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Live in Canada or Sweden?

I have a job offer from Vancouver

post 27.May.2017, 10:32 AM
Post #1
Joined: 12.Mar.2015

Hi friends

I have been offered a job position in a company from Vancouver-Canada. They are building some productions are exactly in the area of my PhD thesis subject.The offer is CAD 90,000 / year (gross=581,000 SEK) in the first year for my salary with standard holiday plan (20 paid days in contrast with 34 days in Sweden). I am now forskaraassitant in Växjö with 2 years contract and a gross salary of 425,000 Sek per year or 35400/month.
I have lived in Sweden for almost 5 years. I found Swedish easy to learn however I was always lazy to be serious in learning Swedish.
I am close to get marry with a girl who is an specialist (medical doctor) in infection. I know that she should learn high levels of Swedish when she comes in Sweden and a lot of bureaucracies she should pass to be able to take her permit to work as a specialist in Sweden. I have no idea how will it be in Canada, but at least from language perspective, she will have simpler path to enter to the English speaking society.
I am the only son of my parents. I know they miss me too much. It is important to live in a country that they take it easy for resident's parents to give multiple visa to come and visit their children for a long term.
Consider that I am now a permanent resident of Sweden. If I live more than 2 years out of Sweden, I will loose my right to live in Sweden.
What do you think? Is it a good idea to leave Sweden and start my new life in Vancouver? I am really doubtful to decide!!
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post 27.May.2017, 12:25 PM
Post #2
Joined: 26.Jun.2016

hi davoodbio,

I was in your (almost) exact same position a year ago and the good people at TL helped me out:


I had a choice between Vancouver and Stockholm with your same dilemma, more than 2x the salary in Vancouver (almost 3x after taxes). I also wanted to get married and was thinking whats the best place for me and my family.

You should read some of the excellent posts to my questions a year ago, thanks again to all the guys who contributed, you are awesome.

In spite of the majority advising me to go Vancouver, I decided to stay in Sweden, and I'm happy I did. Here is my advise to you:

1. Everyone who advises you will have their own unique experiences and expectations. You will have to filter out whats personal from whats objective.

2. Most non-Swedes will advise you to go to Canada, most Swedes will advise you to stay. At least that is what happened to me.

3. Do not look at money, its a trap! It is true that there is no free lunch in this world, and that extra money comes at a cost, believe me.

4. Where are you originally from? I am Indian and family is very important to me as well. Sweden is much closer to home than Canada.

5. Do you care about integration? If you strongly do, choose Canada.

6. Do not worry about the language, at worst it might set your wife back a year or 2 as compared to Canada. 2 years is not worth making a decision on that will affect the next possibly 50+ years of your life.

Its been a year since, I moved to Stockholm, am going to get married this August and my wife will join me hopefully by the end of this year. Whatever you choose, good luck!
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post 27.May.2017, 12:53 PM
Post #3
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

You did not say whether or not you are happy in Sweden. If you are, then that is a known factor. You may or may not be happy in Canada so that is an unknown.

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post 27.May.2017, 05:13 PM
Post #4
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

Nature in B.C. is world-class (scenery is world-class). Nature in Sweden is bog standard. B.C. is in general a much more liberal/relaxed place (well Canada in general) than Sweden (far less taboos and far less government trying to tell you what you are allowed to think and discuss). Canada IS multi-cultural, without constantly needing to claim it is. Sweden is mono-cultural, whilst always pretending to be multi-cultural.
Just one thing to consider.

The other thing to consider, "what are the prospects to move up through your career"?

I have lived in both, and while I have only been at the fuoss level in Sweden, I am quite certain in Canada, you will have many more prospects, to either move up the chain in your career, or change your career.

Sweden in that respect (in science, in academia) is a dead-end. Canada is of course not without problems (housing in Van and TO are like in Stockholm), but at least there, something is being done about it.

My 2 cents: get out of Sweden!
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post 27.May.2017, 06:18 PM
Post #5
Joined: 3.May.2017

what exactly is fuoss level?
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post 27.May.2017, 07:11 PM
Post #6
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

I meant foass = forskarassistent (the OP also mis-spelled it as "forskaraassitant").

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post 27.May.2017, 07:57 PM
Post #7
Joined: 13.Sep.2015

"I am Indian"

fy fan. so many Indians have dropped the UK and now are coming to Sweden. Great, in a couple decades, Sweden will become a UK - a shit hole.
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post 27.May.2017, 08:55 PM
Post #8
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

QUOTE (superdrive @ 27.May.2017, 07:57 PM) *
so many Indians have dropped the UK and now are coming to Sweden

At the rate they are deporting educated workers from that region (India, Pakistan, etc.), I doubt more will come to Sweden ( http://www.wpholders.se/ ). They will go where they can work without fear and where the "Anderson ceiling" (glass ceiling for non-Swedes) does not exist. Canada could be an example.
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post 27.May.2017, 09:49 PM
Post #9
Joined: 30.Jan.2017

I have lived in both Canada and Sweden for a non-trivial amount of time in each. As you are already in Sweden the obvious answer is that it's far easier to stay here. Vancouver has one of the worst housing markets in the world and if you are going to be the primary bread winner until your wife gets her education sorted a 90k a year salary unfortunately isn't going to stretch that far. While 90k a year is an upper-middle class salary in most places unfortunately in Vancouver you will be living near the poverty line once you factor in housing, childcare (down the line), transportation (you will need at least 1 car) ect.

On the flip side, I think Canada probably has far better future prospects as there is a very relevant "glass-ceiling" here for non-Swedes as others have said. No matter how good you are at your job here you will always come second to a native born Swede whom may be less qualified than you in every single way, that's just the way it works unfortunately here. Canada is a true multicultural society and while some of the "Trump" tensions may be spilling over the border I believe the majority of Canadians are still relatively positive about immigration and you won't have any sort of difficulty adjusting to Canadian life. Also, once your wife gains the ability to work as a doctor she will make at least double if not triple what she would be making in Sweden so that is something to consider as well.

Tough choice but as you have no kids to think about at the moment I would say take the risk and go to Canada. Your future prospects will be much brighter, you will be accepted into the country and allowed to become Canadian yourself (that will never happen in Sweden even if you gain citizenship you will never actually be allowed to be "part" of the country, us foreigners will always be outsiders here...) and your future kids will never have integration issues or cultural identity issues like they would in Sweden.
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post 27.May.2017, 10:11 PM
Post #10
Joined: 12.Mar.2015

Thank you Rakesh, it was great.
I am Iranian.

Bsmith, I am happy in Sweden. My motivation for Canada are better and quicker development in my future job position, higher income in the next 5 years and multicultural city with English language.
Forskarassistent is a kind of postdoc position which has possibility of prolongation.

Regarding child care and related things such as parental leave, I have no kids but I will have definitely in the next coming 5 years happy.gif
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post 28.May.2017, 08:03 AM
Post #11
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

Are you sure you are a foass? Forskarassistent positions are "group leader" positions of 4 years, and is equivalent to "assistant professor". You mention that you have a 2 year contract...that's strange, and it sounds to me you have been dealt the exploitative misinformation hand.

And the forskarassistent can only be had once. The next position for you, is associate professor (universitetslektor) of which such positions are few and far between.

Foass is NOT a "post-doc" position! It sounds to me you are being screwed over by your department. Go talk to your SULF representative who will explain to you what your rights are and what your position actually is. You are sadly misinformed.

A few years back, when I was still a foass, my university, overnight and without announcement, magically changed all assistant professors titles in the faculty catalogue to "post-doc". Post-docs exist on other people's funding, and have essentially little to no responsibility for the operation of a lab/group. This was a career destroyer! I was pissed since I had already completed 3 post-docs, and my contract stated assistant professor and there's no f'ing way I'd have come to Sweden for a mere post-doc.

Long story short, I took this up with SULF, and the matter went right to the top. Of course, it was not legally possible for my Uni to make this change, and it was then corrected. And in their national review I was told they had found many many other positions had similarly been messed with (also corrected) and my SULF representative claimed this was a national embarrassment!

Bring this matter up at your next PI meeting (you do know you are a PI, not a post-doc, right?) assuming you have been informed that you should have been attending these all along.

If you have a 2 year contract, then you only possibly have 2 years more as a foass. It sounds to me like they have split your position (which they cannot do), and will allow you to complete the second half of it (which you are already entitled to), in the form of some "promotion" (typical Swedish bullshit!).
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post 28.May.2017, 11:04 AM
Post #12
Joined: 12.Mar.2015

Hi Gjeebes
Thanks for your useful information. I am 100% sure that my position title is Forskarassistent. It is written in both my contract and the advertised position when I applied and even right now in my university website. Here, they don't know the difference between Forskarassistent and Post doc. Actually they are behaving me like a post doc. A few times, I questioned the difference, but they did not know except for my position there is no restriction that how long is passed from the day of my PhD graduation. By the way, I consulted with SULF and they said if university extends my position after 2 years, automatically, I am going to be a permanent staff. This is why I have kept my mouth close and wait till they extend. Afterward, I will follow my case by SULF to ask to be a permanent staff. What do you think? Shall I continue this policy or should do something else. Now, just a year is remained to the end of my contract.
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yet another brit
post 28.May.2017, 01:06 PM
Post #13
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

As Gjeebes says, if you are FoAss, then you are supposed to be untenured junior faculty; you should be using the time to get your own grants and start your own group. You should also be undertaking enough teaching and supervision (and publishing as a PI) to be able to get your "docent" title during your FoAss years.

Some "supergroups" do treat FoAss as glorified postdocs (effectively team leaders in a larger organisation), but that isn't really how it supposed to work.

Note that the normal rules on becoming permanent after a certain time don't apply to FoAss.
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post 28.May.2017, 02:17 PM
Post #14
Joined: 12.Dec.2013

Swedish university positions do not have a 1-1 correspondence with e.g. US positions:

Both forskarassistent and lektor can be the first academic positions after a PhD, where the former is traditionally temporary and more research oriented while the latter is permanent and more techning oriented. Both are thus regarded as cross sections between post-doc and assistant/associate professor, depending on experience/responsibility. They can both also lead directly to a full professorship. It depends entirely on the university/institution how the position is used/regarded.

There is also a bunch of other positions that may be used in the academic ladder, e.g. postdoktor, adjunkt, biträdande professor, forskare, senior forskare, forskningsingenjör, forskningsassistent, etc. Different universities have different career paths.
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post 28.May.2017, 05:24 PM
Post #15
Joined: 4.Oct.2014

First thing first: on TheLocal you must know some specific posters will always be bashing Sweden, regardless of countries you are comparing to Sweden. For them, Sweden is always bad and you should stay away. Be ware and take their comments with a big grain of salts.
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