Moving from the Netherlands to Sweden: 10 things you… | Undutchables

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

Here are some quick, fun, but useful tips if you are moving from the Netherlands to Sweden.

  1. As an EU member, you can live in Sweden for 3 months without registering. To stay and have access to the system here, you need to have a job or be registered with your partner.
  2. Once you registered, you do not need to apply for an extra health insurance as you would do in The Netherlands. In Sweden, the basic health insurance is free. However, if you wish to add a supplementary insurance to your basic insurance you would have to pay for the extra care package. Shop around among the offered health insurances to see what suits you best.
  3. The healthcare system differs from the Netherlands: here you pay approximately 250 SEK for a doctor’s visit until the limit of 1200 SEK (differs in area’s), then you have free (more or less) access to treatment. This does not apply to dental and mental care.
  4. The Swedish herring is not to be compared to the fresh Dutch herring!
  5. School system is different, here children only start school at the age of 6 and will graduate when approximately 18 years old. Gymnasium in Sweden is something different to Gymnasium in The Netherlands.
  6. Lunchbreak: warm food is served in Swedish schools. Most of the adults therefore eat warm lunches. You can get a warm lunch menu for approximately 10 euros. This is a huge difference from the ‘boterham’ culture in The Netherlands.
  7. Alcohol can only be purchased at Systembolaget (Staatswinkel), so no more wine shopping in the supermarket!
  8. Swedes do not celebrate carnival or Sinterklaas. They celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December!
  9. -10 degrees Celsius is not cold! The cold differs from the icy, watery, cold temperature in The Netherlands! Make sure you wear your gloves and hat though!
  10. Swedes are known for not being too outspoken, so bear in mind that the Dutch directness can be an issue for you here.
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