everything on the table so I get more concise information.)

My boyfriend is Swedish and speaks fluent English - unfortunately I don't speak a word of his native language, though. I have visited Sweden three times this year (his home town, Gävle, Stockholm and Uppsala) and although I think that it is more "boring" than my current surroundings (i.e less things to do), I found it to be a refreshing change, especially Gävle. We both want me to live in his apartment in Gävle for 2013 - possibly a less amount of time - before both of us permanently locating to the UK. The reason for this is that he is finishing his degree at University and we'd like to be together in the meantime.

This is also a great opportunity for me: I would like to work on my music, design and the series of books that I have been writing for the last three years instead of constant education.

He can completely support himself (he owns his apartment) and when his studies are complete he has a job already lined up with his old boss to compensate. He's five years older than me (24) and is more of a business-like personality where as I am all about the creative things in life. We work well as a duo! I am more than happy to move for '13 as it'll be a change - and for the first time in my relatively short life - I will be completely independent.

However - I am not a freeloader! During my time there I want to be able to support myself completely and also contribute to his bills, of course. I see a lot of people struggling to find jobs because of the lack of Swedish - this doesn't worry me particularly as one of my main goals will be to acquire the language. I have a set of "skills" I suppose, such as graphic design, web design, digital signage design, music lessons, and of course the ability to speak English.

Any information, advice or guidance at all is highly appreciated. I am slightly apprehensive and never like to do anything without a plan. Is there possibilities for someone like me to teach English? Are there any beginner classes in Swedish around my area? Will anybody be my friend? sad.gif

Thank you!

(Quick note: Although my apprenticeship has ended, my employers are very keen to keep me due to the hard work I have completed during my year here, although the wage is a pittance still. So I will be leaving a job to go over, but a £185 a week job.)
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wondering
post 6.Dec.2012, 12:47 PM
Post #2
Joined: 3.Oct.2011

Considering that you are working in IT as a Graphic designer why can't you work from home in Sweden?

With your experience and training that you have put it I think you should explore that option.
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Migga
post 6.Dec.2012, 12:49 PM
Post #3
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

Gävle is a cozy and quite town that`s on the up `n up. Mostly thanks to it`s harbour where most of the wood and ore from the north is shipped out. More people are moving in and it`s starting to become more modern.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=97946895
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=95041055
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=97513872

It`s also only 45 mins away from Uppsala, which is Swedens fourth largest town and filled with students, by train. That`s propbably a good start to look for low skilled jobs, something young students normaly go for. But the best shot at getting a job is probably through your boyfriend. Use him, his family, friends and social network. Ask them to keep an eye out for whatever kind of job that is available.
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Pursuivant
post 6.Dec.2012, 01:09 PM
Post #4
Joined: 12.Aug.2008

The crude thumb rule is: the more you deal with the "great unwashed" the more you need the local language. The more you work with "knowlege" and "talent" and the higher up the ladder you get - the less you need language.

QUOTE
Is there possibilities for someone like me to teach English?

Without qualifications? ...sure you got an A in "Critical Thinking"? Hey who wouldn't want to better their oral skills with an 19-year old, I bet you get loads of guys queuing up :lol ...or music...

You got a good situation with the flat, and as always, the key is "networking" so the student circles and whom the BF knows will be of immense assistance. I'd look into that distance working if you are planning on heading back to the UK within a year. Maybe doing some volunteering even just to boost the portfolio...
:
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stitches
post 6.Dec.2012, 06:37 PM
Post #5
Joined: 6.Dec.2012

Thank you for the responses!

QUOTE (wondering @ 6.Dec.2012, 11:47 AM) *
Considering that you are working in IT as a Graphic designer why can't you work from home in Sweden? . With your experience and training that you have put it I think you should explore that option.

Yes, this is a definite possibility! smile.gif

QUOTE (Pursuivant @ 6.Dec.2012, 12:09 PM) *
Without qualifications? ...sure you got an A in "Critical Thinking"? Hey who wouldn't want to better their oral skills with an 19-year old, I bet you get loads o ... (show full quote)

I think this was a pretty crude reply to be honest. I have seen discussions about private session-based teaching where native English speakers teach in foreign countries. I never said in a professional sense whatsoever. Forgive my lack of knowledge in this area, I wouldn't put it down to my A-Level in CT (as ridiculous as the course was) but down to no experience. Is a sexual remark needed, really? I posted on this board hoping I would get advice, not ridiculed.. :/
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Migga
post 6.Dec.2012, 06:56 PM
Post #6
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

Considering Swedes are the best non native english speakers I think you should look elsewhere when it comes to jobs.
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stitches
post 6.Dec.2012, 07:01 PM
Post #7
Joined: 6.Dec.2012

And that's fine! It was literally one statement in a paragraph of brainstorming. smile.gif
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Svensksmith
post 6.Dec.2012, 08:17 PM
Post #8
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

I'm always one to advise people to grab for the golden ring. Life is short and begs to be experienced.

However, I also advise a little caution. Perpare a back-up plan just in case the unimaginable happens...for example: if you and your boyfriend were to break up
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byke
post 6.Dec.2012, 08:45 PM
Post #9
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

If this was dragons den, I would tell you that your proposal fails in nearly every way and you would be nuts to even attempt such a move given the situation.
However, love is blind.And can have a very strange effect on people's rationality.
Simply put, you have very little chance with what you have to offer.And while it may be only a few quid from your current employer, it gives you far more than what I think you will be able to achieve in sweden at the moment.
My only advice is if you go for it, make sure you have something to fall back on outside of Sweden.
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Ger383
post 6.Dec.2012, 09:23 PM
Post #10
Joined: 5.Dec.2012

Hej Stiches, I work as a sound engineer, mainly in Dublin and at your age found myself in a similar situation, though my choice was to move to London to gain experience etc. Worked out for for me, Sweden's a completely dfferent land of oppotunities. I have an apartment myself in Gävle and travel over there once a month. It's a great city and as was posted above is on the up. If you have the chance to work from Sweden via the UK company take it and move to Gävle. It can be quite hard to find work in Gävle and I'd say teaching English would be a non-starter but depending on the instruments you play (people always want to learn Guitar and Piano) you should advertise as a music teacher, I'm sure you'll get some interest and as posted above, network, via your boyfriend and his friends/family, spread the word and then I'm sure word of mouth lead to some great oppotunities. Your creative skills should lead to something.

I know there seems to be a lot of negative feedback on some of these threads about job hunting and that, but most of my ex-pat friends in Sweden (Gävle, Stockholm & Malmö) have found work through their own skills without networking, I suppose some people just think that they'll walk into a job. You come from the north of England where it's hard to find work (I know 'cause I've got got a lot of family up there, Barrow-in-Furness and Manchester), so I'm sure you won't give up at the first hurdle. You're young and have plenty of time on your hands so don't worry if it doesn't work out, remember it's always better to have tried and failed than spending your life wondering "What if..."

Good luck and give it a bash !
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wondering
post 6.Dec.2012, 09:31 PM
Post #11
Joined: 3.Oct.2011

Also I would recommend to try those freelancer sites such as Odesk.

All the best !! smile.gif
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stitches
post 6.Dec.2012, 11:55 PM
Post #12
Joined: 6.Dec.2012

The 'back-up plan' would be to come home (i.e UK) again.

@byke: I guess this is the kind of negative feedback that I expected. This isn't Dragons Den, this is me, doing something different for one year of my life... life is too short. Did you even read the full post? You're acting as if I'm intending to move over permanently with no idea of what I'm doing.
"Love is blind." You speak to me as if I am a love-struck idiot.
Thank you for your very negative and unhelpful post, which really doesn't make sense. As stated above, there is the option for me to work from home, i.e with clients from the UK, in our apartment. This alone pays far more than my current apprentice wage.
Your only advice is already noted, and this again confirms that you probably haven't read the "Only for a year" part of the entire thing.

@Ger383: Hooray for positivity! Thank you for taking the time to reply with a helpful and interesting post.
Your last statements sum it up really, I am young and have the time. I don't want to sit here in ten years and think "if only I'd have done that." The worst that could happen is it doesn't work out, I can't find any means of income whatsoever and have to go on a 2 hour plane journey back to Blighty. I can think of worse situations. smile.gif

@wondering
Thank you! smile.gif
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byke
post 7.Dec.2012, 12:48 AM
Post #13
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Well I would wish you good luck, but that would then be suggesting a negative road ahead where luck is needed. So instead I will just say make sure you bring your EHIC so there is no break in your medication.

Are you sure you meant sweden? Normally mums go to Iceland.
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Megalagom
post 7.Dec.2012, 09:50 AM
Post #14
Location: Halmstad
Joined: 22.Jan.2012

There is nothing wrong with spending a year in a different country without having all the answers. People do it all the time. You sound like you will have a roof over your head, someone to support you (Mentally, and if needed financially) and that you would be able to work from home.

Start studying Swedish now and don't slow down. It is not the hardest language, but it takes about 6 months to feel comfortable at a conversational level for many people. You'll feel like an outsider until you have it under your belt, so even if you are working in English it is important. Make sure you receive a personnummer so that you can utilize SFI, otherwise studying Swedish on your own will be slow and you'll have less socialization.

As far as teaching English or music, you can check out the nearest Folk Universitiet, which offers classes in all different languages and skill sets.

If money is gong to be an issue, be prepared to pack a lot of clothes and not go out that often - clothing shopping and eating at restaurants/drinking at bars is expensive here.

Lycka Till!
Meg ~Something Swedish ~
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Pursuivant
post 7.Dec.2012, 11:14 AM
Post #15
Joined: 12.Aug.2008

QUOTE
I think this was a pretty crude reply to be honest.

Exactly what kind of a reply did you expect, if not a honest one?

QUOTE
I have seen discussions about private session-based teaching where native English speakers teach in foreign countries.

Yes, everyone who steps off Ryanair is an "engrish teecher". Works maybe in Asia. Sweden isn't Asia, excluding Rinkeby and Tensta...

QUOTE
I never said in a professional sense whatsoever.

Professional TEFL teachers have severe difficulties scoring work in the Nordics, even you have a masters degree in English language and a teaching certificate, finding work as a teacher is a hard path.Some stroppy 19-year old with artsy-fartsy degrees... yeah, I'd look into giving piano lessons.

QUOTE
Forgive my lack of knowledge in this area, I wouldn't put it down to my A-Level in CT (as ridiculous as the course was) but down to no experience.

Taking that course in the first place is enough proof of what you lack.

QUOTE
Is a sexual remark needed, really?

Put an ad in the paper for tutoring and see what you get for gentlemen callers wanting to practice their conversation skills.

QUOTE
I posted on this board hoping I would get advice, not ridiculed.. :/

No worries. A stroppy little pampered princess like you needs to get bitten in the arse by the real world before you can appreciate honest advice. Sweden will be much nicer to have a reality shock than some really tough country.
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