Things you want/need to know before moving to Sweden

By now, most of you have started your application process to apply for the fall intake. Some of you are on getting ready to come to Sweden for the Spring! Yaay! Anyhow, Recently I’ve been getting (a lot of!) questions about the general cost of living, how to cope with the climate and such. Here are your most frequently asked questions, and the answers to them.

  1. Climate:
    Is it really too cold in Sweden?
    Yes, it can get quite cold here in Sweden. But fret not. Only some places in Northern Sweden gets really cold. Even then, it isn’t as bad as we picture in our heads. All buildings, universities and housing, and public transport is equipped with centralised heating. Also, haven’t you heard? there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So, if you have warm clothes, you’ll be able to deal with the cold and chilly climate like a boss.
    Click here for the list for things you need to survive the winter!
  2. Language:
    Do I need to know Swedish?
    The short answer: Not really.
    The long answer: You don’t need to learn Swedish to survive university. All classes and professional communication is in English. If you plan to get a job and settle in Sweden, it is always better to learn Swedish. There are many ways to do this. You can use the ‘Duolingo’ (Click here)or similar language apps and websites.  Furthermore, most universities offer Swedish classes. There are other organisations like SFI and SFE which teaches Swedish. Also, learning Swedish is super fun! You can start learning using this tool.
  3. Food:
    I’m a vegetarian. Is it hard to find food in Sweden?
    No. It is not. There are a lot of  vegan restaurants. But, more generally, students cook for themselves. And, in the vegetable and fruits department, there are always a lot of options to cook a healthy vegetarian meal.
    Click here to know how it is to be a vegetarian in Sweden.
  4. Cost of living:
    Do we really need to spend  8000 SEK per month?
    No. That’s the amount you need to show to get your residence permit. My actual monthly expenditure is quite less. Other than my rent, I spend around 2000 SEK/ month for living. 500 SEK for my public transportation pass. 1500 around for my food. So including rent, for most students, around 4500-5000 SEK per month would be the monthly cost. If you live smart and shop smart, it will be lesser.
    Click here to know how to live smart and cheap here in Sweden.
  5. Job opportunities:
    How are the job opportunities in Sweden?
    There is a good job market and a pretty good demand, and Sweden is called the Silicon valley of Europe, with lots of thriving start ups. You might know a little basic Swedish though! But don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to learn during the two years of masters.
  6. Part time jobs:
    Can I get a part time job? 
    The answer to that is a little complicated. You do not need a job permit. It is quite OK to get a part time job. BUT–Please do not loose focus on the primary reason you’re moving to Sweden for, and that is your education! So first , come to Sweden, start classes at university and then decide if you want to do a part time job. Master’s programmes are quite demanding and it might become too much to handle a part time job. So figure it out after your courses start.

    I hope this answered most of your basic questions! All the best!

    -For now, your Swe-desi Seafarer signing off! 🙂


Written by Supritha

10 Jan 2017