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Help make a decision on moving to Sweden

Stockholm Sweden move

Vinay Kumar
post 31.Dec.2017, 01:43 AM
Post #1
Joined: 31.Dec.2017

Hello everyone

I have just now registered myself to this forums and believe I would find genuine answers and guidances as required.

I'm currently in UK London and I'm thinking of moving to Sweden for my IT career, please advise if this a good choice considering I have two kids 10 years old and 4 years old. I'm worried about their education in English and what salary should I expect if I move to Stockholm?

Regards
Vinay
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 31.Dec.2017, 03:27 AM
Post #2
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

You should do a lot of research and not just on this forum...Going to another country with a family is no easy task...

In Sweden the language is the most important thing that allows employment at a reasonable income level...Start there...
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Kali6
post 31.Dec.2017, 03:59 AM
Post #3
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 14.Dec.2017

Hello smile.gif


My honest advice is not to seek advice here.
Moving in huge decision and should not be made by visiting this site. Other factors should determine your moving decision.

Here usually only few people answer and those people are pretty much negative, so you will not get nice and courageous answers you are probably hoping for.

From me, you can get that Sweden is really beautiful country.
When it comes to raising kids here, I believe that is really good idea because this country is great for kids and education in general.

But as person comment before me, it’s really important that you speak swedish, because without it it’s gonna be hard to find job but for sure not impossible.
Your kids gonna manage just fine with English for beginning and just by being kids they gonna learn swedish much quicker and it’s gonna be fun for them!
Keep in mind, everyone speaks english in Sweden but they really do care about your effort of adopting swedish language as your own. More doors are open if you speak swedish. As, more jobs are available, so at the end can land a good one.

So if you really do have a good plan, some good job offer , idea about where to rent place for living, I would say - Welcome to Sweden! But without a plan, job or apartment you gonna find it really impossible because this country is so expensive for just being in it without job or actual plan.

Wish you all the best
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gsurya
post 31.Dec.2017, 04:42 AM
Post #4
Location: Malmö
Joined: 8.Jan.2010

If you have a decent job & salary in UK, stay there. Its a far better place for your kids to integrate, more multicultural than Sweden.

If the stupidity of Brexit happens, IT opportunities will actually increase in UK. Weather-wise also UK is better, on average.

Sweden is also a lot costlier than UK, at least 30% more. Language will be a big barrier in Sweden to cross if you want to grow in your career.
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the_dome
post 31.Dec.2017, 08:38 AM
Post #5
Joined: 20.Sep.2015

Sweden kinda sucks to be honest. And it's boring, cold and depressive.
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sein7
post 31.Dec.2017, 10:45 AM
Post #6
Joined: 25.Jun.2014

Depending on your domain of work , you can make quite a lot as a consultant. But you may/may not have the job security. As a employee , you should be able to make 45K SEK and upwards depending on your skills. If you are in general IT then 45-50K is range. Pretty much like rent control.

Stockholm has a booming IT scene now , plenty of startups and legacy companies. But make sure you have a job before you land here.

I am not from Stockholm but I have heard from friends that the housing situation is not that comfy. Buying is probably a good option.

As far as kids are concerned , I think that Sweden is one of the best places. The learning is slow , kids aren't pushed too much but my kids seem to like it this way. Things change once they go to Gymnasium , the pressure and competition heats up. Swedish schools have a "preferential" grading over IB schools now , so put the kids into Swedish schools if you are planning long term.
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yet another brit
post 31.Dec.2017, 04:06 PM
Post #7
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

There are a few main points about moving here to consider. Most covered already, but this is a rant that I've been thinking about for a while.

The first is cultural. Some come here with an unfortunate expectation that, because “everyone speaks English really well” – which to a first approximation is true enough – the country is going to be accommodating and easy to integrate into. Well, Sweden isn’t an Anglo culture with a funny accent. But it becomes easy to think of it that way, because superficially it can seem so. Some seem to even expect it to be so, but that way lies dissatisfaction. You can’t properly integrate long-term without learning Swedish, but because you can survive without learning Swedish – and some do for many years - it is possible to feel alienated. There are plenty on this forum who have fallen into that trap. Think about it – you wouldn’t move to France and expect to get perfectly integrated, make a million new friends and be offered top jobs etc without speaking French – or even trying to – whilst slagging off France to all and sundry around you in English - so why assume you can do so in Sweden? Sweden buffers the language requirement, for sure, but the requirement is still there. And ironically, because the requirement is buffered, it is more difficult to become fluent in Swedish than it might otherwise be.

Second, jobs. It is very difficult to get an English-speaking job. Not just because there aren’t that many - as opposed to Swedish jobs where some major part of the workload is in English, of which there are many - but also because most professional Swedes would be able to do them anyway. The notable exception and in some ways only practical route is to apply from abroad for a job in STEM. In fact, I would go as far as to say that unless you have a job lined up, don’t come, and certainly don’t assume that being able to speak English is any kind of advantage; realise rather that not being able to speak Swedish is a disadvantage. Now, there is a shortage of IT folk, so it isn’t impossible to find a job once here, but once you are here, you’re competing with the natives. But if you are recruited from abroad, you are in a position to set expectations about T&Cs, language, relocation support etc that will be to your benefit.

Third, salaries. Swedish salaries come with great, well recognised benefits, especially for families. But the salaries themselves are somewhat lower than the UK for professionals (and somewhat higher at the lower end of the job spectrum, but that is a different discussion). Let’s say you can get a salary of around 45 kSEK, not unreasonable for even a relatively junior IT professional, and a perfectly respectable above-median salary at that. You’d find out pretty soon that this is a survivable salary for a two-child family. But it won’t be luxurious. Swedes get round this because everyone works; virtually all households have double incomes, the effective unemployment rate in native Swedes is close to zero, and the concept of a housewife went extinct thirty years ago – there is no tax allowance for married couples for example. Even if you aren’t working then you’re likely in the system and getting benefits close to a full salary. So plan for your partner to work also, preferably getting a job in advance also.

Housing costs. Well, if you are used to London then you might well find Stockholm is cheaper as well as easier to move around. There is (as you are surely aware) a lack of affordable rentals; but if/when you do find somewhere then it will be, in all probability, nicer and certainly warmer than what you would get for the same money in London. If you can afford the deposit – which if you sell something in London will be almost axiomatically true – then buying is the way to go, if only for the choice.

So, if all this is a hassle, why move to Sweden? Basically, don’t come if you think it will be UK-lite, or even UK-plus. Do come if you want to live somewhere with a stronger social model – albeit in a sometimes paternalistic “we know best” kind of way - with better worklife balance and a much better (in my opinion) environment to bring up a family. You need to like winters though.
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TLSucks
post 31.Dec.2017, 05:05 PM
Post #8
Joined: 12.Dec.2013

QUOTE (yet another brit @ 31.Dec.2017, 04:06 PM) *
Swedish salaries come with great, well recognised benefits, especially for families. But the salaries themselves are somewhat lower than the UK for professionals (and somewhat ... (show full quote)


It depends very much on the field. I find engineering salaries quite low in the UK compared to Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, at least in my area of expertise.
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GamlaSkogHisingHope
post 2.Jan.2018, 12:31 PM
Post #9
Joined: 20.Nov.2016

Sweden is a beautiful country and has a lot going for it.

Unfortunately, it's a closed shop in many ways, and to echo some of the previous comments I would steer clear. Economically, it needs migrant labour, but migrants are viewed as second and third class in Sweden. This limits your opportunities to integrate in the workplace and society at large as you will face huge barriers in your day to day life.

It won't matter if you're intelligent and can speak Swedish, as the putative job and housing markets are heavily skewed towards the ethnic Swedes.

The job opportunities in London are huge and far outweigh those in Sweden as an entire country. It's also much more culturally accepting and diverse as a city.
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yet another brit
post 3.Jan.2018, 10:45 AM
Post #10
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (TLSucks @ 31.Dec.2017, 05:05 PM) *
It depends very much on the field. I find engineering salaries quite low in the UK compared to Germany, Sweden, and Denmark, at least in my area of expertise.


The UK can be quite desperately snobby about certain types of jobs... despite plenty of history (Brunel, Stephenson, Watt etc), "engineers" are almost second class citizens.

Especially as compared to the Germanic world - and Sweden has enough traces of that history - where "engineer" is a perfectly respectable title to be proud of and used publically, in a way that it isn't and never has been in the UK.
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Cheeseroller
post 3.Jan.2018, 11:24 AM
Post #11
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

"The UK can be quite desperately snobby about certain types of jobs... despite plenty of history (Brunel, Stephenson, Watt etc), "engineers" are almost second class citizens.

Especially as compared to the Germanic world - and Sweden has enough traces of that history - where "engineer" is a perfectly respectable title to be proud of and used publically, in a way that it isn't and never has been in the UK."

If you want to find an engineer in the UK, you start at Reception and follow the gradient of the carpet until you are in the back of the building, standing on a linoleum floor in an office with breeze block walls and 50 year old furniture. Perhaps this scenario has changed during the past 20 years, but for 15 years of my life I visited thousands of companies as a sales engineer and later as a business owner, and this rang depressingly true then.

My other observation then, was that the UK very much had a glue and string make-do mentality from the War. Trying to get companies to invest in new test and measurement equipment, or data analysis automation software was extremely difficult. My company was much more successful in the Swedish automotive companies than the UK. Without foreign investment, the UK automotive industry would have died out. Only Triumph motorcycles which was reborn by a new owner, has succeeded without.

To a large extent, I think the difference in salary and status between the UK, Sweden and especially Germany - where engineers are at the same level as medical doctors, is entirely due to that in the UK it tends to be accountants and MBA's who run the larger businesses, while in Germany it is usually engineers - and especially in the Mittelstand companies which provide the bulk of Germanies exports.
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Cheeseroller
post 3.Jan.2018, 12:18 PM
Post #12
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

If you emigrate and want to return, will that be possible? Many become trapped as the house prices rose in their absence. There is also the question of what work your wife will do - it is not easy to live well in Sweden with only one income.

When our 7 year old moved to Sweden he was placed in a pre-school class for one year to learn the language. So for the rest of his time in school, he was more than one year older than is classmates. You should find out how this would work with a 10 year old.

Although you will read negative points here, of course many migrated and are happy. It really depends what your expectations are. As Gjeebes has said, it is not a good choice for those who are ambitious and at times you will feel like a second class citizen - although probably that is experienced in other countries too. If you have simple needs, a decent salary, plenty of holiday time, a calm work and home life, enjoy being active in the nature, and want your kids to avoid university fees, then Sweden may be a good choice - if you can find that job, learn the language and suffer the winters and darkness.

Moving even within your own country is a high stress task. But to migrate, struggle with language, learn how the systems work, missing friends and relatives, is much harder and will place a lot of strain on the relationship and your 10 year old. Also bear in mind that when your parents start to have health problems, that you will be too far away to provide useful help.

So this is only worth doing if it's a long term lifestyle choice. It would be better if you could find a job and live in Sweden by yourself for 6 months, before upending the family.

IMO, Sweden can't compare with living on the continent, with the architecture, food, opportunities for entertainment and culture. After living for 14 years in Sweden, the last three years in Germany have brought back a passion for life. Coming from London, with all the opportunities there (if used), will be a big change.
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yet another brit
post 3.Jan.2018, 12:22 PM
Post #13
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (Cheeseroller @ 3.Jan.2018, 11:24 AM) *
My other observation then, was that the UK very much had a glue and string make-do mentality from the War.


Being a "boffin" is considered OK. Preferably, a gentleman theorist who descends from the ivory tower for the duration to string together an unfeasible number of elastic bands and paperclips into an unlikely Heath-Robinson device that assures the well-deserved righteous shoeing of Johnny Foreigner by the plucky underdogs, before returning to Trinity and the port decanters. See any popular portrayal of Bletchley Park etc...

Barnes-Wallis was, emphatically, a professional old-school engineer, but you wouldn't think so from the way the Dambusters entered the mythology.
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Cheeseroller
post 3.Jan.2018, 12:39 PM
Post #14
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

Funny that you mention Bletchley Park. I worked in Cheltenham for some years - now those folks had no problem to buy new equipment. And it was full of boffins who wore sandals all year round.
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