Moving from France to Sweden: 10 things you need to keep in mind

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If you are new in Sweden or moving here for work, you might encounter some differences in comparison to your own culture. For your job search in Sweden you might need a recruitment agency for multilingual recruitment. Undutchables Sweden can help you find a job in Sweden.

A candidate that moved to Sweden from France, shared some differences she noticed moving from France to Sweden.

Self Service

While in France we take pride in serving customers, being ''garçon de café'' is a real profession and there is a pride in the job, here in Stockholm it is the self-service that predominates from setting your table, filling your water glass, bringing your bread on the table and clearing the dishes. You handle all yourself a little bit like at home with the difference that no one asks if you have enjoyed your food or not.

Buying flat via auction

The practice in Sweden is quite confusing and goes to the opposite of the French process. One should not rely on the price set for a house or a flat as it is the starting point for auctions. Each interested buyer submits their auctions to the real estate broker, the highest bid wins. I can only tell you how nerve wrecking it is to make of 5 or 10K euros of the phone...

Christmas in socks

When one enters a private sphere, it is of a good manner to take off your shoes, in France we might do it in some occasions but here it is everywhere and all the time whether dining with friends celebrating Xmas or visiting an apartment...shoes off which seriously impact your look while wearing a tux or an evening dress.

Early birds, Early lunch and early diner, everything starts earlier

Whilst we might start the day arriving at the office at 9.00 / 9.30, Swedes have already worked at least 90 mins sometimes more and soon get ready for the lunch break starting from 11.00 to 11.30, at this time in general we are still digesting breakfast, and we French hit the canteen at closure time: 13.00 / 13.30. The rest of the day unrolls itself in the same logic, leaving the work place from 16.30 (depending on arrival 40 hours per week applied her in Sweden) and dinning around 18.00.

Don't even think of scheduling a meeting after 16.00 your success rate in attendance is close to zero.

One funny design characteristic

The windows do not have shutters and in the summer, it is light outside for approximately 20 hours during the day. This means that it is impossible to have long nights during the summer when there is barely 3 hours of darkness. It is hard to get used to the long, lit days.

The notion of family doctor doesn’t exist

There are no family doctors in the way we know it in France, here you queue in a hospital for many hours or in a local health centre provided for this purpose, with in general level of means and competences in those dispensaries that are quite poor. My experience of the medical system and care is probably the worst in Europe

Pregnancy and delivery process, a different approach nature vs medicalised

I got pregnant and delivered my child in Stockholm. I struggled first with the fact that I never saw a doctor, but only midwifes who made check-ups and follow ups, with methods that I was not impressed with (too much focus on the nature, and less on the medicalised aspect of the process). I struggled even more when the post term pregnancy was quite usual until week 42 without particular check on the baby status, whereas the rest of Europe would induce the delivery after 1 week to 10 days max after term. I had to make a written derogation to the hospital and fight midwifes mindset requesting to be induced after 1 week after term as believed my baby would not be in safe zone after this period.

The queue: a national game

Swedes love queuing. At a bus stop they will stand one behind another when we would try to cheat our way to first place, swedes patiently wait for their turn. When a natural queue is not possible they have machines at the deli counter, wine shop, pharmacy etc... that issue a ticket with a number to ensure everyone's turn is respected.

Do not count on too much privacy but a full transparency

Type your name in the address search engine and, you will have your phone, address, picture of your home and with a few euros extra your salary that will be disclosed to whom would look for some info about you.


For a smooth move to Sweden find more information on https://www.newinsweden.com/

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