Swedish culture and lifestyle are drastically different from that of the United States. People reported several cultural shocks when moving to Sweden from the US. Let us understand some basic facts about Sweden. Sweden is a small Nordic nation with Stockholm as the capital city. Swedish is the main language of this land. However, the country recognizes 5 minority languages and has made them official. They are Sami, Finnish, Meankieli, Romani Chib, and Yiddish.
The people of Sweden can speak in different tongues. So, it might be hard for you to understand your way around the country unless you have a translator to help you through your initial days. Sweden has one of the best passports in the world, which translates to the country’s strong international presence, and its people are worthy of hospitable treatment.
As an American, you must be aware of these top things before you move to Sweden from the US.
- The cold in Sweden can freeze you to your bones
Geographically, Sweden is located around the arctic circle. Being near the north pole makes the country prone to extremely harsh winters. The days during the winter are very short. The whole nation gets submerged in snow. During the initial days of winter, it is pleasant to experience snowfall and a bearable -12 degree Celsius.
However, as the winter progresses, the country gets so cold that your everyday technical equipment and gadget stops working properly. You will entirely depend on the gas to heat yourself and your home. For Swedish people, it is common as they are used to the cold. However, as an American who has lived near the equator, it will be very hard for you to continue to live in Sweden. Still, things will eventually get better for you as time progresses.
- You will have a hard time socializing
In America, you might have rarely had a tough time talking to a stranger. In general, Americans are easy to talk to and make friends with. However, this is not the case in Sweden. Swedish people are a bit reserved when talking to strangers.
A good way to gain the trust of the Swedish people is to join a club like a soccer team fan club. With some interests, you can have a common ground to initiate a conversation with others. If you do not know that it is called football in Sweden, you can join clubs like a book club, chess team, ice hockey fan club, and many more such clubs.
- Big cities are significantly more crowded than small towns.
Sweden is not a densely populated nation. The country is as big as London in terms of population, and in terms of land mass, it is 5 times larger than England. A majority of the people reside in the south of the nation, where most of the economic activities are going on. The south is connected with the rest of Europe.
As you go further north, you will find almost no people for as big as a 2-mile radius. It can get lonely living in Sweden. So, if you are an outgoing person or have an extroverted personality, it will be tough for you to adjust to living alone most of the time.
- Finding an apartment can be a tough challenge
If you wish to move to Sweden from the US, you may have to wait a long time. You may have to wait for a very long time to have an apartment for rent directly from the owner of the apartment. It is a common practice that people coming from abroad sublet the apartment from a current tenant.
In addition to this. The cost of rent is surprisingly high. If you combine all your expenses, from groceries to clothing to entertainment, it will still be less than the cost of the rent. The waiting list to get a direct rent contract from the homeowner is long.
- Apply for Personummer immediately
The Sweden government assigns every Swedish person a unique personnummer. It will get used frequently. Personnummer is required to perform every activity, whether opening an account in a bank, paying your bill, getting a phone number, or availing any other government services. It is advisable to place this task on your list of priorities when you are moving to Sweden from America. Although this work is seemingly simple, getting it can take a while.
- Pressbyran can be of great help
Perhaps amongst Sweden’s major retail chains, Pressbyran has more than 300 locations nationwide. It could appear to be a typical convenience shop offering newspapers, refreshments, and beverages. But, Pressbyran is a crucial source of information.
Near the cash register, staff members may give you directions, assist you in purchasing tickets for public transportation, post stuff, you can pay for your phone bills, and even offer basic over-the-counter medicines, such as paracetamol. Pressbyran is an excellent one-stop store that is also quite inexpensive. Here, customers can have a croissant and a cup of beverage at a very affordable price.
- Prepare yourselves for an astoundingly high cost of living
You probably know that the cost of rent is quite high. Apart from rent, Sweden is a very costly country to live in. an average meal can cost you as high as 15 US dollars, which is just the low-end food. Even public transportation, considered cheap, starts from 5 US dollars for every trip across a city. The worst part is that public buses and trams do not arrive very often. So, you need to remember or note down the timings of trams and buses.
Even though the price is high, the satisfaction which you will receive is immense. You will have a nice view of the city from your rented apartment. You will rarely have any complaints about the food you eat and the excellent public service quality.
- Nightlife and after-work culture
The definition of after-work in Sweden is that work colleagues spend quality time at a bar, pub, or restaurant together with friends and co-workers after a long day of work. The best part is that you can have it after work almost every working day. People usually drink alcoholic beverages like lager, beer, whiskey, vodka, etc. In Sweden, you can only buy alcohol from only specially licensed shops known as Systembolaget. These shops are closed on Sundays. Hence, buy whatever you need before a party on Sunday. The shops close at around 7 to 8 at night. The government came up with this rule to put a limit on people’s drinking habits.
To sum up
Sweden is Earth’s heaven. More than half of the nation is covered in forest. You will find solace living here. People here are hardworking. Crime is at its lowest, and it is counted as one of the safest places to live. It is a great idea if you desire to move to Sweden from the US. The culture here is great, the public system is commendable, and you will find a job pretty easily.
Hence, if you wish to move to this country from the US, then Earth Relocation can be of great help. They have networks around the globe. And their professional movers will handle your belongings with utmost care.