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7 things that people who successfully relocate to Sweden do differently

May 28, 2019 anne_pihl
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Finding a place to call home, dealing with bureaucracy and coming to terms with a new country, all while trying to master a new job in Sweden – relocating is always challenging. A lot of work and organisation goes into avoiding the practical and transitional hurdles of moving. Whilst everyone faces their own individual complications, experience tell us that managing certain key aspects greatly increase the chances of having a happy and productive stay here. Those who successfully relocate to Sweden tend to do the following 7 things.

1. They do their research and plan

Relocating smoothly requires finding out what needs to be done in time. For example, checking immigration requirements and the time frames involved for getting work and residency permits is key. If required, the whole relocation plan hinges on this. Gaining an understanding of what to expect from the Swedish property and rental market is also essential for setting realistic expectations.

2. They get advice & ask for help

A lot of information is available online and in English in Sweden. This information can, however, be confusing or contradictory. Reaching out for advice and confirmation on the quickest and smartest way of going about things is always a good idea, especially when it comes to work permit application processes, as short cuts are available.  The same is true for finding suitable accommodation, getting registered in the Swedish system for essential services or just getting advice on school options.

3. They seek to understand cultural differences

Sweden has its own unique culture and Swedes have their own way of doing things. Those who adapt successfully to living and working in Sweden are either culturally aware from the outset or work actively on developing this skill. Importantly, they don’t underestimate cultural differences and the long-term relationship damage that disregarding these can cause, both in and outside the workplace.

4. They learn Swedish

A little Swedish can go a long way as it shows interest and willingness, which is always appreciated. If, however, the intention is to stay here long- term, learning Swedish properly is practically essential even though most Swedes speak English very well. Full integration into any society requires it. Besides, being dependent on others to translate is never a good position to be in; inability to understand day-to-day correspondence or relying on your kids to translate what their teachers and friends say are examples of common difficulties.

5. They build a social support network

Relocation to a new country is challenging enough without feeling isolated too. Successful relocation requires having a network in place to feel connected and to have support when difficulties arise. Swedes can be reserved and often take longer to get to know. Working actively on building a local network with both other internationals and Swedes is therefore usually the most effective ways of achieving this in the short term.

6They explore and make the most of their time

Sweden is a beautiful country with a huge amount to offer. Those who relocate sucessfully remain curious and tend to be adventurous when it comes to trying out new experiences whether it’s food, sports or travel. An interest in the great outdoors is also a definite plus in Sweden, a country which offers an abundance of activities for each of its four distinct seasons.

7. They look after themselves

Moving is one of the greatest stresses in life.  When you add in a new country and a new job,  stress levels can really rocket. Prioritising work-life balance is usually easier said than done, but this becomes even more important when relocating to a new country. Those who want to get off to a smooth start in Sweden are well advised to gather all the support they can get, especially at the beginning.

We know this as we regularly get called in to help out in cases where people have missed one or more important steps, resulting in a difficult start in Sweden which directly impacts on their ability to focus on the job for which they have relocated, as well as impacting on their well-being.  If you would relocation assistance, talk to those who do it on a professional basis.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We also offer private relocation services. We help with the entire relocation process including immigration, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, language and intercultural training. Email us at or call us on +46 8 361011 for more information. You can also read more about our relocation services at or follow us on social media for tips and advice.

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