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Sweden > Expat Experiences


Daniel Reed, Stockholm

Published Thursday January 21, 2016 (15:55:02)
Daniel Reed
Daniel Reed

Who are you?

I’m Daniel Reed. Originally from Newcastle in the UK.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

This is my second time in Sweden. I first came to Stockholm in 2011 for a 6-month study exchange at Södertörns University. I then moved back to the UK for 3 years and then moved back for a new challenge, lifestyle change, and to be with my Swedish girlfriend.

What challenges did you face during the move?

Getting started with the Swedish system was tough to say the least. When I moved back in 2014 I worked from home for a UK company. This made getting a social security number very difficult and you can’t really do anything in Sweden without that.

Are there many other expats in your area?

Loads. I help out with a local expat meetup group where we meet up with other expats in Stockholm. Lots of Brits, Australians, French, Finnish, etc.

What do you like about life where you are?

I like that everything here is quite organised and their society is pretty settled. Wages are good, standard of living is high, and there is great access to nature and sports and such.

I think what I like the most is meeting new people from all around the world. At work, in bars, at meetups; it’s great to have such a multicultural city to live in.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Prices for luxuries like beer and restaurants are higher than I’d like or am used to in the UK. Sometimes is it quite hard to get introduced to Swedish friends but I’m working on that.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

Generally, the culture between Sweden and the UK is similar. It’s more of the smaller things that I’ve had to learn. For example, summer holidays for Swedes are VERY important. It’s totally normal for people to take 4+ weeks' holiday in the summer, and Stockholm will just stop. That took some getting used to. Also Swedes don’t park their cars on the pavement if they are stopping for a quick break. That’s something we do in the UK all the time.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Come prepared and do your research well in advance. I’ve heard countless stories of expats moving here unprepared and struggling to get ahead in time. There is lots of paper work from social security numbers to residency permits, even for EU citizens. Also try and find a Swedish friend that can help. Even with the best expat advice, getting stated in Sweden can be tricky.

What are your plans for the future?

Planning on buying something in Stockholm to get out of the 2nd hand rental market. I’m also studying to be a private pilot so trying to finish that up as well. Sweden has some fantastic flying scenery.

You can keep up to date with Daniel's adventures on his website, Everything Sweden.

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