19 Sep, 2017
Age: 34
Status: permanent resident

What brought you to Sweden?

Master in Uppsala University

How did you get into university in Sweden?

Applied for several master programmes in Sweden and thankfully got accepted in Uppsala University.

What had you heard about Sweden before you moved here?

Usual stuff. Swedish social democracy and welfare. How Sweden is one of the best countries in the world etc. Watching movies Ondskan and Lilja4ever right before moving here made me feel uneasy though :)

When did you move to Sweden?


What do you wish you knew about Sweden, when you first moved here?

That socialising works quite differently in Sweden. You have to be more persistent and patient since it takes time to break the ice. However, after that you have friends for a lifetime.

What’s your favourite part about living in Sweden?

Flexible work life and amazing work life balance.

What do you struggle with the most in Sweden?

Cocktail prices and darkness :)

Have you found the Swedish job market difficult? If so, why? If not, why not?

Nothing to complain for my sector since it is one of the few sectors that not knowing Swedish is ok (well computers speak the same language anyway) and there are many openings in our area. I am very impressed with the opportunities here with successful small and mid-size software companies especially.

Do you speak Swedish? Do you think it’s necessary to learn Swedish in Sweden?

Yes I do! At first it does not look necessary to learn Swedish but knowing it opens up so many doors so I suggest everyone to take it as a high priority.

What do you think of the Swedish education system? (as you went to university in Sweden)

At first I thought that it was unnecessarily easy (light course load) but then changed my mind seeing that it as full of opportunities for motivated and interested students. I had the chance to get courses from and made projects with the world renowned researchers. I did active research during my master, published research papers and presented them in conferences. I am very thankful for these opportunities.

Did you find it difficult to make friends in Sweden when you first moved here? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes and no. It was easy to meet international people but hard to meet Swedes. My chance was that I studied at the university first in the best student city (Uppsala). And still I struggled to make Swedish friends. After university it got much harder and still after 10 years majority of my friends are expats.


Learning Swedish
Written by Nicola Owen