living in sweden

Living in Sweden: Important Things You Need to Know

Sweden is a lovely country with friendly people. So, if you’re looking for a place to live away from your current country of residence, Sweden is a great choice.

However, you must know a few important things about this Scandinavian country before moving. This article offers the important things you need to know before you start living in Sweden.

Pros and Cons of Living in Sweden

Sweden is considered to be one of the safest and most desirable nations to live in. It’s known for its scenic landscapes, great lifestyle, and friendly people. This country borders beautiful countries like Finland, Norway, and Denmark, which are generally peaceful and cultured.

However, make sure you understand both the upsides and downsides of living in Sweden before you migrate. Keep reading to learn the benefits and drawbacks of living in this country.

Pros of Living in Sweden

Nature

a. Beautiful Nature

As mentioned above, Sweden has some of the most scenic landscapes in the world. From frozen lakes to snow-capped mountains, sweeping wildernesses, and sandy beaches, this Nordic country has a lot to offer in terms of scenery.

You’ll also enjoy trips to the scenic archipelago, which spans the country’s entire coastline from the north to the south, and the west. This archipelago consists of over 30,000 small islands.

The western part of the archipelago is close to the country’s booming cities like Stockholm, Oland, and Gothenburg. This part of the country offers bright sun, soft sandy beaches, a blue sea, and high-end resorts.

In Oland, you’ll find magnificent fairy-tale windmills, historic sites, and a rich cultural heritage. Then, you’ll have the awe-inspiring Lapland for your winter getaways. The place is irradiated with the dancing lights of the aurora borealis and snow-capped mountains.

You’ll also find some pristine forests for your nature walks and frozen lakes to take your breath away. It’s commonly referred to as the land of the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights due to its dancing lights.

It stretches from Skelleftea to the northernmost part of the country, covering a quarter of the entire nation. Its sheer size, varying terrain, and cultural heritage make it a unique place to live in.

b. Reliable Public Transportation System

Sweden has invested heavily in its public transport system that allows people to crisscross the country with ease. This system is systematically woven throughout major cities and suburbs, making it easy for people to move from one city to another.

This means that you can use public transport to get to work because it’s reliable, fast, and timely. If you choose to live near the city where you can access your workplace easily, then you won’t have to drive to work because you can jump on the train, bus, or tram to and from work.

Major Swedish cities are known to be generally safe and less congested than other popular cities in the world. The public transport system has many direct routes within these cities to make your travel less hectic.

Living near these cities won’t be much of a hassle even if you don’t own a car. However, if you choose to reside in a remote part of Sweden, you may need a vehicle to travel to the city.

c. Favorable Living Standards

The standards of living in this Nordic country are quite favorable compared to other neighboring countries. Poverty levels in this country are very low and therefore it’s not easy to find homeless people on the streets.

The Swedish government has put in place measures to ensure its citizens enjoy fairly good standards of living. The government has partnered with private and non-governmental organizations to provide citizens with opportunities to earn decent livelihoods.

For instance, the country offers a considerably low cost of healthcare to its citizens. Education is also very affordable, depending on the level of education you want to pursue. Furthermore, pay rates for most jobs are notably high compared to other countries.

Additionally, the cost of housing in Sweden is quite moderate, allowing residents to find decent houses to live in. The cost of utilities and food is also favorable.

d. Less Pollution

Many Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, have enforced very stringent environmental pollution policies. For example, the government has created strict laws that prohibit factories from disposing of harmful chemicals in ways that put the environment at risk of pollution.

It has also created laws stipulating how ordinary citizens should dispose of their waste to prevent pollution. This has earned the country a position at the high table of the cleanest countries in the world.

Therefore, cases of diseases caused by pollution are very few in Sweden. Familiarize yourself with the laws governing waste disposal before you move to Sweden to avoid running into problems with law enforcement.

e. Top-Class Working Conditions

If you want to settle in a country with relaxed and favorable working conditions, then try Sweden. You’ll be working 8 hours a day, leaving you with enough time to spend with your family and friends.

Swedish employers also understand that their employees become more productive when they have time to socialize and travel. So, they offer their employees enough paid leave days, time off, and sick days.

You won’t be expected to go to work on public holidays and special occasions unless you work in the essential services industry like health, security, transport, etc. This allows you to go on vacations. Women are given ample time to take care of their newborn babies.

Cons of Living in Sweden

Uncommon Weather

a. Complex Tax System

As mentioned above, the Swedish government has come up with programs to uplift the living standards of its citizens, including free education, low-cost healthcare, and subsidized food and other essential utilities.

Unfortunately, the money to finance these programs comes from the citizens through taxes. Sweden is one of the countries with the highest tax rates. Your pay as you earn remittance is 30 percent of your earnings.

Your regular income taxes must be filed and returned by the 2nd of May the following year. Therefore, if you have a problem with paying heavy taxes, Sweden may not be the right country to move to.

b. Expensive Education for Non-Citizens

Although the Swedish government has invested heavily in the education sector, it hasn’t put in place measures to ensure non-citizens enjoy the same free education as citizens. Non-citizen students have to pay for their education from their pockets.

Becoming a citizen of Sweden is quite a complex process that many migrants find hard to complete. So, they have to finance their university and college education from their pockets, which is very expensive.

c. Uncommon Weather Conditions

There’s more darkness than sunlight in Sweden due to the country’s latitude. This means that night lasts longer than day. In certain seasons, the country experiences 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Therefore, darkness can last for 18 hours per day. You need to understand these changes in the weather before you move to Sweden so that you can prepare yourself physically and psychologically.

People in areas affected by these weather changes can take different measures to minimize the risk of seasonal effect disorders. For instance, they purchase UV lights and consume more vitamin D supplements.

d. Conservative Living

Even as you familiarize yourself with the laws of the land, you also need to understand the unwritten rules. You are expected to abide by these rules to avoid conflict with other people, even though the rules are unwritten.

Unfortunately, some of these societal expectations can be too hard to abide by, especially if you come from a society like the United States where people want to be left alone to live their lives the way they deem fit.

The culture shock might be too hard for you to bear. However, you can take time to familiarize yourself with the new culture and the way of life in Sweden to avoid problems with the people you find there.