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Canadian moving to Lidköping

Meeting people, other expats, and community groups?

spsim
post 15.Jun.2013, 05:50 PM
Post #1
Joined: 15.Mar.2013

Hi there!

I am moving to Lidköping with my boyfriend, and although he grew up there and has family there, he doesn't have many friends left there anymore (he just moved back to the town after living in Stockholm and then the USA). Are there any other english speaking ex-pats, or Canadians in the area? Does anyone know of a good way to meet people? We are both in our early 30's (30 and 31), and would like to meet some other people around our age, or find some activities in town where we can meet some friends. Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Gjeebes
post 15.Jun.2013, 06:25 PM
Post #2
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

Unless you or your boyfriend are independently wealthy, and you also speak Swedish better than a Swede, I would not advise you to move to Sweden! If you are not wealthy, you will be screwed quite quickly, since you are likely to never obtain a decent paying job. As for meeting people, well, unless Lidköping is unlike the rest of Sweden, don't expect your neighbours to acknowledge you exist, and you are more likely to "pull teeth" than strike up any conversation with a Swede. If they don't know you, they will not talk to you. This country has great PR, then it takes about a year for you to clearly see through the "spin", and realise this place, while boasting it is great in this and that way, is actually far worse than many other countries that aren't so full of themselves. Seriously, have a read about foreigner experience in Sweden, or Nordic countires in general. You are in for a tough grind. Good luck.
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spsim
post 15.Jun.2013, 06:38 PM
Post #3
Joined: 15.Mar.2013

ummm..wow. clearly you had a bad experience but you have no idea about me, what I do, or why I would like to move to Sweden. Thanks for the "advice," but I am able to and have done all my own research, have been with my Swedish man for 2 years, have been to Sweden, and have met many amazing friendly awesome people from there- I have an idea of what I'm getting into. It is hard to meet people and adjust as a foreigner anywhere you go. I come from what is known as one of the most friendly provinces in Canada, I know people who have moved here and left the province feeling the same way about the people here as you clearly feel about Swedes. It's all about your own perspective, attitude and effort. There are good and bad people everywhere, but anywhere I go I do not expect people to come to my door with a welcoming basket, reaching out to me, I expect to take time to meet people and to learn the language, and I know making friends and adjusting takes time, that things work differently, and I feel sorry for people who move to a new place and expect it to be the same as what you're used to, because you're bound to be disappointed. I'm sorry for whatever made you such a miserable and negative person but I really am not looking for warnings or negativity- just some solid positive advice. Tks.
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Fernandis
post 16.Jun.2013, 02:45 PM
Post #4
Joined: 16.Jul.2007

Gjeebes is correct, BUT the decision is urs... keep ur options open of moving back to Canada when needed wink.gif I lived in Sweden for 12 years and 2 years ago have moved to Canada, it's a huge gape between both socities...u'll not feel it in first 1-2 years (a honeymoon period) but after 2-3 years u'll see things more clear. PLEASE come back to this forum after 3 years and then tell us what do u think wink.gif Good luck!!!
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Peter Thomas
post 16.Jun.2013, 05:13 PM
Post #5
Joined: 31.Jul.2012

Good for you giving Sweden a go.
I'm British and have emigrated to both Canada and Sweden, and have people friendly in both countries. It is always difficult to get to know people and the cultures are definitely different, but if you enter with your eyes open and are happy to work at life, without everything being handed to you on a plate then you should have a rewarding experience. Without Swedish language though, you WILL find it very hard to get good job in your profession, that is, until you develop a good network. In order to create a network, join any and all groups you can - sports such as running or cycling clubs, churches, open kids groups, whatever. Your local kommun will probably have a list of clubs on their website. Good luck.
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Migga
post 16.Jun.2013, 05:49 PM
Post #6
Joined: 26.Jul.2011

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 15.Jun.2013, 06:25 PM) *
Unless you or your boyfriend are independently wealthy, and you also speak Swedish better than a Swede, I would not advise you to move to Sweden! If you are not wealthy, y ... (show full quote)

This is one of the most laughable posts on this forum for a while. It`s just a long rant of hearsay, myths, stereotypes and generalisations. Do you have any facts to back up your claims? Feel free to voice your opinion but if you aren`t going to base it on facts and just on your emotions don`t be surprised when you get called out. Freedom of speech means you can say what you want but not that you will go free from criticism.

QUOTE (Fernandis @ 16.Jun.2013, 02:45 PM) *
Gjeebes is correct, BUT the decision is urs... keep ur options open of moving back to Canada when needed I lived in Sweden for 12 years and 2 years ago have moved to Canada, ... (show full quote)

How is he right? How can his subjectiv view be some objective truth? Does he present any facts?
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spsim
post 16.Jun.2013, 05:54 PM
Post #7
Joined: 15.Mar.2013

I really find it hard to believe all the negativity on this forum. The truth is- I don't like living in Canada, for many reasons, and am happy to move away. I don't enjoy walking down the street and having everyone talking to me (I'm from Newfoundland, it gets old), and gladly welcome that distance. I hate how difficult and expensive it is to travel, I dislike my the government and the way our social programs have completely eroded. I know none of these things are perfect in Sweden either, but nor are they any place on this planet. I know there are differences, and it will a be difficult adjustment, but I also have lots of reasons to be excited about moving there. I already have a fantastic support system in place in Sweden, I already have an awesome place to live, amazing partner, my partner's family are also all very supportive and friendly. We are both self employed in a profession where we will rarely be catering to customers in Sweden- we are both custom guitar builders, have clients (and a lengthy waiting list), and given the high end nature of the product, most of our customers are either in North America, Japan, and other parts of Europe. So, I have a plan, I have a job, and I do know what to expect in coming to Sweden, and I will not be facing the issues others have finding work, etc. I know folks are probably trying to be helpful in your warnings, but guess I am just always surprised that people are shocked when they move to a different culture and things are different. Or even different in the ways that they are, especially with the amount of resources available now. I expect nothing less. I expect things will be much easier once I get a better handle on Swedish, but I know that will take work. I have travelled all over the world, lived in many parts of Canada and the USA (BC, Quebec, Newfoundland, Michigan, and California). And not in any of those place has it ever been easy to meet people, network, etc. Anyway, I guess my point is that while I understand some peoples negativity, and I understand that living at home, or a country or area that speaks your native language is ALWAYS going to be easier, I am not sure this is as much a reflection on Sweden (although maybe partly their culture),as much as it can be attributed to the general difficulties of living abroad. I guess time will tell, you are correct. But, I am aware of the potential struggles, and am going into my situation with my mind open, and with a plan to combat these potential issues that i have researched. For now, I'm excited for language learning, being with my partner again, seeing his family, joining in some fun community activities, getting back to work in our new workshop, and enjoying the Swedish summer!

In relation to my first post, if anyone knows any website such as "Meetup" in Sweden where people start community groups, please do let me know. I have found some resources for groups and activities on the Lidköping website, but if there are any other online resources out there you know of that would be great. Thanks!
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tintu_mon
post 17.Jun.2013, 07:50 AM
Post #8
Joined: 3.May.2013

For Meetups, check this - http://www.meetup.com/cities/se/
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ljtaylor88
post 17.Jun.2013, 09:46 AM
Post #9
Joined: 16.Mar.2012

I'd suggest meetup.com, Facebook (worth a try to join Gothenburg-based groups, sometimes they have members who live quite far out) and Internations which is US-based and may well have a fair few Canadian members. Alternatively, you could always start your own! Be aware that some groups are "business networks", great if you're starting up a business, but often laced with "PAY US" undertones rather than making friends.

Are you willing to move or do you have jobs tying you to Lidköping? As a forewarning...you may have a tougher time making friends in a smaller town like Lidköping than you would if you moved into or closer to Gothenburg (I would say this is true for people who move to small towns with different languages the world over). There are LOADS of expats and expat groups based in and around Gothenburg, I have had no problem making friends from all over the world here and meet new people all the time. Also contrary to popular belief, Swedes are perfectly amicable.
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Mo
post 17.Jun.2013, 10:21 AM
Post #10
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

Lidköping is a small factory Town, like many in Sweden, however since the pottery shut there are very few jobs - probably why all of your BFs friends have moved away. It's 4 - 5 hours to Stockholm and 2 to Göteborg. Actually you will find that your average Swede has 3 or 4 friends from Dagis and they don't need any more thank you, especially strange ones whom they cannot categorise and who are not like them. Anyway good luck and remember to keep enough money for a plane ticket out.
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spsim
post 17.Jun.2013, 04:03 PM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Mar.2013

Thanks folks. yes, I am aware that it will be more difficult to meet people in a small town, especially for a foreigner. We did not intend to originally end up there, but for the business, and living expenses it ended up being the best opportunity. We many eventual move to Gothenburg, but for now this happens to be the best financial opportunity for us for running our particular business starting out. I also do understand most people have just a few close friends and don't want a lot more. I am the same way, as are most of my adult friends. As I said, I understand it's difficult to meet people, which is why i started this thread looking for ideas.

Anyway, thanks very much for all those who posted legitimate tips (as opposed to just criticism on my life decisions, haha)- really appreciate it!!
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icedearth
post 17.Jun.2013, 04:52 PM
Post #12
Joined: 10.Jul.2011

Go for it it spsim.
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Cahan1
post 17.Jun.2013, 06:23 PM
Post #13
Joined: 1.Apr.2013

Congratulations! So good to hear that you got your visa approval.
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Sfl
post 1.Aug.2013, 11:17 PM
Post #14
Joined: 1.Aug.2013

I would suggest you should register for the swedish courses at the Campus (Komvux in swedish) as soon as you get your personal number. There you will get to know lots or young people from all over the world (mostly spouses of a swedish resident) that have recently moved to Lidköping and are looking forward to hanging out with other foreigners. Among them you might find other native english speakers ( i haven't met any Canadians yet but i can recall of 2 native english speakers) or other foreigners quite fluent in english. Being open to their invitations could get you in contact with other people, maybe Canadians. I guess that things work more or less the same way as in other places, you meet somebody who introduces you to somebody else and so on, it has been like this in my case, i must say though that it takes much more time in Lidköping, since it is a small city and there are only a very few places to go out and socialize after 18.00 :-( . Moreover, you will get the chance to learn basic swedish / or improve your language skills which will be very useful in having contact with other people.

In Lidköping I have also used the couchsurfing site. You dont need to sign in as a host or traveller, you can just find the people who live in the area and contact the ones you find interesting and have a coffee with them (Lidköping has lots of nice coffee places, check the opening hours first though).

Taking part in sport clubs, choirs or other hobbies you have could help you create your network. And if you wanna get a break and experience a more urban environment and "alive" city, the direct Västtraffik train will take you to Gothenburg in about 1h and 40 min. There you can meet other expats, join a language evening (http://www.sprakcafeet.com/english/sprakcafeet_language_evenings.html) or practice your hobby (if not available in Lidköping).

I hope I have helped even a tiny bit :-)
Good luck!!!
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jeffi_in_denmark
post 2.Aug.2013, 02:37 PM
Post #15
Joined: 9.Aug.2010

Okay, I am just smiling/laughing at some of the comments here.

Hello, fellow Canuk! Welcome to the start of your grand adventure :-)

Even though I no longer live in Sweden (now in Denmark) due to my own very specialized career, I can heartily endorse moving over here for educated adults.

Being from where you are, you will have no trouble fitting into a new rural lifestyle in Sweden. Just keep showing up at the same places day after day, work in the yard or garden, etc, normal small town things, and people around you will slowly thaw.

Yes, being flooded with a language so much different than English will be confusing at first, but stick with it! There are several online, free, resources which I am certain you can find on your own, to teach you basic Swedish. Keep the television and radio on Swedish stations too. No, we cannot learn a new language through osmosis, as lovely as that might think of to happen, but it does get your ear attuned to the sounds a native English speaker has never heard and has extreme trouble saying. stick with it, it WILL get better.

Bring a LOT of your favourite deodorant and deodorant soap and a LOT of WalMart's no-name extra strength cold and flu pills. And extra strength liquid Advil. They do not sell multi-sympton relief medication over here. And yes, you WILL catch every virus that goes through town your entire first year here until your systems get used to different flavours of viruses here.

A fast way to get to know people, perhaps, depending on your own personal life choices: go speak to the pastor of your local church and offer to play during Sunday services. As custom guitar makers you can without doubt play sufficiently well to do background music while people start finding their seats in church.

Otherwise, welcome to the Nordics :-) I hope you enjoy it as much as me!
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