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First visit to Sweden coming up

Considering moving my family from the US to SE

LizDickinson
post 26.Nov.2012, 02:41 AM
Post #1
Joined: 26.Nov.2012

Hi, all,

My husband and I are from the US (Kansas, specifically) and have been talking about leaving the country for a while. We have tried to impact change locally, but besides the downside of living in one of the reddest states in the US we feel as though our children will grow up with better opportunities and around more open minded people in Sweden. Gender equality has been my battle her in the US. I recently ran from a public office against a man who authored a bill trying to make it legal for doctors to omit information (in essence, LIE) about the health of a woman's pregnancy if he/she (Dr) thinks she is a 'candidate for an abortion'. This, amongst many other things (we are atheist and are constantly getting lectured 'for the sake of our kids' because of this). We feel that the gender equality in Sweden, the lagom mentality and the socialized governmental programs are ideal for raising our children in a place where hopefully our family could thrive for generations.

I want to know a few things. My husband and I are planning on visiting in late March, and want to know the key places to get a good overall feel for Sweden. We are leaving our children (sad, but we don't travel abroad much and it saves money for us right now.) behind so we would like to get a feel of the demographics. For example, where are the best neighborhoods? Where are the poorest neighborhoods? Where are the best children's schools? Where are the best places to live and work and have children? I am eager to know about Sweden completely. Besides genuine adoration for everything I've read, I was adopted at birth, here in the states, and recently found out that I am majorily Swedish. I am hoping to be able to trace my roots.

One more thing. What is your take on a person like me and my family coming to Sweden? Here, in the US, the attitude towards Mexican immigrants is hostile, unfortunately. I do not wish to put my children in a situation like this, but, I realize that everywhere will have its (hopefully small) group of angry people.

Thank you for reading this!! I look forward to your replies!
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Likvid
post 26.Nov.2012, 03:36 AM
Post #2
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

You would be crazy moving to Sweden of all places on earth, being a Swede myself and many of my friends are actually trying to leave this country for a better life elsewhere as Sweden has been downhill for the last years tremendously, most gossip about Sweden is from the 70's when it was good, those times are all gone since a long time now.

I would reconsider your descision for some other country, not Europe as there are huge financial problems all over Europe right now and it's not going to get better for a long time.
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Fernandis
post 26.Nov.2012, 03:51 AM
Post #3
Joined: 16.Jul.2007

QUOTE (LizDickinson @ 26.Nov.2012, 03:41 AM) *
Hi, all,My husband and I are from the US (Kansas, specifically) and have been talking about leaving the country for a while. We have tried to impact change locally, but beside ... (show full quote)

My 17 years of life exp in Sweden....DON'T move to Sweden, but perhaps Canada is a better option. Swedes are worst when it comes to integration. Further, you don't make any no savings, high racism, very difficult to find good job, 10 years in Que for apartment to rent (legal) -------extremely bad weather conditions, no summer at al! it was a gr8 country some 30 years ago.
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organic225
post 26.Nov.2012, 04:04 AM
Post #4
Joined: 7.Apr.2012

Why not just consider moving to a more liberal state, such as one on the west coast or in the northeast? How about Oregon, Vermont, or Massachusetts, to name but a few? It seems like you're interested in seeking to better your community, as evidenced by your run for public office, so I find it a bit odd that you want to throw in the towel and move to Sweden. Would you still be fawning over Sweden if you had won your election?

No disrespect intended, but your motivations seem a bit rash. You can't just pick up and move your family to another country. Even an individual can't just move out of the blue. You'd either need to have a job lined up (and thus a work visa) or get a residence permit based on family ties. Do you have family members who live in Sweden? Do you or your husband speak Swedish? If not, are you prepared to invest in learning a new language? It is very difficult to get a job in Sweden without speaking Swedish.

There are many positive aspects to Sweden, but I assure you it is not the utopia you're seeking. I can't ever remember hearing a non-Swede praise the lagom mentality, so I question whether you really understand how that concept applies in real life. It is true that there is a stronger social safety net in Sweden than in the U.S., but it comes at a price, and I don't just mean in taxes. Nothing is free. The U.S. is a wonderful country in many respects, and I find it rather absurd that you don't think you can find a suitable community there in which to raise your family. Yes, America does have its downsides, but be wary of the truth in the cliche that "the grass is always greener on the other side."

Finally, I take issue with your pronouncement that Americans' attitude toward Mexican immigrants is hostile. I think a more reasonable observation is that most Americans welcome immigrants who enter the country through legal means. At the same time, Americans largely frown upon those who are present illegally (e.g. those who cut the line, use public services without contributing, etc.). You even concede that "everywhere will have its (hopefully small) group of angry people." As a result, by generalizing about Americans' attitudes toward Mexican immigrants, you've contradicted yourself.

On the whole, I think your post sounds very irrational.
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johnjohn
post 26.Nov.2012, 06:56 AM
Post #5
Joined: 10.Dec.2010

Sweden is a great place. I am an American and love it here. You have a hugh uphill climb ahead. It took me more than a decade to get residence here despite owning a house and some command of the language. If I were not self-employed I would find it hard to survive. Your major impediments: You or your spouse need a job to get permission to move here. Both of you will need to work to support comfortable lifestyle. Unless you are in IT or a few selected fields you will need to speak Swedish. Unemployment is high and growing. National employment schemes pay up to 85% of the wages of resident job seekers which you are not. Since you have no residence visa any perspective employer must offer you a job then wait up to 6 months for a decision while you sit in Kansas, unlikely. You say you will not travel with your children to save money. If you do not have at least enough money to live without a job for the duration of your maximum stay, 3 months, best forget the idea. I would have suggested one year but you cannot stay that long. Your children will be thrust into a totally foreign culture and language. I wish you the best of luck but don't see it happening if the motivation is as you described.
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byke
post 26.Nov.2012, 08:52 AM
Post #6
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Like most places, this nation has its ups and downs.
And there may just be better places in Sweden compared to your area you live now.

But I must be honest and say that we very often get posters on here with very rose tinted glasses in regards to how things really are in Sweden.

Sweden is a fairly large area of surface for a nation, and generally there is a lot of the same throughout the country - which in some ways is good for stability (if thats what you are looking for) and bad for other aspects (such as diversity). In fact, nation for nation you may just find that the USA has greater options for diversity, simply because you can move to another state within the nation and see a radical change in views.

I cant imagine that say "new york" attitudes are on par with Kansas general views.

Sweden does have its issues, like nearly all countries.
But I am not going to say its not for you. But must be honest and say the picture that Sweden sells itself as is very different to the reality of people living in it. Like others have stated, 70's values have long come and gone.

Personally if I was to move the family to Sweden from abroad, its no contest.
Stockholm (maybe Gothenburg) and thats it. No where else would I ever consider moving to in Sweden. Simply because these 2 areas of Sweden offer the least Swedish regiment and are offset by international influence. Making it much more harmonious, and less dull place.

Either way, try and enjoy your time here.
But let me say its not all it sells itself as and that I know more people who have come here and left after a year or 2, than come here and stay. Which says a lot.
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LizDickinson
post 26.Nov.2012, 04:08 PM
Post #7
Joined: 26.Nov.2012

Thank you all for your reply. Our hypothetical move to Sweden is a hope for us in 4 to 6 years. In that time, we will watch unemployment, learn and practice Swedish and work on all the requirements.

As I said before, I am hoping to trace my lineage back to Sweden. I found out that I was adopted and am majorily Swedish. If I find that I have a relative living in Sweden still, I am hoping that that makes it a little easier.

I have a friend that lives in Oslo, and she in general has said that the quality of life in Scandinavia in general is much better than that in the US. (She stayed as a student over here for four years.)

As far as moving to a different state, sure, it is possible. I've lived in many states, however, and still think that Sweden sounds good. I have read about the racism, the anger towards multi-culturalism from a racist Swede's perspective. I have read about the judge who was murdered and the guns that are supposedly being sold in large quantities to the Islam groups who live there. I read this all realizing it was coming from a racist, and tried to find legitimate news stories to research the actual facts.

I own my own small business here, a photography business, but have been trying to get into the photojournalism/journalism world for some time. US journalism is dying, rapidly. I had read that Sweden is one of the largest consumers of newspapers in the world, and my heart skipped a beat. My dream is journalism. I would most definitely, without a doubt, learn the language, as well as teach my children over the years ahead. The unemployment rate in Sweden is almost identical to what it is in the states right now. The difference is that here you pay immense costs for health care, they fluoridate the water supply all over the place and our country is constantly at war. I don't want to stand on the side that supports these things, especially war. Sure, Obamacare is coming up in 2014. But our state governor does not support it and will do everything at the state level to stop it in Kansas. The cost for my family to move to Sweden is less than it would be for my family to move to California. I was also thinking that if it doesn't work out, I will have two children with a broader perspective of the world, knowledge of a different culture, and if all else fails we could move back and try again somewhere else.

Lagom- of course I have never experienced this first hand. But, as my husband and I are in general quiet, polite and reserved with very much of an eastern philosophy towards life, my intuition (which could be wrong, we'll see!) tells me that this way of life might just be becoming and very much of a puzzle-piece fit.

The issue of me saying that Americans have hostility towards immigrants. This is my experience. We have many legislators, senators, governors, etc who all believe that full assimilation- language, culture, religions- etc ought to be a requirement for immigrants. Of legal and illegal status. I know the dangers of generalizing, and am not cavalier when I say this.

Thank you for your comments, I hope to continue this conversation here.
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Likvid
post 26.Nov.2012, 04:14 PM
Post #8
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

New Yorkers are actuallly more friendly than people on Stockholm.

I once had a painter working on the house like 15 years ago and he came from NYC to try it out on Stockholm and i asked him what he thought and he actually said he would move back to the U.S as people here in Stockholm are worse than NYC.
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Likvid
post 26.Nov.2012, 04:15 PM
Post #9
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

Why can't you edit your posts here? i click edit and nothing happens.
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johnjohn
post 26.Nov.2012, 04:20 PM
Post #10
Joined: 10.Dec.2010

You can edit posts for only a short time
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Coolrunnings
post 26.Nov.2012, 05:11 PM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

QUOTE
I own my own small business here, a photography business, but have been trying to get into the photojournalism/journalism world for some time. US journalism is dying, rapidly. I had read that Sweden is one of the largest consumers of newspapers in the world, and my heart skipped a beat. My dream is journalism.

I love you americans. You guys always have 5 years plans about some unrealistic scheme. No offense intended.

Anyway, for your information, the swedish population consists only of 9 million. i.e small market. There are plenty of unemployed journalists here and media industry is also taking a bite. Getting a job or business visa in your position will be difficult. Also, they don't give you a visa just because you may have some swedish blood in the past 2-3 generations. No such rules exist in sweden.

Why not move to Canada? They speak english, liberal and you'll get a better deal there with all the free stuff that you want. Sweden is chained to a corpse called the EU, it's a shinking ship.
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organic225
post 26.Nov.2012, 05:52 PM
Post #12
Joined: 7.Apr.2012

You can't just break out the family tree hoping to find a long-lost relative living in Sweden and then use that as proof of a family tie. The tie has to be significant and long-standing, not the result of a fishing expedition.

Again, I don't understand your drastic change of heart. You just ran a campaign for public office in Kansas, which suggests that you're invested in your community; however, you lost the race and now want to move your family across the ocean? Would you still be "planning" to move to Sweden in 4-6 years if you had won your election?

There is plenty of racism in Sweden, and if you think it is more benign than that found in the U.S., then you really haven't done enough research. The U.S. and Canada have by and large done a much better job of integrating their immigrants than many EU countries.

Lastly, you write:

"The issue of me saying that Americans have hostility towards immigrants. This is my experience. We have many legislators, senators, governors, etc who all believe that full assimilation- language, culture, religions- etc ought to be a requirement for immigrants. Of legal and illegal status."

You do recognize that in previous generations, full assimilation of immigrants to the U.S. was expected, right? This is the history of the vast waves of immigrants from Northern and Southern Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It appears that you think full assimilation is a bad thing, when in reality it is the best thing for immigrants. Of course people can still speak their native languages, but they should also become proficient in English. They can still honor their culture while adopting the American one as well. Furthermore, there has never been a national religion. As for illegal immigrants, why exactly are you defending their presence?
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LizDickinson
post 26.Nov.2012, 05:57 PM
Post #13
Joined: 26.Nov.2012

*Chuckles.

Yes, the five year plan. We do have a lot of those, I suppose. Goal-oriented, always planning something new. Dreaming big, etc. Might be where I grew up, but, I prefer to think of it as part of who I am.

A question for anyone else who drudges down this long post:

Do you feel as though gender equality is so good in Sweden that it benefits the children that are raised there? Do women truly have equal rights in Sweden in your perspective? How does this effect relationships with men?

Thanks for all of your help!
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LizDickinson
post 26.Nov.2012, 06:06 PM
Post #14
Joined: 26.Nov.2012

organic225:

Hello,

I ran for office by request, after some rapid re-districting and no other candidate to do so. I was previously an activist, involved in fighting for women's rights. I never dreamed of being a politician or having a lifelong career in politics. I stepped up because no one else did, and because the man I was running against authors bills that will negatively impact my daughters.

Someone else mentioned that I am 'throwing in the towel". This may be an easy assumption, but, my country has engaged in so many wars over the past several decades, killing unthinkable numbers of innocent people. There is a common thought amongst Democrats over here that is that when you spend your dollar you cast your vote. I think of that as standing behind something. I have a hard time standing behind many of the things my country has been doing lately.
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Svensksmith
post 26.Nov.2012, 08:26 PM
Post #15
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

Just move to Minnesota. There are plenty of Swedes there and it is a liberal state. You won't have to learn Swedish, get a new driver's license, apply for citizenship, etc.

But do visit Sweden, it is a beautiful place.
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