Swedish Culture

RESPECTFUL

The culture is soooooo different from France.

First of all, Swedish people are super respectful. They always respect rules, if there is a red light, they are not going to cross the street!

I come from France, the culture is synonym to the “I-do-what-I-want” way, so when I arrived, it was a BIG gap from what I was used to.

Swedish people are really “cold”, it means that you will not talk to someone at the bus stop because you are wondering why the bus is late. It can be difficult, especially for me who love to talk, to understand! But you get used to it, and don’t worry, not all Sweds are like that!

 

Fika & Food

VIKING FOOD, YOU KNOW?

The food is E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y different from French food. (I don’t want to complain BUT… I miss French gastronomy so much!)

Typical dishes from Swedish are:

  1. Köttbullar, potatis (Meatballs with potatoes)
  2. Smörgåstårta: it is basically bread, cream and shrimps
  3. Falukorv med makaroner (sausages with macaroni)
  4. Salmon
  5. Sill med potatis, called “Swedish Sushi” – First time, I assumed it will be sushis and I was super exited because I LOVED sushis.. but it is potatoes, herring and cream.
  6. Rotten fish that we called ” surströmming ” : I never tried yet, it seems terrible but.. we never know

Something REALLY good about Sweden is that they are FOND of FIKA!

Here is a definition from Wikipedia :

Fika  is a concept in Swedish (and Finnish) culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”, often accompanied with pastries, cookies or pie.[1] A more contemporary generalised meaning of the word, where the coffee may be replaced by tea or even juice, lemonade or saft for children, has become widespread. In some social circles, even just a sandwich or a small meal may be denoted a fika similar to the English concept of afternoon tea. In Sweden pastries in general (for example cinnamon buns) are often referred to as fikabröd (“fika bread”).

 

GET A PERSONAL NUMBER

THE GOLDEN KEY

This little number is how you will survive in Sweden.

  1. You will be able to pay taxes
  2. You will be able to have a subscription for a phone
  3. You will be able to queue for an apartment
  4. You will be able to have Swish
  5. You will be able to go to the doctor and have a social security in Sweden

To get it, you have 2 options: You are studying or working more than a year in Sweden.

When you have a one year contract or a certificate from the University, you can go to Skatteverket and they will help you with all papers you have to give.

 

Work in Sweden

IT IS REALLY NICE

Everything is different than France, and Working is one of the big difference.

  1. People are nicer, the atmosphere is not as stressful as France
  2. You are free, you do your hours as you want but the work needs to be done
  3. You will experience the Swedish FIKA 
  4. Salaries are better than France

You can work in Sweden if you are only speaking English. If you are living in a big city, you will not have any issue, lots of companies are international.

If you are working with services (taxi, hairdresser, restaurant, bar..), you might need Swedish.

To find a job, you have to look at : Arbetsformedlingen or Linkedin.

Vocabulary:

  • Att Arbeta / Jobba : to work
  • Jobb i Linköping : Job in Linköping
  • Marknadsföring : Marketing
  • försäljning : Sales

Open a bank account in Sweden

I WOULD SAY, IT IS NOT AN EASY TASK 

If you are living in big cities like Stockholm, Göteborg, you might have the chance to go to SEB or Handelsbanken and be able to open a bank account only with your passeport.

  1. If you are living in smaller cities like Linköping, Norrköping, Karlstad.. you might go through difficulties.

To be able to open a bank account in Sweden, you need to have a personal number (The GOLDEN key to be Swedish). In order to have a personal number, you need to have a job! BUT, in order to have a job, you need to have a personal number. (Don’t be afraid, you can do it! I am laughing just thinking about how strange it is)

So, Basically, it seems Mission Impossible. But, you can do it! Swedish people know how complicated it is, so you can get a job without a personal number and then apply for it.

As soon as you get a temporary personal number (just to be able to pay taxes), you can go to the bank and push to open a bank account. Then, they will give a strange calculator. It is a security to connect to your bank account, you will need it every time you want to pay online (ahaha I love Swedish Invention)

If you get a personal number, you need to apply for an “ID kort” (identity card) (it costs 400kr) and then, you can go to the bank, and it will be super easy.

I don’t have any preference for bank, here is a list of the majors banks in Sweden

  • SEB
  • Nordea
  • Handelsbanken
  • ICA Banken
  • Skandia Banken
  • Swedbank

Find an apartment

I would say : Good luck

It is really COMPLICATED to find a rental apartment in Sweden (it is not a joke). But everything is possible!

Before I moved to Sweden, I read a lot about how complicated it is and I was not convince because I did not understand how complicated it could be…

Sweden has a nice system to rent apartments:

  1. you need to register yourself through different “real estate companies” that own all the apartment
  2. You will queue: One day = one point.
  3. Apartments are online and you choose which one you want. If someone has 300 points and take it you can’t access to the apartment. Usually, people have between 1500points to 2000points. I had 3.

Tips for HSB. You are allowed to “save money” every month (up to 500kr) to buy an apartment with them, in this case, you are in the top list to rent apartment. After you get a contract, you are allowed to have the money back. It usually takes 3 months to get an apartment.

When I read this, I imagine Swedish people who have BEEN QUEUING for 15 years, I don’t have any chance.

So Next chance, is to rent “second hand” (andrahandskontrakt lägenhet in Swedish). It means that you will not have a contract to your name but you do a second rental. So you have to trust the person, I don’t really know if it is legal or not, but lots of people are doing it today and it works really great.

Here is a list of where you can look for apartments :

  • Blocket : it is the “people-to-people” website, if you want an apartment, you need to stay 24/7 on it (Bostad>uthyres>östergötland>Linköping)
  • Hyrenbostad : Rental website
  • HSB : Rental website
Vocabulary:
  • Bostad : accommodation
  • Lägenhet : apartment
  • Hyra : rent
  • Köpa : buy

Advices for Students who want to live in Linköping:

As soon as you know, you are admitted to Linköping Uni, spend time to registrer yourself to different websites. LIU will provide emergency beds at the beginning of the year and you can also book a room through Airbnb or Youth hotel.

There are also lots of Facebook groups to find accommodations:

  1. Erasmus Group
  2.  Bostad Linköping
  3. Lägenheter i Linköping 
  4. StudentBostader
Areas in Linköping :
  • Ryd: Students area; super close to LIU
  • Lambohov/Mjärdevi: Mainly families are living there
  • Valla: really close to LIU
  • Skäggetorp: it is not the first area recommended in Linköping, but I have never lived there, so I have not much to say about it.
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LYCKA TILL!