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To leave Sweden or not...

Choosing between love and work

Affonso
post 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM
Post #1
Joined: 7.Apr.2013

Hello.

I come from Portugal and moved here to be with my Swedish girlfriend 3 years ago. I was working in Portugal and later in London and I never had problems finding a qualified job in my field. Even during my student days it was quite possible to find unskilled jobs for an extra income to survive. I have a skill for learning languages quite quickly, so coming to Sweden did not deter me as I had learnt the language fairly well in London with my girlfriend.

I am a European Union member and maybe I had some false expectations that Sweden was like continental Europe and the UK. When I first came here to get my person nr. the case officer at skatteverket gave a sarcastic comment that "this one speak swedish". Later when I started taking Swedish courses at University to polish my skills the Swedish teacher was very nice to German and British students while being nasty to the rest of the European students for no reason and gave us this feeling that we were not welcome . Maybe this is why British are more sucessful in Sweden?

Long story short, I applied for many jobs in my qualified profession with few replies. When I did get an interview the HR lady was sceptical that I could speak Swedish even though I had the papers to prove it. Maybe this was an excuse because I had sought the advice of others and people told me that I spoke Swedish quite well at a fluent level. Even unskilled work is hard to find.

Another time it was very obvious that a freshly graduated Swede with a bachelors education was hired even though I had a Masters education and I had experience in the field. I complained to DO but they threw it out the window without a blink.

Then I took part in an entrepreneurship competition where I came far but a Swedish guy who gave a very poor presentation by reading his paper and had no enthusiasm for his product won. Another Swedish person won too even though he did not fulfill the competition criteria. When I was making my presentation the judges from Swedish companies were playing with their phones from the start without even listening to me.

Apart from this bad experience I find that educated Swedes have very poor cultural capital. The conversations are not stimulating at all despite the effort. They seem very lazy at integrating socially. In my field of work the Swedes talk like Americans with a lot of small talk and do not say honestly what they want. Very frustrating experience.

Should I leave while I still can?

Of course leaving my girlfriend is a problem since she wants to live here, but sometimes career and mental health is more important than love.
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vicky7
post 7.Apr.2013, 07:37 AM
Post #2
Joined: 28.Nov.2012

You have to look Swedish and have a Swedish name. Do you fulfill this criteria?

Why not dump the girl, you can find a new one elsewhere.
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Coolrunnings
post 7.Apr.2013, 08:47 AM
Post #3
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

Eventually something will work out for you if you stay in Sweden, it might take a few years.

But be prepared that your future children may have to go through the same process.
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Yorkshireman
post 7.Apr.2013, 08:50 AM
Post #4
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Of course leaving my girlfriend is a problem since she wants to live here, but sometimes career and mental health is more important than love.

You have answered your own question with that statement ...obviously Your mental health and well being is less important to Your girlfriend than where She lives and/or your relationship.
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Migga
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:15 AM
Post #5
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Later when I started taking Swedish courses at University to polish my skills the Swedish teacher was very nice to German and British students while being nasty to the rest of ... (show full quote)

Or is it because they come more prepared, have a job lined up, are more educated and skilled then some from other parts of Europe, have a similar culture or way of life, have ties to the country beforehand and so on? There can be numerous reasons. But it`s obvious you have set your mind already that Swedes are discriminating other europeans then those two nationalities. How can we know if your teacher was nice to some and nasty to others, it`s just you telling us how you felt and experienced it. Perhaps the teacher was, perhaps not. Perhaps it was you who felt it that way but it wasn`t really so. The only answer you will get from such a question, based on what you wrote, is speculations.

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Even unskilled work is hard to find.

Sweden doesn`t have a need for unskilled workers since the number of unskilled jobs is low.

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Another time it was very obvious that a freshly graduated Swede with a bachelors education was hired even though I had a Masters education and I had experience in the field. I ... (show full quote)

Good, if you felt that you were disciminated you should report it. Few countries offer this. After having taken a look I guess they felt it wasn`t really discirimnation and just something you felt, nothing that was proven.

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Then I took part in an entrepreneurship competition where I came far but a Swedish guy who gave a very poor presentation by reading his paper and had no enthusiasm for his pro ... (show full quote)

So? You think this was discrimination aswell? What`s your proof? Could the guys have done something good in their presentation and was their product perhaps better then yours? THere can be millions of reasons why they won over you, why do you think discrimination?

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Apart from this bad experience I find that educated Swedes have very poor cultural capital. The conversations are not stimulating at all despite the effort. They seem very laz ... (show full quote)

Really? All educated Swedes? Why? Are all Swedes the same? Are the Portuguese better?

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 07:30 AM) *
Should I leave while I still can? Of course leaving my girlfriend is a problem since she wants to live here, but sometimes career and mental health is more important than love.

If you think your career is more important then love, leave.
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Affonso
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:23 AM
Post #6
Joined: 7.Apr.2013

QUOTE (Migga @ 7.Apr.2013, 09:15 AM) *
Or is it because they come more prepared, have a job lined up, are more educated and skilled then some from other parts of Europe, have a similar culture or way of life, have ... (show full quote)

Your comments are frankly quite rude.

Yes I had concrete proof for DO and was quite objective in my reporting to them. You are claiming straight away that I as a foreigner am making subjective stories? Hmm...

Well I am not so blind to see that things are done in a certain way in this country. In European countries we are taught to be critical of everything and not have a ready answer. In Sweden according to my experience, people are taught not to be critical at University and have ready answers to everything.
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Migga
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:38 AM
Post #7
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 09:23 AM) *
Your comments are frankly quite rude.

I`m just being critical of your story it`s not meant to be rude or personal, I don`t know who you are.
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Coolrunnings
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:43 AM
Post #8
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

OP, ignore that internet bully. He's just bitter and has problems with everybody who questions corrupt practices in Sweden.
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Mark249
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:50 AM
Post #9
Joined: 9.Nov.2012

DO along with other Swedish institutions is what they call window shopping.
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Yorkshireman
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:50 AM
Post #10
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 09:23 AM) *
In European countries we are taught to be critical of everything and not have a ready answer.

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 09:23 AM) *
Your comments are frankly quite rude.

biggrin.gif You seem to have lost the ability to accept other peoples critic though ... and only a short step from the ..jag känner mig kränkt... syndrome. biggrin.gif
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Affonso
post 7.Apr.2013, 09:54 AM
Post #11
Joined: 7.Apr.2013

Not so. I just said his comments were rude. You can criticise without the need to be rude.

And for your info, I did think of other possible explanations before coming to my conclusions.
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polartwist
post 7.Apr.2013, 10:46 AM
Post #12
Joined: 5.Feb.2013

Affonso, your post make me feel that we are kinda of soul mates smile.gif
I was reading and I understood that most of the things you are writing I'm experiencing on my skin evey day.

I'm from Southern Europe as well and I managed to get a responsibility role in a company here in Sweden. Everything goes smooth so far. I also accepted to be on call outside office hours (not many Swedes do that in my company...) and I'm always on the problem when it occurs.
But they are really skeptical every time I open my mouth. I feel discriminated and last week I had to menace the HR to resign in order to get a salary discussion after 1 and half year! Of course, my salary is ok, but I'm aware I will never make the same money a typical Svensson does.
I was the only one with this responsibility without a company phone (I had to menace, I got it last week), and today I'm still without business cards smile.gif Ah of course, my team is composed only by 50% allocated people, so I'm doing all the impossible to deliver in time (and I always did).

About friends. I had a good "friend", a Swede. He disappeared for a while and in the last month he was calling me all the time to get a beer together. Guess what? He was fired from his company and he needed me in that moment.
And you can imagine the smart conversations we have all the time we go out for a beer... And the funny thing is that he goes on and drink until he walk like a zombie.

When I'm in my home country it's a big pleasure to sit on a table with some friends and have some smart conversation. With a glass of wine, maybe, but no more (because we know when to stop).
When I was there for Easter I also was able to make new friends, really really hard here in Sweden, even if you commit all yourself to be integrated, to learn the language, to be empathic...

This is my personal experience with this country. And I'm lucky that I don't have a girlfriend anymore. I'm already thinking about the next destination.
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as8
post 7.Apr.2013, 11:06 AM
Post #13
Location: Malmö
Joined: 17.Oct.2010

QUOTE (Affonso @ 7.Apr.2013, 09:23 AM) *
Your comments are frankly quite rude.

Not really, it's quite clear from your post that you are not taking much responsibility for your bad experiences. You really think this is all your new country's fault? Come on, think more critically about your situation and stop looking for negativity. Integrating in a new culture takes work and can feel quite bad while you recalibrate.

as8
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Affonso
post 7.Apr.2013, 11:35 AM
Post #14
Joined: 7.Apr.2013

This is a very typical Swedish mentality from what I understand. The foreigner is not adopting or integrating and is 100% at blame, the individual has to be blamed for everything etc.

Don't know what to say about this bizarre swedish way of thinking. sad.gif
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Coolrunnings
post 7.Apr.2013, 11:47 AM
Post #15
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

It is indeed tragic Affonso that despite being European, Swedes don't give you any trust and you are being treated like an arab.
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