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Moving to Sweden > Tips for Moving to Sweden

Moving to Sweden

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Summary: If you're moving to Sweden, gain insight from expats living in Sweden about making the move. Topics covered include what they wish they had brought (and left behind), visas, culture shock, cost of living and more. It's a must read for anyone thinking about moving to Sweden.

Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden
Old Town in Stockholm, Sweden

If you're thinking about moving to Sweden, read these tips from expats living Sweden. From what to bring (and leave behind) to culture shock, visas and more, their insight is invaluable.

What to Bring When Moving to Sweden (and what to leave behind)

When we asked expats living in Sweden what they wish they had brought when moving to Sweden and what they wish they had left at home, they replied:

"I wish I had brought some American measuring cups/tablespoons. It was too much trouble to have to convert all my American recipes to metric. Wish I had also brought cold/flu medicines, because you can't find the strength you're used to in the US, except in prescription form. I wish I had left all my dress clothes, because I wasn't working in an office setting, and so they were very impractical to have and not used. Also wish I had left most of my shoes (especially the ones with heels), because those are impractical as well. Goteborg was very rainy and snowy, so some of my shoes were just ruined," said one expat who moved to Goteborg, Sweden.

"I wish I had brought: My comfortable king size bed - One year's supply of large sized shoes - Contact lenses and solutions I wish I had left behind: My lifetime supply of books T-shirts - you can only wear it for 3 months in a year! My mobile - no one calls," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Sweden.

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Deciding Where to Live in Sweden

When we asked expats living in Sweden to offer newcomers advice about choosing a neighborhood and finding a home, they replied:

"My husband was very particular on where we would live. Believe it or not, there are slumps in Sweden and Swedes are so careful about where and how they live that "addresses" are important statements of their "class". We got a tip through some friends," said one expat who moved to Stockholm, Sweden.

Read our article, 10 Best Places in the World to Get in the Christmas Spirit, for advice about deciding where to live in Sweden.

Expats living in Sweden interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

Typical Housing for Expats

When we asked expats in Sweden about the type of home or apartment they life in and whether that is typical for expats, they replied:

"We live in a second hand rental apartment which came unfurnished, with a fridge, oven and an electric stove. The rental includes heating and a car park bay. The apartment is about 3mins to the train stop, 2 mins to the Lake Malaren, 8-10mins on train to Stockholm city and close the the forest. Most expats live in apartments. If they are career expats, they might be in paid for villas with 3-5 rooms, fully furnished," said one expat who moved to Stockholm, Sweden.

Housing Costs in Sweden

"Higher than where I'm from in the US. We paid like 7000 sek for our flat and it was TINY," said one expat who moved to Goteborg, Sweden.

"I found the housing in Sweden to be outrageously expensive. For what we are paying for a 59sq unfurnished apartment with one bedroom, we could have had a fully furnished apartment or house with at least 1,200sq! Plus a garden and parking! We pay about 6,000sek here while an apartment in Malaysia (in a good area) would cost between RM2000 to RM3,500," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Sweden.

Advice for People Moving to Sweden

"Research! That is the key to moving. Find your clan and glean as much information as possible from people who have crossed the pond. Most of the websites for newcomers have links and resource. Another important thing is talking to people already there," said one expat who moved to Stockholm, Sweden.

Finding a Job in Sweden

If you're searching for a job in Sweden, expats talk about popular industries and how expats find employment.

"The main industry in Uppsala is the academic institution. Paper and manufacturing industries probably come next. More opportunities are available to Swedish citizens than foreign nationals, in part, due to the socialist government. In Uppsala, specifically, the food and garment industry as well as sundry stores are available to the general public (for jobs). Most people who obtain a college degree find careers elsewhere in Sweden, on the average. Most people use the newspapers or television to find new jobs," said one expat who moved to Uppsala, Sweden.

Expat Health Insurance in Sweden

Expats living in Sweden interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

Join our Sweden Expat Forum

Visit our Sweden Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Sweden.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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First Published: May 23, 2019

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