15 Sep, 2017
Age: 45
Status: on initial work permit

Why did you move to Sweden?

I moved due to a job offer. It’s a great career opportunity for myself and a life experience for my family

When did you move to Sweden?

May 2017

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

I wish to know more about the culture and people when I first moved here.

How would you compare the Swedish work culture to your home country’s work culture?

It’s very different. Here in Sweden the work culture is more laid back compared to my home country.

What’s your favourite part about living in Sweden? Why?

I like the fact that instead of driving everywhere, most of the people choose to walk, or cycle or take the public transportation. This is very healthy and environmentally friendly

What do you struggle with the most in Sweden? Why?

Most of the time people would speak English when I was asking for help. However when you are trying to do things via phone or online, if you don’t know Swedish you will struggle. When I got sick here for the first time, I struggled to find help via phone calls. I ended up with a Swedish voice system and got totally lost. I had to try different numbers until I could talk to a human.

Any tips for people doing the work permit application?

Scan your documents and keep a digital copy with you. You never know when you would need them again. If possible, get an agency to help you. They will make the process a lot more smooth and faster

What’s the current state of you work permit application? When did you apply for the first permit/extension?

It’s approved very quickly. In less than 5 weeks after I submitted the documents, I got the decision letter and instructions for the next step. I got the support from an agency called Human Entrance and they offered great support throughout the process.

How did you go about finding an apartment in Sweden?

My agent from Human Entrance helped me to find an apartment. It was not easy and we viewed 5 different homes in 6 weeks.

Did you find it hard to open a bank account? Can you describe your experience?

The process itself was easy. As soon as I got my personal ID, I booked an appointment with a banking clerk and spent about 1 hour to setup everything. It was when I tried to pay my first bill, I ran into problem. Everything on the bank website is Swedish, the mobile app is Swedish and you could only go so far with google translate. I was so lost and my Swedish colleague kindly walked me through how to pay my credit card bill.

Learning Swedish
Written by Nicola Owen