A story of a home comer- moving to Sweden after… | Undutchables

A story of a home comer- moving to Sweden after several years abroad

Categorie: Travel

In what country have you been living in and why did you move there? For how long have you lived abroad?

I lived in The Netherlands for 20 years after having moved around between Italy, Germany and France where work and studies brought me to. In the end I fell in love with my Dutch neighbor, got married, got children and started my own company.

Foto carolina

You have recently moved back to Sweden. Was it difficult to take the decision to return to Sweden and what was the final reason for you to do the move? What was the most difficult, to move abroad or move back to Sweden?

We moved a lot when I was a child, so the decision to move out and move back was not hard to take. However, the moving back was more complicated as I now have children and my own company. The decision to move was not hard when we realized how tuff the Dutch school system is for my discreet and dreaming son, who also has autism. We owed him to try the Swedish school system. The move back was more complicated than the other moves I have done, due to all the administration. Without an activated personal number in Sweden, you do not get things done.

What cultural chocks have you experienced living abroad and how have you dealt with them? Was there a cultural chock when moving back to Sweden?

The Dutch society is tough. I am fairly introvert but have always had a longing for adventure. Throughout the year my longing to peaceful Sweden grew stronger and the need for adventure became less important, when seeing the children growing up. I, instead longed away from hours in the car every day, away from the complicated every day logic and the blunt people. The problematic the school system brought to us made us make the move. Now we are living in a calm street in Örebro and can hear the silence as we are outside. We get time to process questions before we answer. We walk to school, to the woods, to the city. I am not in the disadvantage in negotiations now, as I master the language here fully. To come to Sweden was mostly a feeling of recognizing and security, however situations where I do not know how things go, have also appeared. However, it is a lot easier to call someone here to get help, the service and the friendliness is different here in Sweden compared to The Netherlands.

Of course, there are a lot of great things with and in The Netherlands and I have learned a lot of things that I highly value. I dare more now, I am better in networking, to take risks and to say what I think. In the great whole, there is no bigger culture chock I have experienced by moving back, however I feel in Sweden they have unclear traffic rules on common walking and cycling paths, food is more expensive, vegetables worse, bureaucracy takes time, social security number is used a little too often.

"Moving always broadens views and provides perspective, moving to other countries widens the horizons even more and provides understanding of other ways of doing things."


What was the most difficult with coming back?

Clearly being an entrepreneur. The tough rules of VAT and tax mean that part-time business is not profitable and full-time is difficult for me in the middle of Covid-19, that made me come here without my husband. I have no backup from my old parents, the children first started school and met other children two weeks before it was time for summer holidays. In addition, I was in the Netherlands niche graphic designer and photographer within the Swedish community, so who is my target group now that everyone is Swedes? In time, of course, it'll work out, but the timing with Corona was probably the worst possible.

My focus within design is mainly making logotypes and branding identity for small- medium sized companies, but i also do create printed matter, magazines and monograms which you can view here! Within photography I am specialized in events, but I also do weddings. And the passion for beautiful landscapes and interesting cities is to seen in my portfolio.

Event photo Carolina de Klerk

What has the stay abroad given you and how has it shaped you as a person? What's the most important thing you bring home with you? Do you have any advice to give to other returnees?

Moving always broadens views and provides perspective, moving to other countries widens the horizons even more and provides understanding of other ways of doing things.

I have also gotten to know myself very well over the years and how I handle situations, solve problems and conflicts. I know what I'm good at and what I'm less good at. I have also realized what a great country Sweden is to be a child and a parent in.

My advice to other home comers is "bring the best of the country you have lived in and enrich Sweden with it but do it with patience and humility. It is not obvious that others understand the views and perspectives that we have with us home and how they can enrich the already orderly country."

Carolina is running her own business and her challenge is now to establish herself on the Swedish market. Are you curious on her design and photography??


Moving back to Sweden requires their preparation just like when you move to a new country. Society is constantly changing. Maybe some new and different from when you left? Take the rehabilitation phase seriously and allow it to take time to reintegrate.

The experience abroad has given you new insights and perspectives that not only you can benefit from, but also Swedish business and society at large.

Via this link to "Svenskar i Världen", you can find useful information if you are planning to move to Sweden after having lived abroad for a longer period. We at Undutchables Sweden can help you with a suitable job in Sweden. Do not forget to re register at the tax office: Skatteverket when you come home!

Event photo Carolina de Klerk 2
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