Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Learning the Swedish language

Learning the language is obviously very important. Jobseekers who have become residents in Sweden and who have been issued with a personal identity number (personnummer) should contact the local municipality for information about free Swedish lessons for immigrants (Sfi).

Sfi stands for swedish for immigrants (svenska för invandrare) and is a language course which also includes field trips and some cultural and social education. Those who are over 16 years of age, registered in Stockholm and who need to learn Swedish have the right to study Sfi in Stockholm. Teaching and course literature are free of charge.

Follow the link under SFI - Swedish for Immigrants and other language resources on the right under IMPORTANT LINKS to find out more about SFI and the free online courses available to you.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Do you want to work in Sweden?

Sweden is the third largest country in western Europe. Half of the country is covered in forests, with some 100,000 lakes. The population is 9 million, 85% living in the south and 1.9 million in Stockholm, the capital. In recent decades, a high level of immigration, primarily refugees from various parts of the world, has transformed Sweden into a multi-cultural society. A member of the European Union since 1995, Sweden is a party to the Schengen agreement.

Vibrant cultural life

Sweden enjoys a rich cultural life, with proud traditions in literature, architecture, dance, fashion and design. There is a well-developed infrastructure, with museums, libraries, theatres and cinemas throughout the country. Stockholm boasts a number of world-famous cultural institutions, such as the Royal Opera House, Dramaten (the Royal Dramatic Theatre), the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Modern Art. Swedish artists, entertainers and pop musicians are well known for their creativity, even on the international scene.

Exciting recreational opportunities

Sweden offers a broad range of outdoor activities such as fishing, forest walks, hiking in the mountains and sailing. You are always close to nature, with endless opportunities for firsthand experience. Popular sports include football, ice hockey, bandy and orienteering, and interest in physical exercise has never been greater. Swedes like to get together on major holidays and celebrate special days in the calendar such as Walpurgis Night, Midsummer, Lucia and Christmas.

Working climate

Most Swedish workplaces are known for their commitment to openness, equal opportunity and democratic values. Companies and institutions are often ’flat’ organizations with few interim levels of management, and employees are expected to participate in decisions and demonstrate initiative as part of a team. Managers work closely with their employees. In day-to-day working life, people tend to use first names when talking to customers, bosses or colleagues. Swedish workplaces encourage mutual respect and a positive work environment. Flexible working hours and effective childcare enable parents to combine work and family. Trade unions have considerable influence on Swedish working conditions and almost 80% of the labour force is unionised.
The imminent retirement boom is likely to give rise to labour shor­tages in many areas and could threaten future growth. Numer­ous measures are implemented to counteract this threat. More information about the swedish labour market can be found at and Reference [1]

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Welcome to my blog!

On a late summer evening, on July 2005, I arrived in Stockholm Arlanda airport with my wife and two young sons, hoping to find work and live in Sweden.

Three years on, a lot of things have happened. I am now settled in Stockholm with a steady job, living in our own apartment and our children are in good school and University.

It has not always been easy. I could not speak Swedish, getting personal number took three months and we had to live in old rented apartment using my savings. I did not get any work for nine months, experienced the cold winter of 2005 for the first time. But the snow and winter of Stockholm was new to me and it was fun and it was wonderful.

I have now worked in the computer industry for nearly three years. I have worked with Swedish Satellite TV company, medical institution, publishing company and with computer consultancy agency. I have made friends, learnt to speak a little Swedish and understand how most things work in Sweden.

I want to share my experience with you and I hope that through this blog pages, I can give you lots of practical information that will help you to settle in Sweden. I hope you will find the information useful and most of all enjoy reading the blog pages. Please leave your comments and may be you can share your experience too with all the readers.