We didn't start out planning to be 'expat experts'. Actually, all three of us who founded New in Sweden have other careers too.
But. We are all expats and we moved to Sweden. One of us is somewhat (very) nomadic, ending up here via Tanzania, Canada and the UK. Another was born an expat and 'third-culture' child. We're even quite different in age.
We have three different reasons for being here and for staying here.
We all love meeting people who arrive here and come from all walks of life, all over the globe and are here for all manner of reasons (though work and love are the most common ones!). We listen to the challenges and the adventures and always learn something new about other cultures and, of course, Sweden. We answer questions and discuss options.
We provide support, answers, a helping hand when it is needed. It has become part of who we are, what we do.
We still aren't 'expat experts' but we've learnt a thing or two about moving to Sweden and we've been through that same move over and over again with our members.
Find out more about our team here and about how NewinSweden.com works here. Ready to join up? Click here for the options.
Life doesn't always give us time for regular language classes and signing up for a course only to miss some of the lessons can be really demotivating. So, instead of holding weekly lessons, New in Sweden has one-off workshops so you can come when you want to and not pay for sessions you can't make.
Our workshops are packed full of language all around just one topic, so you learn as much as possible in each and every workshop.
8th October 2019 - All about food
15th October 2019 - All about conversations
22nd October 2019 - All around Sweden
Each workshop is in three levels at the following times:
A: 09:00 - 10:30
B: 11:00 - 12:30
C: 13:30 - 15:00
Read more about the workshops and book them here:
All about conversations - Swedish language workshop
15th October 2019
Learn how to join in and start conversations in Swedish, from basic greetings and questions to more complex topics.
During this workshop, we will have the opportunity to become familiar with frequently used vocabulary and phrases as part of conversations that we encounter on a daily basis in writing, on the phone, and in face-to-face meetings. In terms of pronunciation, we pay extra attention to consonants. We also look at how certain word structures are related and how to use phrases and questions to develop the interaction.
This workshop will be held mostly in Swedish with some support in English.
Under denna workshop går vi in på några skillnader mellan tal- och skriftspråk. Det handlar om hur vi kommunicerar i sms, email och på telefon, vilket kommer att studeras närmare genom diverse scenarier. Vilka olika typer av samtal möter vi och hur kan vi utveckla dessa? Vi ser lite närmare på ordbildning och vidareutvecklar ordförrådet genom att ta upp synonymer till några vanliga verb. Gällande uttalet står ett antal svenska konsonanter i fokus.
Denna workshop kommer till största del att hållas på svenska.
Under denna workshop kommer vi att gå in på olika sorters samtal som vi kan möta under en dag i Sverige. Vilka ljud, ord och fraser kan vi använda för att få en dialog att kännas (ännu) mer levande? Vi tar även upp några skillnader mellan tal- och skriftspråk och ser på ett antal exempel gällande språkets användning i ett informellt respektive ett formellt sammanhang utifrån diverse tänkbara scenarier. Ett visst fokus kommer att läggas på de svenska hjälpverben.
Denna workshop kommer att hållas på svenska.
All around Sweden - Swedish language workshop
22nd October 2019
Learn all about getting around in Sweden, from travelling on public transport to understandingsigns.
There are three levels of each workshop so choose the one that suits you best. You can check your own level using this chart - click here to open the PDF.
Level A - Total beginners and those with a basic understanding
Level B - Improvers and Intermediate
Level C - Intermediate and Advanced
Unfortunately, they don't provide compensation for damage caused by other things, such as bicycles, shopping trolleys or human beings.
How to apply for compensation
You need to prove:
The first step in the process is to contact your own insurance company. They should settle the claim for you and usually you won't need to contact TFF directly. If you aren't happy with the settlement, you can ask TFF to review the claim. TFF does deduct an excess of between 2000kr-3000kr from the claim.
As with any crime, you should also report the damage to the police.
TFF has an English version of the their website which you can find here:
There is a great long list of countries for which their citizens need a visa before moving to Sweden. Thankfully it is in English!
If you need to find out, start here:
List of foreign citizens who require Via for entry into Sweden
Apartments by Ligula is a hotel concept for longer-term accommodation – when a standard hotel room is a bit too small and you want to feel at home while you are away. They provide modern studio apartments of different sizes containing a kitchenette and everything you need for a relaxing stay.
Apartments by Ligula, Hammarby Sjöstad, offer modern rental apartments which are located opposite the Mårtensdal tram stop in Hammarby Sjöstad, 17 minutes from Stockholm city. Here, you will find everything you need to enjoy a relaxed stay, such as a kitchenette and kitchenware, Carpe Diem beds, TV, free WiFi and rainshowers in the bathrooms. Weekly cleaning is included for all apartments and they also offer a laundry self-service and gym in the building. Rental is primarily on monthly basis.
Medium 24 – 31 m2: 1 – 2 persons Price: SEK 18 900 per month*
Large 32 – 40 m2: 1 – 4 persons Price: SEK 21 700 per month*
XL approximately 45 m2: 1 – 2 persons
* All stated prices are inclusive of 12% VAT. The weekly cleaning service and a final cleaning on the departure day is included in the rental fee.
Both check-in and check-out is done at the reception at Motel L, street address Hammarby Allé 41. The reception at Motel L is open 24/7. Check-in takes place from 2 pm on the day of arrival and check-out no later than 12 pm on the day of departure, unless otherwise agreed. Apartments by Ligula has its entrance at No. 47, on the same street as Motel L.
For more information, contact Chris Jolly firstname.lastname@example.org +46 (0)707-25 21 34
Apartments by Ligula, Hammarby Sjöstad
Hammarby Allé 47
120 30 Stockholm, Sweden
In case you are wondering, this isn't a sponsored post. So many of our members spend their energy looking for accommodation that we share anything we think might help speed up that process!
However, Sweden has almost the lowest number of unskilled jobs in the EU, with only Switzerland and Norway having less.
What does all this mean? It isn’t easy for Swedes or expats to get jobs, the job market isn’t as open as in other countries, the population (and therefore available jobs) is much smaller and the whole system works in a different way. Understanding how the job market and recruitment processes work will make a huge difference in the success of any job hunt and here are some tips from us:
- Visit employment fairs
Big Swedish companies, such as IKEA, Volvo and Skanska regularly tour employment fairs to meet potential new employees. Employment fairs are great places to network with potential employers in your field, to take part in interviews and go to useful seminars. Make sure you go to the fairs prepared with a stack of CVs and cover letters. Decide which companies you want to talk to and what they might be impressed by before you go. After the fair, send follow-up emails to the people you spoke to – this is often the crucial step.
- Make sure that your employer is the real deal
This might not seem like a big deal. As long as someone says you've a job waiting, you're in the clear... right? Well, the situation is unfortunately a bit more complicated. Before jumping to the next step of actually obtaining a work permit, you should make sure that your employer is registered as such. If this is not the case, your supposed employer doesn't even have ability to pay you a formal salary. This could jeopardise your ability to receive a permit and also cause you to put a lot of energy into something that will turn out to be fruitless.
- Learn Swedish
While it’s true that nearly everyone in Sweden speaks English and many large companies – even Swedish ones – have English as their corporate language, being proficient at Swedish will open up lots of doors when it comes to finding work and building work relationships. Even if you apply for a job that specifically demands fluent English or where a native English speaker is preferred, your ability to speak even conversational Swedish will make you better qualified.
- Apply for a work permit
If you will need a permit to work in Sweden, collect together all the relevant information before you start the process, such as your correspondence with your employer, a copy of the job advertisement and your passport. Take everything to the immigration office, Migrationsverket.
- Take an internship
Internships can be a great way to gain relevant experience and build your professional network. Even if they don’t lead directly to a job offer, you’ll have a reference from a Swedish company and a notable update for your CV. Look out for advertisements – there are often plenty around - or contact a company you’d like to do an internship at directly.
- Register yourself at Skatteverket
Once you have a valid work permit, you will also receive a residence permit card. This enables you to obtain a personal identity number. This number is your key to being a part of the formal society. It enables you to open a bank account, pay taxes and deal with all administrative issues. Read more about personal numbers in our post here.
Register yourself at the tax office (which also handles anything to do with the population of Sweden, including personal numbers) – Skatteverket – as soon as possible. Pretty much everything in Sweden revolves around a personal identity number and not having one will act as a barrier between you and an easy life!
- Contact employers directly and network to build connections
When you look at Swedish job ads you may notice they include contact details for an employee who can answer questions about the post. That person is often involved in deciding who gets the position, so it can be worth your while to call them up, ask a few relevant questions and engage them in conversion. Hopefully you’ll impress them enough to remember your name when your application lands on their desk. If that isn’t possible, try to go to events in your field to make connections that can help you get in touch with the people that are hiring.
Job hunting in Sweden isn’t always easy so to help in making the process a bit simpler, use these tips. They might not all work for you but they should give you a head-start at least.
Though language learning is mentioned, many expats told us that they perceived they were excluded from job opportunities not for lack of language ability because they were foreign – on the surface, clear discrimination – but when we dug down deep, we could see another cause, one you can read about in our guide to the State of Expat Life in Sweden 2018!
“Sometimes all the planning in the world won't prepare you for it, but as long as you know where your nearest coffee house is everything falls into place!”
We at New in Sweden (NiDS) worked with news and analysis provider Mundus International and Swedish language tuition provider Swedish for Professionals to uncover the details of expat life in Sweden. We have quizzed expats that are here, the HR staff that organised their move and the Relocation Agents that supported them during the process. We dug deep to find out the full story about emigrating here and hope that new arrivals can then make much more informed decisions about their move to Sweden.
Our guide to the state of expat life in Sweden is out now. It covers the main challenges expats are experiencing right now and the reasons for them, the support that is and isn’t provided at a personal level and what help is out there. We have a separate report that looks at what expats told us in comparison with other surveys, the political environment and what needs to change for expat life to improve. Get your copies of both here.
Are you planning to move to Sweden or are already an expat in Sweden? Would you like to find exactly what a ‘personnummer’ is, what the numbers mean, how to get one and how to use it? Read on to find out!
What is a ‘personnummer’?
Personnummer – or a personal identification number (also known as a 'personal number'). Everyone registered in Sweden is identified with a personal identification number. It consists of 10 digits and it is unique to each individual. It is primarily used by Swedish authorities and organisations to identify people.
When did Sweden introduce the ‘personnummer’?
This system, which was the first in the world to include a nation’s entire population, was introduced in 1947 and has been used ever since, with minor improvements throughout the years.
What do the numbers indicate?
The personal number consists of the person's birth date and three birth numbers. The only information that can be gathered from looking at a personal identification number is a person’s birth date and their gender.
The birth date consists of six digits and makes up the first part of the personal identification number. The order of the numbers is: birth year, birth month and birth day (YYMMDD).For example, a person whose first 6 digits in the personal identification number is 640823 was born on 23rd August 1964. A person whose first 6 digits in the personal identification number is 930411 was born on 11th April 1993.
The birth number consists of three numbers. The second to last digit provides information concerning the gender of the person - where the digit is odd for men and even for women. The birth date and birth number are connected with a hyphen (-). This sign is replaced by a plus sign (+) the year a person turns 100 years old!
The last digit of the personal number is a control digit. It is calculated mechanically by the birth date and birth number.
How do you obtain a ‘personnummer’?
If you are planning to move to Sweden or are already living in Sweden and are planning to live here for a year or more, then you should in most cases be registered as a resident in Sweden. To be registered in Sweden simply visit the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and apply. Make sure your spouse, children or anyone else that is also applying to be registered in Sweden are also there!
You will need the following documents when you visit the Swedish Tax Agency
Once you are registered in Sweden:
When do I use my ‘personnummer’?
Swede’s use their personal identification number on a daily basis! Life in Sweden is made easier by being able to do a variety of things by having a personal identification number. The biggest advantage is that it is a unique identity for each person – this prevents confusion of data about people as well as ensures certain safety and protection of personal integrity. A personal identification number also ensures that each individual gets what they are entitled to, such as pension and housing allowances as well as ensuring that each individual is charged the correct tax.
Some examples of when you can use your personal identification number:
And many more! Join New in Sweden to find out more about personal numbers, get help applying and settle in fast to life here.
Will you be buying a Christmas tree in Sweden this year? Do you know your Kungsgran from a Blågran? Get our free guide to Swedish Christmas trees: https://www.newinsweden.com/christmas-tree.html
Are you new to Sweden? Get all the info for forms you need to get settled in (in English...) and access to our support team, so you can email us any questions, any time, by joining out membership group. Sign up at www.NewinSweden.com
If you haven't yet arrived, here is out ultimate checklist for moving over (it is free!): https://www.newinsweden.com/ultimate-checklist.html
1. When it snows – it pours
Winter weather is discussed often in Sweden. The fact is, snow is pretty well dealt here. There are systems in place for getting it off the road to temporary storage points and then moving it from the temporary storage points to permanent storage points. When this system works, which it does almost all the time, all is well.
However, when a larger-than-expected amount of snow decides to show up, things do break down. Please bear in mind that this is not the same as the few flakes of snow that fall in the UK and everything grinds to a halt. We are talking extra, unexpected meters of snow here!
Plows and tractors will be in much demand and roads are cleared in priority order, which means that residential side-streets can get clogged up with snow. You should be prepared for situations like these though they should be few and far between.
2. It's not the temperature that decides how cold it is – it's the moisture in the air
This is something you will learn intuitively, we certainly have. At -16 degrees Celsius, you will often feel warmer than at -1 degrees Celsius. Strange but true, in our option! Lower temperatures drive the moisture out of the air and keep the snow frozen. Warmer temperatures thaw the snow, releasing moisture into the air and this is when you might start to feel chilly. When it is around freezing, you’## find gloves and scarves help.
3. Make sure that the name on your ID matches the name on post your receive
Anything bigger than your post box flap will sent directly to your local pick up point, which is often in the local supermarket, with convenient and long opening hours. In most cases, you will have to provide ID in order for the clerk to give the mail to you. Here there can be a problem. Let's say you have a nickname that's not on your ID. If the mail happens to be addressed to your nickname, the clerk may not give you the mail. It unfortunately depends on how picky the clerk is but many of us have had problems with it, so it's something you should keep in mind.
4. The Swede is informal – even in a formal setting
You will notice this quickly, especially if you compare it to the American style of customer service. You can expect all manner of emotive responses from store clerks and administrative personnel if you complain about something, although they will almost always speak quietly. The customer is not always right here.
5. There is a right answer, just like there is a right way to do everything
Swedish culture dictates that there is a right way to do most things and therefore most people will do things that way. If you push Swedes to answer awkward questions, you may see them try to find that 'right' answer too.
If you'd like help with your move to Sweden or even to Danderyd, join our membership group. We help our members get settled in. Fast.
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About the blog
Interesting bits and pieces about life in Sweden, including all-important song words.