Why did you move to Sweden?
Originally I came to be with my boyfriend (now husband). My case was denied because of lack of information that I needed to apply from outside of Sweden so we left for 3 years to the states. We came back after we had our first son after my husband secured a job in Lund. We applied from the states and I came to visit and ask to apply from within since we had a child together but they denied my case again and said I couldn’t apply within and canceled my case completely. I went to Italy with our son applied for residence there and then reapplied to Sweden. I received the decision about a year later. Now we have 2 kids and we wanted to be in Sweden for them to learn Swedish, English and be close to their Italian cousins and learn Italian. Also Sweden is just awesome for kids!
When did you move to Sweden?
Technically on and off for 5 years but I just got Permanent Residence 1 month ago.
What do you wish you knew about Sweden, when you first moved here?
I wish I knew the language and more about the culture. I came in quite blind never knew anyone Swedish growing up so it was quite a culture shock for me.
What’s your favourite part about living in Sweden?
I love how great it is for kids! No other country has put as much thought into the environment and making sure its suitable for any age. Baby care centers are in every mall and major shop. I love how open Swedes are about breastfeeding. I love that Swedes care a lot about including everyone and integrating. Very open minded people!
What do you struggle with the most in Sweden?
The weather is hard for me. It’s very cold a good majority of the year. I also have a hard time with not saying hi to everyone I pass by. It’s just normal in the US if your walk past people usually you might say hi and have some small talk depending on the situation. Whereas here it’s not as common to say hi and start talking to someone you dont know.
What’s the biggest misconception you’ve come across about Sweden and/or Swedes?
That swedish fish is not the most popular candy.
Can you speak Swedish? If so, how did you learn? How often do you get to speak Swedish?
I cant speak fluently but truthfully I dont try to because I know everyone speaks English generally so it’s just easier. I try to speak some Swedish to my son’s preschool teachers but it’s very basic.
How old are your children and how have they settled into life in Sweden?
My eldest is 3 and my youngest is 1. My 3 year old I think is finally feeling settled after moving into an apartment and starting preschool. He has made friends and started a routine. He seems very happy. My 1 year old is adaptable I think like most 1 year olds. I think he will do fine here.
What do you think of the education system in Sweden?
I think it seems so far good. The preschool my son attends is very inclusive and kind to each other. They talk to the kids a lot about when new kids are coming in and trying to help them get used to school making them feel welcome. Beyond that I don’t have much more experience.
What advice would you give to someone (in similar circumstances, moving with children) who is moving to Sweden?
Make sure you know how long the process can take and make a decision as a family if the time is going to be too much for you or your kids. Being away from one parent for a significant amount of time can be very difficult for the children and parents. I didn’t expect how difficult it would be to not be able to be with my husband and alone with our 2 kids. It was a very tough time for me. Also learn Swedish just makes adapting and integrating to life in Sweden easier.