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The Local _ Life in Sweden _ Salary, Lifestyle, Apartments, oh my!

Posted by: LimpingNinja 15.Sep.2018, 01:29 AM

Hello all,

I've been reading these boards for months, mainly because it is interesting and partially because there is something altogether amusing in some of these replies. I've asked myself a few times if the actual Swedes on here mind the obvious non-Swede trolls!

Regardless of that, I decided to create an account to respond to another thread, but figured that I might as well ask questions while here, now that I exist:

This is your typical "I have been offered a Job in your country" with a not-so-typical "I want to plan this out properly" addendum.

First question out of the way: "Why are you coming here?" - Good question. There is the obvious job offer, but let's face it - that can't be it. There is a curiosity that I have in changing how I view life, I cannot answer if moving to Sweden will impact that and how until after. I'm sure everyone here has opinions; and I've read most of them. I am also not scared by the "anti-social" comments, what I've heard explained tends to fit with my demeanor.

MEAT AND POTATOES:
Job Offer: 725,000 SEK/per annum (there will be bonus, I assume taxed at 58%)
Family: 4
Location: Stockholm
Citizenship: US (husband) EU/US (wife)
Requires office: Office exists, sitting in it is optional

I have a minimum of 6 months before I move, I would prefer to live in the city but that preference is definitely up to suggestion. My children are primary/lower-secondary school aged.

QUESTIONS:
- The salary seems good, but since Sweden seems primarily set-up for two workers and taxes increase for higher earners, what is the realistic expectation for living off of this for a short period?
- I currently make quite a bit of money in my current job, but in the US life is sacrificed for earning and can easily work 16 hour days. Could someone explain to me the 'life in sweden' of typical income households in re: Going out (how often?), Activities costs (monthly), and free-time usage?
- Would public schools be considered problematic for the children?
- People oft-complain about housing; I've looked at blocket.se for the last few weeks, watching house trends and pricing and while the prices can be high, the houses do linger for some time. Is the main concern about "first-hand" vs "second-hand"? In this same vein, if I rent an apartment for 1 year, what should I do to be certain that I am protected?

Well, that was a lot of asks for me to you - I'm sorry for the length of this, but hopefully good advice will be forthcoming; that or insipid trolling ;-)

-LimpingNinja
(I'm still fast)

Posted by: skogsbo 15.Sep.2018, 06:23 AM

That salary is double the average so yes you could live on it. You will pay more tax compared to two people earning 350,000kr though, but still have enough wage left. Short term housing, ie just 6 months would be more challenging and costly, but not impossible.

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 15.Sep.2018, 10:36 PM

Housing will be the biggest problem.

First hand = you must queue and usually it takes 5-10 years to get an apartment. Even in small towns.

Second hand = short term accommodation usually 1 year max contract due to strict regulations. Most contracts are short term. 6 months to 1 year.

The thing is right now second hand is for 10000 sek minimum in most places. If you are lucky you will be able to stay for 1 year but it can happen that you can only stay 4 months in one apartment then move to another for 6 months then another for 6 months and so on. Also you must realize that finding a new apartment takes time and you will have to start looking for a new apartment a few months before.

Beware of websites that offer second hand for a monthly fee. There are many scams in sweden.

I don't want to lie to you, that's what the housing situation is in sweden unless you decide to buy which swedes have designed this housing system so there are no queues for buyers, since they want a buyers only market leaving renters aside and queuing or having to deal with a very dark and corrupt black market where people pay to housing companies money under the table to skip the queue.

So I must say the weather will be the least of your problems.

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 15.Sep.2018, 10:48 PM

Eating out in a restaurant is expensive. Two people can cost 1000 sek. Unless you chose fast food. Also the average menu in sweden is quite repetitive.

I am Spanish and I could eat out in Spain for way less money and despite salaries are lower in Spain still it never felt so expensive as in Sweden. Not to mention food quality is better in Spain.

Compared to other EU countries in sweden everything is 30% more expensive. So even though you make twice the average salary, expect higher prices for everything. Even swedes realize life is expensive in sweden!.

Owning a car is minimum 3000 sek a month and that's the minimum.
If you need to commute long distance the price for a monthly ticket is 1000 sek for long distance trip.

Work life is easy in Sweden. Here workload is soft. I doubt most swedes work 7 hours tops, because there is a lot of coffee break culture and swedes in general don't work full throttle. Life is around taking care of kids and swedes only expect you do the minimum to be happy with your work. In sweden you don't need to work super hard or stand out in fact doing that can be a problem since swedes don't like that. Life moves at a slower pace like in a village.

Posted by: Svedallas 16.Sep.2018, 09:21 PM

QUOTE (pepitoAndalucia @ 15.Sep.2018, 11:36 PM) *
Housing will be the biggest problem.

First hand = you must queue and usually it takes 5-10 years to get an apartment. Even in small towns.

Second hand = short term accommodation usually 1 year max contract due to strict regulations. Most contracts are short term. 6 months to 1 year.

The thing is right now second hand is for 10000 sek minimum in most places. If you are lucky you will be able to stay for 1 year but it can happen that you can only stay 4 months in one apartment then move to another for 6 months then another for 6 months and so on. Also you must realize that finding a new apartment takes time and you will have to start looking for a new apartment a few months before.

Beware of websites that offer second hand for a monthly fee. There are many scams in sweden.

I don't want to lie to you, that's what the housing situation is in sweden unless you decide to buy which swedes have designed this housing system so there are no queues for buyers, since they want a buyers only market leaving renters aside and queuing or having to deal with a very dark and corrupt black market where people pay to housing companies money under the table to skip the queue.

So I must say the weather will be the least of your problems.


Do not take advice from this idiot who has been in Sweden for 5 seconds.

Posted by: Billy_UK 16.Sep.2018, 09:38 PM

QUOTE (pepitoAndalucia @ 15.Sep.2018, 10:48 PM) *
Eating out in a restaurant is expensive. Two people can cost 1000 sek. Unless you chose fast food. Also the average menu in sweden is quite repetitive.

I am Spanish and I could eat out in Spain for way less money and despite salaries are lower in Spain still it never felt so expensive as in Sweden. Not to mention food quality is better in Spain.

Compared to other EU countries in sweden everything is 30% more expensive. So even though you make twice the average salary, expect higher prices for everything. Even swedes realize life is expensive in sweden!.

Owning a car is minimum 3000 sek a month and that's the minimum.
If you need to commute long distance the price for a monthly ticket is 1000 sek for long distance trip.

Work life is easy in Sweden. Here workload is soft. I doubt most swedes work 7 hours tops, because there is a lot of coffee break culture and swedes in general don't work full throttle. Life is around taking care of kids and swedes only expect you do the minimum to be happy with your work. In sweden you don't need to work super hard or stand out in fact doing that can be a problem since swedes don't like that. Life moves at a slower pace like in a village.


We pay 400kr for car insurance, about 700kr for diesel and 1500kr car tax for the year. So that’s around 1225kr a month. If you want to start including service and MoT costs that’s still only another 200-400kr per month depending on the service and 40kr a month for the MoT. Obviously it varies depending on the car but 3000kr minimum is nonsense.

Posted by: wallace1837 17.Sep.2018, 04:04 AM

QUOTE (Billy_UK @ 16.Sep.2018, 10:38 PM) *
We pay 400kr for car insurance, about 700kr for diesel and 1500kr car tax for the year. So that’s around 1225kr a month. If you want to start including service and MoT costs that’s still only another 200-400kr per month depending on the service and 40kr a month for the MoT. Obviously it varies depending on the car but 3000kr minimum is nonsense.

Missing the cost of the car, its financing, and its maintenance. But yes 3000kr a month is higher than what it costed me.

Posted by: wallace1837 17.Sep.2018, 04:15 AM

725000 kr a year is low after tax for a family. So this is ~60k a month, that leaves you ~40k a month https://www.ekonomifakta.se/Fakta/Skatter/Rakna-pa-dina-skatter/Rakna-ut-din-skatt/#&&/wEXAQUEY2FsYwUBMYDp9Tkj4OGAN4R9N1IUN54CiLz9yKMG5G2iLHW2Pox3

Imagine another scenario, that is more like Sweden where a couple make each 35k/month. That will leave them 27k each per month. Thus 54k/month. That will be your experience. Your living standard will be lower than an average uneducated Sven by as much as 35%! And we are not talking about high standard here.

On top of that huge (~35%) deficit in income, you will not have a Swedish credit history to qualify for a mortgage, you will not have enough queue point for a rental, you will realise that education is free but worthless (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment#PISA_2015 also https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/07/13/us-student-sues-university-in-sweden-over-useless-degree-and-win/).

Then you will wonder why your wife can get a job. Answer is here: https://www.thelocal.se/discuss/index.php?showtopic=86084?showtopic=86084

Then you will wonder why didn't move to a civilised country, it will be too late. You will have lost many year of your life...

Just stay out of Sweden, it is really that bad...

Posted by: LimpingNinja 17.Sep.2018, 05:44 AM

Hello, thanks everyone! As I said, I've been reading TL for some time now so I will ignore any leading comments or trolling, please feel free to ignore them too.

So I will answer the comments here in a single:

QUOTE (pepitoAndalucia @ 15.Sep.2018, 05:36 PM) *
If you are lucky you will be able to stay for 1 year but it can happen that you can only stay 4 months in one apartment then move to another for 6 months then another for 6 months and so on.


I'm not concerned about 'time looking'; as I've said I have advance time and relocation assistance. The time situation is a bit annoying sounding, I saw quite a few rentals for 12 month, are you saying those are false? I'm not bothered with a 12 month lease, a 6 month (if unfurnished) might be more annoying.

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 16.Sep.2018, 04:21 PM) *
Do not take advice from [ed]pepitoAndalucia[/ed]


Could you correct the failures in his post?

The 'everything is expensive' is one of the questions, I'd like to understand how free time is spent over a month to know how most people handle the equalized lower pay. I am not sure it will kill me, I currently pay almost $4k for rent in the US, $700 on utilities, $900 for vehicle, etc... so I understand changes and adjustments need to occur. I am trying to determine where.

QUOTE (wallace1837 @ 16.Sep.2018, 11:15 PM) *
725000 kr a year is low after tax for a family.


Thanks for the comment, I'm able to do the calculations but that doesn't give insight into the rest of what I asked; at the moment those are just abstracted numbers layered over an economy I don't know, so providing some detail would be excellent if you could.

My bonus will make up an additional good measure, but I would still like to understand how this will affect standard of living and it would be great if by example (how would a family living on the same income fare on an average month). I've seen numerical breakdowns of foodstuffs, and above for cars, but with recreational it is unclear.

QUOTE (wallace1837 @ 16.Sep.2018, 11:15 PM) *
you will realise that education is free but worthless


The second link you posted looks like this:
MATHS: US=40th,UK=27th,SE=25th
SCIENCE: US=25th,UK=15th,SE=28th
READING: US=24th,UK=22th,SE=17th

Based on this and a PISA ranking of 72 countries, this averages to: US=30th, UK=21, SE=23 -- in a percentile ranking this puts UK and SE at roughly 70th percentile (just under and just above) and the US just under the 60th percentile. I'm not sure what your intended point was here.

.o LimpingNinja

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 17.Sep.2018, 07:26 AM

With salary, you will be fine. Unless your rent/ mortgage is very very high... Comparable to your US rent of 4k, where are you coming from btw? But rent probably won't be that high.

With relocation help you should also be fine. With the salary offer you had it sounds like you have the upper hand so you can pressure them into helping you find a place in or around your desired area. I would research that so you can suggest areas to your potential employer.

For your children, I forgot how old you said... Public school could be hard because of the language barrier. There are international, English based, schools that will still teach them swedish. They might need private swedish lessons in addition because I don't know how much language they will just pick up. I don't know the personality of your kids so fitting in with an all swedish public school might have some challenges other than language. Language is a part of it but other social barriers or differences could have them as outsiders. And then you or your partner might have difficulty interacting with the school if needed due to language barrier.

I know people say Swedes speak great English but that isn't always the case and for whatever possible reasons there are people who don't want to be bothered to speak English. It isn't always friendly helpful or understanding.

To go back to schools... The ranking thing... You have to take into account the size of the US and the socioeconomic differences of areas that affect the schools. Whereas Sweden is much more homogenous and they still just have avg schools. Universities across America are much higher ranked than universities across Europe. These are just things to consider. Not trying to sway you.

Don't know how true it is but I've also heard that schools will go at the pace of the "slowest" student and there aren't as many opportunities to challenge and nurture more advanced children other than private extracurricular activities.

Sports aren't through schools but private. I don't know if there are things like theater, band, AV, science/ math clubs, debate teams, etc. In swedish schools.


My last thing, since you didn't mention, is about your partner. I don't know if you are the US husband or US/EU wife. If you are the wife, what does your husband plan on doing? If you are the husband, what does your wife plan on doing? One will have a job and enter easily into swedish society, relatively, and the other could face a lot of struggle. That is something very important to consider and a move that benefits just one can really hurt the relationship.


Edit. Work life balance... It depends. I think 5 weeks vacation is standard in Sweden whereas it can take some years to work to that level of benefit in the US. There are also a lot of paid holidays and generous parental leave, which you are past receiving. Other than that I don't see much difference. People don't seem to work as hard or care as much about their job and I don't know if that is necessarily a good thing or a thing about work life balance. There are plenty of people who work long days as well.

This is more of a joke theory but maybe some truth?... The climate is pretty awful for a long time of the year so people are almost forced to stay inside. Maybe that is why Swedes believe they have stronger family lives and better work life balance. Because they are forced to spend so much time indoors with their family.

And then of course summer is summer. Albeit short.

Posted by: elliha 17.Sep.2018, 01:48 PM

You will do fine with that salary, and it is not true that you will have the same kind of money as a person with just high school in general. A person working as a cashier would get about 23000 per month just as an example. I as a teacher don't even reach the medium salary at about 33k and my husband and I do fine and his salary is even lower than mine. For periods of time we have lived off just my salary with two (small kids). You will have plenty to live off have a good life.

Working 16 hours a day is something I have never heard of in Sweden, well maybe on an extraordinary busy day once or twice a year perhaps but not likely even then. The norm is about 8 hours a day but some jobs will require more and higher paying jobs may be more likely to require that at least for periods of time but I think it is more likely to be 10 hours or so. Do you have a contract and are hours specified? In that case you should probably be able to get extra payment if you work more than those hours. Some places will get around this though by having flexible hours so you can work less in slower periods and more other periods but get no extra money those days when you work more. You can also have a contract with hours that are not specified and then you get paid the same regardless of how long you work.

If you are staying for a year I would either view this as a year abroad and put them in Swedish schools and make the year about experiencing another culture and life in that country or choose an international school but if you have planning to stay longer I would say pick a Swedish school and get them learning the language fast.

Sports are run mostly by clubs and you will have to contact them one by one to see how the organize things, it will differ. If your children are teens they may have to show that they are good at the sport to join a team but younger kids are more likely to be able to join anyway but this varies a lot depending on which team you want to join and what the aim is for your kids with regards to the future. There are clubs that focus on sport more as a hobby and some that are more focused on it leading to a career in the future. Some clubs will require parents to take part in running the club in various ways while other will have less of this or you can pay to get out of doing things.

Housing will be a challenge but it is not going to be totally impossible. If you know when you will get to Sweden you can start to look for places to live right now.

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 18.Sep.2018, 09:01 PM

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 16.Sep.2018, 10:21 PM) *
Do not take advice from this idiot who has been in Sweden for 5 seconds.


Idiot? you looked yourself in the mirror this morning?!.

QUOTE (wallace1837 @ 17.Sep.2018, 05:04 AM) *
Missing the cost of the car, its financing, and its maintenance. But yes 3000kr a month is higher than what it costed me.


Yes 3000 sek minimum a month.

I have friends who own cars. All of them pay around 3000 sek a month minimum.

Owning a car in sweden is overpriced.

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 18.Sep.2018, 09:33 PM

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 17.Sep.2018, 06:44 AM) *
I'm not concerned about 'time looking'; as I've said I have advance time and relocation assistance. The time situation is a bit annoying sounding, I saw quite a few rentals for 12 month, are you saying those are false? I'm not bothered with a 12 month lease, a 6 month (if unfurnished) might be more annoying.


That is second hand rental. And the problem is you will have to relocate every 6 months / 1 year or so.

Second hand rentals in sweden work that way. I have friends who move every 4 - 6 months.

Unless of course you have the money to buy in which there are no queues.

If you want to stand in the queue, that's 5 years minimum but you can always pay under the table to skip the queue.

The rental market in sweden is meant to be short term and by that means 1 year or less on most cases.

So you can find rentals for 12 months but still that is not the average and also consider you won't be able to stay for more than 12 months in most second hand rentals. It's how rules work in sweden.


Nobody speaks about it because it is a real problem and it will drain time and money.
A lot of people leave sweden for that issue. I know of friends who basically got the job but couldn't find apartment. I am not talking about big cities like New York. Sweden is a very low population and despite it even in small cities finding rental is extremely difficult.

I don't mean to be negative but you should be aware of how bad the situation is regarding housing.

Posted by: wallace1837 19.Sep.2018, 01:25 AM

QUOTE (pepitoAndalucia @ 18.Sep.2018, 10:33 PM) *
I don't mean to be negative but you should be aware of how bad the situation is regarding housing.

And education, and discrimination, and visa issues, and denial about all the above.

Posted by: Cheeseroller 19.Sep.2018, 06:43 AM

Probably the biggest issue may be the kids. It is not easy to leave your friends and school, and be immersed in a country where everyone speaks a foreign language all day at school.

The first time we moved, the child was 7, so they simply put him into a pre-school class for a year while he learnt Swedish. The school authority provided a teacher who spoke his native language for several hours a week. After a few difficult months, he settled down.

The second time we moved was when he was 14. This resulted in 2 years of hell, with anxiety attacks and depression both for him and my wife. We tried private schools, counselling, and a child psychologist - nothing worked. At the end he returned to Sweden at 16 years and lived by himself. He soon became well and excelled at school.

We are fortunate to have the resources to pay for a private school, multiple trips back to Sweden and to run two homes. If necessary, as we are both self-employed, we could have returned to Sweden ourselves - whilst others could have few options.

While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is.

Posted by: OnlyOneOklahoma 19.Sep.2018, 06:46 AM

My wife and I moved here from the States 2.5 years ago for one salary of 38k a month, I was making $120k a year in Oklahoma. There were struggles (never financial), but it is still the best decision we ever made. You will have a very comfortable life on that one salary, might not be restaurants every week, but you and your kids will not want for anything.

Most of the stress comes from housing uncertainty. We've been very lucky to not have to move the entire time we've been here, but we do hide from neighbours. With such a high salary, I imagine you have some savings and can easily buy in to the market. Mortgages are ridiculously cheap here, it is the 15% down payment in an inflated market that is the barrier.

My wife did some school work to keep herself busy then decided to find a job. It took a month or so, but she found one and now we are doing extra fine.

I wish people would PM me details about this black market for housing, I have money, just not 600K sek to deposit on a mortgage for a 3 room with a Tbana station in walking distance.

Posted by: LimpingNinja 23.Sep.2018, 10:17 AM

Sorry for being tardy, been living life and thought I was subscribed!

QUOTE
With salary, you will be fine. Unless your rent/ mortgage is very very high... Comparable to your US rent of 4k, where are you coming from btw? But rent probably won't be that high.


Seattle, Washington! Home of million dollar bungalows.

QUOTE
My last thing, since you didn't mention, is about your partner. I don't know if you are the US husband or US/EU wife. If you are the wife, what does your husband plan on doing? If you are the husband, what does your wife plan on doing?


I'm the husband, my wife is an artist. I think she might have a hard time if she were to go on the job market unless she was able to work independently. It has always been an issue and I don't think it will be much different. She immigrated to the US and we've moved many times, while she speaks 7 different languages she's used to culture being a barrier.

QUOTE ( @ 17.Sep.2018, 07:48 AM) *
Do you have a contract and are hours specified?


Have a contract, hours aren't specified but the position (while having some on-call) is pretty flexible and standard hours for Sweden.


QUOTE (elliha @ 17.Sep.2018, 07:48 AM) *
I would say pick a Swedish school and get them learning the language fast.


That's what we are planning! Thanks for all the good response here elliha!

QUOTE (pepitoAndalucia @ 18.Sep.2018, 03:33 PM) *
So you can find rentals for 12 months but still that is not the average and also consider you won't be able to stay for more than 12 months in most second hand rentals. It's how rules work in sweden.


You mention it as a money drain, can you explain? I currently roughly yearly already. Granted I have extended a few times, but I spent 6 years in the last state and move 5 times. I'm prepared for that part of things, I think - the problem that I'm worried about is finding the houses

QUOTE (Cheeseroller @ 19.Sep.2018, 12:43 AM) *
While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is.


There isn't disbelief, just some curiosity - could you explain more how it will change the character and outlook?

QUOTE (OnlyOneOklahoma @ 19.Sep.2018, 12:46 AM) *
My wife and I moved here from the States 2.5 years ago for one salary of 38k a month, I was making $120k a year in Oklahoma. There were struggles (never financial), but it is still the best decision we ever made. You will have a very comfortable life on that one salary, might not be restaurants every week, but you and your kids will not want for anything.


Thanks for the feedback, it certainly makes me feel better! Where are you currently living and is that 38k before tax? I'm coming from around ~220k USD in Seattle (which sometimes feels similar to $140k in Tennessee) so it would probably be helpful from me to ask you: What compromises did you make on lifestyle in moving? If you compared your living in the US to there.


---

As always, thank you guys for all of your helpful response. I really appreciate it!

Posted by: Svedallas 23.Sep.2018, 11:12 AM

QUOTE (Cheeseroller @ 19.Sep.2018, 07:43 AM) *
Probably the biggest issue may be the kids. It is not easy to leave your friends and school, and be immersed in a country where everyone speaks a foreign language all day at school.

The first time we moved, the child was 7, so they simply put him into a pre-school class for a year while he learnt Swedish. The school authority provided a teacher who spoke his native language for several hours a week. After a few difficult months, he settled down.

The second time we moved was when he was 14. This resulted in 2 years of hell, with anxiety attacks and depression both for him and my wife. We tried private schools, counselling, and a child psychologist - nothing worked. At the end he returned to Sweden at 16 years and lived by himself. He soon became well and excelled at school.

We are fortunate to have the resources to pay for a private school, multiple trips back to Sweden and to run two homes. If necessary, as we are both self-employed, we could have returned to Sweden ourselves - whilst others could have few options.

While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is.



While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is.

+1 to Cheeserollers comment.
This is a FACT!

Posted by: Svedallas 23.Sep.2018, 11:19 AM

QUOTE (OnlyOneOklahoma @ 19.Sep.2018, 07:46 AM) *
My wife and I moved here from the States 2.5 years ago for one salary of 38k a month, I was making $120k a year in Oklahoma. There were struggles (never financial), but it is still the best decision we ever made. You will have a very comfortable life on that one salary, might not be restaurants every week, but you and your kids will not want for anything.

Most of the stress comes from housing uncertainty. We've been very lucky to not have to move the entire time we've been here, but we do hide from neighbours. With such a high salary, I imagine you have some savings and can easily buy in to the market. Mortgages are ridiculously cheap here, it is the 15% down payment in an inflated market that is the barrier.

My wife did some school work to keep herself busy then decided to find a job. It took a month or so, but she found one and now we are doing extra fine.

I wish people would PM me details about this black market for housing, I have money, just not 600K sek to deposit on a mortgage for a 3 room with a Tbana station in walking distance.


Black market housing is illegal.
Only natives and long term residents get it.

Just being honest.

Posted by: intrepidfox 23.Sep.2018, 12:17 PM

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 23.Sep.2018, 11:19 AM) *
Black market housing is illegal.
Only natives and long term residents get it.

Just being honest.



I agree but why should short term resident get special treatement when the natives have the same problem? Even in the 90´s it wasn´t easy

Posted by: yet another brit 23.Sep.2018, 01:11 PM

Depends a bit on what your job is, but if you can get "foreign expert or key staff" status from the tax office you'll get a decent tax break for the first three years. The employer applies on your behalf.

And if possible, have start-up accommodation included in a relocation package.

As above, a big challenge will be your partner getting a job or otherwise amusing herself so as not to die of boredom...

Your ideal strategy (assuming you have the deposit, 15% is mandatory) would be to get your employer to find you a rental, and then look for somewhere to buy (not rent) ASAP.

Posted by: Am89 23.Sep.2018, 02:27 PM

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 15.Sep.2018, 02:29 AM) *
Hello all,

I've been reading these boards for months, mainly because it is interesting and partially because there is something altogether amusing in some of these replies. I've asked myself a few times if the actual Swedes on here mind the obvious non-Swede trolls!

Regardless of that, I decided to create an account to respond to another thread, but figured that I might as well ask questions while here, now that I exist:

This is your typical "I have been offered a Job in your country" with a not-so-typical "I want to plan this out properly" addendum.

First question out of the way: "Why are you coming here?" - Good question. There is the obvious job offer, but let's face it - that can't be it. There is a curiosity that I have in changing how I view life, I cannot answer if moving to Sweden will impact that and how until after. I'm sure everyone here has opinions; and I've read most of them. I am also not scared by the "anti-social" comments, what I've heard explained tends to fit with my demeanor.

MEAT AND POTATOES:
Job Offer: 725,000 SEK/per annum (there will be bonus, I assume taxed at 58%)
Family: 4
Location: Stockholm
Citizenship: US (husband) EU/US (wife)
Requires office: Office exists, sitting in it is optional

I have a minimum of 6 months before I move, I would prefer to live in the city but that preference is definitely up to suggestion. My children are primary/lower-secondary school aged.

QUESTIONS:
- The salary seems good, but since Sweden seems primarily set-up for two workers and taxes increase for higher earners, what is the realistic expectation for living off of this for a short period?
- I currently make quite a bit of money in my current job, but in the US life is sacrificed for earning and can easily work 16 hour days. Could someone explain to me the 'life in sweden' of typical income households in re: Going out (how often?), Activities costs (monthly), and free-time usage?
- Would public schools be considered problematic for the children?
- People oft-complain about housing; I've looked at blocket.se for the last few weeks, watching house trends and pricing and while the prices can be high, the houses do linger for some time. Is the main concern about "first-hand" vs "second-hand"? In this same vein, if I rent an apartment for 1 year, what should I do to be certain that I am protected?

Well, that was a lot of asks for me to you - I'm sorry for the length of this, but hopefully good advice will be forthcoming; that or insipid trolling ;-)

-LimpingNinja
(I'm still fast)


Avoid Sweden if you could get a job in some other EU country. Housing is a big issue, things are way more expensive than their real value, Swedes are boring and when it comes to workplace be aware they are big time backstabbers, they are not what they look externally. Moreover, customer service is bad here and it takes their authorities very long time to proceed documents. Good luck!

Posted by: Gjeebes 23.Sep.2018, 02:46 PM

"relocation assistance"

Get a written & "signed for" guarantee of this, and definitely read the fine print. It might not be quite what you are expecting.

"I currently pay almost $4k for rent in the US, $700 on utilities, $900 for vehicle, etc..."

It sounds like you are living the high-life economically speaking, relative to what you will likely experience in Sweden, (e.g. "renting" at $4k/month, plus expenses, which is more, per month, than the average Swedish mortgage holder pays off from their principle loan, in a year). Expect a downgrade from the level you are used to. To have what you now, will cost you 3-4 x times (if not more) in Sweden.

It sounds like you are downgrading on salary, unit for unit; you can live quite fine on 40sek/month, but not in the way you currently do (it's a guess; correct me if I am wrong). There will be no comparison for what you can get living on 120K USD (or whatever it was) and what you will equivalently find in Sweden, living on 30-40 ksek in Sweden.

Regarding your children:

Cheesey wrote: "While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is."

Quite simply, what Cheesey is trying to say is that immersing your child in Swedish culture at a certain age, will permanently fuck-them-up.

The prospect of having to explain this burden, in its entirety, to someone who has little to no first-hand experience of "Sweden", enigma that it is, is simply tiresome.

Take the effect on your children Cheesey has mentioned seriously OP, simply DO NOT underestimate the dysfunction of Sweden. If you bring your kids up in "that", they will learn how to become helpless, and worried what everyone thinks of them so they aren't socially excluded (add insecure at a core level). They will learn nothing more than what a shallow, plastic existence is all about.

They will also learn that "minimum effort is enough" and never experience what hard work is (i.e. to achieve something independently)or what it really means. They will learn how to be unable to survive elsewhere. In that I mean they will be missing "key" life lessons, and become brainwashed into the "Swedish mentality", which is basically a misfit for anywhere elsewhere.

Like Cheesey wrote, "you won't believe this now"...but the day will come when had wished you had. By then, too late.

Posted by: Svedallas 23.Sep.2018, 03:15 PM

QUOTE (intrepidfox @ 23.Sep.2018, 01:17 PM) *
I agree but why should short term resident get special treatement when the natives have the same problem? Even in the 90´s it wasn´t easy


Yes, it never has been easy.
But the black market is now via network of reference of references.
95% via family.

Impossible if you are short term.

Posted by: Svedallas 23.Sep.2018, 03:18 PM

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 23.Sep.2018, 03:46 PM) *
"relocation assistance"

Get a written & "signed for" guarantee of this, and definitely read the fine print. It might not be quite what you are expecting.

"I currently pay almost $4k for rent in the US, $700 on utilities, $900 for vehicle, etc..."

It sounds like you are living the high-life economically speaking, relative to what you will likely experience in Sweden, (e.g. "renting" at $4k/month, plus expenses, which is more, per month, than the average Swedish mortgage holder pays off from their principle loan, in a year). Expect a downgrade from the level you are used to. To have what you now, will cost you 3-4 x times (if not more) in Sweden.

It sounds like you are downgrading on salary, unit for unit; you can live quite fine on 40sek/month, but not in the way you currently do (it's a guess; correct me if I am wrong). There will be no comparison for what you can get living on 120K USD (or whatever it was) and what you will equivalently find in Sweden, living on 30-40 ksek in Sweden.

Regarding your children:

Cheesey wrote: "While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is."

Quite simply, what Cheesey is trying to say is that immersing your child in Swedish culture at a certain age, will permanently fuck-them-up.

The prospect of having to explain this burden, in its entirety, to someone who has little to no first-hand experience of "Sweden", enigma that it is, is simply tiresome.

Take the effect on your children Cheesey has mentioned seriously OP, simply DO NOT underestimate the dysfunction of Sweden. If you bring your kids up in "that", they will learn how to become helpless, and worried what everyone thinks of them so they aren't socially excluded (add insecure at a core level). They will learn nothing more than what a shallow, plastic existence is all about.

They will also learn that "minimum effort is enough" and never experience what hard work is (i.e. to achieve something independently)or what it really means. They will learn how to be unable to survive elsewhere. In that I mean they will be missing "key" life lessons, and become brainwashed into the "Swedish mentality", which is basically a misfit for anywhere elsewhere.

Like Cheesey wrote, "you won't believe this now"...but the day will come when had wished you had. By then, too late.


+1
Don't worry about you and the cost of living, etc etc. Thats material things.
Worry that your children will never be the same again.

Good luck.

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 23.Sep.2018, 11:48 PM

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 23.Sep.2018, 03:46 PM) *
"relocation assistance"

Get a written & "signed for" guarantee of this, and definitely read the fine print. It might not be quite what you are expecting.

"I currently pay almost $4k for rent in the US, $700 on utilities, $900 for vehicle, etc..."

It sounds like you are living the high-life economically speaking, relative to what you will likely experience in Sweden, (e.g. "renting" at $4k/month, plus expenses, which is more, per month, than the average Swedish mortgage holder pays off from their principle loan, in a year). Expect a downgrade from the level you are used to. To have what you now, will cost you 3-4 x times (if not more) in Sweden.

It sounds like you are downgrading on salary, unit for unit; you can live quite fine on 40sek/month, but not in the way you currently do (it's a guess; correct me if I am wrong). There will be no comparison for what you can get living on 120K USD (or whatever it was) and what you will equivalently find in Sweden, living on 30-40 ksek in Sweden.

Regarding your children:

Cheesey wrote: "While you won't believe me now, if you stay long term be aware that the Swedish school system will change the character and outlook for your children in a way that it is impossible to control. Until you have lived here for quite a few years you will not fully appreciate how significant that is."

Quite simply, what Cheesey is trying to say is that immersing your child in Swedish culture at a certain age, will permanently fuck-them-up.

The prospect of having to explain this burden, in its entirety, to someone who has little to no first-hand experience of "Sweden", enigma that it is, is simply tiresome.

Take the effect on your children Cheesey has mentioned seriously OP, simply DO NOT underestimate the dysfunction of Sweden. If you bring your kids up in "that", they will learn how to become helpless, and worried what everyone thinks of them so they aren't socially excluded (add insecure at a core level). They will learn nothing more than what a shallow, plastic existence is all about.

They will also learn that "minimum effort is enough" and never experience what hard work is (i.e. to achieve something independently)or what it really means. They will learn how to be unable to survive elsewhere. In that I mean they will be missing "key" life lessons, and become brainwashed into the "Swedish mentality", which is basically a misfit for anywhere elsewhere.

Like Cheesey wrote, "you won't believe this now"...but the day will come when had wished you had. By then, too late.


+1 Exactly my thoughts.

Explaining what sweden actually is, becomes really difficult.

The incredible thing is the hype sweden has abroad as the progressive, open minded culture when in reality it's quite the opposite.

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 23.Sep.2018, 11:54 PM

QUOTE (Am89 @ 23.Sep.2018, 03:27 PM) *
Avoid Sweden if you could get a job in some other EU country. Housing is a big issue, things are way more expensive than their real value, Swedes are boring and when it comes to workplace be aware they are big time backstabbers, they are not what they look externally. Moreover, customer service is bad here and it takes their authorities very long time to proceed documents. Good luck!



Good point.

Germany is a better choice, Learning German opens many possibilities and cost of living is cheaper and wages are very decent.

Sweden is tough, as you said housing is a BIG problem. Then the culture, unless you accept to be passive and lacking of emotion then one can be "happy" but that has a very high price.

I want to be alive, have emotion, make crazy jokes, look at pretty women... The things swedes are not, no matter how much they pay for marketing to shape their personal image abroad.

Posted by: wallace1837 24.Sep.2018, 12:15 AM

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 17.Sep.2018, 06:44 AM) *
The second link you posted looks like this:
MATHS: US=40th,UK=27th,SE=25th
SCIENCE: US=25th,UK=15th,SE=28th
READING: US=24th,UK=22th,SE=17th

Based on this and a PISA ranking of 72 countries, this averages to: US=30th, UK=21, SE=23 -- in a percentile ranking this puts UK and SE at roughly 70th percentile (just under and just above) and the US just under the 60th percentile. I'm not sure what your intended point was here.

.o LimpingNinja

There are at least 20 to 30 country with a better education system. Those include Switzerland, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Germany, etc.

This is not even considering the downward trend of Sweden...

Posted by: pepitoAndalucia 24.Sep.2018, 12:20 PM

QUOTE (wallace1837 @ 24.Sep.2018, 01:15 AM) *
There are at least 20 to 30 country with a better education system. Those include Switzerland, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Germany, etc.

This is not even considering the downward trend of Sweden...


And when it's about housing the choice is even more obvious. Sweden is not on the list.

Sweden has a low population density with the second,first? highest taxes in the world but then housing is such an issue that even the CEO of spotify complained about the subject.
90% of cities in sweden has a population of 300k or less!, but yet there are queues to even find apartment in those areas!.

The only two major cities are Stockholm and Gothenburg not even Malmö applies as a big city since it's just 250k population.

Most media won't say a word about the precarious second hand rental market or the massive queues to get that long term rental. But then I watch the news and they say it's all great and it's never been cheaper to buy an apartment!. So it's ovbious what the system wants from people... To buy and shut up!.

So it seems even swedish media are all in with this scheme to mislead everybody that nothing is wrong with housing.

Posted by: LimpingNinja 5.Oct.2018, 02:54 AM

Hello,

Sorry again for the lag in response! Thanks for all the comments, I appreciate the feedback and will synthesize any of it within context.

I'm not concerned with the rental market, I've been fairly warned by you lot and am now expecting this to be the norm so will not be unduly bothered if it is. The cost of housing is highly annoying, it is likely that I will 'self-subsidize' if it turns out to be a larger expense and then move after 2 years. For those who were concerned about that decision, it is how I do things the same choice I made in countless other moves to other states and countries. It is not an irreversible decision and it will not cause me sudden death, so I doubt it's such a terrible existence that a min. of 2 years would break me and if it does, then perhaps I should learn such a lesson.

As for comments on children, I've raised one set already (in university) and am halfway through the next set of children who are old enough to have developed a sense of personality. I would be remiss as a parent if I unloaded the responsibility and blame for how they turn out. I believe highly in internal locus of control and understand my role as a guiding figure. The chips will fall where they will, and I will have no undue part in how my children turn out. Raising strong, intelligent, independent children does not stop at the school or society.

I have co-workers, peers, subordinates, and leaders within the country and a good deal of them are expatriates from both the US and other parts of the EU. For the most part I've shared the feedback that I've heard hear with them and have had many side opinions as well. Most of them I consider very well informed because they are from people that were in the same situation and with the same company. I did ask here though and would still like to express my gratitude for the time taken to respond to this message and for the advice, complaints, warnings and everything else.

QUOTE
Depends a bit on what your job is, but if you can get "foreign expert or key staff" status from the tax office you'll get a decent tax break for the first three years. The employer applies on your behalf.


This is quite good advice, and after discussion believe that this might feasibly apply.

Also, for those that keep saying 'it isn't like the documentaries' --- I don't watch that stuff, so not quite sure what you refer to. I also don't subscribe to a 'x is the best y' mentality. The deal about the ranking of school status is understandable but no different than living in the US or other places; I'm not really 'elite school hunting' here.

In the end, we will see how it turns out - I have set some reminders to come back and post about my trials and tribulations - the experiences I see - which may either contribute to the litany of complaints or provide a dose of medicine, to be sure we just do not know yet!

All the best,
LN

Posted by: LimpingNinja 15.May.2019, 07:02 PM

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 4.Oct.2018, 08:54 PM) *
I have set some reminders to come back and post about my trials and tribulations - the experiences I see - which may either contribute to the litany of complaints or provide a dose of medicine, to be sure we just do not know yet!


Hello everyone,

I said I would set a reminder and I have indeed done so; my personal experiences have been really good so far - what that says for complainers here is not up to me.

1. The dreaded personnummer: For anyone who has applied for a passport, it really was no different. I came over with a Job Offer so I did the following: (1) Flew over 2 weeks in advance and applied for my (and families) UT card (Work Permit) - I made sure to get an appointment (Sundbyberg) and they saw me exactly at my appointment time, took my picture, and ask where I wanted it mailed. I told them I would pick it up, they said: Come back in 10 business days. (2) On my first day, I picked up my UT Card and went to the tax office, where I pulled a number and waited 5 minutes. I gave them all my documentation for myself and family: Work Contract, UT Cards, Birth Certificates for Kids, Passports, Marriage Certificate.

* The result? 10 days later I have my personnummer.

The biggest problem I had here with the personnummer is that you can't get internet, phone, etc. without one. Even then after receiving it a "credit check" won't run through so don't expect to get the 600MB internet connection 2 year contract with ComHem.

2. The housing: Oh my, this is a difficult one. Housing is expensive in Stockholm but it is not unavailable. If you have the money it is not a problem, and I live in a really nice 3 bedroom apartment in the city. I can imagine if you are not well prepared to spend an extravagant amount you may have a hard time. Outside of the city there was plenty of option at affordable pricing. My housing contract is renewable yearly; but I understand that it could change (not unlike the US)

3. Cost of things: Pre-packaged/processed is more similar to 15% more expensive than US city prices in Stockholm City. Meats, raw products (veggies, fruits, muesli) are less expensive then most US prices (closer to value grocery), milk/agg/etc. are similar price to US. Berries are abundant and cheap, but 'exotics' may be more - I can't find a non-concentrate orange juice under 60SEK. Eating out is broken into different categories: (1) Dagens Meny/Lunches are cheap, plentiful, and varied - ranging from 60-110SEK per person and including salad and coffee. Pizza and similar are well done and decent priced at about 95-120SEK (Love Birkastans Pizza!) Sushi is normal priced as the US. Chinese Buffets are 90-145SEK depending on location and day much like the US (2) Dinner is holy shit expensive most places - I haven't found a good value dinner yet, with most places around 260-350SEK per person. It's clearly the money maker on the liquor and dinner that keeps most places in the green; that said it's sometimes good to get a nice bite and while expensive many places I've been to have been well presented and good tasting.

4. People/Outlook - I was worried when some of the above people went on crazy rants about how Swedes hate people and believe the minimum effort is the best effort, etc. but I have to say that everyone that I've met has been great and from a professional level I've been impressed with the work ethic (during work hours of course!) and level of skill in the tech field that my peers have. Obviously this brainwashing children into helplessness and inability hasn't been working on everyone...?

5. Kids are enrolled in school, the system was easy and very well thought out (going to START stockholm for assessment) and it has been a non-issue. The language barrier is fading quickly. I will set some reminders to come back and comment on this.

If anyone else sees this here and is worried about the process of moving and what all it entailed, feel free to reply or message me. I'm happy to help.

-LN

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 16.May.2019, 09:27 AM

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 15.May.2019, 08:02 PM) *
Hello everyone,

I said I would set a reminder and I have indeed done so; my personal experiences have been really good so far - what that says for complainers here is not up to me.

1. The dreaded personnummer: For anyone who has applied for a passport, it really was no different. I came over with a Job Offer so I did the following: (1) Flew over 2 weeks in advance and applied for my (and families) UT card (Work Permit) - I made sure to get an appointment (Sundbyberg) and they saw me exactly at my appointment time, took my picture, and ask where I wanted it mailed. I told them I would pick it up, they said: Come back in 10 business days. (2) On my first day, I picked up my UT Card and went to the tax office, where I pulled a number and waited 5 minutes. I gave them all my documentation for myself and family: Work Contract, UT Cards, Birth Certificates for Kids, Passports, Marriage Certificate.

* The result? 10 days later I have my personnummer.

The biggest problem I had here with the personnummer is that you can't get internet, phone, etc. without one. Even then after receiving it a "credit check" won't run through so don't expect to get the 600MB internet connection 2 year contract with ComHem.

2. The housing: Oh my, this is a difficult one. Housing is expensive in Stockholm but it is not unavailable. If you have the money it is not a problem, and I live in a really nice 3 bedroom apartment in the city. I can imagine if you are not well prepared to spend an extravagant amount you may have a hard time. Outside of the city there was plenty of option at affordable pricing. My housing contract is renewable yearly; but I understand that it could change (not unlike the US)

3. Cost of things: Pre-packaged/processed is more similar to 15% more expensive than US city prices in Stockholm City. Meats, raw products (veggies, fruits, muesli) are less expensive then most US prices (closer to value grocery), milk/agg/etc. are similar price to US. Berries are abundant and cheap, but 'exotics' may be more - I can't find a non-concentrate orange juice under 60SEK. Eating out is broken into different categories: (1) Dagens Meny/Lunches are cheap, plentiful, and varied - ranging from 60-110SEK per person and including salad and coffee. Pizza and similar are well done and decent priced at about 95-120SEK (Love Birkastans Pizza!) Sushi is normal priced as the US. Chinese Buffets are 90-145SEK depending on location and day much like the US (2) Dinner is holy shit expensive most places - I haven't found a good value dinner yet, with most places around 260-350SEK per person. It's clearly the money maker on the liquor and dinner that keeps most places in the green; that said it's sometimes good to get a nice bite and while expensive many places I've been to have been well presented and good tasting.

4. People/Outlook - I was worried when some of the above people went on crazy rants about how Swedes hate people and believe the minimum effort is the best effort, etc. but I have to say that everyone that I've met has been great and from a professional level I've been impressed with the work ethic (during work hours of course!) and level of skill in the tech field that my peers have. Obviously this brainwashing children into helplessness and inability hasn't been working on everyone...?

5. Kids are enrolled in school, the system was easy and very well thought out (going to START stockholm for assessment) and it has been a non-issue. The language barrier is fading quickly. I will set some reminders to come back and comment on this.

If anyone else sees this here and is worried about the process of moving and what all it entailed, feel free to reply or message me. I'm happy to help.

-LN



Hey ninja, that’s awesome everything went smoothly and you settled in nicely!

Best of luck for the future.

Just remember that although you had a smooth experience, it isn’t the same for everyone and there isn’t a standard experience for people. Which can be the most frustrating...

And also, things change, and have changed, so quickly in regards to immigration in Sweden. So don’t assume because it was smooth and easy for you that it should, or will, be like that for everyone else.

Regardless, enjoy your new life!

Posted by: LimpingNinja 16.May.2019, 09:46 AM

QUOTE (Saywhatwhat @ 16.May.2019, 03:27 AM) *
Just remember that although you had a smooth experience, it isn’t the same for everyone and there isn’t a standard experience for people. Which can be the most frustrating...


Oh indeed, but from my experiences *outside* of "thelocal.se" which does tend to be more inclined to complaint, it has also shown that everything is not a miasma of doom and dismay.

I want to make sure to provide the information to others that may visit, that it can go smoothly and (if you follow other forums on reddit or other site) many people have a good experience.

The key is doing ones research and being super-prepared in order to eliminate failures of bureaucracy (which is key with ANY countries processes). Ones move can be affected by failures to follow the process, submit the right paperwork, or even ones employee being an idiot - and of course not everyone will have the same experience...

With that said, the complaints on this particular forum did little to ensure that I had the right process as everyone seems to be just inserting opinion on a path; I provided my timeline in another thread - and am more than happy to help anyone else who moves in doing things in the right order...

... but, they can get more benefit joining a site like r/TillSverige on Reddit where they will get answers vs. simply warnings of doom like here.

Thanks!
-LN

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 16.May.2019, 01:56 PM

Your views and opinion of TheLocal's posters are well received...

It is a rare post that is not aimed at denigrating Sweden and its peoples...

Thank you,
GH

Posted by: Bsmith 16.May.2019, 02:28 PM

I think to a great extent, people make their own luck. You went in with a can-do attitude and you are doing well. Will there be some struggles ahead? Of course there will, but I have the feeling you will do fine.

Nice to hear your story.

Posted by: joshr 16.May.2019, 03:17 PM

QUOTE (LimpingNinja @ 16.May.2019, 09:46 AM) *
Oh indeed, but from my experiences *outside* of "thelocal.se" which does tend to be more inclined to complaint, it has also shown that everything is not a miasma of doom and dismay.

I want to make sure to provide the information to others that may visit, that it can go smoothly and (if you follow other forums on reddit or other site) many people have a good experience.


I think that you hit the nail on the head here in several ways...
- There are a lot of people that have moved here and have a great life. We peruse The Local, but are not active posters. People who are unhappy because they don't work or haven't integrated well tend to get sucked into online communities more and complain, hence the high number of "sweden is shit" type posts
- Preparation helps. I moved here 15 years ago and had a similar process. Got my UT in Chicago, and applied for my personnummer on my second day here. Had it by the end of the week. Three years later, applied for my citizenship on a Monday and had the certificate by Thursday.
- There is a benefit coming from the USA. You are treated better than people from other countries. I once worked in Denmark and a co-worker was complaining about immigrants. I pointed out to her that I was one of the people she was complaining about, to which she responded, "Oh no - not you, just the dark-skinned ones". Yep...
- Stockholm does tend to be more open and international than other areas. This does help compared to people that settle in little towns (but also hurts your language learning as well).

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 16.May.2019, 04:48 PM

QUOTE (joshr @ 16.May.2019, 04:17 PM) *
- There is a benefit coming from the USA. You are treated better than people from other countries. I once worked in Denmark and a co-worker was complaining about immigrants. I pointed out to her that I was one of the people she was complaining about, to which she responded, "Oh no - not you, just the dark-skinned ones". Yep...
- Stockholm does tend to be more open and international than other areas. This does help compared to people that settle in little towns (but also hurts your language learning as well).



But what if you are black, middle eastern, Asian or central/ South American and coming from the USA to Sweden?

Just saying that it isn’t so much where you are from, but the color of your skin. And at the same time, coming from the “right” country is also important... but this has become less and less true. A recent study found that 49% of swedes view immigration negatively.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/02/britons-more-sold-on-immigration-benefits-than-other-europeans

Posted by: Bsmith 16.May.2019, 05:44 PM

I couldn't give a rat's arse about skin color. How ridiculous, it is just pigmentation. That is like worrying about someone's hair color or the color of their eyes.

Personally what matters to me is what does the potential immigrant bring to the table as far as job skills, education, willingness to work hard, learn the language and assimilate into the host country's society. That is what is important.

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 16.May.2019, 10:07 PM

If all the third world people were moved to the first world countries and the first world peoples were moved to the recently vacated third world countries...where would you want to live one hundred years from now???

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 17.May.2019, 06:08 AM

QUOTE (Gamla Hälsingebock @ 16.May.2019, 11:07 PM) *
If all the third world people were moved to the first world countries and the first world peoples were moved to the recently vacated third world countries...where would you want to live one hundred years from now???



It would be amazing if any of us were alive in 100 years.

Posted by: joshr 17.May.2019, 08:26 AM

QUOTE (Saywhatwhat @ 16.May.2019, 04:48 PM) *
But what if you are black, middle eastern, Asian or central/ South American and coming from the USA to Sweden?


That's a really interesting question. My gut tells me that people are discriminating more on origin than on skin color, and the skin color comment was more an easy way to group/stereotype than to indicate a real problem with skin pigment (at least in this specific case). But it was an eye-opening comment at the time, as it was nearly 15 years ago before immigration became hot topic.

But then again, the KKK is still alive and kicking in the USA, and Europe still has pro-nazi groups, so who knows.

Posted by: Saywhatwhat 17.May.2019, 08:57 AM

QUOTE (joshr @ 17.May.2019, 09:26 AM) *
That's a really interesting question. My gut tells me that people are discriminating more on origin than on skin color, and the skin color comment was more an easy way to group/stereotype than to indicate a real problem with skin pigment (at least in this specific case). But it was an eye-opening comment at the time, as it was nearly 15 years ago before immigration became hot topic.

But then again, the KKK is still alive and kicking in the USA, and Europe still has pro-nazi groups, so who knows.


I didn’t expect you to have an answer, nor do I, but I also think it would be an interesting study.

It’s hard to say if it’s origin (heritage) or skin color because those can go hand in hand, USA, Brazil, possibly Britain and a few others might be the only exceptions. I would still lean towards a discrimination based on skin color because non white swedes are still discriminated against... not even accepted as Swedish, even if 2nd generation or beyond.

I too was in Denmark in the early 2000’s and found the people to be a bit prejudice towards skin color and origin, especially the Polish for some reason at that time. And many negative comments about “brown people”.

This is a tangent but it makes me think of another thread how someone said how Europeans probably dislike how Americans say they are half this and that (European heritage) and I think it is because Americans are proud that it is a nation whose people are mixed and can get along (for the most part).

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